Convenient Boston parking garages near Theatre District shows and Chinatown can be tricky to find.
Streets in this older part of downtown Boston are narrow and may be one-way only.
Cars must compete for space with pedestrians, making driving difficult and parking almost impossible.
And forget on-the-street parking. Very few spaces are available, and they fill up fast.
Park on the narrowest streets, and you risk of getting your car's sides scraped by other vehicles trying to squeeze by.
But garages can be tricky too.
Rates vary by quite a lot . . . especially if you don't know about available discounts, validations, and special rates after business hours. And the bad news is that rates have been creeping up as the economy improves.
Here are my recommendations for the most convenient and affordable Boston parking garages near the Theatre District as well as the clubs and restaurants located in this area.
These garages also work well for Boston Common, Chinatown, and the Public Garden. Some are also reasonably close to Bay Village, Park Square restaurants, Tufts Medical Center, Emerson College, and Theatre District hotels.
Caveat: Although I provide rates for Boston parking garages near the Theatre District for you to use for comparisons, they change frequently - so do verify them on garage websites or call if you're trying to get the best deal. Most recent updates: March 2013.
|Theatre District||Theatre District Hotels||Theatre District Shows||Theatre District Restaurants|
This map shows Boston parking garages near the Theatre District, Chinatown, and other attractions in the area.
The underground Boston Common Garage hits the sweet spot of convenience combined with reasonable evening and weekend rates.
Other Boston parking garages near the Theatre District and Chinatown may be cheaper but tough to get to or navigate; still others are more convenient but pricier.
The Boston Common Garage is my own hands-down favorite for Theatre District parking. Why? The easy Charles Street entrance into the garage is a plus, especially if you're trying to navigate through rush-hour traffic, but the real benefit happens when the shows end. Everyone who parked closer gets locked in gridlock as they jam the 1-lane, 1-way streets around the theaters. Park under the Common, and you'll happily stroll by the stalled traffic, find your car, and sail out the Charles Street exit, unimpeded.
The only drawback? Despite its 1,300 spaces, it can be too popular. Sometimes, the entrance will be blocked by the dreaded "Garage Full" sign.
If you plan to park here, you always need an alternative.
Address: Charles Street, between Boston Common and the Public Garden - see map below
Location: 5-10 minute walk from most theaters and comedy clubs throughout the Theatre District, 5 minute walk from Loew's Boston Common 19 and Stuart Street Playhouse movie theaters, and 5-10 minutes from Theatre District (including Chinatown and Park Square) restaurants.
More about Boston Common Garage
Address: 1 Avenue de Lafayette
Location: Theatre District - almost directly across from the Boston Opera House, and very close to the Paramount, Orpheum, and Modern Theatres; Hyatt Regency Hotel, various Theatre District restaurants, and Chinatown.
Open: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, credit cards
Lafayette Garage Discounts: Boston Opera House Special of $2 off the evening/weekend rate if you prepay via the website; Shoppers' Special of $2 off of the first and second hour parking rates with validation stamp from participating local merchants, including Macy's.
For more information: 617-723-1488; www.pilgrimparking.com; Click on Locations tab for Lafayette Garage
Lafayette Garage's location right in the heart of the Theatre District stretch along Washington Street means it's in big demand from people coming to a show. Rates are pretty good for this part of town, especially if you can get the Shoppers or Opera House discount.
Address: 40 Charles Street South, between Stuart and Boylston Streets
Location: Theatre District - close to Stuart Street Playhouse (movie theater), the Wilbur, Charles Playhouse, Colonial, Wang (Citi Center), Shubert, and Cutler Majestic (Emerson) Theatres; W Hotel Boston, Market, other Theatre District restaurants, Park Square Restaurants
Reasonably close: Opera House, Paramount, Modern Theatre, Orpheum, other Washington Street destinations
Open: 6am - 2:30am, 7 days a week
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, credit cards
For more information: 617-723-1488; www.pilgrimparking.com; Click on Locations tab for CityPlace
CityPlace Garage is located beneath the mammoth State Transportation Building at the corner of Stuart and Boylston Streets. It's one of the most convenient Boston parking garages near the Theatre District and almost as easy to get in and out of as the Boston Common Garage.
It's also right across the street from the W Hotel Boston and Market restaurant, so if you're heading there for dinner and don't want to walk the extra 3-4 minutes from the Boston Common Garage, you can save about $10 plus tip by self-parking here and crossing the street rather than opting for valet parking by the W.
If you park here during the day, you'll get very good rates, even if you stay over 3 hours and have to pay the daily rate. But you'll pay $20 at night and for 2 or more hours on weekends, one of the higher evening/weekend rates in the area.
