Hello Boston! Boston has been on my list of cities to visit and it almost feels like a sister city to Austin. Located about 3 miles from the main campus of Harvard University, Boston is a hub for many activities and attractions for Harvard students as well as Boston residents. From boat rides to fancy restaurants, to stunning art galleries, you name it, this city has it all! Luckily for me, I had an itinerary to keep me in check, but I must admit that it still was a bit difficult not to get distracted by all the greatness the city has to offer.
SEE ALSO: NYC City Guide: 29 Restaurants In 3 Days
Here’s my guide to the best restaurants and things to do in Boston, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
1. High Tea at the Boston Public Library
Did you know you can do high tea at the Boston Public Library? The Map Room Tea Lounge overlooks the beautiful Italianate Courtyard at the Boston Public Library. Sip on different teas while enjoying three courses of soup, tea sandwiches, scones, tarts, and more.
700 Boylston St, librarytea.com/courtyard
2. Boston Duck from the Prudential Center
For a complete tour of Boston, make sure to board one of the duck boats from the Prudential Center. The duck boats here are all refurbished historic World War II amphibious vehicles. Jump into the Charles River for a boat ride around the city. During the ride, you will pass by Boston Common, Quincy Market, and TD Garden – home of the Celtics. By the end of your tour, you will have learned all about Boston’s history and historic monuments.
Ticket Cost: $48.99
53 Huntington Ave, bostonducktours.com
3. Shop at Eataly
Give your taste buds a pleasant treat when you visit the famous Italian restaurant – Eataly. You are sure to have a memorable experience with the many options on the menu. I highly recommended you try out one of the Sip & Savor Classes. Starting from $65 you can take part in an intoxicating and delicious dining experience where you get to pair some great wine with a variety of savory options such as oysters, Cheese of Central Italy, and more, depending on what is available on their planned class dates.
The classes delve into the intricacies of select food options and wine, as well as their interplay. Prepare to experience flavors that contrast and complement each other, with food specialists on one side and wine masters from Eataly on the other who will guide you through the process.
The classes have no right or wrong answers, everyone is welcome to share their ideas about what works and what doesn’t during the tasting process. Come prepared to enjoy yourself!
The classes typically last from about 10 to 15 minutes. If you intend to drink some alcohol during the class, be sure to come with your ID.
800 Boylston Street, eataly.com/us_en/stores/boston/
4. Dinner at Terra in Eataly
Terra was one of my favorite restaurants that we visited. I fell in love the moment we walked upstairs and saw the plant filled restaurant with a glass ceiling that looks out to Boston. Terra is an Italian wood-fire restaurant so you’ll see the wood burning Italian grill, where the space is centered around. Using the grill, the chefs cook their exotic meals over the open flames for guests to marvel at. Pair the tasty dishes with some of the really nice cocktails, wines, and local beers available.
Don’t miss the tiramisu – it’s so good!
800 Boylston Street, eataly.com/us_en/stores/boston/terra/
5. Immersive Frida Experience
The life and work of the legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is commemorated in this art gallery. Created by the same team who made the famous Van Gogh Immersive Gallery. A visit here is sure to give art and history lovers an immersive experience.
The significance of Frida Kahlo’s art has over the years and also now represented her resilience and perseverance through the many struggles she faced. Visitors will find Frida’s work come alive as they stroll around this gallery discovering all the events, people, and hurdles that molded her into the legend that she is today.
The medium used to display is mostly large-scale projections accompanied by mesmerizing musical scores sure to transport guests into the life of the late painter.
Come and experience technology at its grandest with this 360-degree experience stepping into Frida’s art which has been described as magic realism.
Ticket cost: $39.99
130 Columbus Ave, immersive-frida.com/boston/
6. High Street Place
Looking for a casual dining experience? Then you should definitely check this place out. High Street Place is a popular food hall, the historic building was Boston’s first ever skyscraper. Today, it is a stunning historic art atrium that provides guests with an ambiance that blends open spaces with compact spaces. During warmer months, High Street Place offers a retractable wall system, creating an open-air dining and outdoor patio experience.
The food vendors here each have personalized stalls that set them apart. The strip of restaurants here offers different food options including sandwiches, sushi rolls, gelato-stuffed cannoli, and lots more.
