Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market, Boston
Faneuil Hall is an incredibly difficult tourist trap to avoid, and to spell, in equal measures.
But, it ain't so bad in the grand scheme of things.
A. It's architecturally historic
B. Winter visits make the market a welcome respite
It's also got a vibrant street life and some good little shops so far as tourist draws go. Plus, as Boston can be a very hectic, bustling city, the pedestrian only zone can be an almost park like zone of tranquility...save those packed summer weekends.
Unique Suggestions: New Englanders are quite obsessed with The Yankee Candle Company, and you'll find one of their fragrant shops on the lower level of North Market. Keep in mind, as well, if you need to use the loo while visiting Boston, Quincy Market is a great spot to "get that out of the way", so to speak.
Christmas is a great time to visit the area, as well. A beautiful tree graces one of the main squares.
And, the Market is a natural visit on the way from Back Bay, Downtown and onto the North End.
Fun Alternatives: If you're looking for some local shopping, you'll do better in the North End. For true luxury shopping, well, that's Newbury Street, naturally.
I am not one to shop to begin with, but this area is one the verge of ridiculous. They have "permanent" type wagons set up outside Quincy market, both between the two buildings, but also on the fringes. I did not see anything of value, nor what I ever would want in all those shops, that probably number 100 in total. Don't the Chinese love us for ordering this stuff.
Unique Suggestions: Walk right on by-stop inside for a piece of fudge, maybe. Fanueil Hall inside the building is not as bad as Quincy Market buildings, and has some more unique items to shop for.
Fun Alternatives: Do not go there-like an old song phase goes -"as your walking down the street, just walk on by..."
The Faneuil Hall Marketplace opened in 1976 and is now the most popular tourist site in Boston. Essentially it is a mall incorporated into several historic buildings in Downtown Boston. Many of the buildings were once the main marketplace in Boston hence the name. However today it hosts the usual array of restaurant and shopping franchises that you might find anywhere else in the United States or even the World. What is special is the architecture and its early American colonial feel. However that is spoiled by the replica of the "Cheers" bar that flanks the marketplace.
I thought that the whole place seemed way too crowded to be enjoyable. Do any of the masses of tourists really notice the fascinating architecture or are they more interested in wandering around the shops like Victoria's Secret.
If you still want to go, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is located at Between North, Congress, and State street,. and I-93. It is open from 10am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday and from noon to 6pm on Sunday.
Unique Suggestions: The actual Faneuil Hall is well worth taking in, especially since it is free. This building dates from 1740 when it was built by a merchant, Peter Faneuill. Faneuil Hall was orginally intended to be a meeting place and market place. It served as a gathering spot for the Sons of Liberty in the years before the American Revolution. It still serves as a meeting hall however because Faneuil was a life-long bachelor, you cannot get married here. The meeting hall is on the second floor and you can visit it by way of National Park Service tour which was very well conducted during my time here. There are numerous reproductions of paintings that many Americans will recognize and a fascinating old clock made of wood.
I also did enjoy my lunch at Zumas Tex Mex Cafe. There are also some good street performers around the perimeter of the market that the kids might enjoy.
Fun Alternatives: Go to any of Boston's amazing collection of museums and galleries. Get some culture!
When taking the T to Quincy Market, remember to take the Green/Blue Line to Government Center.
Do not get this confused with the three "Quincy" T Stops on the Red Line. Those stops are in the city of Quincy, just south of Boston, not Quincy Market.
I was once getting on the train in Quincy Center, and I was asked where Quincy Market was. It was painful to inform her that she had to get back on the train and go back the way she came. Plus, to add insult to injury, her hotel was near the Haymarket T Station, which is one stop away from Government Center.
This is Boston's version of the tourist hell. Everyone seems to come here and the prices and quality for most things reflect it. I have been here several times and generally now try to avoid it. Its the funny thing with tourist traps like this. Times Square, Fisherman's Wharf, etc. You have to go and see it just to know what a tourist trap it is. Always sample before disregarding.
