Acorn street in Beacon Hill district of Boston, USA

Things to do in  Boston

Time to spill the tea

With an enduring revolutionary spirit, Boston welcomes visitors looking to explore America’s past and the city’s current culture. Follow the Freedom Trail to discover colorful neighborhoods dotted with historic sites and parks. Then try the chowder (or chowda, as the locals would say). Also consider heading to the Italian-centric North End for cannoli and pizza or catching a ballgame at Fenway Park. From its unique eats to cultural institutions to historical attractions, there are plenty of things to do in Boston.

Top 15 attractions in Boston

Boston Common

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

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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

Boston North End

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

Quincy Market

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

USS Constitution

Built in 1797 and named by George Washington, the 3-masted USSConstitution frigate in Boston is the US Navy’s oldest commissioned ship and one of the world’s oldest warships. Visitors can go aboard the ship, docked at Boston’s Charlestown Navy Yard and restored to its original glory, to explore an important slice of US history.More

Beacon Hill

Home to the Massachusetts State House, Boston’s historic Beacon Hill neighborhood is reminiscent of 19th-century London—replete with cobbled streets, brownstone buildings, and flower-filled window boxes. At night, gas lanterns flicker to life and create a romantic atmosphere for fine dining and bar-hopping.More

Granary Burying Ground

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

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

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

Fenway Park

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

Old South Meeting House

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

Massachusetts State House

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

Paul Revere House

Located in the North End and built around 1680, the Paul Revere House is the oldest building in downtown Boston. It is famous for being the house Revere left from on the night of his famous “midnight ride” to warn his compatriots that the British were coming to arrest them in 1775. He lived there with his family from 1770 to 1800.More

Boston Old State House

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

Copp's Hill Burying Ground

More than 10,000 Bostonians are interred at Copp's Hill Burying Ground, a colonial cemetery on the National Register of Historic Places. This Boston landmark is a stop on the famed Freedom Trail. It's located steps from sights like the Paul Revere House and Old North Church, and offers easy access to the area's standout Italian eateries.More

Charlestown Navy Yard

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

Freedom Trail: Small Group Tour of Revolutionary Boston
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Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum Admission
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Boston Signature Dinner Cruise

Boston Signature Dinner Cruise

Boston Freedom Trail Daily Walking Tour
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Harvard University Campus Guided Walking Tour
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Boston: North End to Freedom Trail - Food & History Walking Tour
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Boston's North End Pizza & History Walking Food Tour
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Best of Boston Small Group Tour w/Boat Cruise + USS Constitution
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The Revolutionary Story In Depth Narrative Walking Tour of Boston
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Sunset Cruise
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Sunset Cruise

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All about Boston

When to visit

Boston is best-visited in the early fall, when the New England leaves have started to turn, yet the weather is still sunny and pleasant. Summers can be hot and humid, but they welcome a wealth of outdoor activities to the city, from baseball games to Italian feasts in the North End. Spring is mild and comfortable, while winters are cold and often snowy.

Getting around

Boston’s public transit system, known locally as the T, has three metro and two light rail lines that serve most parts of the city. To supplement the T, there is extensive bus coverage throughout the city. Boston is fairly compact, and it is easy to both walk and bike around it. Driving is an option, though parking can be difficult, depending on which part of the city you are in. If you’re flying into Logan International Airport, you can rent a car, use a ride-hailing app, or take the Silver Line, a bus rapid transit system that connects to South Station downtown.

Traveler tips

Spread across 1,100 acres (445 hectares), the Emerald Necklace is a long chain of parks and waterways designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. Notable green spaces within the Emerald Necklace include the Boston Common, the Boston Public Garden, and Arnold Arboretum. Visit one of the parks to bike, walk, picnic, or simply take a break from sightseeing. Other extensive parkways include the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, formed after the Big Dig project moved a major highway underground in the early 90s.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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