Things to do in Boston

About Boston

The must-see attractions in Boston include the Freedom Trail, a historical path that connects significant American Revolution sites. The Public Garden, famous for its Swan Boats, and the historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace are also essential. No visit is complete without exploring the Boston Common, the North End for Italian cuisine, and a tour of Fenway Park.
The best things to do in Boston with kids include visiting the Boston Children's Museum and the Museum of Science, which offer interactive and educational exhibits. The New England Aquarium with its fascinating marine life and the Franklin Park Zoo also provide engaging and fun learning experiences for all ages.
The best outdoor activities in Boston include strolling or biking along the Charles River Esplanade, taking a Boston Harbor cruise, and exploring the Harbor Islands. Picnicking in the Boston Public Garden, enjoying the Greenway's vibrant parks and fountains, and watching street performers at Faneuil Hall also provide delightful outdoor experiences.
Indoor enthusiasts can appreciate the vast collections at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The Boston Public Library offers architectural tours, and the historic Old South Meeting House provides a glimpse into colonial Boston. For sports fans, TD Garden hosts exciting indoor games and events.
Some of Boston's best tours include the Freedom Trail Walking Tour, the narrated trolley tours, Fenway Park tours, and haunted history tours. For more specialized interests, the Boston Brewery Tour and the Chocolate and Wine Tour offer a taste of local flavors, while art aficionados can enjoy the Museum of Fine Arts' guided tours.
Popular museums in Boston feature the Museum of Fine Arts with its impressive global collections, the Museum of Science for interactive exhibits, and the Boston Children's Museum for engaging young minds. The New England Aquarium acts as an aquatic museum, while the JFK Presidential Library and Museum showcases historical memorabilia and exhibits.
On rainy days, an indoor self-guided audio tour of the Boston Public Library presents an educational retreat. The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the MIT Museum are captivating alternatives, while the Museum of Science offers multiple levels of exhibits that can easily fill an entire day of exploration.
Short tours in Boston that are 1 hour or less include a guided tour of the historic Old North Church, a quick walking tour of Beacon Hill, and a brief exploration of Harvard University's campus. Additionally, the USS Constitution Museum offers concise tours focusing on the ship's storied history.

1 review for audio tours in Boston

July 2022
Highlights of the Freedom Trail: Touring through the American Revolution Sites
Amazing history, you will love this if you have any interest at all in America's beginnings, my family spent about 8 hours on the trail and loved every minute of it, although towards the end we needed a few sit-down breaks for sure. Touring the Revere House and the USS Constitution were highlights for us. We love Boston!

Best Things to Do In Boston

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Boston's historic landmarks and cultural treasures.

Boston: The Rose Kennedy Greenway

What is it?
A contemporary park with a series of gardens, plazas, and art installations stretching through downtown Boston.
Why you should go?
This urban ribbon of green provides locals and visitors with a refreshing, linear space that boasts seasonal blooms, food trucks, and a rotating outdoor art gallery. The Rose Kennedy Greenway is an exemplary display of urban renewal and the ideal locale for a leisurely walk, impromptu picnic, or a casual perusal of the latest installations by contemporary artists. It’s an urban escape filled with unexpected delights and one of the most pleasant things to do in Boston.

Boston: Black Heritage Trail

What is it?
An historic trail that gives insight into the rich history of Boston's 19th-century African American community.
Why you should go?
Walking the Black Heritage Trail offers an opportunity to honor and learn about Boston's African American history. The trail includes 14 sites and notable structures like the African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School, the first building in the nation constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school. For those interested in the enduring narrative of American history and civil rights, this trail is a profound and educational journey.

Boston: Castle Island

What is it?
A 22-acre urban park situated on a peninsula boasting historical sites, beaches, and stunning ocean views.
Why you should go?
Castle Island anchors visitors in the present while echoing the past. Home to Fort Independence, a former military fortification, the island provides rich history lessons along with ample space for jogging, fishing, or simply soaking in the tranquil ocean vistas. Offering a unique blend of recreational activities and historical exploration, it epitomizes the multifaceted Boston activities available to travelers who enjoy the outdoors.

