25 Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts [With Photos]

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor June 2nd, 2021 Posted in North America Travel Blog, Travel Blog No comments

Boston is the Massachusetts Commonwealth’s capital and its most populous city. It’s a city with a rich history, from the American Revolution to the very first public school. Boston has something for everyone in various neighborhoods, be it of arts, culture, history, and education.

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by todd kent

There are a lot of things to do in Boston, and you might get confused about where to go first. However, we’re here to help you out to know what the top activities you should be doing are. Here are the 25 Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts.

1. Walk the Freedom Trail

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Jennifer Boyer CC BY-ND 2.0

Go on a self-guided Freedom Trail tour, where you will see 16 historical sites in Boston.  The trail winds between Boston Common and the Bunker Hill Monument and is marked mainly by brick. The stops include graveyards, remarkable churches and buildings, and a historic naval warship. If only for a day, this is the main top thing to do in Boston.

Suggested Tour: Boston Freedom Trail Walking Tour with Costumed Guide

2. Watch a Red Sox Game

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0

 

Have a tour in Fenway Park, is the Major League Baseball’s oldest ballpark and coined as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.” See a Red Sox game, Boston’s baseball team. Cheer with the locals and try sitting at the lone red seat.

Suggested Tour: Tour of Historic Fenway Park, America’s Most Beloved Ballpark

3. Tour inside the Museum of Fine Arts

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0

The fifth biggest museum in the United States of America is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.  It is one of the largest art collection in the world as it includes over 450,000 art pieces. Highlights include the collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt, French, Chinese, and Japanese art.

4. Eat your heart out at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by 6SN7 CC BY 2.0

The marketplace located in downtown Boston is a bustling complex of exciting shops and tasty food stalls. However, they don’t only feed you food; they feed you history too. You will wish you have more time to spend here.

Suggested Tour: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour

5. Ride a swan boat at the Public Garden

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0

In the core of Boston is the Boston Public Garden, a large park. You could see ducks and swans in the pond during the hot seasons. During warm seasons you could see ducks and swans in the pond. It will be a great experience if you ride the Swan Boats too. You can also find several historical statues in the Public Garden.

Suggested Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour PLUS Beacon Hill to Copley Square, Back Bay

6. See Boston at Skywalk Observatory

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Navaneeth KN CC BY 2.0

On the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower is the Skywalk Observatory. It’s New England’s highest observation deck open to the public.  If you are in love with the view, go on the 52nd floor and eat at the restaurant there.

Suggested Tour: Boston Super Saver: Duck Boat Tour & Skywalk Observatory

7. Know more about JFK in JFK Library and Museum

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0

In this museum and library, relive the Kennedy era. Your tour begins with a short film, and you will be able to explore the area. It is a wonderful exhibition about his life; you get to see his campaign posters and desk. A plus factor is that it is located near the sea; so find a book and appreciate the view.

8. Stroll the streets of North End

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0

Boston’s oldest neighborhood is the North End, filled with Italian charm. Stroll the cobblestone streets and take in the architecture of the buildings and the aromas of delicious food. It’s Little Italy in the US, so be sure to check out Italian Restaurants and Pasty shops here. Be ready to be charmed by this quaint spot.   

Suggested Tour: Boston City View Bicycle Tour: See Fenway Park, North End, Back Bay, and More

9. Roam around the Boston Common

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Bill Ilott CC BY 2.0

The Common is America’s oldest city park. In this park is Central Burying Ground that includes the tombs of artist Gilbert Stuart and composer William Billings. Feel like a kid in Frog Pond spray pool during spring and fall or learn to skate on winters.

Suggested Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour in Boston

10. Go inside the Massachusetts State House

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0

Architectural / Historical Tour and Legislative Process Tour are provided by the statehouse. There are also brochures that explain the State House’s background and the passage of legislation. Because of its architectural significance, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Suggested Tour: Boston Classic: Duck Boat Sightseeing Tour

11. Join the adventure at Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Robert Linsdell CC BY 2.0

This floating museum will give you an experience of a lifetime. There are live actors, high-tech and interactive exhibits; it will make you feel you are part of the history. You will learn a lot about American history without getting bored. It’s is a memorable thing in Boston.

Suggested Tour: Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

12. See a show at the Boston Opera House

Originally a movie place, this is now a performing arts venue and home to the Opera Company of Boston. It is also a place for Boston Ballet and some Broadway shows. Be sure to search the schedule and witness a spectacle.

13. Enjoy sunset at Back Bay

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by EandJsFilmCrew CC BY-ND 2.0

This beautiful neighborhood is best known for its Victorian brownstones, the public library, and exquisite hotels. Take a walk and enjoy the view at this marina. Go to this place to see the beautiful sunset.

Suggested Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail Walking Tour PLUS Beacon Hill to Copley Square, Back Bay

14. Visit Paul Revere House

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Eric Lumsden CC BY-ND 2.0

Foreigners might not know who this guy is, but Paul Revere is a patriot in the American Revolution. He was best known for his midnight trip to warn the colonial militia of British forces in April 1775. Look inside his house and learn more about his story.

Suggested Tour: Boston’s Freedom Trail Self-guided Tour

15. Find your country at the Mapparium

Located in the Mary Baker Library, go to one of Boston’s hidden gem. The Mapparium is a three-story globe with brilliant colors and lights. It will give you another perspective of the world and a great feeling. Though there’s a fee, it’s worth it!

