Best Lobster Places in Boston

Looking for the best lobster, lobster roll, or seafood places in Boston? Well, you are in the right place. 

This post will provide suggestions for the best locations in Beantown that serve Lobster and Lobster roll.

Let’s take a bite! Read more »

Best Boston Attractions

Places to Visit in Boston

In this post, we will provide lists of every major attraction in Boston.

In addition to covering specific neighborhoods, we will also include attractions that are free, open after dark or family-friendly.

Let’s get started!

 

 


ATTRACTIONS ON THE FREEDOM TRAIL

This section will focus on all of the notable and historic attractions you can see on the Freedom Trail.

If you’re interested in taking the trek, consider taking our pay-what-you-wish Freedom Trail walking tour.

We also offer a free self-guided walking tour that you can use to learn about the sites listed below!

In addition to the Freedom Trail, there is also a Black Heritage Trail located nearby which covers a lot of notable sites from throughout the African-American history of Boston.


BOSTON MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES

The following section will include all of the great museums and art galleries you can visit in Boston.

We will also provide a list of each location that is included with a tourist pass.

 

 


Museums

Gibson House Museum

  • Historic 19th-century house of the Gibson family.

Museum of African American History

  • Site of the African Meeting House & Abiel Smith School.

Nichols House Museum

  • 19th-century house named after Rose Standish Nichols.

Dreamland Wax Museum

  • Museum full of wax figures based on historic characters.

The Sports Museum

  • Non-profit sports museum located at TD Garden.

Boston Fire Museum

  • Museum with historic firefighting artifacts.

The Russell Museum

  • Museum of medical history at Mass. General Hospital.

The Ether Dome

  • Historic 19th-century surgical operating amphitheater.

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

  • Floating museum w/ multimedia exhibits & live re-enactments.

USS Constitution Museum

  • Museum covering the history of “Old Ironsides.”

Bunker Hill Museum

  • Museum focused on the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Waterworks Museum

  • Museum covering Boston’s original water system.

Commonwealth Museum

  • Museum about the history of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Historical Society

  • Archive documenting Massachusetts’ history.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute

  • Museum covering the role of the Senate in US Government.

Warren Anatomical Museum

  • Museum with anatomical and pathological exhibits.

Museums Included with Tourist Pass


Art Galleries


Art Galleries Included with Tourist Pass

If you’re curious about which locations offer free admission, make sure to read our post covering free Boston museums.

It’s also worth noting that several of these locations offer discounted admission with Boston tourist passes.

 


ATTRACTIONS OPEN AFTER DARK

If you’re looking for places you can visit after the sun goes down, this section will cover Boston attractions that are open at night.

We list the attractions by category, but many belong in multiple areas.

 

 

For even more activities you can enjoy after dark, check our full post about things to do at night in Boston.


Free Nighttime Attractions

  • Original Cheers Bar
    • The bar which inspired the hit television show Cheers.
    • Open until 11 pm each night.
  • Boston Fire Museum
    • A museum with historic firefighting artifacts.
    • Open until 8 pm on Friday nights.
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
    • Museum with a variety of historic artwork.
    • Open until 9 pm on Thursday nights.
  • Samuel Adams Brewery
    • The location where Samuel Adams beer is brewed.
    • Specialty tours as late as 6 pm.
    • Taproom & shop open until 8 pm Mon-Sat.
  • Night Shift Brewery
    • The location where Night Shift beer is brewed.
    • Tours and events as late as 1 am.
  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace
    • Historic marketplace and meeting place in downtown Boston.
    • Open until 9 pm, some shops open even later.
  • The Hatch Shell
    • A public outdoor venue at the Esplanade.
    • Events as late as 11 pm from April-September.
  • Coit Observatory
    • Observatory at the Boston University in Fenway.
    • Free public hours on Wednesday nights at 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
  • Top of the Hub
    • Restaurant at the top of Prudential Center with nice views.
    • Open until 11 pm on Fri – Sat, 10 pm every other night.

