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Things to do in Boston

Things to do in  Boston

Welcome to Boston

With a brassy revolutionary spirit, Boston invites visitors to explore America’s past and vibrant culture. Trace the Freedom Trail through the heart of the city, where colorful neighborhoods are dotted with historic sites and parks. Try the chowder at Boston’s oldest restaurant, head to the Italian-accented North End for cannoli and pizza, or snack on hot dogs in the stands at Fenway Park. Browse collections of masterpiece artwork in the city’s many museums, then get beyond the city limits on a day trip to old-fashioned villages, Cape Cod’s sandy beaches, or one of New England’s top shopping destinations.

Top 15 attractions in Boston

Boston Common

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The starting point of the Freedom Trail, Boston Common is the oldest park in the country. At 50 acres (20 hectares), it is the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston’s neighborhoods. The historic park was once a campground for British troops during the Revolutionary War.More

Boston Public Library

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The Boston Public Library was founded in the mid-19th century and serves millions of Bostonians annually. This sizable public library is the second largest in the US—next to the Library of Congress—and its original Copley Square branch includes two landmark buildings, the Bates Hall reading room, and cafés where you can grab a pick-me-up.More

Boston North End

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Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End has been inhabited since the 1630s and is now the city’s Little Italy. Visit to see a variety of historical and cultural attractions, such as the Paul Revere House (the starting place of his famous “midnight ride” in 1775) and enjoy Italian-American fare.More

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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Faneuil Hall is a bustling marketplace best known for its ever-changing lineup of street performers and its central location on Boston’s historic Freedom Trail. Tourists and locals alike flock to the complex’s shops and Quincy Market, featuring 30-plus food stalls selling everything from exotic coffee to fresh seafood and artisanal bread.More

Massachusetts State House

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Crowning Boston’s Beacon Hill, the Massachusetts State House is the seat of Massachusetts’ government and one of many sites on the city’s Freedom Trail—a red-brick route connecting its American Revolution-related landmarks. Opened in 1798, the gold-domed building has an impressive interior filled with art and historical artifacts.More

Granary Burying Ground

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The Granary Burying Ground was founded in 1660 and the cemetery is a key stop on the Freedom Trail. This colonial sight is perhaps best known for its esteemed residents, and the gravestones are a who's-who of 17th- and 18th-century New England notables. Important Bostonians interred here include Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, among others.More

Fenway Park

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Boston’s most cherished landmark isn’t Bunker Hill or the Tea Party Ships, but rather old Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. A must-see for sports enthusiasts as well as history and architecture buffs, Fenway Park is famous for its uniquely shaped playing field and towering left field wall known as the Green Monster.More

Boston Old State House

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Built in 1713, Boston's Old State House is the city’s oldest public building and considered pivotal to prerevolutionary US history. Dwarfed by Boston’s skyscrapers and a fixture on its revolution-tracing Freedom Trail, the onetime government building is now a museum to the city’s revolutionary era and the events that kindled the American Revolution.More

Boston Public Garden

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The Boston Public Garden is a 24-acre (10-hectare botanical oasis of Victorian flowerbeds, verdant grass, and weeping willow trees shading a tranquil lagoon. It is a respite from the bustling city all year round, and is awash in either seasonal blooms, gold-toned leaves, or untrammeled snow. Adjacent to Boston Common, the garden is part of the city’s Emerald Necklace system of parks that connect via parkways and waterways.More

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

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Relive the events of December 16, 1773 at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Located in Boston Harbor, this floating museum provides visitors with an immersive experience, complete with full-scale replica tea ships, live costumed actors, a multi-sensory documentary, interactive exhibits, historic artifacts, and more.More

Old South Meeting House

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Dating from 1729, Boston’s Old South Meeting House was a congregational church and a gathering place for protestors who sparked the American Revolution with the 1773 Boston Tea Party. A key site on Boston’s Freedom Trail, the brick building is now a museum where visitors can chart the beginnings of the country’s 1776 revolution.More