The main purpose of High Street Place was to provide young professionals with a social space to enjoy, and this purpose was certainly fulfilled as it is now a hub for young Bostonians.
High Street Place is available for special events and opens every day except Sundays. Be sure to grab lunch here to get a feel of Boston at its finest.
100 High St, highstreetplace.com
7. Mongolian hot pot at The Q
The Q is another highly rated Boston restaurant. It is most famous for its Mongolian Hot Pot dish, which has made it quite popular not just in Boston but across the world.
Mongolian fondue or hot pot as it is often called, has origins dating back to the 11th century. At The Q, it is prepared by chefs using thin meat and seafood slices served together with a variety of broths and stocks. The hot pot with the broth and slices of meat and seafood are then served to guests.
Guests then cook their meals by dipping the protein slices into the hot pots for about thirty seconds until cooked. You may choose to have yours with a variety of options including tofu, noodles, or vegetables.
The Q also offers a variety of cocktails to choose from, which you can pair with your meal for a one-of-a-kind practical dining experience.
660 Washington St, thequsa.com
8. Broadway show at Citizens Bank Opera House
We watched To Kill a Mockingbird and boy, what a great show that was!
Rich with American history, the Citizen Bank Opera House is a performing art and e-sports venue that was established in 1928. It was originally known as the B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre.
Here, there are no bad seats, you are guaranteed an unforgettable Broadway experience. The space has dedicated parking, so you do not need to worry about that. Also, within the Opera House are a variety of restaurants for guests to enjoy, some of which include – French Quarter, Back Deck among others.
Ticket cost: $45
539 Washington St, bostonoperahouse.com
9. Museum of Fine Arts
This historic art museum was founded in 1870 and is built in the historic homeland of the people of Massachusetts. The Museum of fine arts started with 5,600 works of art and is today home to about 500,000 art pieces.
Visited by over one million guests each year, you too can experience stunning art from ancient and modern Egypt, innovative educational programs, unique exhibitions, and a whole lot more.
Ticket prices are very affordable, and the museum is open every day except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Membership is also available where you are guaranteed lots of perks and deals.
Ticket cost: $27
465 Huntington Ave, mfa.org
10. Time Out Market Boston Food Hall
Located in the historic 401 Park building—a 1920s Art Deco masterpiece—at the heart of the vibrant Fenway neighborhood, Time Out Market Boston has 15 kitchens, two bars, and demo kitchen in 25,500 sq ft. We loved the sushi tacos from Gogo Ya, Union Square Donuts, and Ms. Clucks Deluxe.
401 Park Drive, timeoutmarket.com/boston/
11. Boston Tea Party & Tea Tasting
I am a huge fan of tea, so while I was in Boston, I was very excited to visit Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum for some tea tasting, and the experience more than surpassed my expectations.
While here we got to sample up to five different historic teas. We were also served some lemonade with the option of choosing some apple cider, some iced tea, or some tasty treats including scones, brownies, pies, and muffins.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum also has options for you during lunchtime (11 am – 3 pm) including sandwiches, salads, soups, chowders, and the classic man ‘n cheese. If you are also looking for something stronger, Abigail’s serves a variety of alcohol options to adults just within the grounds.
Ticket cost: $31.95
306 Congress St, bostonteapartyship.com/tea-room
12. Dinner at Hub Hall
Hub Hall – the food hall section of The Hub on Causeway is another great restaurant to check out. It was opened in September 2021 and has since been a favorite for many Bostonians and visitors alike given the great service, ambiance, and tasty cuisine.
There are a plethora of food options you can try while here. The vendors you will find here include Bianco & Sons, Boston Soup Co., ReelHouse Oyster Bar, Cusser’s, Greco, Lily P’s Fried Chicken, Mida Apizza, Mike’s Pastry, Naco Taco, Sauce Burgers, The Smoke Shop BBQ, Sullivan’s Castle Island, The Draft, Now Pouring, and Caffe Nero.
The facility also has several parking structures for visitors. Hub Hall is owned by the Patina Restaurant Group, known for their highly rated restaurants, it comes as no surprise that this restaurant is of such great standard.
