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Back Bay
Back Bay

Back Bay

Boston, Massachusetts

The Basics

Back Bay is one of Boston’s most affluent residential, commercial, and leisure neighborhoods. Within an easy stroll, the enclave offers visitors the chance to admire impressive 19th- and 20th-century architecture, enjoy cosmopolitan eateries, and wander avenues lined with Back Bay’s trademark Victorian-era brownstone homes. Aside from these residential streets, popular draws include Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, Boston Public Garden, and Copley Place mall.

While it’s easy to explore Back Bay independently, a tour lets you dig deeper into its sights with a guide for added insight. Time-crunched travelers can choose tours that combine Back Bay with tourist sites such as the Freedom Trail, or private tours that let them select it as one of the attractions they want to see in a day. Otherwise, discover it on a city bike tour, explore it by pedicab, or focus on its architecture and popular wine cellars on a wine tasting tour.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Boston

star-4
Good tour.
Christi_N, Nov 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Good tour. Informative and friendly. It was challenging to hear the guide in some spots because of the noise around us. He had great recommendations for a place to get hot chocolate and have lunch after the tour. Would recommend.
star-5
Awesome tour
Marta_G, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Great tour and very informative.!!!! He spoke a lot about the history of Boston and wen to the historical sites.
star-5
Be read for a walk!
Kalli_R, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
My favorite part was the cemetery, a few famous people in history are buried there. I also enjoyed seeing the end of the Boston Marathon & hearing historical stories from our guide
star-5
Great History and Site Seeing
Julianne_S, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
It was our first time in Boston, and we wanted to hear some of the rich history. We really enjoyed the tour.
star-5
Great tour & tour guide
Cheryl_W, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Our guide was fabulous !!! Great tour. The city is just beautiful. Our guide made everyone so welcome and took his time answering questions
star-5
Wonderful experience
Barry_W, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Our guide was very knowledgeable and kept our interest with a mix of humor and interesting facts. Highly recommend
star-5
Very interesting tour
Sam_S, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
A great tour from a very knowledgeable, local guide, without the kitschy dramatization of other tours. Highly recommend!
star-5
Great tour
Valerie_D, Oct 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Our guide was amazing! He had a lot of background info about the history of Boston. There is a lot of walking on this tour
star-5
Spectacular tour of history in Boston
Judy_T, Sep 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Wonderful guide - had humor, told lots of stories with numerous buildings of history. Interesting with different eras with homes
star-5
Historical Fun
Phyllis_D, Sep 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Our guide Richard conveyed lots of historical facts and our group was only 10 people so it was easy to hear.
star-5
Historic
Gail_H, Sep 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
The personal stories of the tour guide. He had relatives that were part of Boston’s early history. He also shared the personalities of some of the historic people
star-5
Great tour and guide
Ray_R, Sep 2022
Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Tour guide was exceptional. Very knowledgeable, entertaining, learned a lot that I used today and tomorrow.
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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Back Bay will appeal to history, architecture, shopping, and culinary aficionados.
  • Most of the area is accessible to stroller and wheelchair users.
  • Book a tour to uncover particular aspects of the bay, such as its brownstones or its wine and food scene.
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How to Get There

Bounded by the Charles River to the north, Copley Place to the south, and Boston Public Park and Charlesgate Park to the east and west, Back Bay centers on Boylston Street, Newbury Street, and Copley Square. Get here by Boston’s “T” system; taking the Orange or Green subway to stops including Copley, Boylston, Prudential, and Back Bay. Heavy traffic makes driving difficult, but there are paid garages available.

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Trip ideas


When to Get There

There’s no particularly good or bad time to visit Back Bay. Summer is perfect for meandering roads such as Newbury Street, as are the evenings, when the area’s restaurants and bars come alive. Shoppers can roam Copley Place mall—typical opening hours are 10am-8pm—while sightseers can enjoy attractions such as Boston Public Library and Boston Public Garden, which are open daily.

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The Backstory on Back Bay

Just 200 years ago, Back Bay consisted of the Charles River’s tidal flats. During the 1800s, the land was reclaimed and turned into a grid of Parisian-style avenues flanked by terraced brownstone mansions. These sturdy Victorian-period houses are now considered some of the US’ best examples of 19th-century urban design.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Back Bay?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Boston?
A:
As well as visiting the Back Bay, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: