San Francisco is a city that can be easily visited without a car, and visitors are advised against using one during their stay. This is because driving in the city can be stressful and finding parking is difficult and expensive. However, if visitors still decide to rent a car, they can park their car at major hotels or private garages, but these can be costly. There are more affordable options available in peripheral and residential areas. Alternatively, visitors can look for motels that offer free parking.
Visitors should be aware of the parking rules in San Francisco, which are indicated by sidewalk colors. Red means no parking, white is a 5-minute limit, green is a 10-minute limit, and yellow is reserved for commercial vehicles. Blue spaces are for people with disabilities, and there is no time limit. Visitors should also check for signs and make sure they park their cars in the opposite direction on a slope.
Paying for parking can be done directly at parking meters using coins, credit cards, or the PayByPhone app. Prepaid cards are also available for purchase. Parking near the main attractions is difficult to find, and prices can vary depending on the season and day of the week. Free parking is available near the Golden Gate Bridge at Langdon Court Lot. Cheaper parking lots in downtown San Francisco include Union Square Garage and Sutter-Stockton Garage. Parking near Pier 39 can be expensive, but visitors can park in North Beach, which is a short walk away.
Overall, while it is not recommended to use a car in San Francisco, visitors who still choose to do so should be prepared for the challenges of finding parking and paying for it. By following the rules and doing some research, visitors can save money and make their visit to San Francisco a more enjoyable experience.