Family-Friendly Nighttime Attractions

  • Skywalk Observatory
    • Popular Observation Deck in the Back Bay neighborhood.
    • Open until 10 pm every night of the week.
  • Museum of Science
    • Science museum and indoor zoo spanning Charles River.
    • Open until 9 pm on Friday nights.
  • Boston Children’s Museum
    • Museum with hands-on exhibits for kids.
    • Open until 9 pm on Friday nights.
  • Coolidge Corner Theatre
    • Historic movie theater in the Brookline neighborhood.
    • Movie screenings as late as midnight throughout the week.
  • Prudential Center
    • A large shopping center in the Back Bay neighborhood.
    • Open until 9 pm every night except Sunday.
  • Museum of Fine Arts
    • Large art museum with over 450,000 pieces of art.
    • Open until 10 pm from Wed – Fri each week.
  • Boston Athenaeum
    • Library with a collection of 100,000+ paintings.
    • Open until 8 pm Mon – Thur each week.
  • Ghosts & Gravestones Bus Tour
    • A ghost tour which visits 4 different haunted locations.
    • Runs until 9 pm each night.

Stadiums/Theaters/Venues

  • Fenway Park
    • Historic baseball stadium and home of the Red Sox.
    • Several games at 7 pm throughout the season.
  • TD Garden
    • Popular stadium and home of the Celtics/Bruins.
    • Several games and concerts begin from 5 pm – 8 pm.
  • Boston Opera House
    • Early 20th-century opera house in downtown Boston.
    • Many concerts begin at 7 pm – 8 pm throughout the year.
  • Berklee Performance Center
    • Theater at the Berklee College of Music.
    • Some performances begin early in the evening at 7 pm.
  • Boston Symphony Hall
    • 20th-century venue built for Boston Symphony Orchestra.
    • Many concerts begin at 7 pm – 8 pm throughout the year.
  • Paradise Rock Club
    • Popular music venue in the Fenway neighborhood.
    • Several concerts begin at about 7 pm – 8 pm.

Some of these locations are always open after dark, but others have limited hours at night.

For more details about when you can visit each of these sites at night, check our list of museums & attractions with late hours.


FREE ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES TO GO

This section will provide a list of locations that offer free admission.

 

 

Most of these attractions are free to visit every day of the week, but some are only free for a limited time.

If you’re looking for even more activities that won’t cost a dime, make sure to read our full post covering what to do in Boston for free.


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS

In this section, we will provide a list of locations you can visit with your children. 

For even more family-friendly fun, read our full post about what to do with kids in Boston.

 

 

If you want to learn more about some of the things you can see and do at these locations, make sure to check our post about free things to do with your family and kid-friendly nighttime attractions.

We also have a list of family-friendly restaurants in Boston to help you find a place to eat that even the kids will enjoy!

 


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DAY TRIP ATTRACTIONS

In addition to all the great places to see in Boston, there are also a lot of wonderful sites and attractions within a short distance from the city.

 

 

Here are some of the best locations to visit on a day trip from Boston:

Boston is also close enough to other states that you can actually visit sites such as New York City, Philadelphia and even Niagara Falls quite easily by plane and train.

 


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ATTRACTIONS BY NEIGHBORHOOD

This section will provide a breakdown of all the major attractions you can visit in each neighborhood of Boston.

 

 

Just skip ahead to the neighborhood you’re in for a list full of things to see and do!


Downtown


Bunker Hill/Charlestown


Back Bay/Fenway


Cambridge/Somervile


South Boston Waterfront/South End


Brookline/Newton/Chestnut Hill

 


ATTRACTIONS INCLUDED IN TOURIST PASSES

In this section, we will cover all of the different attractions you can visit using a Boston tourist pass.

 

 

We will include subsections for each pass to make it easier for you to pick the right service.

Go Boston Card

Boston CityPASS

For more details, visit our post about Boston tourist passes


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Boston Tourist Passes

Boston Tourist Passes | Which One is the Best to Buy?

This post provides a comparison of the various Boston tourist attraction discount passes to help you decide which one, if any, is right for you.

 

 


BEFORE YOU BUY

We have broken down the tourist passes by type.  There are several to choose from. 

Prepackaged passes choose the places that you will see (think of a set-menu dinner with some variations). 



Other passes, such as the Explorer Pass let you choose 3 or 5 attractions from a menu of 19 attractions and tours. 

The Go Boston Pass is an all-inclusive pass that includes 41 options (think of an all you can eat buffet). 

There is also a pass that lets you build your own number of attractions, be it 1, 2, 3, or more (think à la carte). 

Lastly, several bus and trolley companies offer their own combo packages.

 

 

Go Boston Card All Inclusive

 

If at first glance the tourist passes seem too pricey, be sure to calculate the estimated cost of visiting all the attractions you hope to see.

