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Boston is a city of contrasts. This clean, green and highly walkable nugget of a city is urban and lush, studious and rowdy, diverse and segregated. The beauty of this cultural, intellectual and political nucleus of the Northeast region is only outdone by the spirit of its people.
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Go to Downtown Boston (or “Downtown Crossing” to locals) to get your shopping done. Here, you’ll find a nice mix of discount stores, high-end boutiques and everything in-between. For quality souvenirs, head to the historic Fanueil Hall Marketplace. Then, treat yourself to some “clam chowda” in a bread bowl at the bustling Quincy Market next door.Accommodations in Downtown Boston
What’s bald and blue all over? The long-running Blue Man Group show at the Charles Playhouse! Catch a show, or Wang or Cutler Majestic theatres to earn some cultural kudos. A tip for the students: on the day of a show, turn up at the theatre of your choice and join the line of young intelligentsia's clamouring for discounted tickets.Accommodations in Theater District
This humming district perfects a cultural waltz—Fenway Park brings you the rowdy fans and riotous nightlife, the concentration of university students provides a dose of worldly intellect and the cultural institutions such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Museum of Fine Arts contributes the cultural zest. The choice is yours!Accommodations in Fenway Kenmore
Want to hang with the cool kids? Go to Back Bay! With plenty to see and do, this trendy area can’t be missed. Start off your jaunt with brunch at Stephanie’s on Newbury before ambling down (preferably wearing a large pair of sunglasses) with the rest of the in-crowd. Then, get some dessert and nerd out at the indie Trident Booksellers and Cafe.Accommodations in Back Bay
If a sailor’s life is the life for you, don’t miss the Boston Harbour (pronounced “Bahston Hahbah” by locals). Munch on some saltwater taffy while ambling along the Harbourwalk. If you get sea sick, pull up a chair at one of the many waterfront seafood restaurants. Then, walk off the calories… on your way to a sticky bun at the Flour Bakery nearby!Accommodations in Waterfront
Ah Chinatown, come for the food, stay for the bustling energy and culture. As the most densely populated neighbourhood in Boston, Chinatown succeeds in delivering big city moxie without being too overwhelming. Try some pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), perfect on nippy New England nights. Then, have an adventure… there’s plenty to uncover here!Accommodations in Chinatown
Colonial row homes, brick sidewalks and idyllic gas lamps… welcome to Beacon Hill. Stroll through this picturesque neighbourhood for the traditional side of Bean town. Start at the Esplanade and take in the views of the Charles River before making your way to the nearby Gardens. For a cool keepsake, check out Regency Antiques on Charles Street.Accommodations in Beacon Hill
Impressive skyscrapers and suited up Bostonians make up most of the financial district, but more lies beneath for the persistent and curious traveller. Roll in some grass at the lovely Norman B. Levanthal Park or the Federal Reserve Plaza Parks before heading to “Biddy’s Early” — a beloved dive — for mozzarella sticks and a pitcher. Cheers!Accommodations in Financial District
Visit Charlestown for a refresher on American naval history. Home to the Boston Navy Yard, this district is perfect for maritime enthusiasts. If it’s dry dock, take a free tour of the U.S.S Constitution; lovingly referred to as ‘Old Ironsides’. Explore her deck, chat up the sailors and take in the salty breeze of yore.Accommodations in Charlestown
The North End conjures the sights, smells and sounds of old-world Italy. This historic area abounds with cozy restaurants serving up dishes straight out of grandma’s kitchen. For a delicious experience, indulge yourself at the popular Giacomos. Room for dessert? Family owned, Bova’s Bakery sells cannolis and other treats 24-hours a day!Accommodations in North End
A keen traveller and foodie, Glauce tried to tick off all the tourist sights while living in Boston.
Just off lively Harvard Square, this atmospheric brewpub traces some of its recipes back to John Harvard and William Shakespeare. Craft beers on tap range from light pale ales to rich stouts. It’s a great spot but gets packed whenever there’s a live band or one of their infamous quizzes.Accommodations nearby
A self-proclaimed history nerd, Sharia appreciates a quiet place to reflect and relax.
Situated in the Mary Eddy Baker Library, this three-storey stained glass globe allows you to take a walk through the world – literally! Stroll across the bridge and take in the spectacular sight. Afterwards, duck into the library for a quiet haven where you can relax with a good book.Accommodations nearby
While completing her studies in Boston, Jill became fond of both literature and breakfast foods.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to catch up on some reading or your stomach is growling for some breakfast, this indie bookshop-meets-café is the perfect spot to get cosy with a novel and plate of huevos rancheros. Check the schedule for a list of upcoming author readings.Accommodations nearby
Marc may be based in New York, but he holds Boston’s local eateries dear to his heart and stomach.