Boston: Boston Harbor Islands State Park

What is it?
A collection of islands offering a host of outdoor activities and scenic natural landscapes just offshore from Boston.
Why you should go?
Accessible by ferry, these islands invite adventure seekers to hike, camp, explore historic lighthouses, and discover wartime fortifications. Boston Harbor Islands State Park is an idyllic destination for those looking to escape the hustle of the city and immerse themselves in nature's quietude. The islands provide an unparalleled perspective of the city's skyline and a refreshing maritime escape among the best things to do in Boston.

Boston: The Skywalk Observatory

What is it?
An observatory at the top of the Prudential Center providing unparalleled 360-degree views of the Boston skyline.
Why you should go?
For stunning city views, the Skywalk Observatory is unmatched. As Boston's only sky-high vantage point, visitors can soak up the sweeping vistas and spot famous landmarks from above. The observatory also features exhibits about Boston's history and culture, making it a multifaceted attraction that's both informative and awe-inspiring. It's a perfect spot for couples, photographers, or anyone wishing to gaze upon the city through a unique lens.

Boston: Beacon Hill

What is it?
A historic neighborhood known for its Federal-style rowhouses, narrow streets, and gaslit lamps.
Why you should go?
Beacon Hill is synonymous with Boston's antique charm. Strolling through its brick sidewalks takes visitors back to the city's noble past, with impeccably preserved architecture and the gold-domed Massachusetts State House. As a residential area, it exudes a warm sense of community and history. Explore Acorn Street, often cited as 'the most photographed street in America,' and don't miss the quaint boutiques and eateries lining Charles Street for a glimpse into local life.

Boston: The Paul Revere House

What is it?
The colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere, famous for his midnight ride in 1775.
Why you should go?
Located in the North End, this National Historic Landmark transports visitors to the eve of the American Revolution. The Paul Revere House offers insight into the domestic life of the Revere family and the early history of Boston. Engaging storytelling and preserved artifacts make this visit not just informative, but also a true step through time. It's an essential stop for history buffs and anyone fascinated by America's quest for freedom.

Boston: The Boston Public Library

What is it?
A magnificent institution celebrated for its vast collections, stunning architecture, and artful murals.
Why you should go?
Considered the 'Palace of the People,' the Boston Public Library is more than a repository of books. Its marvelous courtyards, grand halls, and intricate murals by famed artists such as John Singer Sargent make it a sanctuary for the arts. Visitors can partake in free tours, appreciate the tranquil Bates Hall, or find solace in the library's leafy courtyard. It's a cultural touchstone and an oasis of knowledge and beauty in the heart of the city.

Boston: The Esplanade

What is it?
A scenic waterside park along the Charles River, perfect for outdoor activities and relaxation.
Why you should go?
The Esplanade is Boston's recreational haven where joggers, cyclists, and families convene for active fun and leisurely picnics, with the serene Charles River providing a picturesque backdrop. Summer brings free concerts at the Hatch Shell, and the park's pathways offer some of the most beautiful views of the Boston skyline, especially during the sunset. It's a delightful slice of nature within the urban landscape, beloved by locals and tourists alike.

Boston: Old North Church

What is it?
An iconic, historical church famous for its role in the American Revolution with the 'One if by land, two if by sea' signal.
Why you should go?
As one of the pivotal sites on the Freedom Trail, the Old North Church is interwoven with the fabric of American history. Its steeple towered over the events of April 18, 1775, when lanterns warned of British troop movements, igniting the Revolutionary War. Today, visitors can explore this active Episcopal church, admire its grand architecture, and reflect on the courage and tenacity of the early patriots. It's a place where the past echoes in the present.

TOP-5 tours in Boston for first time visitors

  • Delve into the American Revolution with the Freedom Trail audio tour, a captivating guide through 16 historically significant sites that shaped the nation's history.
  • Discover the elegance of Back Bay with an architectural tour, highlighting the splendid Victorian brownstones and cultural institutions that line the picturesque streets.
  • Uncover the secrets of the North End, Boston's Little Italy, where the audio tour weaves tales of the past amidst the aroma of fresh pastries and espresso.
  • Revel in the artistic masterpieces at the Museum of Fine Arts with an audio tour that provides insights into one of the most comprehensive art collections in the world.
  • Stroll along the Boston Harborwalk, enjoy the ocean breeze, and learn about the city's maritime history with a waterfront audio tour that showcases stunning views and engaging narratives.