But, when properly planned, these tourist passes can actually save you a lot of time and money. 

We recommend deciding on what you want and have time to do it first before choosing which pass you would like.

 

Boston Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

 

In other words, don’t necessarily let the pass decide for you where to go.

We’ve broken down the details of two of the most popular companies offering tourist passes — Boston CityPass and Go Boston Pass — to help you decide which pass is the right fit for you.

As you look at the variety of options keep in mind your budget, interests, and stamina.

Everyone’s tastes are a little different, so not all packages are right for all people.


Remember Our Tours

Don’t forget about all our “name your own price” walking tours of the city! For a full list of our tours offered, check out our calendar.

 


PREPACKAGED PASSES

These are pre-built packages that give you discounted access to several different attractions for a one-time fee.

With these packages, you are guaranteed to save between 30%-43% and can visit each place once over a 30 day time period.

Prepackaged passes are great if you know what you want to do before you arrive.

The savings per attraction are on the high end for tourist passes, however, if you have more interests, you might find better savings overall with the other discount pass options.


CITY PASS 

The CityPass is a booklet of 4 admission tickets that can save you 43% off ticket prices to Boston’s top attractions and lets you skip the long lines at the front door.

 

 

Attraction Admissions Included in the Boston CityPass:


Prices

  • $64 – Adult (full admission costs $111.54)
  • $52 – Child (ages 3-11) (full admission costs $87.34)
  • Free – Child age 2 and under

For the CityPass, we suggest that you purchase tickets online.

Once you buy, you can show your tickets on your mobile device at the gate and get fast VIP entrance. Easy!


Benefits of the CityPass

If you have ample time in Boston and intend on visiting all of the attractions listed, then the CityPass is a great way to explore on a budget.

The 9-day time frame makes the pass perfect for anyone planning a long trip.  

Also, the opportunity to skip lines could potentially be a huge time saver, especially if visiting Boston during the busy months.

However, if you are pressed for time or not particularly interested in all 4 attractions, it might be better to look elsewhere.

Things to consider before buying the Boston CityPass

Traveling with kids? Some museums offer discounts to children under the age of 18. For example, The Museum of Fine Arts is $25 for adults, but $10 for those 7-17 and free for ages 6 and under.

Also, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is $12 for adults but $8 for those 18 and under. 


GO CITY BOSTON ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS

Go Boston Pass is another fantastic company that offers 3 different options for tourist discount packages in Boston.

The first is all-inclusive and based on the number of days, while the second and third options let you build your own experiences. Each offers unique perks, so be sure to read about each.  

 

 

All passes come with a risk-free, money-back guarantee. If your plans change or you do not activate your pass(es) within one year, you get a full refund, no questions asked. 

They also offer great discounts on specific attractions.

Rather than buy a pass for a specific number of days, Go Boston Pass also allows you to purchase passes that give you entry into a certain number of popular sites for a discounted rate. 


All Inclusive Pass: Go Boston Pass

The Go Boston Pass is a pass designed to give you discounts of up to 55% on 43 different attractions, from museums to tours, customizable for 1, 2, 3, 5, or 7 days. These days are consecutive.

This kind of pass is a great option if you plan to visit a number of attractions on a given number of days.

The more days you choose, the more value you can extract out of each day.


All-Inclusive Pass Pricing

NOTE: The prices listed below are full retail prices. Discounts are often available, so be sure to check out their website.

Prices:

  • $63 – Adult 1 Day Pass ($42 – Child 12 & under)
  • $96 – Adult 2 Day Pass ($71 – Child 12 & under)
    • $48/day/adult and $35/day/child
  • $140 – Adult 3 Day Pass* ($95 – Child 12 & under)
    • $47/day/adult and $32/day/child
  • $186 – Adult 5 Day Pass* ($139 – Child 12 & under)
    • $37/day/adult and $28/day/child
  • $224 – Adult 7 Day Pass* ($164 – Child 12 & under)
    • $32/day/adult and $24/day/child

BONUS!

Premium attraction admission is included with a 3, 5, and 7-day pass. Choose from Boston Duck Tours, New England Aquarium Whale Watch, or a Boston Red Sox Ticket.

We recommend that you purchase the Go Boston Pass online. The Pass is activated when you visit your first attraction.

Pro Tips:

To make the best use of the Go Boston Pass, you’ll need to plan your day’s itinerary.

Luckily, you’ll get a guidebook with your order that helps with planning.

