Travel by air
The closest airport to Salem is Boston Logan (BOS) which is about a 30-45 minute drive away.
To read some tips and tricks about finding a cheap flight to Boston, click here.
Travel by train
The MBTA has a train station right in Salem, MA. Ticket info, schedules, maps and more can be found on the MBTA’s web site here.
Please note that in the month of October, train schedules may be adjusted. The closer to Halloween, the more chaotic it will be so arrive early because train cars will be crowded (especially when leaving the city on 10/31).
Travel by car
If you’re visiting by car, be aware that parking is limited and largely not free. Please also know that many footpath/tourist areas do not allow vehicles on the roads (outside of police or emergency vehicles) so be sure you don’t turn down any streets you aren’t supposed to be on.
On street parking
There are metered spots as well as free around Salem, they are all first come first served.
Salem has two garages, the Museum Place garage and the South Harbor/Waterfront Garage.
The Museum Place/Downtown Garage costs $1.25 per hour. The South Harbor/Waterfront Garage costs $0.75 per hour Monday through Friday, and $1.50 per hour Saturday and Sunday. Both garages operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday and from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM Thursday through Saturday. [Source]
A note about side streets and hotel lots
Parking on side streets is heavily observed by police so I do not recommend leaving your car on a curb somewhere residential unless you want to have it towed.
If you’re staying at a hotel in the downtown area (for example, The Hawthorne) and they do have their own lot, I would suggest using it. I do not recommend leaving your car in the lot of a hotel you are not staying at, as it will likely be towed.
Parking at the train station
If you decide to leave your car in the train station parking lot (shown in the section above) be sure to note your space number and keep up with rates. This lot fills quickly, so if you land a spot, I’d suggest leaving your car there unless you really need to remove it.
Pay for parking via the Passport Parking mobile app
Many lots around Salem accept payment via the Passport Parking mobile app. Download the app on your phone, create an account and hook your account up to a credit card. When you park your car, make note of the zone number you’re in (found at the payment kiosks) and search that zone in the app to pay.
Travel by Ferry
The ferry is a good option if you’re coming into Salem from Boston during seasonal operation and don’t want to deal with where to park the car. You can also purchase a ticket to the Salem Trolley at the same time and receive a discounted rate! To see operating hours/dates and ticket info, click here.
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