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2 College Freshman

Parking: You live in a city, so you don't really need to have a car on campus. Anyways, if you do have one, spots are pretty hard to find unless you pay to have a spot in a parking lot rather than looking for street parking.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Parking: Being in the city, there's not much parking on campus.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Campus is in the city so spots are scarce. Parking give students a discount of around $18 a night but that is not cheap!! Do not expect to use a car while on campus if you don't need to. Everything is within walking distance!! Everything!

3 people found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Parking: Do not-- I repeat, do not-- own a car on campus.

8 people found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: In urban Philadelphia, there is obviously a dearth of parking spaces. On-street parking can be hard to find during popular hours, but the cost is reasonable. Parking garages (There are four on or near campus) is pricier. A student should not need a car on campus, for everything is so close. Even Center City or other parts of Philly is easily accessible on foot or through public transportation. A car would be a hassle!


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I’ll get straight to the point. You do not want to park on campus. As a matter of fact, there are not very many places in Philadelphia that you would want to park either. Even if you can afford the expensive cost of a permit, parking meters, and the occasional ticket, the average Penn student can not spare the time to make sure the meter is fed and that the car is in and out of the garage at the right time. Some people do bring a car to school, but most of them live in Philadelphia or a local suburb and find a personal vehicle useful for bringing home laundry and picking up mom’s home-cooked meals. However, if you are far enough from home that you can not simply drop the car off and take a cab back to campus, a car will usually prove to be a bigger hassle than it is worth.

If you heed most students’ advice and leave the car at home, fear not; you will still have an easy time getting around the city. Everywhere on campus is within easy walking distance, and if you are really a stickler for time, bring a bike and park it in one of the racks outside most buildings. Bikes are a fairly common mode of transportation, but beware: biking can be dangerous in a city environment like Philadelphia. The busy streets of Spruce and Walnut are two examples. It’s not that the school does not attempt to provide a decent parking system. There are garages and spaces reserved for Penn students and faculty, but the fact is, there is little demand for improvement in this area. If you’re concerned because you would really like to have a car at school, just think of it this way: you never have to pay for gas!

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Walnut Street between 32nd and 33rd streets. 38th and Spruce streets (enter off 38th Street). The northeast corner of 34th and Chestnut streets. 32nd and Walnut streets. The northwest corner of 40th and Walnut streets. A permit is required for all of these.
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$1,768 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $35
  • Fire lane: $35
  • Handicapped zone: $115
  • No parking zone: $35
Best Places to Find a Spot
  • Walnut Street between 32nd and 33rd Streets
  • 38th and Spruce Streets (enter off of 38th Street)
  • NE corner of 34th and Chestnut Streets
  • 32nd and Walnut Streets
  • NW corner of 40th and Walnut Streets
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Hamilton Shops
Getting a Parking Permit
Students can apply for parking online through the Campus Express Web site ( They may be placed on a waiting list at first, but will then be notified if parking opens up. Parking on campus is limited, but permits are probably not very hard to get due to the low demand.
Parking Services
Penn Parking
3401 Walnut St.
Suite 447A
(215) 898-8667

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 86 responses

  • 0% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 31% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 6% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 34% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 15% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 14% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 81 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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