Freedom Trail Map and Self Guided Tour
The Freedom Trail at the center of historic Boston is a red brick path through the city leading visitors to many of the city’s historic sites.
It tops our list of the best free things to do in Boston.
This self-guided tour and map will cover the entire 2.5 miles (4 km) of Freedom Trail sites and should take you two hours to complete.
- Where does the Freedom Trail Start?
- Freedom Trail Map and Self Guided Tour
- Guided Tours
- Where to Eat Near the Freedom Trail
- 30 Minute Video Tour of Freedom Trail Sights
We offer a daily pay-what-you-like tour of the Freedom Trail
Where does the Freedom Trail Start?
The Freedom Trail starts at Boston Common (map). The Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles (4 km) long and to walk it will likely take you an entire day. Plan on it taking longer if you have children or want to spend more time at any of the sites.
The Freedom Trail ends at the U.S.S. Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. You can walk or take the Charlestown Water Shuttle to get back downtown Boston.
How to get to the starting point of the Freedom Trail?
The Green or Red Line will take you to Park Street Station (map), which is the closest station to the start of the Freedom Trail in Boston Commons.
The State Street Station on the Blue and Orange lines is literally on the Freedom Trail!
It is 5 minutes from the start of the trail. One of the Station entrance and exit are on the ground floor of the Old State House, another one on Washington St. at the Old South Meeting House and one on Congress St. at New Sudbury St. which is down the street from the Old State House.
There are parking garages located on the Freedom Trail map. There is an underground parking garage beneath the Boston Common on Charles Street and one garage at the Charlestown Navy Yard near the USS Constitution.
Are there restrooms on the Freedom Trail?
Not officially! But we’ve made a post of insider tips on where to go when you gotta go!
This is a very historical tour and will cover some of the many sites and characters which/who were important in the founded our great nation.
Some of the characters we will meet are John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, Peter Faneuil.
You can also take this tour as a GPS enabled Audio Tour. Listen to a sample of our Freedom Trail Tour (the Old South Meeting House)
If you’re taking our self guided tour, let us know and tag us on social media @freetoursbyfoot
Click here for a full interactive map.
Stop A – The Boston Common
The oldest public park in the United States (1634) outside the Park St. Subway Station, the first subway in the United States (1897). The Boston Common was used from 1634 to 1830 as a common space for the grazing of cattle and continues to be an active spot for visitors and locals to meet, relax and enjoy a day in the park.
Be sure to stop by the Boston Common Visitor Center and pick up some information about visiting Boston.
Stop B – Massachusetts State House
Follow the Trail up to the Massachusetts State House (1798), which is the oldest continually running state capital building in America. The dome is gilded in 23k gold and was originally made of wood.
The dome was covered in copper by Paul Revere in 1802 and was gilded on our nation’s 100 birthday in 1876.
During weekdays the State House offers free guided tours of the inside of the State House. Tours run on the half hour weekdays, Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm. For reservations for the free guided tour call: 617-727-3676.
Stop C – Robert Gould Shaw Memorial
The 54th Regiment is the first all-volunteer African American unit in the US Army which was formed in 1863 during the American Civil War. The 1989 film Glory tells the story of the 54th regiment and stars Matthew Broderick as Col. Robert Gould Shaw.
The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial is a stop on the Black Heritage Trail which runs through our Beacon Hill Neighborhood. Free tours of the Black Heritage Trail are conducted by the US Parks Department. For more information on tours of the Black Heritage Trail: www.nps.gov/boaf
Stop D – The Park St. Church
This church was the site of the first Sunday school in the United States in 1818; the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison made his first anti-slavery speech on this church’s pulpit in 1829; and the church choir sang for the first time ever in public on July 4th, 1831, the song “My Country Tis of Thee.”
Stop E – Granary Burial Ground
The next spot on the Trail sits just on the other side of the Park St. Church is the Granary Burial Ground where three signers of the Declaration Independence rest as well as Paul Revere, Mary Goose (credited with being Mother Goose) and the parents and siblings of Benjamin Franklin.
Read and download our self-guided tour of the Granary Burial Ground for a self-guided tour of this spot.
Stop F – King’s Chapel
This stone church was built around the original wooden church which was built in 1688 and then the wood from the church was carefully disassembled and the wood and glass was shipped to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and rebuilt to construct St. John’s Anglican Church.
King’s Chapel is free and open to the public for self-guided tours (there is a donation box at the entrance) and is worth going inside.
Although the church looks a bit plain on the outside, inside it is ornate and you can grab self-guided tour information pamphlet at the entrance of the church to help guide you through this wonderful stop.
Stop G – Boston Latin School
Follow Trail down School St. and next to King’s Chapel you will see the monument for the Boston Latin School. The oldest school in American (1635) and still in operation today.
