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Parking in Adelaide City: 9 best places to park (and how to find the cheapest rates)

Linden Brown

Adelaide is a city like no other – taste the vibrant food and wine and soak in postcard-perfect beaches and lively festivals. 

But like all capital cities, parking in Adelaide City can be tricky. Especially if you want something affordable. Whether you’ve grabbed a car hire in South Australia or just heading into the city from home, we’ve got you. 

Here’s our insider’s guide to the best parking in Adelaide CBD. We’ll cover:

  • Where to park in Adelaide City 
  • How to find the cheapest parking
  • FAQ

First off – is there free parking in Adelaide City? Yes! Let’s find out where.

Parking in Adelaide City

You're in luck – Adelaide has the most parking and the best rates of all Australian capital cities.

Whether you're shopping the sales at Rundle St Mall, catching a show at the Fringe, or making it a date at one of our many small bars, you'll find a place to park that makes it easy. Here are our picks for parking in the city in Adelaide.

Free parking in Adelaide CBD

  • If you’re lucky, you might nab some free street parking in Adelaide City. Use the Park Adelaide app to see real-time availability. It’s very simple to use. You’ll even get a reminder to your phone 15 minutes before your park expires. 
  • Of course, street parking can’t be reserved. And, like most cities, it gets snapped up. So if you’re going to try your luck, you still need to know what other options you have. 
  • The good news is there are plenty of off-street car parks dotted throughout the city, and you can save money when you book online. So while they mightn't be free, you’re still grabbing a bargain if you book and pay online. Let’s look at your options for cheaper parking in the city.

Cheap parking in Adelaide City

For guaranteed car parking in Adelaide CBD, your best bet is to drive into one of the off-street car parks.

Adelaide City Council runs Upark, or there’s privately owned SecureParking and Wilson Parking. Their websites are all very easy to use – just log on, search your area and decide on a  . You can see timed rates and book your car park online. Here are some of our top picks.

high-angle photography of city high rise building and road during daytime
Photo by Scancode Productions / Unsplash

UPark Rundle Street 

Located at 163-185 Rundle Street, this car park is near Adelaide Arcade, Rundle Mall, and East Terrace, making it perfect for shopping, dining, or appointments in the East End. Prices start from $6 for the first hour, with early bird rates from $13 and night rates from just $7​​.

UPark Gawler Place

Situated at 9-17 Gawler Place, close to Rundle Mall, North Terrace, and King William Street, this car park gives you easy access to the city (whether you're a worker, a student, or attending an event at Adelaide Oval). Day and night rates start from $5, with early bird pricing from $17. It's a versatile option for different types of visitors​​.

Adelaide Central Car Park

Adelaide Central Car Park offers hourly, early bird, night, and weekend parking options. Its central location makes it easy to shop ‘til you drop, enjoy a weekend bar hop, or make a quick stop in the CBD.

Franklin Street Car Park

Located near Victoria Square, Franklin Street Car Park car park offers 24-hour access and various parking options. Whether you’re visiting for work or play, it’s a great, secure option in the heart of Adelaide.

Topham Mall Car Park

Topham Mall Car Park is another excellent option for those visiting or working in the CBD, offering competitive rates and leaving you just a hop and a step from central business and shopping districts. You can nab early bird, hourly and night parking options.

Central Market Car Park

Perfect for a visit to Adelaide's famous Central Market, Central Market Car Park has convenient access and reasonable rates for short-term parking. It also features early bird and weekend rates for longer visits.

Pirie/Flinders Street Car Park

Pirie/Flinders Street Car Park is close to key office buildings and retail areas. Another convenient and reasonably priced option in the CBD, it’s perfect for visiting Hindmarsh Square and Rundle Street Mall. Options start from $9 per day. 

Grote Street Car Park

Grote Street Car Park is a great choice if you’re heading to Central Market or Chinatown. Enjoy fresh produce from Central Market, a delicious lunch at Chinatown and discover the historic ‘Her Majesty’s Theatre’. Park from just $6 per day.

As you can see, there’s plenty of off-street car parking in Adelaide City. But would you like to test your luck and try to nab a free street park? 

Street parking in Adelaide CBD

The beauty of driving in a smaller capital city is that parking is easier and more affordable. You can find free all-day street parking in Adelaide CBD. 

Time limits change depending on where you are, so be careful to check how long you can park. Use the handy interactive map to find parking locations, costs and time limits. The street signs will also tell you where and when you can park – see how to read parking signs in Australia if you’re unsure.

Of course, like all major cities, these parks go quickly! Make sure you have a plan B – find out which car parks are nearby and where you need to go.

