Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a popular and historic market square in Boston.
Each year, 18 million people come to the marketplace to visit the historic Faneuil Hall and to shop and enjoy great food at Quincy Market.
This post can help you plan your visit, including directions there, information on what there is to see, and recommendations for where to eat.
- Plan Your Visit
- Things to See and Do
- Places to Eat
- Things to Do in Boston
- Boston Tourist Attractions
- Boston Walking Tours
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO FANEUIL HALL
Faneuil Hall Marketplace comprises four historic buildings: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market.
The oldest building, Faneuil Hall, was built in 1742 as both a marketplace and a town hall where heated debates and protests took place, contributing to the start of the American Revolution. (Read more history below.)
Given the hall's significance in American history, it's a stop along the Freedom Trail.
The three other buildings date back to the 1800s and become collectively known as Quincy Market.
Today, visitors come to the marketplace for the history and the military museum in Faneuil Hall and the shopping and restaurants in Quincy Market.
You can also find some of the most entertaining street performers in Boston in the open-air square.
Where Is Faneuil Hall?
Faneuil Hall is located in Downtown Boston at 4 S Market St., Boston, MA 02109.
We recommend using this Google Maps link to get exact directions.
It is located within easy walking distance of Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park and the North End neighborhood.
If you’re taking public transportation, there are multiple subway stops close by.
- Aquarium/Faneuil Hall on the Blue Line.
- Haymarket, North Station, or Park Street on the Green Line.
- State Street or Haymarket on the Orange Line.
- Park Street on the Red Line.
- North Station or South Station on the Commuter Rail.
- Boston’s hop-on-hop-off trolleys and buses make stops at Faneuil Hall, which makes finding this landmark easy.
TIP: Taking our Freedom Trail tour will lead you right to Faneuil Hall.
Arrive at Faneuil Hall Marketplace after a morning walking tour of the Freedom Trail with a healthy appetite and head straight to the food vendors n Quincy Market.
Make sure to do a complete walk-through once to scope out your options before deciding what you want.
After filling up at lunch, take a leisurely stroll through the marketplace to see what shops are available. If you’re looking for a souvenir, this is the perfect place to find it!
Then go to the 4th floor of the historic Faneuil Hall to see the free military museum there. This is a perfect stop for history buffs and a great way to top off a historic tour of the city.
It's just one of Boston's many free museums.
Finally, relax outside in the marketplace square to people watch and look for any street performances that might be happening.
Kids love the free entertainment - and it's one of the great family-friendly things to do in the city.
How much time should you spend at Faneuil Hall?
You could easily spend 2-3 hours in and around Faneuil Hall, especially if you have lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants or in Quincy Market.
If you aren’t interested in purchasing something from the food market or looking at the museum, however, you can budget as little as one hour to do a walkthrough of the area.
TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE AND DO
Here is our list of fun things to see and do in and around Faneuil Hall Marketplace. It includes dining and shopping options, free activities, and entertainment.
If you're looking for other nearby things to do, check out:
- Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Tours
- Harbor Boat Tours
- Self-Guided Little Italy Tours
- Boston Freedom Trail Guide
1. Eat at the Food Stalls
Faneuil Hall Marketplace has some great restaurants, but one of the main draws is the Quincy Food Market which was built when the needs of the community outgrew the original Faneuil Hall building.
You’ll find 30 food stalls full of cuisine from all over the world, as well as a healthy amount of local specialties.
If you’re looking for local cuisine, try Boston Chowda for seafood favorites and Pizzeria Regina for "Boston Style" pizza.
2. Go Shopping
Whether you’re looking for additions to your wardrobe, or souvenirs, or just love to window shop, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the perfect location.
They have shops selling apparel, jewelry, shoes, souvenirs, and specialty gifts.
You can find independent shops as well as national brands like Ann Taylor, Ghirardelli, Coach, and Urban Outfitters, among others.
For the kiddies, stop by the Dino Safari Gift Shop!
3. Take a Sightseeing Tour
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a historic attraction included in our walking tours of Boston!
If you want an in-depth look at the Historic Hall, free talks and tours of the Great Hall are held every half-hour between 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.
4. Watch the Street Performers
Faneuil Hall Marketplace sits in a large square that often attracts street performers, musicians, singers, and other buskers.
Occasionally, Faneuil Hall will book school groups, church choirs, and other performances to entertain visitors.