Fun things to do in Boston with kids

Exploring Boston with kids opens doors to a world of excitement and learning. The Boston Children's Museum is a standout choice, offering interactive exhibits that engage young minds in the arts, culture, and science. Its hands-on approach is perfectly tailored for curious explorers. Science takes a fun twist at the Museum of Science, where live presentations and dynamic exhibits, such as a walk-through butterfly garden and an indoor lightning storm, dazzle children and adults alike. Lastly, no family trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the New England Aquarium. Kids will be enchanted by the colorful marine life, from the playful penguins to the mysterious deep-sea creatures, and the opportunity to touch friendly rays and sharks. Together, these attractions provide lively and educational outings that rank among the best things to do in Boston with kids.

Things to do in Boston with family

Boston weaves together the fabric of American history with modern-day fun, making it great for families. The historic USS Constitution Museum brings naval history to life, where interactive exhibits prompt visitors of all ages to furl a sail or swing in a hammock. Then, set course for a Swan Boat ride in the lush Public Garden, where elegance and nature blend in a tranquil city escape. For a quirky educational adventure, venture into the peculiarities at the Mapparium—an three-story, stained-glass globe that visitors walk inside, offering a unique perspective of the world. Exploring these diverse attractions provides a journey through time and imagination, proving Boston teems with family-friendly activities that educate, inspire, and entertain.

Free things to do in Boston

Boston is abundant with activities that are rich in experience yet free of charge. Wander through the Boston Common and Public Garden, the heart of the city's green space, perfect for picnics, sightseeing, and seasonal events such as outdoor theater. History enthusiasts can travel back in time along the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile route that passes through 16 historic sites, narrating Boston’s revolutionary story at no cost. Additionally, art lovers can appreciate the stunning murals and seasonal exhibitions at the Boston Public Library, also offering free guided tours of its revered architecture and art collections. These attractions showcase the generous spirit of Boston, where the best things in life—and in travel—are indeed free.

Cheap things to do in Boston

Boston caters to budget-conscious explorers with a myriad of inexpensive yet enriching experiences. Savor the majesty of the city by visiting the Bunker Hill Monument, where climbing to the top costs nothing and offers spectacular views of the Boston skyline. Art aficionados can take advantage of the "pay what you wish" entry fee on Wednesday evenings at the Museum of Fine Arts, exploring vast collections that range from ancient relics to contemporary masterpieces. For a taste of local culture, the Samuel Adams Brewery tour presents an affordable option, including samplings of the iconic Boston brew. Each offers a memorable endeavor into the heart of the city's history, culture, and spirit, ensuring that affordable options are among the things to do in Boston.

Things to do in Boston for couples

Boston's romantic allure provides a perfect backdrop for couples. Begin your journey with a scenic walk along the Charles River Esplanade, where breathtaking views and bench-lined paths offer moments of serene connection. For those looking to immerse themselves in culture, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, with its Venetian-style courtyard and tapestry-filled rooms, provides an intimate setting for art appreciation. As evening falls, head to the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood and meander down its picturesque, gas-lit streets before settling into a cozy bistro. Each of these experiences merges the city's historic charm with intimate moments, making Boston a favored destination for couples seeking both tranquility and urban excitement.

Things to do in Boston at night

As dusk envelops the city, Boston reveals a vibrant nightlife scene brimming with activities. Lovers of the performing arts can catch a show in the renowned Theatre District, where a variety of productions—from Broadway hits to experimental theater—take stage nightly. For a blend of historical ambiance and culinary delight, a twilight stroll through the North End offers an array of Italian restaurants and pastry shops in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Couples or groups seeking a more relaxed experience can cap the evening with a visit to the Skywalk Observatory, where sweeping city views can be enjoyed from above. These attractions offer visitors the chance to experience the city's after-dark appeal, guaranteeing that night-time explorations are among the top things to do in Boston.