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The Ultimate Guide to Where to Park in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

The Ultimate Guide to Parking in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

Heads up: This post was last updated April 2019. 

If you’ve ever been to Portsmouth, NH, you probably know the nightmare that parking can be. Whether you’re here for a quick client lunch, a fun evening out, or a full weekend of exploring, it can be difficult to find both on-street and off-street parking that is both available and affordable.

As seasoned Portsmouthians, members of our team here at Vital have plenty of experience with parking in downtown Portsmouth. A study conducted by the city found that on average, people will drive 2.5 times around downtown Portsmouth before they give up to go park in the garage!

On-street parking is a game of its own kind. It’s a game of chance — will you drive by an open spot before another driver has scouted it out? Maybe. But you may also just find yourself headed to the garage or another off-street lot. To help you out, we’ve laid out off-street parking in downtown Portsmouth, according to what you may be looking for.

The following parking information and rates have been updated to the best of our knowledge. Please obey all signs in parking areas and refer to the city’s parking website for additional parking updates.

Oh, and use these links for quick access to what you’re looking for:

Paid Parking
Free Parking
Secret Parking Spots
Overnight & Extended Parking
Parking Pointers

Paid ParkingThe Ultimate Guide to Parking in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

These parking spots are best for short visits to Portsmouth. Maybe you’re grabbing a quick lunch or meeting with a client. These spots won’t cost you too much for a few hours.

What you get: Parking close to downtown
What you pay: $1.00-2.00 per hour
Tip: Take your meter time seriously, the meter men and women of Portsmouth are known for being timely. Enforcement runs from 9am-8pm on Monday-Saturday and noon-8pm on Sunday.

Hanover Parking Garage
34 Hanover Street, 900 spaces, 18 handicap
$1.50 per hour, no daily limit (all day free parking on Sunday for city residents)

Hanover Street Lot
175 Hanover Street, 11 spaces, 1 handicap
$2.00 per hour, 3-hour max, pay and display

Bridge Street Lot 
40 Bridge Street, 63 spaces, 2 handicap
$1.00 per hour, 4-hour max, pay and display

Worth Lot 
25 Maplewood Avenue, 97 spaces, 5 handicap
$1.50 per hour, Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm; 3-hour max, pay and display
$1.50 per hour, Sun: 12pm-8pm; 3-hour max
Free parking Mon-Sat: 8pm-9am

Ladd Street Lot 
The rear of High Hanover Parking Garage, 12 spaces, 1 handicap
$1.50 per hour, 3-hour max, pay and display

Wright Ave Lot
Wright Avenue, 44 spaces
$2.00 per hour, 4-hour max, pay and display

Sheraton Hotel Lot
Deer/Russell Streets, 40 spaces
$2.00 per hour, gate parking, credit card payment only

Court Street Lot
Court Street, 13 spaces
$1.50 per hour, 4-hour max, pay and display

Foundry Place Garage
100 Foundry Place, 600 spaces
$1.00 per hour (all day free parking on Sundays for Portsmouth Residents)

Free Parking

The Ultimate Guide to Parking in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

If the price of parking in downtown Portsmouth is more of a worry than convenience, here are the spots that you should consider.

What you get: Free parking that is only a quick scenic walk to downtown.
What you pay: Nothing—that’s the best part!
Tip: Plan ahead and get there early; these spots go quickly.

Parrott Avenue Lot
Parrott Avenue, 186 spaces, 4 handicap
72-hour limit

Four Tree Island Parking Area
Peirce Island Road, 115 spaces
No overnight parking

South Playground Lot
Junkins Avenue, 90 spaces, 1 handicap
No overnight parking

Peirce Island Pool and Dirt Lots
Peirce Island Road, 123 spaces, 10 handicap
No overnight parking

City Hall Upper and Lower Lots
1 Junkins Avenue, 166 spaces
No overnight parking

Community Connect Church Lot
200 Chase Drive, 93 spaces
No parking on Sundays until 1 p.m.
Note: There’s a free shuttle to downtown, see hours below.

Masonic Temple Lot
Middle Street/Miller Avenue, 61 spaces
Free, parking permitted from 6 am–7:30 pm, Monday–Saturday

Rock Street Lot
Rock Street, 110 spaces,
Free, open to the public on weekend and holidays, M–F from 6 pm–8 am

Prescott Park Lot
Off of Scott Street, 10 spaces, 5 handicap
Two-hour max.