80 Causeway St, hubhallboston.com
13. Boston Public Market
Boston Public Market is an indoor marketplace that is open year-round. The market has about 30 artisans from New England as well as food producers selling their fresh produce, meals, crafts, and other specialty items.
Visitors here may purchase locally sourced and seasonal New England foodstuff including meat, dairy, fresh produce, eggs, seafood, baked goods breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
14. Brattle Bookstore
Brattle Bookstore is a picturesque antiquarian bookshop located in the heart of downtown Boston. They have been selling second-hand books since 1825. The family-owned bookstore has over 250,000 books, maps, postcards, and other prints in many different genres. There is a book for everyone here, and as you can imagine, the bookstore attracts people from many different backgrounds. The building has three floors filled to the brim with books and other print items. You can get a book here for as low as $3.
9 West Street, brattlebookshop.com
15. Gourmet Dumpling House
Gourmet Dumpling House is today known as Boston’s premier restaurant for authentic Chinese cuisine, dim sum and so much more. The restaurant, since its inception, has been receiving great reviews from customers.
People have come to love the small and intimate nature of the restaurant which is sure to give you an authentic feel of China. The food is tasty and spicy, and the service is quick and easy. If you love Chinese food, be sure to pay a visit here.
52 Beach Street, gourmetdumplinghouse.com
16. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall is a shopping complex and marketplace which houses restaurants, pubs, and the world-famous Quincy Market Colonnade. Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall is as vibrant now as it was in 1742 when our nation’s founding fathers proclaimed it the “Cradle of Liberty”!
Visitors here will witness history in what is today known as one of New England’s top locations for tourists. In 2008, Faneuil Hall was rated number 4 in “America’s 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites” by Forbes Traveller. While here, guests can not only shop but also enjoy entertaining street performances.
1 S Market Street, faneuilhallmarketplace.com
17. Quincy Market Food Hall
Quincy Market is located in Faneuil Hall and has over three dozen dining outlets. They serve a variety of food options including but not limited to Italian, Greek, Mexican, and Asian cuisine.
It was built between 1824 and 1826 and was named after Mayor Josiah Quincy, who oversaw its construction without levying any taxes or incurring any debt. With many food and drink options to choose from, Quincy Market is a terrific dining spot to visit with friends and family.
1 S Market Street
18. Visit the Boston Common
Established in 1634, The Boston Common, or as Bostonians call it ‘The Common” is the oldest public park in the United States. This family-friendly and large public park often has many recurring events held here including fireworks displays, outdoor opera events, Christmas tree lighting, skating displays, among many others. Guests can also enjoy picnics, scenic walks, cycling, and other leisurely activities in the park.
115 Boylston Street, boston.gov/parks/boston-common
19. See The Historic Freedom Trail
The popular Freedom Trail spans 2.5 miles from Boston Common through the North End to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. And across 16 other locations that hold strong significance in the American Revolution. The locations include:
- Boston Common
- Massachusetts State House
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground
- King’s Chapel
- King’s Chapel Burying Ground
- Benjamin Franklin Statue & Boston Latin School
- Old Corner Bookstore
- Old South Meeting House
- Old State House
- Site of Boston Massacre
- Faneuil Hall
- Paul Revere House
- Old North Church
- Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
- Bunker Hill Monument
- USS Constitution
Visitors can enjoy different walking tours of the grounds from any of the available visitor’s centers.
20. Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor is a collection of 34 islands and peninsulas. It is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, it is also home to the Port of Boston. Being the largest recreational space in Eastern Massachusetts, there is something fun for everyone to engage in. Some of the activities you can enjoy here include picnics, camping, exploration of a historic fort and many more.
21. Fenway Park
Located near Kenmore Square, Fenway Park is a baseball stadium. The Park is home to the baseball team The Boston Red Sox which was founded in 1912. Since 1953, The Red Sox has been the city’s only franchise in Major League Baseball (MLB).
Also, within the stadium is the Green Monster, a 37-foot-2-inch-high (11.33 m) left-field wall which right-handed batters love to smash. The famous wall is about 310 feet (94 meters) from home plate.
4 Jersey Street
22. Back Bay
The Back Bay is a famous and affluent destination where visitors can do some shopping and dining. Back Bay is most famous for its rows of Victorian Brownstone homes. They are considered to be one of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States. Located along Newbury Street, some of the outlets you will find here include boutiques, fashion stores, art galleries, and beautiful cafes among others.
23. Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is a famous neighborhood, it is one of the most picture-perfect locations in all of Boston. The buildings here are of Federal style, with Victorian brick row houses lit up with quaint lanterns.
Here, you will get a great view of the Boston skyline with the gold-domed Massachusetts statehouse overlooking Boston common, as well as other notable historic structures. Visitors here can enjoy shopping in one of their chic boutique or antiques shops.
24. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is an art museum modeled after a Venetian palazzo. The museum houses many pieces from across the globe including European, Asian, and American art. Works here include paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and other decorative arts.
The museum is open every day except on Tuesdays. Entry is timed and tickets often sell out on popular days, so be sure to book in advance to secure your tickets.
Ticket Cost: $20
25 Evans Way, gardnermuseum.org/
25. Institute of Contemporary Art
Founded in 1936, and opened in 2006, The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is a prime museum and exhibition space. The ICA building has been noted for its significant architectural value. It is a world-class modern art venue, and an icon for the new Boston.
This museum gives the general public access to ground-breaking and contemporary art, artists, as well as their creative process. The ICA is open every day except on Mondays. Admission is free for all on the following holidays – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Ticket Cost: $15
25 Harbor Shore Drive, icaboston.org/
26. Go Ice Skating
Are you a fan of winter ice skating? then you are in luck because there are quite a number of skating rink options to choose from in Boston!
Boston offers a plethora of comfortable spots for all your skating pleasures. Some of the best skating locations include:
- The rink at 401 Park
- Photograph: Mike Diskin
- The rink at 401 Park
- Warrior Ice Arena
- Community Ice Skating at Kendall Square
- Boston Common Frog Pond
- Murphy Memorial Skating Rink
- Steriti Memorial Rink
- Kelly Outdoor Rink
- Winter Skate at Patriot Place
- Skating Club of Boston.
27. Old North Church
Old North Church, also known as Christ Church was built in 1723 and is the oldest standing church in Boston. The Episcopal Church is also a National Historic Landmark and is the location from which the famous “One if by land, two if by sea” signal is said to have been sent.
Visitors will spot a bust of George Washington within the chapel. French aristocrat Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, is said to have thought the bust was the greatest depiction of the president that he had ever seen.
193 Salem Street, oldnorth.com
28. Go Whale Watching
Yes, you read it well. Boston is a great place to go whale watching. You can enjoy this activity during whale season, which is from May through November. Around this time, whales migrate to Massachusetts as the weather gets warmer. Some of the best places to go whale watching in Boston include:
- Boston Harbor City Cruises
- 7 Seas Whale Watch
- Cape Ann Whale Watch
- Captain John Boats Provincetown Whale Watch
- Newburyport Whale Watch
29. The Mapparium
Built in 1935, and based upon Rand McNally’s political maps, The Mapparium is a three-story-tall globe made out of stained glass. It can be viewed from a 30-foot-long bridge from the interior. Since August 2021, it became part of the “How Do You See the World?” exhibit by the Christian Science Publishing Society in Boston.
The Mapparium is located inside the Blue Star Museum’s Mary Baker Eddy Library. It opens from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day with the last 20-minute Mapparium tour starting at 4:40 p.m. Please note that photography is not permitted inside the Mapparium.
Ticket Cost: $6
210 Massachusetts Avenue, atlasobscura.com/places/mapparium
30. The Paul Revere House
Built in 1680, The Paul Revere House is one of the oldest homes in Boston. It was the colonial home during the American Revolution to the American hero Paul Revere. It has since 1961 been a National Historic Landmark. The house is open every day from 10am to 5.15pm. Also, nearby you can find the Paul Revere Mall, and the Paul Revere statue.
Ticket Cost: $5
19 N Square, paulreverehouse.org
31. New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is one of the top tourist locations in the city. It is a public aquarium and a prime resource for education in the area. A world pioneer in ocean exploration and marine conservation. With attractions such as the Simons Theatre and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch, this Aquarium receives over 1.3 million visitors each year.