With the less expensive Boston Common Garage only 3-4 minutes farther away, where to park when coming to this part of the Theatre District may seem like a no-brainer. But if the weather is really bad - you know, snow, ice, freezing rain, a nor'easter, a drenching thunderstorm - the extra that you'll spend to park here will be cheaper than ruined shoes.
This garage also works well if you're heading to the dance clubs located nearby. Just remember that it closes at 2:30am.
City Place Garage is also a good back-up if Boston Common Garage is full.
Address: 26 Park Plaza (entrance on Stuart Street)
Location: Park Square - close to Stuart Street Playhouse (movie theater), the Wilbur, Colonial, Wang (Citi Center), Shubert, Charles Playhouse, and Cutler Majestic Theatres; W Hotel Boston, Market, other Theatre District restaurants
Reasonably close: Chinatown, Washington St theaters (Opera House, Paramount, Modern Theatre)
Open: 24 x 7 - so good for late-night clubbing
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, credit cards
For more information: 617-483-8380
Although Motor Mart Garage has been renovated over the years, it dates back to the Prohibition era, when reportedly it provided more than just parking. It is the most historic Boston parking garage near the Theatre District - and possibly in the entire city.
Motor Mart can be a good choice in the evening or weekends if you're sure that you'll need parking for less than 3 hours. If you're dining at one of the restaurants that will validate your ticket, you'll get an even better parking discount. But stay longer than 3 hours, and rates get punitive compared with other Boston parking garages near the Theatre District.
Parking spaces and turns are also a bit tight if you're driving a large vehicle - although other city garages share this trait.
If the 3 hour time limit for cheap parking rates work for you - or if you don't mind paying a higher rate for parking longer - Motor Mart is very convenient for certain locations, such as Bay Village and the Park Square restaurants.
Address: 40 Beach Street, between Washington and Harrison
Location: Chinatown; convenient to all the Chinatown restaurants and the Boston Opera House
Reasonably close: All the other Theatre District theaters and restaurants, Loew's Boston Common 11 movie theatre
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, credit cards; central pay station, so take your card with you; also check wherever you're going to see if validation is available
For more information: 617-426-7717; sorry, can't find a valid website, as this garage was sold in foreclosure in March 2011 but the phone is answered promptly if you need to ask a question
Shoppers Garage normally has some of the lowest rates around.
The drawback? Shoppers Garage is located in the heart of Chinatown, and takes a few more minutes of navigating around traffic and pedestrians to get to. Although Beach Street is one of the major streets in Chinatown, it's still kind of narrow and almost always congested, surrounded by 1-way streets that funnel you directly into even more congested Theatre District traffic.
But with the low parking rates, you're nicely compensated for your efforts (and time).
Address: 274 Tremont Street, between Oak Street and W. Kneeland (across from Courtyard Tremont Hotel)
Location: Theatre District; very convenient to the Wang Theatre and Shubert Theater (both part of the Citi Performing Arts group), and down the block from the Wilbur Theatre; also very convenient for New England Medical Center, Floating Hospital for Children, W Hotel, and Courtyard Tremont Hotel
Reasonably close: Some Emerson College performance spaces, area clubs
Forms of payment accepted: Cash, credit cards; pay on the way out; accepts validation for patients at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children
For more information: 617-636-5580
You're sure to notice the huge Tufts Medical Center garage next to Citi Arts Performing / Want Theatre - but you should know that affordable rates are usually available here only for Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children patients.
For affordable parking rates on this block if you're attending a show at the Wang, Shubert, or Wilbur Theaters - or heading for one of the clubs in this area, or an event at the W Hotel across from the Wilbur - look for the open-air parking lot next to this garage, where evening event rates usually run in a very reasonable $14 range.
On the other hand, if snow is falling, you'll appreciate the convenience of a garage and the $28 for up to 7 hours range will feel like a bargain compared with scraping snow and ice off your windshield - especially compared for the $40+ valet parking typically charged in this area.
I've used this garage for (reimbursed) business parking, and appreciate the easy-to-navigate layout and reasonably wide spaces, especially compared with some of Boston's older garages.
Address: 290 Tremont Street (look for the Tufts Medical Center Garage - the parking lot is right next to it)
Location: Down the block from the Wilbur Theatre, Wang Theatre, Shubert Theatre, and W Hotel; almost directly across the street from the Courtyard Tremont Hotel
Rates: Evening events parking here is usually offered for about $14; daytime rates are higher, but less than the Tufts Medical Center Garage next door.
For more information: 617-457-3129
These Boston parking garages in the Theatre District do not necessarily have the best rates but there will be times when their locations may be perfect for you.
Archstone Garage Boston Common
660 Washington Street
Revere Hotel Parking Garage
200 Stuart Street
33 Essex Street
Ritz Carlton Towers
35 Boylston Street
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