You never know who will be performing, but it is a great opportunity for a bit of free entertainment that the whole family can enjoy!
For more free things to do in Boston, check out our full post.
5. Save Money with a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass
There are a lot of great attractions to see while you’re in Boston.
The best way to maximize your time while saving 35-55% on entry fees is to get an attraction discount pass.
These passes work by bundling attractions together and only charging you one lower rate.
They can save you time, too, as you won’t have to line up at the box office.
- New England Aquarium
- CityView Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley
- Boston Children's Museum
- Fenway Park Tour
- Paul Revere House
- Sunset Harbor Cruise
Take a look at our in-depth tourist pass comparison to see which one can save you the most time and money.
6. Military Museum and Armory
On the 4th floor of Faneuil Hall sits the Military Museum and Armory, displaying The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts’ uniforms, medals, and weaponry.
Learn about the personal stories of some of the people who helped win the Revolution as well as a few more recent artifacts and stories from battles like Desert Storm.
Best of all, this museum is free to enter! For more free museum fun, we have a list of all of Boston's free museums here.
7. Take a Yoga or Zumba Class
During summer and fall, you can find plenty of options for getting your heart rate up with group workout classes.
From Free Zumba fitness to Barre and yoga classes, to Bootcamp sessions, there is something for everyone’s preferred workout style.
Check the events calendar to see which classes are running at what times.
8. Take the Kids to Children’s Programs
If you’re looking for something to entertain the kids with, check out some of the family-focused activities happening.
Check the events calendar to see programming details.
- Tuesdays in July and August
- Free performances from professional storytellers
- Saturdays at 10:30 am
- Free puppet show that happens rain or shine
Arts and Crafts
- Various arts and crafts projects led by a teacher
- Fun Outdoor Art Studio
If you're looking for more family-friendly activities in Boston, read our full post!
9. See the Winter Light Show
Blink! Is the winter holiday light show featuring giant holiday trees and strings of lights everywhere on the property.
The lights dance in time with music during daily shows between November 28 - January 1.
You can catch performances from 4:30 pm - 10:00 pm.
There will also be carolers, dancers, and musicians at various performances.
PLACES TO EAT
There is something for everyone in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which includes the popular Quincy Market food hall.
Quincy Market has 30 food stalls with cuisine from around the world, and you can find even more dining options around the square.
The Salty Dog
One of the original dining establishments at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, you can find some great seafood at this oyster bar and grill.
What could be more stereotypically Boston than a bowl of clam chowder?
They’ve won the Boston Harborfest Chowderfest two times. Here you can find chowder, soups, bisques, and lobster rolls.
Carol Ann Bake Shop
Enjoy some delicious pastries at this Quincy Market vendor.
Carol Ann makes all kinds of pastries, scones, cookies, and macarons. It is the perfect stop for dessert or an afternoon pick-me-up.
The Green Organic Bowl
If you’re looking for some healthy options in the sea of comfort food and indulgences at the marketplace, The Green Organic Bowl is a great find.
They offer some great smoothies, salads, and juices, among other healthy food options.
Greek Steve’s Cuisine
What would be a sampling of world cuisine without some quality Greek food?
Here you can get your fill of pita, hummus, gyros, and falafel.
Mija Cantina & Tequila Bar
Come to Mija for Mexican cuisine served in a fun atmosphere right at the entrance of Quincy Market.
Everything is made from scratch, which means both their tacos and churros are irresistibly fresh and tasty.
A Brief History of Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall was constructed in 1742 by Peter Faneuil, a local wealthy merchant. At that time, the town of Boston was governed by Great Britain.
In 1740, Faneuil had proposed to the town government that a permanent marketplace be built in central Boston with his own money as a gift to the town.
Market stalls were located on the lower level while a town meeting hall occupied the second floor.
While the market housed fishermen and meat and produce sellers, the meeting hall became home to heated debates among Patriots about British rule.
Great political leaders and orators Samuel Adams, James Otis and John Hancock debated here. The fight against British taxation of the colonies while they had no representatives in Parliament began here.
Tensions rose after the Boston Massacre in 1770, and three years later colonists staged the Boston Tea Party lighting a fuse to the American Revolution.
As a place where the roots of the Revolution were born, Faneuil Hall was later dubbed "The Cradle of Liberty".