Tips for Adelaide parking

blue and white wooden house near sea during daytime
Photo by Syed Hadi Naqvi / Unsplash

Parking in Adelaide City during peak times can be daunting. Knowing where you're going to park will help. Here are five things to keep in mind.

  • Know your options. There's high competition for street parking in busy times, even in a smaller city like Adelaide. While it's usually the most affordable option, it might make for a stressful day if it’s not there when you need it. Make sure you have a Plan B (or C!).
  • Park on the street for free. If you have a bit of spare time to find a park, try your luck in the streets. Adelaide has various timed free parking, from 15 minutes to 10 hours, so be sure to read your parking sign carefully. 
  • Pay with an app. Adelaide City uses a really handy app called Park Adelaide. Use it to see real-time availability and costs and to pay for your park. You'll get a reminder when it's about to expire, along with the option to extend (so you don't risk a hefty fine). No need to use the ticket machines to extend – just tap the option on the app.
  • Get a permit. Are you an Adelaide City resident or a business owner? You can probably apply for a parking permit. But remember, while your permit might exempt you from limits and fees sometimes, it won’t reserve you a spot.
  • Pre-book online. If you use one of the many off-street car parks available, you can save a lot of money by booking ahead (up to 60% at some!). 

You can choose all-day early bird parking at Wilson Parking, Upark and Secure Parking. Pre-booking this option will usually save you the most money, so long as you can arrive at the right time. 

The best thing about parking this way is having a guaranteed spot when you arrive. Just open the website and type in your destination – simple.

Other ways to find the cheapest parking in Adelaide City

Parkopedia and Parkhound

Use Parkopedia or Parkhound to see real-time parking availability in Adelaide. You can choose from street parking, private car parks and public lots.  

These handy sites show you: 

  • available spaces
  • prices
  • special rates for early birds and nights
  • accessibility features.

They even organise parking spots by distance, showing you which options are closest to where you need to be. So, at a glance, you’ll see the cheapest and closest options.

Share with Oscar in Adelaide 

You can pre-book affordable Adelaide parking using Share with Oscar (from just $1 per hour!). Like Parkopedia and Parkhound, it’s easy to see which parks are the cheapest and most convenient. And of course, by pre-booking your spot, it’s reserved just for you.

Find a cheap car and make parking easier

We have thousands of cars parked in convenient and central locations – make parking easier with us. Use Uber Carshare and grab a car hire in Adelaide to explore the city at your own pace. 

FAQ: Parking in Adelaide

Is there free parking in Adelaide City?

Yes, there’s free parking in Adelaide City, but it’s limited. Some streets offer free parking during specific times or days. Check the City of Adelaide website for specific areas and times.

Where can I park my car in Adelaide?

You can park within the CBD at UPark, Wilson Parking, and Secure Parking locations. These offer various rates and are conveniently located near major attractions and business districts. If you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at street parking.

What is 2P event parking in Adelaide?

2P event parking indicates a two-hour parking limit, typically enforced during special events or in high-demand areas to facilitate turnover. You must observe this signage to avoid fines.

How much is a parking fine in Adelaide?

Parking fines in Adelaide start at approximately $59 for minor offences, such as not parking within marked parking bays. They can be higher for more severe violations like parking in a no-stopping zone.

Where is the closest public car park in the Adelaide City Centre?

Depending on where you need to be in the city centre, Rundle St and Central Market car parks give you easy access to shopping, entertainment, and business appointments. Check UPark for more options. 

How much does parking in the Adelaide City Centre cost?

Parking costs vary widely in the Adelaide City Centre. If you miss out on free street parking, you can find parking from $1 per hour with apps like Parkopedia, Parkhound or Share with Oscar, or pre-book from $6 per hour with UPark. Prices depend on location, time of day, and duration of stay. Booking online or through the apps is simple and cashless.

Is there any free parking in the Adelaide City Centre?

Yes, limited free street parking options are available, particularly on Saturdays, Sundays and evenings in certain areas. Always check current regulations and signage.

How long can you park in the city centre for?

Parking durations vary from short-term (1/4P, 1P or 2P) to all-day parking. The specific limit depends on the car park or street parking regulations.

Is there any secure parking in the Adelaide City Centre?

Secure Parking, Wilson Parking, and UPark offer secure, monitored parking facilities throughout the CBD, providing safe places to leave your vehicle.

Are there any discounts available for parking in the Adelaide City Centre?

Yes, discounts are available – look for early bird rates, online booking discounts, and loyalty programs from parking providers like UPark, Secure Parking, and Wilson Parking for the best deals.

Are there any restrictions on parking in the Adelaide City Centre?

Parking restrictions include timed parking zones, permit zones, and no parking areas, especially during peak hours or for street cleaning. Always check local signage and the City of Adelaide website for the latest information.