Things to Do at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a popular and historic market square in Boston that brings in thousands of visitors on a regular basis to see the site of debates, protests, meetings, and markets for the last 275 years.

This post will tell you how to get there, how to plan your visit, what there is to see, and where to eat. 

 

 


PLAN YOUR VISIT TO FANEUIL HALL

The historic Faneuil Hall has been called “the home of free speech,” and was the spot of the first town hall meeting in America.

It was built in 1743 and originally just a place for vendors to sell their goods but became a hub for protests, debates, and demonstrations leading up to the Revolutionary War.

Samuel Adams and James Otis were just two of the many people who spoke here.

The full marketplace includes four historic buildings: Faneuil Hall, North Market, South Market, and Quincy Market. 

 


This photo of Faneuil Hall is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

It is also a stop on the Freedom Trail, which means it is easy to find by following the paved path through the historic neighborhoods of the city.

Many people visit for the food and shopping opportunities that are available, while others come for the history and the military museum.

You can also find some of the most entertaining street performers in Boston in the open-air square. 


Getting to Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall is located at 4 S Market St., Boston, MA 02109.

 

Faneuil Hall in Boston Map

 

We recommend using this Google Maps link to get exact directions.

It is located within easy walking distance to Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park and the North End neighborhood. 

If you’re taking public transportation, there are multiple subway stops close by.

T Stops:

  • 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.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Buses: 

TIP: Taking our Freedom Trail tour will lead you right to Faneuil Hall. 


Sample Itinerary

Arrive at Faneuil Hall after a morning walking tour of the Freedom Trail with a healthy appetite and head straight to the food vendors.

Make sure to do a complete walk-through once to scope out your options before deciding what you want. 

 


This photo of Quincy Market is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

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 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 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 1 hour to do a walkthrough of the area.

 


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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: 


(1) Eat at the Food Stalls

Faneuil Hall has some great restaurants, but one of the main draws is the Quincy Food Market that 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 or Boston & Maine Fish Company. They serve up delicious local seafood favorites. 


(2) Go Shopping

Whether you’re looking for additions to your wardrobe, 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 local shops as well as national brands like Ann Taylor, Chirardelli, Coach, Sephora, and Urban Outfitters, among others. 


(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.  

Of course, there are other great tours in and around Boston that touch on Faneuil Hall, like the popular hop-on-hop-off buses and trolleys and ghost tours 


(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 the 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) See the Cheers Bar

This Cheers location is an exact replica of the bar from the TV show. The original inspiration for the show is located in Beacon Hill, but this one is just as popular.

Fans of the series love to come in for a meal or a drink just to say they’ve been. 

 

Cheers Bar in Faneuil Hall
This photo of Cheers Fanueil Hall is courtesy of TripAdvisor

 

Keep in mind that if you want to sit for lunch or dinner you’ll need reservations if you don’t want a long wait to be seated.


(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 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.

 

 

Storytime

  • Tuesdays in July and August
  • Free performances from professional storytellers

Rosalita’s Puppets

  • 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.

If you’re looking for other November activities or things to do in December, we have posts full of ideas. 


(10) 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.

 

 

Attractions Included: 

Take a look at our in-depth tourist pass comparison to see which one can save you the most time and money.

 


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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. 


Boston Chowda

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’s makes all kinds of pastries, scones, cookies, and macarons. It is the perfect stop for dessert or an afternoon pick-me-up.


Cheers

Yes, this is that Cheers. The Faneuil Hall Cheers restaurant is a replica of the TV show’s set and has been drawing crowds since 2001. The staff are extra friendly, living up to the hopes of visiting fans.


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 health 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.

 


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About the author

Manager | Boston

Brian was born in Cambridge and has been living in the Boston area all his life. He is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus.

He has been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on his tours, but with everyone he meets.