Boston Common Garage offers cheaper rates than most other nearby Boston garages when you want to park in a central location near Downtown, Back Bay, the Theatre District, and Beacon Hill.
However, even lots of locals don't know about this underground parking garage.
Best of all, the Boston Common Parking Garage's location under the Common makes it easy to find and easy to exit - a huge benefit in a city where many streets are so narrow and winding that you'd swear they haven't changed since Colonial times.
If you're wondering where to park in Boston, this underground parking garage may be the perfect choice, especially during evenings and weekends when low rates go into effect.
Inside, you'll find 1,300 parking spaces. The underground garage is well-lit, and gets fairly heavy usage day and night. Occasionally, the dreaded "Lot Full" sign blocks the entrance.You enter the Boston Common Garage from Charles Street, which is 1-way going north between Boston Common and the Public Garden. The garage is easy to reach from Storrow Drive, I-93, and Mass Pike (I-90).
Once you park and lock your car, you should note the letter (A, B, C, D, etc) of the aisle where you parked. When you take the stairs or elevator to the ground level, make sure you notice what level you're on. The garage is fairly huge, so this information will save you time when you return.
Walk up the stairs or take the elevator up to ground level, and walk out through one of the 4 small kiosks that provide pedestrian access to the parking garage, which otherwise is invisible from the Common.
The parking kiosks are all located near the Charles Street / Beacon Street corner of the Common, and look like the few other buildings on the Common. Be sure to remember which one you come out of, as it will probably be closest to your car when you return. Sometimes late at night, all but one is locked, which can be disconcerting if you aren't expecting it.
The Boston Common Garage is owned and operated by MCCA, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which also operates the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on the South Boston Waterfront, the Hynes Convention Center in Back Bay, and a 3rd convention center in the western part of the state.
Security always seems very good - I almost always see security personnel on the floor where I park.
Because the city is so compact, the location of the Boston Common Parking Garage is convenient to the Theatre District, Park Square, Historic Downtown Boston, Chinatown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay (the end closest to the Public Garden), and Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market.
If you're planning to explore the Freedom Trail, you'll find the Boston Visitor Information Center where you can pick up a free map just on the other side of the Common - and of course, Boston Common itself is part of the Trail.
Parking rates (last updated January 2012) are hard to beat in this part of Boston:
Weekday rate: Enter between 6am and 4pm
$10 - Up to 1 hr
$14 - Up to 2 hrs
$18 - Up to 3 hrs
$23 - Up to 10 hrs
$28 - Maximum charge for 24 hours
Evening rate: Enter between 4pm and 6am and exit before 8am - pay just $11
$11 - Enter after 6am on Saturday or Sunday and exit by 8am on the following morning
$22 - Enter after 6am on Saturday and exit by 8am on Monday
Where to pay: You can pay with cash or a credit card when you enter the kiosk, or pay with credit card with you exit the garage.
Snow emergencies: City of Boston residents can park here for very low rates during snow emergencies when on-street parking bans go into effect - so expect the garage to get very full during these times. If you're not a Boston resident, you may have better luck elsewhere.
When special events such as Shakespeare on the Common are held on Boston Common, the parking garage sometimes donates a portion of your parking fee to support the event
If you're planning to visit Boston, want to bring your car, and your hotel of choice has just quoted $42 as the daily parking rate - which is not uncommon now at many Boston hotels - you may be able save a significant amount of money if you can take advantage of overnight and weekend parking at the Boston Common Parking Garage.
This strategy works best if you're just visiting for the weekend and if you're willing to get up early enough in the morning to move your car out of the parking garage so that you don't have to pay weekday hourly rates.
This strategy may also work for you If you're visiting without a car but want to rent one just for weekend use.
The Boston Common Parking Garage gives you easy access to two T stations - Park Street (Red and Green Lines), and Boylston (Green Line).
If you need the Orange or Blue Line, the State station a few blocks away (State and Washington Streets, in the sub-basement of the Old State House) offers both.
Location: 0 Charles Street. Enter Boston Common Garage on Charles Street between the Public Garden and Boston Common. You'll find detailed directions from Storrow Drive, I-93, and the Mass Pike (I-90) on the Boston Common Parking Garage website
Hours: 24 x 7
Cost: See above
For more information: 617-954-2098
Nearest T station: Green and Red Lines/Park Street or Green Line/Boylston
Return from Boston Common Garage to Boston Public Transportation to find out about other ways to get around
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