16. Know the significance of the Old North Church

Officially called Christ Church in Boston City, this is where the signal was sent “One if by land, two if by sea.” The church is a mission of the Massachusetts Episcopal Diocese. Built in 1723, it is Boston’s oldest standing church building. George Washington’s bust is inside the church, and Paul Revere’s statue is outside.

Suggested Tour: North End History & Pizza Walking Tour with Admission to Old North Church

17. Get ready to drink at Samuel Adams Brewery

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Brandon Turner CC BY 2.0

There is a free tour at Samuel Adams Brewery where you get to know and try a couple of beers. It’s about an hour half is spent on the brewery while half on tasting the beer. Make a speedy trip as this is a free thing to do in Boston. Alternatively, if you have more time, spend it leisurely here but prepare for an Uber on your way home.

Suggested Tour: Boston Guided Brewery Tour with Tastings, plus Lunch or Dinner

18. Shop at Newbury Street

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Karen Cox CC BY-SA 2.0

This scenic street is filled with designer shops, retail shops, and restaurants. Shops are in brownstone buildings that make it look classy. Whatever you’re looking for, you will find it at Newbury Street.

19. Learn more at the Museum of Science

Boston's Museum of Science
Photo by massmatt CC BY 2.0

See a 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil up close, encounter an indoor lightning storm and walk among butterflies in the Museum of Science. There is always something for everyone with about 700 interactive exhibits, daily presentations, and hands-on activities. You’ll gain not only more knowledge but also have fun.

Suggested Tour: Museum of Science Boston Skip-The-Line Admission

20. Try Cannoli at Mike’s pastry

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Mr.TinDC CC BY-ND 2.0

At the north end, you might see people lining up in a shop; it’s probably at Mike’s pastry. The Cannoli from this shop is a must thing to eat when in Boston. It costs $3.50 each, but your taste buds will be delighted to find out what’s the hype

Suggested Tour: Cocktails & Cannoli

21. Read at the Boston Public Library

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Harshil Shah CC BY-ND 2.0

Libraries are great, but amazing historical libraries are marvelous. The architecture of the Boston Public Library rivals that of New York. It has a beautiful courtyard too. Visit the map room or read a book in its gorgeous reading room.

22. Discover Marine life at New England Aquarium

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Jorge Cancela CC BY 2.0

The aquarium is one of the top things to do in Boston. You can gently touch rays and sharks as they swim through. Meet different species of penguins or say hi to a hermit crab. Be in awe of the Caribbean coral reed exhibit with about a thousand marine animals.

Suggested Tour: New England Aquarium Skip-The-Line Admission

23. Aboard the USS Constitution

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Eric Kilby CC BY-SA 2.0

This sailing ship was launched in 1797 and is the oldest commission warship afloat. See the quarters, facilities and canons of the navy. If you have any question, feel free to ask the personnel; they are knowledgeable and friendly.

24. Unwind at Castle Island

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Kristin “Shoe” Shoemaker CC BY-ND 2.0

An Island though now connected by a narrow strip of land, was once a Fort. Walk along and watch planes land at the airport. You can also swim, eat, or tour the Fort of independence.

Suggested Tour: Boston Odyssey Dinner Cruise

25. Check out the Old State House

Things to do in Boston, Massachusetts
Photo by Céline Harrand Public Domain

Relive the excitement of the American Revolution at the Old Statehouse. With engaging programs and interactive exhibits, you wouldn’t get bored. The Statehouse is one of America’s oldest and most historic colonial buildings.  

Suggested Tour: Old State House Boston Museum Admission

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it safe to travel to Boston?

Boston is a safe city. However, as a precaution, you should always stick to tourist and well-populated areas. Look after your belongings too. Travel with others during the night. However, in case of emergencies, dial 911.

2. Should I get travel insurance before heading to Boston?

I always recommend buying travel insurance since we don’t know what will happen to us. Check out SafetyWing, my insurance provider.

3. Is it expensive in Boston for tourists?

Boston is expensive in the US; the hotels are costly due to low supply but high demand. It is also because of tourist destinations and a vast number of colleges and universities. So prepare your budget in this bustling city.

4. When is the best time to visit Boston?

The best time to visit Boston is from May to June (for spring) or September to October (fall), as the weather is excellent and pleasant for walking. You could also catch a Red sox game on those times. May (graduation) and October (back-to-school) are peak seasons, so prices are higher and tourist spots might be crowded. July and August are hot, so it’s not quite expensive.

5. Where should I stay in Boston?

Back Bay is a highly recommended place, though it’s quite expensive you will get the best shopping and only a few walks from significant sites. If you love history, try going to the North End.

6. What souvenirs should I buy in Boston?

You can buy a Red Sox items, mainly the ball cap and pack-up a cannoli too.

7. Are there any great places near Boston?

For those who like to do an unusual thing, go to Salem; a place to know about witchcraft. Cambridge is also a few minutes’ drives; so check out famous universities there.

8. How to get to Boston?

Boston Logan International Airport, also known as “Logan,” has direct flights to local United States destinations and international flights to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

9. How to get around Boston?

Boston has buses and commuter rails to get all over the city. There’s also a subway.

I hope you have enough time for these 25 things to do in Boston. Happy Travels!

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]

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