The school’s current location is near Fenway Park. The monument for the school is in the design of a hopscotch game.
Some of its famous students include Benjamin Franklin (who statue stands on the former school’s site), John Hancock, Sam Adams, and John Adams just to name a few.
Stop H – Old City Hall
Where the Boston Latin School once stood is now the site of Old City Hall (1865).
For 104 years Boston’s mayors held court here until they move into City Hall’s Current location (across from Faneuil Hall), New City Hall (1969).
Stop I – Old South Meeting House
Follow the Freedom Trail to Washington St. and you will come to the Old South Meeting House (1729).
This church is where the Sons of Liberty departed from a meeting on Dec. 16, 1773, and dumped 242 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. The famous Boston Tea Party.
The clock tower was restored in 2009 and is the oldest American made clock in the US which is still in operation (1766) in its original location. The bell tower houses a bell cast by Paul Revere in 1801. It one of only 46 surviving bells he made. The bell resided at several locations around Boston and was placed at the Old South Meeting House Bell Tower in 2011.
The Old South Meeting House is open to visitors daily 9:30 am to 5:00 pm April 1st to October 31st and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm from Nov. 1st to March 31st.
The admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors students, and $1 for children 5-17-years-old and free for children under 5-years-old.
For more information on visiting the Old South Meeting House: www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org.
Stop J – The Old Corner Bookstore
The bookstore was made famous for meetings on the second floor by the likes of Nathanael Hawthorn, Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charles Dickens (who lived in Boston for two years) would meet and discuss poetry, politics, and literature.
It is now the site of Chipotle.
Stop K – Old State House
Continue down Washington Street and you will be at the Old State House (1713). This was the center of civic life in Colonial Boston and was where folks like Sam Adams and James Otis would argue against the policies of the British Crown.
On the front of the building is a balcony where in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time and cause a mini-riot during which the Lion and Unicorn which sits on top of the Old State House were ripped down and burnt in a bomb fire.
The gilded Lion and Unicorn were put back up on the Old State House in 1883 when the building was refurbished. Every July 4th at 10:00 am the Declaration of Independence is read from that balcony.
The Lion and Unicorn, however, is not torn down.
Open daily every day from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Memorial Day though Labor Day 9:00am to 6:00pm.
It closes at 3:00pm on Christmas Eve and closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. They also raised their admission price to $12 for adults, $10 for students/seniors and kids from 6 to 18 are free. Veterans and Massachusetts Teachers are free.
For more information on visiting the Old State House: www.bostonhistory.org/
Stop L – Boston Massacre
On the walkway in front of the Old State House is the monument for the five victims killed on March 5, 1770, during the Boston Massacre which took place in the middle of what is now called State Street (formerly known as King Street).
In the center of the monument is a five-pointed star signifying the 5 deaths enclosed by six cobblestones, signifying the six wounded that night, and stretching from the center are 13 cobblestone spokes representing the original 13 colonies.
Stop M – Faneuil Hall
Follow the Trail to “the Cradle of Liberty” Faneuil Hall (1742). This building which was given to the city of Boston by rich merchant Peter Faneuil is famous for the meetings and protests that led to the American Revolution. Notice the grasshopper on top of the building.
The grasshopper (his name is Gus) was copied from the grasshopper on the London Royal Exchange Building (which Peter Faneuil model his build after of) and was chosen as a sign of prosperity. There is a statue of Samuel Adams on the western side of Faneuil Hall.
The National Park Service Rangers present historical talks every 1/2 hour from 9:30 am- 4:30 pm.
Read our post on the top things to see and do here.
Stop N – Paul Revere House
Follow the Freedom Trail down Union St. (notice the Union Oyster House the oldest restaurant in the United States) and down Hanover St. into our Northend/Little Italy Neighborhood.
The trail winds down Richmond Street to North Square. In North Square sits the oldest structure in Boston, the Paul Revere House (1680). Paul Revere lived for 30 years from 1770 to 1800.
The Paul Revere House is now a Museum which you can visit.
The Paul Revere House Museum is open daily April 15 – October 31 – 9:30 am to 5:15 pm
November 1 – April 14 – 9:30 am to 4:15 pm Closed on Mondays in January, February, and March.
Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
The admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for college students and seniors and $1 for kids 5 to 17 years old.
For more information on the Paul Revere House Museum: www.paulreverehouse.org/
Stop O – Paul Revere Statue
Follow the Trail to the Paul Revere Prado and you will be at one of the most photographed statues in Boston, the Paul Revere Statue which sits in the shadow of the church which made him famous, The Old North Church.
The statue was designed by Cyrus Edwin Dallin in 1883 and he spent 16 working on it (1899). The statue was not displayed until 1940.
