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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

#1
Boston Common

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
#2
Boston Public Library

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
#3
Boston North End

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
#4
Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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
#5
Massachusetts State House

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
#6
Fenway Park

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
#7
Boston Old State House

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
#8
Boston Public Garden

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
#9
Granary Burying Ground

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
#10
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

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
#11
Old South Meeting House

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
#12
Charlestown Navy Yard

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
#13
200 Clarendon (John Hancock Tower)

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
#14
Skywalk Observatory

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.More
#15
Quincy Market

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

Trip ideas

Top activities in Boston

Martha's Vineyard Daytrip from Boston with Round-Trip Ferry & Island Tour Option
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Boston Signature Dinner Cruise with Buffet
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Boston's North End Walking Food Tour

Boston's North End Walking Food Tour

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US$ 72.50
Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
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Salem High Speed Ferry to/from Boston

Salem High Speed Ferry to/from Boston

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Sunset Cruise
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Sunset Cruise

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Secret Food Tours: Boston

Secret Food Tours: Boston

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Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise
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Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Boston

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.
star-5
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.
star-5
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!!!!
star-5
Best of Boston
Judy_B, Sep 2022
Best of Boston Tour
First time to visits Boston and will come again.
star-4
Quack quack
Gerri_C, Sep 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
It was a nice way to see the city and get schooled on some of the history of Boston.
star-5
Perfect tour
Jackie_M, Sep 2022
Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
We saw everything we had hoped to see during our trip to Boston.
star-5
Gonzo!
Ruben_O, Sep 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
Best way to see the improvement sights of Boston.
star-5
Great way to see the City and hear about the rich history
Mary_G, Sep 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
I would recommend this to anyone looking to visit Boston.
star-5
Great tour guide
Melanie_D, Sep 2022
Best of Boston Tour
It was nice to see Boston by land and sea.
star-4
Hop on and hop off always...
Kathryn_C, Sep 2022
Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
crowds in Boston big so trollies were packed and was difficult to see all stops before I ran out of time
star-5
Excellent Narrator!...
Jan_R, Sep 2022
Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River
Very comical and a great way to see Boston!
star-5
Great experience
Jeremy_A, Sep 2022
Sunset Sailing Cruise on a Tall Ship in Boston Harbor
Everyone was so nice, and it was very relaxing and enjoyable to see the Boston skyline!
star-5
Awesome! Must do!
Andres, Sep 2022
Boston City View Bicycle Tour by Urban AdvenTours
Amazing way to see so much of the city in a short amount of time.
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Best sail trip
Samantha_B, Sep 2022
Sightseeing Day Sail around Boston Harbor
It was so fun to see everything and they even offer blankets when you get chilly on the boat!
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Excellent tour, enjoyable 2 hours
Murray_H, Sep 2022
1.5 or 2-Hour Boston Harbor Sightseeing Cruise Aboard a Classic Tall Ship
Even though the wind and direction were not cooperating, still was able to see everything in the Boston Harbor.
star-5
Boston to Salem
Brad_H, Aug 2022
Salem High Speed Ferry to/from Boston
Plus you get to see the coast line between the two cities.
star-5
Highly recommend
Tami_J, Aug 2022
Martha's Vineyard Daytrip from Boston with Round-Trip Ferry & Island Tour Option
Highly recommend if you just want to visit for a day.
star-5
Nick was a great guide- made history interesting
Donna_D, Aug 2022
Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston (2.5 Hours)
Our guide Nick- is an English grad with a love of history & knowledge of Boston history & culture from living here most of his life.
star-5
The bus driver's seemed...
Lenora_W, Sep 2022
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops
Loved being able to see the Cheers bar/restaurant, the U.
star-5
If you want to see Boston...
Jessica_R, Aug 2022
Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise
If you want to see Boston from the water this was an amazing way to do it!
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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
EDT (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