Green Street Lot
Green Street
Free. This lot was suggested by a reader. Please obey all signs, and parking overnight is not recommended.

Secret Parking Spots

The Ultimate Guide to Parking in Downtown Portsmouth, NH

If you’re truly a savvy parking-patron, then you already know about these secret parking spots. But just in case you don’t, here’s a quick rundown of some of the best parking spots you will find downtown without having to pay a dime.

What you get: Super convenient downtown parking, for free.
What you pay: No payment necessary for these secret spots.
Tip: Parking is available in these lots after banking hours, but is reserved for patrons during the day. You run the risk of getting towed should you park for an extended period of time during bank hours, or if your car is in the way of snow removal operations.

Note: A handful of private lots in Portsmouth now charge special rates after business hours. We recommend double checking the lot you are in to see if it is necessary to pay to park.

TD Bank Lot I
Between Chestnut and Fleet Street, 11 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

TD Bank Lot II
Porter/Fleet Streets, 32 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

People’s United Bank Lot
Between Fleet and Church Streets, 20 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

Piscataqua Savings Bank Lot
Driveway off State Street, 17 spaces
Free, available after bank hours

Citizens Bank Lot
Pleasant Street/Junkins Ave, 22 spaces
Free, available after bank hours
(15 spaces used by valet company depending on the night)

Overnight & Extended Parking

If you’re looking to stay more than a few hours in Portsmouth or are making an overnight trip, these spots are available for up to 72 hours.

What you get: Parking for an extended period of time, up to 72 hours.
What you pay: Prices range from free to 75 cents per hour.
Tip: These spots are popular with commuters during the day. Arrive early, or just as work is wrapping up for the day.

Parrott Avenue Lot
Parrott Avenue, 186 spaces, 4 handicap
Free, 72-hour limit

Parking Pointers

No Need to Pay on a Holiday!

The following federal holidays mean free parking days in Portsmouth:

    • New Year’s Day
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • Presidents’ Day
    • Memorial Day
    • Independence Day
    • Labor Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Veterans’ Day
    • Thanksgiving Day
    • Christmas Day

Navigating a “Full” Parking Garage (Hanover Street)

On a busy day in Portsmouth, it’s not uncommon to find the “Garage Full” sign propped outside of the main entrance on Hanover Street. Don’t give up quite yet though. The parking garage uses this sign as a way of maintaining open spots for pass holders when it has reached a certain capacity.

Local parking pros know that a quick trip around the block will bring you to the lower entrance on Fleet Street, where you should always be able to enter. The garage may be filling up but if you don’t mind going all the way up to the roof, you may be just in luck.

For Motorcycles 

The city offers 6 dedicated motorcycle parking spaces in the Hanover Street parking garage. Other than that, motorcycles/multiple motorcycles may park in any single car space in the city. Multiple motorcycles in a single space require only one parking receipt but it must remain visible for parking enforcement personnel to verify.

For Scooters

The city encourages scooter/moped owners to park on sidewalks, but not in the way of business entrances, taxi stands or in a way that prohibits pedestrian travel. City officials also do not want scooters parked in parking spots.

For Visitors and Workers

If you just don’t want to deal with the parking hassle, the city has created a new parking shuttle that runs Thursday through Sundays from May through September (this is seasonal, so make sure to double check the exact dates here). This allows you to park hassle-free and at no charge at the Connect Community Church lot on Market Street, and then ride a 16-passenger, ADA-compliant shuttle bus into town.

Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
For Local Residents

On Sundays, the Hanover Street parking garage is open to all Portsmouth residents for free! That’s right; just make sure to have your license or a pay stub to prove that you truly are a local.

More Resources

  • If only there were real-time updates about parking in downtown… Oh wait, there are. For all of you on Twitter, be sure to follow @ParkPortsmouth.
  • Is the garage full? Good question and easy answer thanks to this. Be wary though, the site relies on tweets from @ParkPortsmouth and may not always be quite up to date.

It should be noted that parking rules and regulations in downtown Portsmouth are continually changing. Please make note of all signs posted in parking areas, and adhere to the policies thereby displayed. Up-to-date information about parking downtown can be found on the city’s parking website.

For a full map view of our unauthorized downtown Portsmouth parking list, visit our Portsmouth Parking Google Map.

What other secrets do you know for parking in downtown? Let us know here!

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