I work near Faneuil Hall, a place writhing with tourists. I, however, have never seen the appeal. From the overpriced marketplace to the nauseating throng of the masses traipsing along like a herd of sheep, Faneuil Hall hardly represents the authentic Boston. The marketplace is basically an outdoor mall with a sprinkle of street performers. The indoor food court is not the best place to sample Boston’s specialties. The food is decent but you would do better off trying clam chowder at Legal Seafood, where you don’t have to stalk people for a table.
The best eating in Faneuil Hall is at Kingfish Hall. The overly popular and historic Durgin Park is cheaper than Kingfish but doesn’t hold a candle to quality. I would recommend eating in the neighboring North End instead.
Unique Suggestions: I wouldn't reccomend spending more than an hour or two in Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market. There is so much within walking distance to see.
Fun Alternatives: Although the Freedom Trail is touristy, you’ll see more of Boston than you will by spending a day at Faneuil Hall. Boston is blessed with a rich history-don’t waste your time shopping for tacky doodads and battling crowds. Go out into Boston’s neighborhoods instead such as the aforementioned North End.
I think just about every city has a spot like Faneuil Hall. A spot full of chain restaurants, maybe shops like The Gap, souvenir stands and fast food. Crowds are drawn to it like flies to s h i t !
Unique Suggestions: Tell yourself "It's only a tourist trap. It's only a tourist trap!"
Fun Alternatives: The North End, Beacon Hill or for those of us who live here, marveling at the fact that the overpass is gone and it looks like a completely new city from here!
This is a really overly touristy area. There are many shops with souvenirs, but neither sells anything genuine and imaginative, just the same baseball caps, t-shirts and glass balls, probably made in China - no offense to China, btw.
Unique Suggestions: I really was not able to find any souvenirs anywhere that were interesting.
We arrived in the Central Hall of Quincy Market just as a popular entertainment on the plaza outside the Hall finished and it was approaching noon. The crowds in the hall looking for fast food were horrendous and it would be a good idea to think about the time of day to look at the interior of Quincy Market Central Hall.
Faneuil Hall has been used as a meeting hall since the 1700s. Following the war of independence and, eventually, Boston becoming a city, it was no longer used as a government meeting place. Presently, the lower level of Faneuil Hall is a marketplace with expensive shops and unimpressive restaurants. The second floor is a meeting hall where many city debates are held.
Faneuil Hall is good for a walk through if you're into architecture or historic places. But, for shopping or eating, skip it. Just grab a cup of Starbucks and continue on.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace (AKA Quincy Market) is a beautiful place of immense historic value which has been overrun by chain stores and overpriced restaurants. If you feel the Boston 'experience' is buying the same junk you could get in Denver or Chicago, this is the place for you. Otherwise I reccommend you admire the handsome structures, view the masses who shop there with disgust, and move on. On a side note, however, there are several excellent fast-food places inside the Quincy Market building itself (the one with the columns). And, to its credit, Faneuil Hall (1742) itself is an elegant building that makes a fitting centrepiece to Boston's busiest market.
Quincy Market, located in the heart of downtown Boston directly behind Faneul Hall. Unfortunately, the area has been totally overrun with national chain retailers (i.e. stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, The GAP, etc).
Unique Suggestions: Despite the commercialism, the area is definitely worth walking through as it does have historical significance. And, if you really want to buy something, go into Faneul Hall to the Brearley Collection and buy an old photograph of Boston.
Fun Alternatives: There are a few bars and restaurants in the Quincy Market area also, so, head to one of those grab a drink and bite to eat.
Okay, it's Quincy Market. But wait, it's filled with shops and food. You don't need to buy anything if you don't want. It's still fun to walk through and there's always something going on to watch. Like juggler's, a band or a lone musician playing, magic shows or clown acts, etc. And that part's FREE! So it's worth a walk-thru and you decide weither you want to spend your money. I DO like stopping at Tex-Mex for lunch! M-m-m-m, Mexican food ... good here too!
Fanieul (sp?) hall- It has a ton of shops and it's on the Freedom Trail. I hate going there because it is so crowded, but like I said, they have alot of shops. Go on Friday or Saturday and visit Haymarket Produce and Fish Market
Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market are actually great areas if you want to people watch, because invariably there will be crowds of tourists here. But really, it's just a collection of shops and food courts.