The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a Boston hub for shopping, dining, and world-class entertainment. This bustling square is part of the “Freedom Trail,” which comprises 16 locations in Boston that have been deemed significant to the history of America. Home to around 90 stores and restaurants, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great place to become better acquainted with the very best that Boston has to offer. Visitors to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace will find plenty to see, buy, and experience as they make their way through one of the crowning jewels of the city.
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Few people are aware of the fact that the Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the nation’s first and longest operating shopping center. First opened in 1722, at a time when Boston was already a leader in trade across the Atlantic, Faneuil Hall was a gift to the city from one of its most successful merchants, Peter Faneuil. Due to Boston’s standing as a trading hub, Bostonians who frequented the Faneuil Hall Marketplace could access goods from all around the world. Tea from China, sugar from the West Indies, manufactured goods from England, and wine from France were fairly common sights there. On the second floor above the marketplace, Peter Faneuil constructed a meeting hall where Bostonians could congregate and openly discuss issues affecting their community. When tensions with Britain escalated, it was here that townspeople came to protest policies they felt were unfair, such as the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Act as well as the well-known Tea Act. The meetings that took place in Faneuil Hall gave it the reputation of being the “cradle of liberty.” Ultimately, it was these discussions that led to the American Revolution and to independence from Britain.
Visitors looking for world-class shopping will find much to choose from at Faneuil Hall. Those seeking a memento to commemorate their time in Boston will enjoy a visit to the Best of Boston store, which offers Boston-themed gifts and apparel. For the county’s largest selection of pewter goods, visitors need look no further than the Boston Pewter Company, where they will find tableware, lighting, household goods, and gift items for sale.
From Boston specialties to international fare, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace has a lot of different options when it comes to dining. Visitors who wish to try authentic Bostonian cuisine should consider the Walrus and Carpenter. There, they can try some of the best seafood dishes the city has to offer, including the famous clam chowder that put Boston on the culinary map. For some live music and casual pub eats, Ned’s Divine Irish Pub is a great place to relax, refuel, and chat with the locals. Those with a sweet tooth cannot afford to miss the fine chocolate and ice cream desserts on offer at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.
There is no shortage of unique, world-class musical arts that can be seen at the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. One of the youngest performers to take the stage there is Boston’s own “Piano Kid,” Bradley Bartlettroche. This musical prodigy is a vocalist, pianist, saxophonist, and composer who debuted at Faneuil Hall in 2014 at the tender age of 11. Now 13, he has two albums under his belt, along with a Grand Prize awarded by the New England Talent Agency Showcase in Music and Acting.
While Faneuil Hall is teeming with various street performers, one in a particular stands out both for his physical prowess as well as for his comedic charm. Bob at Large is a juggler, comedian, and stunt artist. Having performed with over 20 circuses, Bob’s notoriety has risen over the years, culminating in an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Visitors will doubtlessly enjoy his zany humor and death-defying stunts, as they truly represent the best the art has to offer.
With so much going on in and around the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, there is usually a selection of events that visitors can attend both in the market and in the neighborhood within which it is situated. From November to January, visitors can experience a nightly light and sound show called Blink at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. During the holiday season, visitors are advised to check their events calendar, as Faneuil Hall showcases an exciting lineup of performances such as featuring festive carolers, dance troupes, and local and national musicians.
4 South Market Building, Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-523-1300