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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 10 attractions in Boston

#1

Boston Public Library

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Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library contains over 23 million items, making it the second largest public library in the U.S., after the Library of Congress. Of those millions, about 1.7 million are rare books and works, including medieval manuscripts and incunabula (a book or pamphlet printed prior to 1501 in Europe). Among the rare books are also the personal library of John Adams, early editions of works by William Shakespeare, drawings from Thomas Rowlandson and musical archives from the Handel and Haydn Society. The McKim Building, with its vast research collection, and the Johnson Building, where you can find the circulating collection, are two of the most important parts of the library. The McKim Building is even a National Historic Landmark. And while the library system technically includes a whopping 24 branches, the original Copley Square location offers plenty to see, including Bates Hall, the Chavannes Gallery, the Abbey Room and the Sargent Gallery.More
#2

Boston North End

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Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End has been inhabited since the 1630s. Here you’ll find a large variety of historical and culturally attractions. There’s the Paul Revere House, the oldest building in downtown Boston built around 1680 and the place from which he left for his famous “midnight ride” in 1775. Some other historic stops in the North End include Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burial Ground, Union Wharf, Ozias Goodwin House and Mariner’s House, allowing you to explore the city’s rich heritage as well as old world architecture. Walking around the area, you’ll notice the smell of fresh baked bread and biscotti permeates the air. Because it has a large community of Italian Americans, the North End is also known as Boston’s Little Italy. Visitors are transported to Italy as they walk the neighbourhood’s narrow streets, full of attached brick buildings housing small shops, delis, butchers, salumerias, bakers, and wine bars.More
#3

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, the Common is the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston’s neighborhoods. The Common has served many purposes over the years, including as a campground for British troops during the Revolutionary War. Today, though, the Common serves picnickers, sunbathers, and people watches. In winter, the Frog Pond attracts ice-skaters, while summer draws theater lovers for Shakespeare on the Common. Spend a day wandering freely in the Common. Walking paths crisscross its green, which is dotted with such monuments and memorials as the Boston Massacre Monument, the Great Elm Site, and the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial. Nearby sites include the Central Burying Ground and the Boston Athenaeum.More
#4

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

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Few historical events are as synonymous with Boston as the Boston Tea Party. It was during this 1773 demonstration that revolutionaries threw entire cases of British tea into Boston harbor in protest of the Tea Act, quickly evolving into the American Revolution. Today, this iconic act of defiance has come to symbolize not only the resolve and persistence of the American people as a whole, but of Boston in particular. Nowhere is it more celebrated or better explained than at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. This floating museum prides itself on stepping well beyond the typical, staid museum experience. Visitors are treated to a fully engaging display, complete with live actors, ship restoration displays and interactive exhibits. Visitors can even join in a mock "tea dumping" protest if they like. The goal is to accurately transport visitors back in time to fully experience the Tea Party as it happened more than 230 years ago.More
#5

New England Aquarium

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Teeming with more than 15,000 sea creatures of all sizes, shapes, and colors, the New England Aquarium is a giant fishbowl of sea-life wonder. Harbor seals and sea otters frolic in a large observation tank at the entrance, but the main attraction is the awesome four-story, 200,000 gallon (760,000 liter) Giant Ocean Tank, which swirls with more than 600 creatures great and small, including turtles, sharks, and eels. At the base of the tank the penguin pool is home to three species of fun-loving penguins. Countless side exhibits explore the lives and habitats of other underwater oddities, including the two-floor Amazing Jellies exhibit, home to hundreds of ethereal jellyfish, and the Edge of the Sea exhibit, with its sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and sea dragons. Other attractions include displays on denizens of the Amazon, marine life in the Gulf of Maine, and the ecology of Boston Harbor.More
#6

Quincy Market

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The main hub of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, bustling Quincy Market has attracted locals and visitors alike for nearly 200 years. This historic food hall, set inside a stately three-level Greek revival-style building, is packed with more than 50 shops, 14 restaurants, and 40 food court stops. There’s even a bar that’s an exact replica of the bar from the popular TV show Cheers. Inside Quincy Market, the central corridor is lined with full-service restaurants, pushcarts, and New England souvenirs. Choose from chowder, bagels, Indian, Greek, baked good, and ice cream. Then, take a seat at one of the tables in the central rotunda. On warm evenings, tables spill outdoors from restaurants and bars fill up with people, creating a festive mood. The rest of the marketplace is made up of the North Market building, the South Market building, and Faneuil Hall. Along with restaurants, you’ll find an intoxicating mix of chain stores and unique shops.More
#7

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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The heart and soul of downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a bustling complex of restaurants, food stalls, shops, bars, and public spaces. Since it opened in 1976, this festive market and eating center draws both visitors and locals to its cobblestone plaza, teaming with shoppers, street performers, and people-watchers. Faneuil Hall Marketplace itself if comprised of three historic 19th century buildings. Quincy Market, a three-level Greek revival-style building, sits in the center behind Faneuil Hall. Next to it is the North Market building and the South Market building.More
#8

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. At any time of the year, it is an island of loveliness, awash in seasonal blooms, gold-toned leaves, or untrammeled snow. A statue of George Washington, looking stately atop his horse, greets visitors at the main entrance on Arlington Street. Other pieces of public art in the park, however, are more whimsical. The most endearing is Make Way for Ducklings, always a favorite with tiny tots who can climb and sit on the bronze ducks. But it’s the peaceful lagoon that draws visitors and locals a like to the Public Garden. For it is hear, you should take on the slow-going swan boats, a serene relic of bygone days.More
#9