200 Clarendon (John Hancock Tower)

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Located in the heart of Boston's Back Bay, 200 Clarendon—once known as John Hancock Tower—is the tallest building in the city and a well-known creation of architect I.M. Pei. Though notorious for now-fixed falling panels, and once a destination for its since-shuttered observation deck, the tower today is mostly eye candy for design fans.More

Quincy Market

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The main hub of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market has attracted locals and visitors alike for nearly 200 years. The historic food hall located within a Greek Revival-style building is packed with more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants, and 40 food court stops—plus stalls and pushcarts selling everything from exotic coffee to fresh seafood and artisanal bread.More

Skywalk Observatory

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Set on the 50th floor of Boston’s Prudential Tower, the Skywalk Observatory offers 360-degree views of the city and surrounding landscape. Here you can learn about notable landmarks, visit the onsite Dreams of Freedom Museum, or venture two floors up to enjoy a meal at the Top of the Hub Restaurant and Lounge.Please note: Skywalk Observatory is temporarily closed until 2023.More

Charlestown Navy Yard

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Encounter maritime history at the Charlestown Navy Yard, one of the most prolific naval facilities in US history. This Boston yard served ships for more than 175 years, and now hosts the USS Constitution—and its museum—and the USS Cassin Young. Commercial business stopped in 1974; it's now a National Park Service site and free to visit.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Boston

Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour
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Boston Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet
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Boston walking tasting tour with Secret Food Tours
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Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution
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Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
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Boston's "Little Italy" North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour
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New England Aquarium Admission in Boston
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Best of Boston Tour
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Best of Boston Tour

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Boston CityPASS

Boston CityPASS

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Boston Small-Group Freedom Trail History Tour Pub Crawl
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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Boston

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Very fun
Jessie_E, Dec 2022
Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour
A great experience for anyone skeptical about trying new activities, great locations we got to see and walk.
star-5
Fun for all ages!
Irina_O, Dec 2022
Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
My daughter is learning about the Boston tea party, etc and she said it was so cool to see these landmarks in real life.
star-5
Wonderful Boston sightseeing
Jennifer_T, Nov 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
Wonderful way to see all the sights of Boston in a short period of time!
star-4
Great for short trip
Lisa_W, Nov 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
I was in Boston for 2 days and the hop on hop off trolley provided the fastest way to see the city and learn some history.
star-5
Middle Schooler- approved
Paula_M, Nov 2022
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Admission
It was great to see 2 11yr olds get engaged and interested in something besides YouTube!
star-5
Highly recomended!
Richard_S, Nov 2022
Boston walking tasting tour with Secret Food Tours
Brooke was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic she made time to talk to each group and give them advice on what to see and eat while in Boston.
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A Home Run Experience!
Gaye_D, Nov 2022
Tour of Historic Fenway Park, America's Most Beloved Ballpark
It was a perfect Fall day in Boston.
star-5
Fun way to see a lot of Boston in a few hours
Corinne_A, Oct 2022
Best of Boston Tour
Excellent way to see this historic city!
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Private Boston tour
Lisa_D, Oct 2022
Boston Private City Tour and Harvard University with Hotel Pick Up
She took us to places we never would've thought to visit.
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Sabrina was great
Arturo_Q, Oct 2022
Underground Donut Tour - Boston Historic Downtown Tour
The walk was great for a first timer in Boston we got to see a lot of places and try some pretty good donuts.
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A walk through history
Diane_J, Oct 2022
Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
Great way to see so much of Boston.
star-5
Fun and interesting!
Colleen_B, Oct 2022
Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution
Very interesting and a great way to see Boston from the sea.
star-5
Greatest tour ever!
Leah_W, Nov 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
We are from omaha and joined this tour to see what we needed to see in Boston!
star-5
Great way to see Boston!
hyatth, Oct 2022
Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution
This was another great way to see Boston, and the guide was really fun and informative.
star-5
Great tour of the city
Vickie_T, Oct 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option
Such a nice way to see Boston and learn the history of the different places plus see the architecture of the city.
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Boston we’ll covered.
Sharon_U, Oct 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option
The stops covered all the major attraction you’ll want to see during your trip to Boston!
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VIP Experience
Diane_B, Sep 2022
Boston Private City Tour
Our guide was very knowledgeable and our tour was custom designed to see just what we wanted to see.
star-5
fun way to see boston
Sharon_F, Sep 2022
Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
what a fun way to see the boston highlights.
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Awesome
Lawrence_A, Sep 2022
Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston
I learned A LOT in just a couple hours and it was a good way to see a good portion of the city for later excursions!!!!
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Sold on Harvard
Nan_B, Sep 2022
Harvard University Campus Guided Walking Tour
Our middle school Girl Scout troop listed a tour of Harvard high on their list of Things To Do in Boston.
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All about Boston

