Updated: Aug 25, 2019
Boston is a fascinating city that has centuries of history. You will find that this small city is bursting with academia, history, sports, and so much more. Located in Massachusetts, it is in the perfect location for travellers as it easy to get to from the USA and has one of the shortest flights from Europe to America. If you are booking a flight to the USA you will probably find out that Boston is your layover airport, in which case, I highly recommend that you stop there for a day or two and book separate flights.
This blog will cover some of the best things to do in Boston. There were so many activities and sights to choose from that I had to cut the list down a bit, Boston is that good! We visited Boston over a year ago and have vowed to go back there for a longer time in the near future.
So let's get into the best things to do in Boston!
1: Catch the Boston Red Sox in action at Fenway Park
Even if you don't like sports or baseball you will still love the atmosphere at Fenway Park. The stadium is one of the oldest when it comes to baseball stadiums and it holds a small capacity of under 40,000 which adds to the intense atmosphere. If you don't manage to secure a ticket then you should definitely book a tour of the stadium instead.
2: Grab a Snack at Quincy Market
When people usually ask what the best things to do in Boston are, this one gets forgotten about. I can highly recommend visiting these thriving markets, especially if you are a food lover. The building used to house the mayor of Boston which is why it presents itself with a town hall look. However, once you walk through the doors you won't be heading into politics and offices. Instead you will be greeted by the hustle and bustle of food lovers. Each side you look will be thriving market stools with mouthwatering foods from around the world, you can probably find every food you could think of here. A must-see in Boston.
3: Take a Walk on The Boston Common
If you want to a walk and relax in the fresh air then visiting the Boston Common should be on your itinerary. The common is recorded as the oldest public park in the whole country, which is fitting with the history that surrounds Boston and Massachusetts. There isn't much to do in terms of activities but it can be great to take a bike or a picnic and relax there.
4: Walk the Freedom Trail
It's not just history buffs that would enjoy this attraction, everyone is guaranteed to find it interesting. The Freedom Trail tells you the story of the American Revolution by taking you on a journey through the city. You can do this as a guided tour or you can just walk it yourself to save some bucks. You will cover 16 important historical sites as you walk the route which include meeting houses and churches, so you should allow some time to do the walk.
5: Relax with a Beer at the Samuel Adams Brewery
Boston is famous for breweries but the most famous is the Samuel Adams Brewery. It's not in a convenient location in the city but definitely worth visiting. You can enjoy tours and tastings which are perfect for beer fanatics. If you are there in the summer months, take a seat out on the beer garden and enjoy a flight of beers to get a taster for different types.
6: Take Brewery Tour in Boston
While Samuel Adams is the most popular, there are still many different options for breweries in Boston for those of you that don't want to travel out of the city. You can either book a tour and travel to multiple breweries with a guide, go solo and hit as many as you can, or just pick one and relax. A few worth mentioning are the Harpoon Brewery, Trillium Brewing Company, and Aeronaut Brewing Company. If you have the time, see as many as you can.
7: Visit the Aquarium
With Boston being so close to the ocean, you can discover a great selection of fish, sharks, turtles, and even penguins. It is one of Boston's more popular tourist attractions so book a ticket ahead of time to avoid any disappointment.
8: Have a Lobster Roll and More Seafood
When you're visiting a location that is bursting with fishing vessels everyday, it would be silly not to try the seafood. A favorite amongst locals and tourists is the lobster roll which offers fresh lobster, and either a cold or hot option served with mayo or butter. You should be expecting to pay between $18 - $35 depending on where you go but it's worth it just to try. Some locations you can try are:
- Row 34
- Don't forget to try the Quincy Markets!
9: Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
If you appreciate art and museums then one of the best things to do in Boston is to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Here you can view collections of European, Asian, and American art. The building itself is a work of art which was designed to resemble a Venetian Palace. You should check this one out if you visit Boston.
10: Take in Some Art at the Museum of Fine Arts
Another museum in Boston that you shouldn't miss is the Museum of Fine Arts. It's the fifth largest museum in the United States with over 450,000 pieces to witness. Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the items in this museum.
11: Get Some More Food at Time Out Market
If the Quincy Markets are on the list of best things to do in Boston, then this one should be too. From the media company Time Out, the markets boast a range of international food options, restaurants, cocktails, bars, and so much more. It's a great place for the locals to gather and also for tourists!
12: Wander the SoWa Open Markets
The SoWa Markets only run from May to October on a Sunday but if you are there during this time, then check them out. These vibrant markets will give you plenty of entertainment from the live music events to the beer gardens. You can walk around the markets and browse through apparel, handmade items, home items, vintage stools, and much more. If you get a bit hungry afterwards then check out the selection of food trucks where you can enjoy hot food and baked goods.
13: Splash Your Cash at Newbury Street
If you like shopping for or even window shopping for designer items then take a walk down Newbury Street. You will find a selection of boutiques and dining options that will tempt you on your walk. There are designer brands such as Chanel and there are more reasonably priced boutiques so there is something for everyone.
14: Go on a Whale Watching Tour
Boston is in a prime location for whale sightings and tours. You may be lucky enough to spot one from the vantage point on the shore but nothing will compare to seeing a whale breach 10ft away from you! There are many different companies and tour operators that run during peak whale season so check them out before you go and book yourself onto a tour.
15: Listen to the Boston Symphony Orchestra
There is every reason to listen to the orchestra in Boston. Founded in 1881, it is one of the five major American symphony groups and it will certainly blow you away. You can check out the tickets and events online to find the perfect fit for your travels.
16: Take a Day Trip Away From Boston
You may not know this but Boston is close neighbours to many popular locations. You can take day trips and experience places such as:
- Cape Cod
- Martha's Vineyard
- Good Harbour Beach
There are many accessible options for you to get to these locations although you may struggle to fit everything in if you are on a short trip!
17: Get a Tour of Harvard University
I am not talking about a tour for students to enrol! You can actually take historical tours of this Ivy League university. It's not at the top of most tourists list but it can be interesting to learn about the history and visit one of the most popular universities in the world.
18: Have Lunch on The Piers
The reason I say Pier(s) and not pier is because Boston has piers everywhere. If you like to sit by the water and watch the boats or just want to have lunch on the pier then you should take a walk to one of the many piers. The most popular one would be Pier 8. Make sure if you decide to head down to the pier for lunch that you don't go in the middle of winter because it gets very cold up there!
19: Admire the City Views from the Boston Skywalk Observatory
The Skywalk Observatory will give you some of the best views of Boston and should be on everyone's Itinerary when visiting. It's fairly inexpensive and on a clear day you can see up to 100 miles in the distance. Try and head there in the summer for clear and sunny views or in the winter for snowy scenes.
Do you see anything that should be on this list? Let us know and we will add it!