Bunker Hill Monument & Museum

The following post will cover details about where to find the Bunker Hill Monument, when you can visit the museum, and how to climb the structure.

It is free to visit and is one of the best things to do in Boston for free!

 

 


WHAT IS THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT?

At the end of the Freedom Trail sits the Bunker Hill Monument, a 221-foot tall granite obelisk marking the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. 

Fought on June 17, 1775, the battle itself wasn’t a victory for the colonists as the British troops took the hill after three bloody charges.

But it was a huge moral victory for the colonists, as it proved that they could inflict major casualties on their adversaries and stand tall against the mighty British Empire.  

The site is called Bunker Hill, even though most of the fighting actually took place at Breed’s Hill, which is where the monument actually stands. Bunker Hill is actually further north.

 

 

During the battle, one of the deadliest single battles of the American Revolution, the British suffered 226 killed and over 900 injured with many of the casualties being officers.  The Colonists took a casualty count of 139 killed and over 250 wounded. 

It was the Battle of Bunker Hill that gave birth to one of the most famous battle cries of the American Revolution, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes”, which was shouted that day as the colonists were running low on ammunition. 

It is debatable which colonial officer yelled this, but depending on which version you encounter, some sources credit General Israel Putnam or Colonel William Prescott.

Visitors can climb to the top of the monument and get a good view of the rest of the city. 

We cover how to get access to the monument in the section below.

 


HOW TO CLIMB THE MONUMENT

If you want to climb to the top of this attraction, head into the Bunker Hill Lodge that adjoins the Monument to request free passes.

Passes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Find out more information. from the Bunker Hill official website.

 

 

The Bunker Hill Monument is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, with the last entry to climb the monument at 4:30 pm.

There is no elevator to the top, so it’s a bit of a workout getting there. But climbing the 294 steps to the top is well worth it when you see the view!

 


WHAT TO SEE AT THE BUNKER HILL MUSEUM

The Bunker Hill Museum is at 43 Monument Square at the base of the Hill and is a great little museum.

The museum is part of the Boston National Historical Park, thus it is free to visit!

It is open every day from 10 am – 5 pm, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Upon entering the museum, you’ll see several displays that cover the history of Boston, Charlestown, and Bunker Hill.

 

Bunker Hill Museum

 

There are also some display cases with historic relics such as books, plates, and other items.

On the 2nd floor, you’ll find a diorama of the battle of Bunker Hill which recreates the conditions of the event using miniatures. 

In addition to that, there are also more displays and authentic artifacts including weapons used in the battle and other notable items.

If you look above the display cases and the historic information provided on the walls, you’ll see a mural stretching across the main room which depicts the battle of Bunker Hill.

 


HOW TO GET TO THE BUNKER HILL MONUMENT

The Bunker Hill Monument is located at the end of the Freedom Trail. It is about a 15-minute walk from the Copp’s Hill Burial Ground.

If you look at our self-guided Freedom Trail tour, you will see Bunker Hill Monument is Stop S.

Click on the map for a larger view.

Bunker Hill Map

 

While you can walk to the Monument easily by following the Freedom Trail, the best way to get there is by using the MBTA Water Shuttle

It is a short boat ride over to Charlestown, and you can enjoy what amounts to a quick, scenic harbor cruise along the way. It costs just $3.25 (free if you have an MBTA Subway Pass).

The shuttle departs from Boston’s Long Wharf (map) at the New England Aquarium and will whisk you over to Bunker Hill Monument in 10 minutes.

The Bunker Hill Monument is about a 5-minute walk from where the shuttle docks.

 


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About the author

Manager | Boston

Brian was born in Cambridge and has been living in the Boston area all his life. He is a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus.

He has been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on his tours, but with everyone he meets.