Whether you’re headed downtown for sports, the arts, food, or entertainment, it can be difficult to find a place to park, so we’ve compiled a guide of the best places to look for parking in downtown Cincinnati. With over 30,000 parking spots downtown, it is important to know how to find the right one.
Apps and Websites
There are a few parking websites that are helpful in any city, but have particularly strong Cincinnati pages. If you’re planning in advance, it can be helpful to visit BestParking.net. Their Cincinnati page has a map of available parking with prices. They also have a mobile app if you want to look for spots while you’re on the go.
Although it doesn’t offer the live services of other sites, Parkopedia is also helpful. Their Cincinnati page has a map of all the garages, labeled by price. Finally, Parking Panda offers a website and app that allow you to type in the address of your destination and they will provide nearby parking solutions for you. For example, typing “Great American Ballpark” yields these results. The systems knows the distance from the stadium as well as the length of the game and is able to provide a list of options that can be reserved in advance.
Last but not least, perhaps the best option available is the new Cincy EZ Park app. Not only can you find, reserve, and pay from your phone, but you can also refill your meter in case you need more time.
There are many garages downtown, and most of them are reasonably priced although prices can jump for big events (Bengals game, Reds game, concerts, etc.). If you’re willing to walk a little bit, you can do quite well on parking prices by moving a few blocks away from your event. For example, parking in the Ampco Central Parking garage at 7th and Elm is far enough off the beaten path to give you a good rate during Reds games and only takes an estimated 17 minutes to walk to the stadium (time that might otherwise be spent in traffic at another garage.)
There are many privately owned parking lots throughout the city and the prices on them fluctuate depending on the event happening. Most of the time you can locate one that is a few blocks away from your event that will usually be cheaper than the standard event parking, although not as cheap as a metered spot.
There are parking meters on most streets in the downtown area. However, prices vary depending on the district, and parking times are usually limited to no more than a couple hours. The Cincinnati website has a map to help identify the hourly rate depending on the area. As you might imagine, it is difficult to plan on getting street parking if you’re going to a big event, but these spots are a great way to go if you can get one. Almost all allow you to pay with a credit card and many of them allow you to pay with your phone.
The City of Cincinnati’s website recommends parking along the streetcar route as it will provide quick and easy access to wherever you’re going. It is worth considering parking at a cheaper garage further from your destination if both locations are on or near the streetcar route. The Cincinnati Metro Bus service is not only a good way to get around downtown, but it is a good way to avoid taking a car there altogether. A full list of maps and schedules can be found here. Finally, you could use a taxi from a number of local services, or a rideshare from Uber or Lyft.
As you’ve seen, there are many options and the more planning you can do, the better off you’ll probably be. Fortunately there are plenty of options for those who don’t have the time to plan, and with a little creativity, parking doesn’t have to be a pain in Cincinnati.