When to visit

After a bone-chilling winter, Boston knows how to party once summer arrives. Peak season prices come with perks such as baseball games at Fenway Park and festivals including Boston Pride, Harborfest, and Comic Con. Visit in early autumn for discounted rates and a chance to admire New England’s famous fall foliage before the freeze sets in.

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

A local’s pocket guide to Boston

Angelica Pella

A native New Englander, Boston-based Angelica spends as much free time by the ocean as possible, and her favorite coastal town is Newport, Rhode Island.

The first thing you should do in Boston is...

explore each of the downtown neighborhoods on foot. Walking the Freedom Trail, either independently or on a tour, is a good way to get started.

A perfect Saturday in Boston...

starts with brunch at Lincoln Tavern and includes a walk along the Waterfront or Seaport, shopping at Faneuil Hall, and an Italian dinner in the North End, with espresso martinis at Caffè Vittoria afterward.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Fenway Park. It's the oldest ballpark in America and great even for non-baseball fans. Take a stadium tour or catch a Red Sox game during baseball season.

To discover the "real" Boston...

stop by some of the historical sites, such as the Paul Revere House or Bunker Hill Monument, or catch a Red Sox, Bruins, or Celtics game. It doesn’t hurt to try a lobster roll either!

For the best view of the city...

take a harbor cruise, get drinks at a rooftop bar (try the Envoy Hotel), or walk across the Harvard Bridge and see Boston from the Cambridge side of the Charles River.

One thing people get wrong...

is not visiting other parts of New England, like Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Newport, Cape Cod, Salem, Portsmouth, Portland, or Kennebunkport.

People Also Ask

How do I spend a day in Boston?

If you have just one day in Boston, discover historic highlights of the Freedom Trail (including Faneuil Hall and Boston Common) before walking or biking along the Charles River. You can also admire city views on a Boston Harbor boat tour, browse boutiques on Newbury Street, and explore Boston's lively Chinatown.

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What is Boston is famous for?

One of the country's oldest cities, Boston is famous for its history, boasting landmarks such as Faneuil Hall and the Paul Revere House. It's also known for its world-class universities (including Harvard, technically in nearby Cambridge), seafood, and sports: don't miss the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

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Is Boston a safe city?

Yes, Boston is generally a safe city, and its most central neighborhoods typically have lower crime rates than outlying areas visitors are less likely to explore. Like any major city, it's worth being street-smart: be attentive to valuables (especially in crowded areas where pickpockets may operate), and take caution at night.

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How can I spend 3 days in Boston?

Three days is plenty of time to discover Boston's highlights. On day one, tour the historical landmarks along the Freedom Trail. On the second day, explore nearby Cambridge (and Harvard University, its top highlight). Devote the third day to Boston's characterful neighborhoods such as Back Bay, Fenway-Kenmore, and Chinatown.

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What should you not miss in Boston?

Boston is full of unmissable sights, and no visit is complete without a stroll on Boston Common, a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, and a trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It's also worth visiting Harvard University in Cambridge—and indulging in a lobster roll at a seafood restaurant.

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Is Boston expensive?

Yes, Boston is expensive. It was recently ranked the third-most expensive city in the United States, and high-end hotels and top-drawer restaurants cost a pretty penny. That said, there are plenty of budget-friendly options in Boston, from strolls along the Freedom Trail to brewery tours at Sam Adams and cheap eats in Chinatown.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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