Belle Isle is located just outside Boston, but rest assured – the quick journey is worth it. You’ll be rewarded with possibly the most delicious lobster rolls in the city. Huge, lightly dressed and super fresh, these delectable seafood sandwiches are the best of the best.Accommodations nearby
Native Floridian Alejandra loves exploring Boston and finds the city’s rich history fascinating.
What could be more American than sipping a Sam Adams draught beer while looking out over the graves of Samuel Adams and other American Revolution War patriots? Just across the street from Boston Common, Beantown Pub is one of the few places in Boston where you can eat, drink and play pool.Accommodations nearby
Booking.com asked travelers...What seafood experience in Boston is still on your mind?
Quincy Market offers a long avenue of food stalls. Amongst them you can find several selling lobster tail roll. I went for the daily special at the Boston Chowda Co. - a lobster tail roll with a side of soup or chowda. I can definitely recommend their New England Clam Chowda. I went back on my last day for seconds it was that good. Further afield in the North End you can find a host of Italian restaurants serving up seafood. I took the guide book's recommendation and tried Giacomo's on Hanover Street: busy, tightly packed tables, yet incredibly friendly and offering generous portions (albeit standard by America measures) of some lovely pasta with your choice of seafood and sauce. Expect to queue, but its worth it. Decent price too.See all 18 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
United States of America
We went to Lolitas Cocina and Tequila Bar for tapas on Darmouth near Newbury. This place is dark and moody and romantic. Come early, the place is really busy with locals. The appetizers were really filling, drinks were great.See all 14 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Did the theater performances in Boston live up to their reputation?
We have seen Blue Man Group several times, with different grandchildren, and are never disappointed. Entertainment experiences are generally good, with shows featured at the Opera House consistently very good.See all 7 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Why do people say Boston can be seen best by foot?
Everything is accessibe and lost if you pay to do a tour.I do recommend the fab duck tour to get your bearings and have funSee all 9 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What's the best way to make the most of Boston by foot?
Get a map from boston common info and do the freedom trail and a good way to get your bearingsSee all 7 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...How can you enjoy the sights in Boston while avoiding the crowds?
Take public transportation and walk.See all 12 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What is it in Boston that makes history come to life?
So much to see & admireSee all 45 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Which fine art museums should a first-time visitor to Boston start with?
Boston MuseumSee all 27 answers
Logan International Airport is located about 4 km east of the city centre. The most convenient way to reach central Boston is via the Silver Line Bus. The free service takes 15 minutes to reach South Station, where you can connect to the Red Line subway or the Commuter Rail. There are also free shuttle buses to Airport Station on the Blue Line subway. Alternatively, taxi stands can be found outside the airport, with rates starting at around USD 25 plus tip.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) commuter rail connects travellers to points of interest outside the Boston metropolitan area, including Rockport and Providence (both around 1 hour 15 minutes away) and Worcester (1 hour 40 minutes). Trains depart from North Station and South Station and fares range from USD 2.10 to USD 11.50, depending on the number of zones you travel through. Online train timetables can be found on the MBTA website.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) runs a comprehensive bus system throughout Boston. Bus stop listings and timetables can be found on the MBTA website. You can pay in cash upon boarding (USD 2.10) or with a single-use CharlieTicket (USD 2.65) available from touchscreen machines in subway stations. Alternatively, rechargeable CharlieCard smartcards are available from select subway stations – these reduce the price to USD 1.60 per bus ride.
Taxis are relatively easy to find in Boston city centre during the day, both on the street and at taxi stands. However, it becomes more difficult to find a cab late at night after the subway shuts down. Boston taxis also have some of the highest fares in the United States and are subject to frequent traffic congestion along the city's narrow, one-way roads. If you’re a smartphone user, one alternative is to download the 'Uber' app and arrange a car to pick you up.
Known as the T, the Boston subway is one of the USA’s oldest and is still the most efficient way to get around. Its colour-coded lines start between 05:00–06:00 and run until 02:00–03:00 (check MBTA website for details). A single-journey CharlieTicket costs USD 2.65 from the touchscreen machines found in the subway stations. Rechargeable CharlieCard smartcards are also available at select stations (listed on the MBTA website) and cut the price per trip to USD 2.10.
Due to high traffic congestion and an abundance of one-way, narrow and seemingly meandering roads, driving in Boston is generally not recommended. If you do decide to drive in Boston, proceed with caution – the city is infamous for its rather aggressive drivers. In addition, on-street parking can be difficult to find, while fees run high for private car parks.
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