Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall is a historic shopping, dining and entertainment marketplace located near the waterfront in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1742 and was the site of America’s first town meeting. Many famous political figures have made speeches here including Samuel Adams.

Today, it is a popular dining and shopping district, especially amongst tourists exploring the Freedom Trail. There are a number of restaurants and pubs, including the popular “Cheers” Restaurant/Pub from the TV show, Ned Devine’s Irish Pub, Boston Chowda, and many other themed and/or seafood restaurants.  The Quincy Market Colonnade features over 36 international food vendors, making it the largest food hall in New England. Check out the full list of available restaurants.

Brick street at Faneuil Hall - Boston, Massachusetts

Update: Cheers is sadly closed. However, you can still visit the classic bar on Beacon street. This location was actually used for filming exterior shots of the long running TV series.

Cheers Beacon Street in Boston, MA

We ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, which is my favorite tourist restaurant. I love the music, atmosphere, and food. This particular Hard Rock isn’t my favorite, but it is in a good location if you are visiting Boston and plan on shopping at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. I recommend ordering the “Jumbo Combo.”

Update: Hard Rock is now sadly closed. However, there are many other fun themed restaurants to visit including Margaritaville and Sugar Factory. Or better yet, still with the classics and head over to the Boston and Maine Fish Company, est. in 1984. Enjoy a hearty bowl of clam chowder or a fresh lobster roll!

Hard Rock Cafe Boston - Faneuil Hall
Cool interior of Hard Rock Cafe Boston at Faneuil Hall
Rock Memorabilia at the Hard Rock Cafe at Faneuil Hall in Boston

Plenty of places to shop here including traditional mall shops and souvenir shops selling all kinds of Boston apparel. Check out the full shopping directory.

Street Performances at Faneuil

One of the main draws for tourists are the street performances which take place at various times during the week. During our trip we were able to see a few unique circus themed acts. Check the events calendar for upcoming acts.

Circus street performers at Faneuil Hall - Boston, Massachusetts
Street performer at Faneuil Hall- Boston, Massachusetts
Street performer at Faneuil Hall - Boston, Massachusetts

Nearby city attractions

Other nearby attractions in the area include the New England Aquarium, which is located about 2 blocks away on Central Wharf. There are also trolley tours and whale watching tours available in the area.

Whale watching boat - Long Wharf - Boston, MA

The Freedom Trail

Faneuil Hall is located on the Freedom Trail, making it a great place to stop for a snack, shopping excursion, or just rest your feet. It’s a great place for history buffs and those who enjoy taking photographs of old architecture. The cobblestone streets add to the historic atmosphere. I recommend visiting on a weekday when it is less crowded – weekends are very busy! Tip: go early in the morning to find street parking. We were able to avoid the expensive parking garages and luckily found a free spot (just watch the signs!).

Freedom trail in Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Hall details
Address: 1 Faneuil Hall Square, Boston, MA 02109
Hours: 10:00am-9:00pm (Monday-Saturday), Sunday hours: 11:00am-6:00pm

Boston Waterfront

From Faneuil Hall, it is a 5-10 minute walk to the water. We took a stroll and snapped a few pictures by Long Wharf. There were plenty of people out whale watching and participating in other sightseeing tours. You will be able to purchase tickets for your desired cruise. As it was a really hot day (upper 90s), we were not able to hang around very long. I hope to visit again on a less crowded and cooler weekday morning!

Long Wharf - Boston, Massachusetts
Long Wharf - Boston, Massachusetts
Long Wharf - Boston, Massachusetts

Also be sure to check out my list of the top 20 fun and free things to do in Boston.