From modern malls to historical markets, Boston’s shopping scene is as diverse and cultured as they come. Head to Harvard Square for arty bookshops, enjoy history and high-street staples at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, explore the boutiques of well-heeled Back Bay—there’s plenty here for every retail rover. Here are our tips for Boston’s shopping hot spots.
Cambridge and Harvard Square
Across the Charles River from Boston, Cambridge centers on Harvard University and Harvard Square, where backstreets are filled with upscale clothing shops, bookshops, and offbeat emporiums that reflect the area’s sophisticated atmosphere. Funky eateries are here in numbers, including chocolatiers and gourmet burger, coffee, and veggie haunts. For a deeper dive into the shopping and food scene, opt for a walking or food-themed tour of the area.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Boston’s main shopping hub comprises three historical buildings: Quincy Market and the North and South Market buildings. Discover a huge spectrum of shops from Uniqlo and Victoria’s Secret to artisan’s pushcarts, and behind Quincy Market, a food hall crammed with eateries and delis. Faneuil Hall sits on Boston’s Freedom Trail, so taking a tour of this historical path is perfect for getting acquainted with the marketplace. Nearby is Boston Public Market, housing dozens of food vendors—join a walking tour to learn about and taste the culinary delights on offer.
Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, between the Charles River to the north and Copley Square to the south, combines high-end shopping streets with glossy malls. Visit brownstone-flanked Newbury Street to browse boutiques and boho shops or the Prudential Center mall for flagship department stores. For wall-to-wall luxury, meanwhile, hotfoot it to the Copley Place complex, where a wealth of designer names, including Gucci and Dior, await.
The cobbled streets and red-brick houses of Boston’s Beacon Hill district are home to scores of independent stores selling distinctive gifts, accessories, and fashions. Stroll around to admire the beautiful architecture, dipping into independent boutiques, card shops, and home decor stores en route.
Wrentham Village Premium Outlets
If you’re on a budget, head for this out-of-town complex, 38 miles (61 kilometers) southwest of Boston. With 170-plus retailers such as Adidas and DKNY, plus discounts of up to 65 percent, it’s a bargain-hunter’s dream. Take a day trip from Boston and enjoy a stress-free splurge with round-trip transport included.