Cyrus Edwin Dallin created 260 works over his life and a few of his most famous sculpture are of the Angle Moroni which sits on top of the Salt Lake City Temple in Utah, and also the Appeal To The Great Spirits Sculpture in front of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Dallin died in 1944.
If you go by this statue when one of Boston’s sports teams are in a championship series/game, Paul will be donning a shirt of the team playing for the trophy.
Stop P – Old North Church
Walk across the Paul Revere Prado and to the Old North Church (1723), the oldest church building in Boston. The church is free to enter and there are guides inside the church who will give you a quick overview of Paul’s Midnight Ride the night of April 18, 1775, and resulted in the battle that started American Revolution.
As of May 01, 2018 there will be an admission charge to enter ($8 adults,$6 for students, military and seniors, $4 children under 12)
Stop Q – Copp’s Hill Burial Ground
After you leave the Old North Church, follow the Trail up Hull St. to Copp’s Hill Burial Ground (1659).
Some of the people buried here include the Puritan Ministers Cotton Mather and his father Increase Mather; Shem Drowne, who made the grasshopper weather-vain on top of Faneuil Hall as well as the banner weather-vain on top of the Old North Church; Robert Newman who hang the lanterns the in the steeple of the Old North the night of Paul Revere’s ride and Prince Hall, the first African American Mason and found of the Prince Hall Masons.
Stop R – USS Constitution
The Freedom Trail continues down Hull St. to Commercial St. and travels to the next stop the USS Constitution (1797) which is the oldest ship in the US Navy.
Built to protect American Merchant Ships from pirates off the coast of North Africa, it was made famous during the War of 1812 where it never lost a battle and was nicknamed “Old Ironsides” because the ship was so strong (it is made out of wood) that the cannon balls from British ships would bounce harmlessly off its sides.
The USS Constitution is currently in dry dock but can still be view at the location. It is open to the public for free guided tours, but tours are now limited due to the construction. For information on touring the ship, read our post.
Also at the site of the USS Constitution is the USS Constitution Museum. The Museum is open to the public and provides guests with wonderful tidbits about the ship’s history and what life was like aboard the ship. The Museum is open daily Nov 1st to March 31st from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and April 1st to Oct. 31st from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission is a suggested donation. For individuals and families the recommended donation of $5-$10 for adults, $3-$5 for children, and $20-$25 for families, these are suggested donations and any amount is welcome. Groups of 10 or more people are required to make an advance reservation to visit the Museum.
Stop S – Bunker Hill Monument
Follow the Freedom Trail to the final destination and you will be at the Bunker Hill Monument (opened in 1843). The monument was dedicated on June 17th, 1843 68 years after the famous battle took place. The statesman Daniel Webster was the keynote speaker that day.
The 221-foot monument took 16 years to construct and commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill and has 294 steps. If you are feeling energetic you can climb the monument.
Although climbing the 294 steps of the monument is free from April 1st through June 27th all visitors who wish to climb the monument must obtain a climbing pass from the Bunker Hill Museum at 43 Monument Sq. For groups, reservation must be made by calling 617-242-5689.
The Bunker Hill Museum at 43 Monument Sq. is located at the base of the Hill and is a great little museum, the Bunker Hill Museum that is free and has excellent exhibits that will give you a great sense of the battle which took place.
The museum is hours are December 1, 2015 – March 13, 2016, Monday through Friday, 1:00 P.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday, and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Holidays and School Breaks, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
March 14, 2016 – November 30, 2016
Daily 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
For more information go to www.nps.gov/bost/learn/historyculture/bhmuseum.htm
This concludes your walking tour of the Freedom Trail.
We offer a guided tour of the area both on and off the Freedom Trail in our 2 hour tour walking tour.
We also have a self guided tour of North End/Little Italy that includes some stops on the seond half of the Freedom Trail.
Hop On-Off Bus Tours
- The Prime Shoppe (inside Quincy Market)
- Potbelly Sandwich Shop
- Sam Lagrassa’s
Luke Lobster at 290 Washington St.
- Boston Public Market (Wed-Sun 8-8) https://bostonpublicm
- Daily Catch (323 Hanover St.) thedailycatch.com/restaurants/
- Union Oyster House 41 Union St unionoysterhouse.com
- Black Rose (Quincy Market) 160 state Street https://www.blackroseboston.
- Pagliuca’s (14 Parmenter St) www.pagliucasrestaurant.com/
- Warren Tavern (2 Pleasant St. Charlestown) https://www.warrentavern.com
- Downloadable Freedom Trail Map
- Other Boston Locations off the Freedom Trail Map: Lexington/Concord
- Check out our guide to free things to do in Boston.