The guidebook also includes restaurant suggestions and is a great tool for planning your exploration of Boston.

See a full list of attraction discounts included here.

Calculate Cost Per Hour:

You need to calculate the cost per hour of each tour and attraction to make sure that you are getting the best value possible.

Be Realistic:

Likewise, the suggested amount of time for each attraction and tour is usually the best case scenario.

You may very well find that you need more time than is indicated and you may experience fewer options than you planned.

You need to calculate travel time between attractions as well as time for lunch and dinner.  

 


Explorer Go Boston Pass

Unlike the All-Inclusive Pass, the Explorer Pass lets you choose either a 3, 4, or 5 attraction bundle to see over 30 days that can save you up to 35% on admission.

 

Boston Explorer Pass

 

The Explorer Pass has only 21 attractions and tours to choose from compared to 41 for the All-Inclusive Pass. 

However, like the All-Inclusive Pass, there’s no need to decide what you will see before you arrive in Boston.  

You will like this pass if you are certain that you want to see at least 3 of the attractions listed on their website, but don’t want to feel pressure to have to visit as many things as possible to get the value out of your pass. 

If your plans change or you do not activate your pass(es) within one year, you get a full refund, no questions asked.


Explorer Pass Prices:

NOTE: The prices listed below are full retail prices. Discounts are often available, so be sure to check out their website.

  • $78/Adult, $53 Child (3-12) (3 Choices)
  • $109/Adult, $72 Child (3-12) (4 Choices)
  • $134/Adult, $88 Child (3-12) (5 Choices)

To explore this Explorer Pass option, click here.

Pro Tips:

The 35% savings is probably the very best you could get by choosing the most expensive options.

As we wrote previously, it’s probably a mistake to let the pass dictate what you will do. 

The Explorer Pass offers just 1/2 of the attractions and tours that All-Inclusive Pass offers, so be sure to take a look at what is available before deciding on either.


Build Your Own (2+ Attractions) Boston Pass

If you know the places you want to visit and are looking for a discount, check out the Build Your Own Boston Pass from Go Boston.

Choose 2+ attractions and receive discounts of up to 20% on admission (think – à la carte). 

 

 

In some ways, this pass is the middle ground between the two previously mentioned Go Boston passes.

The build your own option lets you decide how many options to choose but also has more options than the all-inclusive pass. 

The drawback here is that your savings are will likely be lower, no more than 20%.   


Before You Buy:

This pass option offers less of a discount but is a good deal if you plan on only visiting a few attractions during your Boston visit.

It’s also a good option if the attractions that you choose are not expensive enough to justify the cost of the Explorer Pass.

The price for this pass varies based on the attractions you select, and the number of people in your party.

Click here to see the options of the Build Your Own Boston Pass.

 


Bus/Trolley Packages

If you’d prefer a bus or trolley tour, there are several different packages to choose from as well.

Each of the 3 tours explores different aspects of Boston including a general history of the city, the Boston Tea Party, and Boston’s haunted history.

These are a great way to maximize your time in the city if you’re only in Boston for a few days.

Each offers great savings, though the Boston Old Town Trolley Tour is the most budget-friendly.

Be sure to read our comparison post on Boston bus tours.

Boston Old Town Trolley Tour 

  • All-day hop-on-hop-0ff tour of Boston’s most historic sites with free admission to Old State House and $10 Off Admission to Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
  • $41.85 per person (normally $123.05)
  • Click here to learn more and book

Ghosts and Gravestone Tour

  • This tour runs from late March through October and brings to life all of the most haunted places in Boston
  • $39.85 (normally $41.95) 
  • Click here to learn more and book.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum 

  • This tour aims to take you back in time and highlight the ways that the Boston Tea Party influenced American history
  • $28.45 per person (normally $29.95 per person) 
  • Click here to learn more and book.


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RELATED POSTS:

 

Things to Do at Night in Boston

What to Do at Night in Boston

This post covers things to do at night in Boston, including a top 10 list, free, as well as family-friendly activities.

We also cover restaurants, museums, and attractions that are open late.

Let’s get started!

COVID-19 ALERT: Due to the coronavirus, many of these attractions and activities will either be closed or access will be limited.

If you can still enjoy the sites listed below, it will be important to wear a mask and practice social distancing, as local guidelines will likely require both practices for months to come.

 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN BOSTON AT NIGHT

The following section will cover our top ten things to do in Boston after the sun goes down.  Read more »