The ceiling at Quincy Market, Fanueil Hall, Boston, Massachusetts

Tips For Your First Visit to Boston, Massachusetts

You can learn things the hard way, or you can learn from others mistakes. Our most recent trip to Boston, Massachusetts had a number of “If only I’d known” moments.

Parking At Faneuil Hall

Parking in and around Faneuil Hall can be tricky. The simplest option is to use a parking garage. We parked at the 60 State Street Parking Garage, but there are others. Whichever you choose, you’ll pay for the convenience. Generally, there is a flat fee for parking on Saturday or Sunday, regardless of the number of hours that you’re there.

You can save a couple of bucks by:

  1. Buying a ticket online ahead of time.
  2. Asking a participating Faneuil Hall Marketplace merchant for a $3.00 validation coupon.

Sunday Breakfast at Faneuil Hall

If you’re looking for a large selection of sit-down breakfast options with table service on a Sunday morning, you may want to try another neighborhood. We arrived around 10am on a Sunday, assuming we’d have a large number of choices. Unfortunately outside Quincy Market all the sit-down restaurants that we saw were closed. Most of the food stalls inside the market were essentially open for business but only a couple offered typical breakfast fare. The vast majority were just opening and still setting up.

Buying Tickets for the T

There are three ways to pay on the T.

  1. Above-ground stops with no ticket machines accept cash.
  2. Use a CharlieTicket.
  3. Add money to a CharlieCard.

What is a Charlie Ticket? It is a smartcard used for automated fare collection by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the public agency responsible for operating most public transportation services in greater Boston, Massachusetts.  A CharlieTicket is paper, a CharlieCard is plastic.Both Charlie Cards and Tickets allow you to add money to them. CharlieCards offer a bit of a discount.

All subway stations have fare vending machines. Limited-use fare boxes are installed on buses and subway lines with aboveground stops. We bought our CharlieCard at the 7-Eleven near our stop. If you’d rather buy your card or ticket before you get to the station, see where you can buy one.

Most stations have a gate and you’ll swipe your card/ticket as you enter. For above ground stops, enter the subway at the lead car and swipe your card over the display.

On our next trip to Boston we want to visit the parks along the River (including Charles River Bistro) and Korean Garden on Harvard Avenue. If you have a suggestion for things to do in Boston, please leave a comment below.

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