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And to get the absolute cheapest parking, head to the small Patriot Parking lot across from Sullivan Station - more about that in a moment.
And most available spaces along the narrow streets are Boston permit parking spaces marked "North End Residents Only." Even if you find one, overstay your metered time by just a few minutes and a ticket will appear on your windshield. So a parking garage or lot can actually save you a whole lot of money and trouble. The T almost always provides the cheapest and most convenient way of getting around Boston if walking isn't an option.
The good news is that you can find cheaper parking rates near the North End than in nearby Downtown Boston - especially if you use "early bird" strategies, discounts, parking lots, and especially if you're parking for events, avoid the most expensive options. Another good strategy is to drive almost to the city, but park at Sullivan Station - less than a 5-minute T ride to North Station.
Parking lot rates vary depending on the day, time, and season, so your best bet is to either drive by or even call them in advance and inquire. Because the lots and garage are close to each other, you can pick whichever one appears to offer the best price.
You can see the locations of these parking lots on the North End Boston parking map at the end of this page.
This map shows the Boston parking garages near North End attractions that are reasonably priced or offer discounts or cheap prices at certain times.