200 Clarendon (John Hancock Tower)

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Boston's John Hancock Tower soars nearly 800 feet above the city, and is not only Boston's tallest building but also the tallest building in all of New England. The 62-story John Hancock Tower was built in 1976 as the home of John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance, but in 2004 the company moved to a different Boston location. The building is now officially known as Hancock Place. It's a glass-covered skyscraper in the shape of a parallelogram rather than a square or rectangle, and the blue-tinted glass panels beautifully reflect the city and scenery around the tower. There is an observatory deck at the top of the John Hancock tower, but it has been closed to the general public since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The observation deck is available for private events, however.More
#10

Charlestown Navy Yard

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Dating back to 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard was among the most prolific, historic, and vital navy yards in U.S. history. It served as the home of many of the nation's elite warships for the purposes of resupply, maintenance, retrofitting, and service. The navy yard's most critical role was during America's two largest wars before it closed for good in 1974. From the beginning, Charlestown Navy Yard remained a pioneer of shipbuilding technology and served as a center for electronics and missile conversions. During its almost 175-year history, its staff constructed, christened, and launched over 200 ships and serviced thousands more. After its closing, thirty acres of the yard were earmarked as part of Boston National Historical Park. Today, the U.S. National Park Service oversees this most critical portion of the shipyard.More

Trip ideas

How to Experience Fall Foliage in Boston

How to Experience Fall Foliage in Boston

6 Must-See Boston Neighborhoods & How to Visit

6 Must-See Boston Neighborhoods & How to Visit

Sightseeing on a Budget in Boston

Sightseeing on a Budget in Boston

Must-See Museums in Boston

Must-See Museums in Boston

Top Parks and Gardens in Boston

Top Parks and Gardens in Boston

Top activities in Boston

Boston Private City Tour

Boston Private City Tour

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13
From
US$450.00
per group
The Revolutionary Story Tour

The Revolutionary Story Tour

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208
From
US$45.50

Recent reviews from experiences in Boston

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Best Haunted Tour
Lesia_P, Nov 2020
Boston Ghosts & Gravestones Night-Time Trolley Tour
We really loved that we got to visit 2 graveyards!
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Boston Highlight
Julie_J, Oct 2020
Boston City view Bicycle Tour
A great way to see a lot of Boston!
star-5
Enthusiastic amazing food and history tour
RhiannaRipper, Jan 2021
Boston Small-Group Food & History North End Freedom Trail Walking Tour
Definitely worth the price and is a great way to see some of the city and get some great food, recommendations and history.
star-5
A Boston must-do!
Meaghan_H, Oct 2020
Boston City view Bicycle Tour
This is a great way to see ALL of Boston without walking the entire thing or taking the subway to various places.
star-5
1st Fall Foliage Trip
Candi_C, Oct 2020
Boston to New Hampshire Fall Foliage White Mountains Day Trip
This was a wonderful experience traveling from Boston to New Hampshire to see the beautiful leaves in the Northeast.
star-5
Excellent Tour of Boston
R4Life, Jul 2020
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 18 Stops
I highly recommend this service to visitors of Boston.
star-5
Great tour
Lyanne_G, Mar 2020
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 18 Stops
Lots to see and can hop on and off to the make the most of certain spots.
star-5
Amazing historic experience
bianieft, Feb 2020
Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution
Worth doing it even in winter since there are less trafic and more places to seat.
star-5
Boston Must-Do
rewalter16, Feb 2020
Walking Tour of The Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square & Back Bay
In this 2 hour tour, I got to see all the top sights of Boston with history and humor.
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GREAT PIZZA
Barbara F, Nov 2019
Boston's North End "Little Italy" Pizza, Cannoli, and History Walking Food Tour
The north end of Boston's Little Italy is a wonderful place to visit and induldge on pizza.
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Boston hop on off
bobncb, Oct 2019
Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Good way to see a lot of Boston in a short trip.
star-5
Very informative of American History
230deannh, Oct 2019
Walking Tour of The Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square & Back Bay
A great way to get to see the historical sites!
star-4
Lots of options
Bladeaw, Oct 2019
Boston to Newport Small-Group Day Trip with Breakers & Elms Mansion Admission
You’ll get to see two mansions and have some time to visit your choice of several options after lunch.
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Whales!
Karen D, Sep 2019
Boston Whale Watching Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran
Ship wasn't over-booked so there were plenty of places to sit and move around to see the sightings.
star-5
great trip
kskatlady2019, Aug 2019
Go Boston All-Inclusive Pass
It help me to plan the days activities.
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Historical cruise and more!
abbonbenjamin, Aug 2019
Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution
Comfortable & fun way to see the city it’s path that is ahead.
star-5
BOSTON
Curious407265, Jun 2019
Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour
Boston is a great city to visit and this is a fun and easy way to get an overview of what there is to see and do.
star-5
Boston
mwarders75, Feb 2020
Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 18 Stops
It was freezing in Boston the day we went so it was nice to tour the city from the warm trolley and get on and off near tourist attractions.
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Great Day Trip
Seaside66216739234, May 2019
Martha's Vineyard Daytrip from Boston with Round-Trip Ferry & Island Tour Option
I would suggest you do the optional Island Tour because you get to see the entire island and the bus driver tells you a lot of information.
star-5
Best way to see The Freedom Walk!
donnawarren17, May 2019
Boston's North End "Little Italy" Pizza, Cannoli, and History Walking Food Tour
Great way to see the North End, would recommend for first time visitors to Boston!

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