Open every day from 9am to 5pm, some of the exhibits to see include; the Penguin exhibit, Giant Ocean Tank, Sea dragon exhibit, Atlantic Harbour Seals exhibit and many more.
Ticket Cost: $32
1 Central Wharf, neaq.org
32. The Museum of Science
Boston’s Museum of Science (MoS) is a science museum and indoor zoo. It is located in the Science Park which spans across the Charles River. The museum displays over 700 interactive exhibitions including several live presentations every day. The museum also has a planetarium – the Charles Hayden Planetarium and Mugar Omni Theater which is the only domed IMAZ screen in New England. The Museums Zoo houses over 100 rescued and rehabilitated animals including penguins, dolphins, and more.
Doors open every day from 9am to 5pm.
Ticket Cost: $29
1 Museum Of Science Driveway, https://www.mos.org/
33. Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
Located in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale neighborhoods, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a botanical research institution and public park. The arboretum is the oldest public arboretums in North America, as it was established in 1872. Admission is free and the institution is open every day to visitors.
125 Arborway, arboretum.harvard.edu/
34. Boston Harbor Walk
Boston Harborwalk is a walkway open to the general public which follows wharves, the edge of piers, beaches, and the shoreline around Boston Harbor. It spans a distance of 47 miles from East Boston to Neponset River. The walkway connects Boston’s waterfront neighborhoods to Boston Harbor. The trail has an easy difficulty and visitors can enjoy activities such as walking, bicycling and, inline skating.
35. Copley Square
Copley Square is a public square in Boston’s Back Bay district, bounded by Boylston Street, Clarendon Street, St. James Avenue, and Dartmouth Street. It is named after American portraitist John Singleton Copley. On the northern side of the square, there is a bronze statue of Copley. In addition to nearby Boylston Street’s shops and attractions, Newbury Street’s elegant 19th-century townhouses host luxury retailers and restaurants.
36. Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. The structure contains the Massachusetts General Court (state legislature) as well as the offices of the Governor of Massachusetts.
The building was designed by the renowned architect Charles Bulfinch, and it is considered to be a masterpiece of American federal architecture. It is one of Bulfinch’s most notable works. It was also designated a National Historic Landmark for its great significance in architecture. Admission is free and tours are available on weekdays from 10am to 3.30pm.
24 Beacon Street, malegislature.gov/statehouse/visit
37. Boston Seaport
Nestled between Boston’s picturesque waterfront and the historic Fort Point District, Seaport is just across from the center of the city. Here, tech, innovation, and art are a central theme of this contemporary neighborhood. Seaport hosts top tech conferences like INBOUND, and is home to the state-of-the-art Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Boston Seaport also exhibits installations by renowned artists. Visitors will find shops and experiences they will not find anywhere else in the city.
38. Boston Swan Boats
Between the months of April and September, you do not want to miss out on a ride on one of the Boston Swan Boats. Since 1877, The Swan Boats have been offering guests the opportunity to glide across the Public Garden’s lagoon. It is a very popular Boston activity among locals and visitors. The boat cruise usually lasts for 15 minutes where visitors can sit back and relax to enjoy the stunning views Boston has to offer. You will encounter lots of mallard ducks, and maybe even some swans.
Swan Boats is open every day from 10am to 4pm.
Ticket Cost: $4.50
4 Charles Street, swanboats.com
39. Hop on a Trolley Tour of Boston
The Trolley Tour is considered to be one of Boston’s most comprehensive sightseeing tours. For well over 35 years, the trolley tours have been providing guests with “Transportainment.” Guests are offered a very informative and interactive guided tour of Boston by one of the guides.
At the same time, guests are free to tour the city on their own, disembarking and reboarding at any of the stops. While shielded from the weather, enjoy double-decker height views of the Freedom Trail among other popular landmarks. Trolly tours provide lofty panoramic views of more than 100 areas of interest.
Ticket cost: From $45.36
40. Shop at The Prudential Center
The landmark Prudential Center, located in the historic Back Bay, is a mixed-use urban center with office and retail spaces. Saks Fifth Avenue is the main retail component of the complex, which has over 60 shops and restaurants.
Visitors will find here major outlets such as Aritzia, Barnes & Noble, Eataly Boston, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sephora, Tesla, and Under Armour. The center receives over 60,000 visitors every day, making it one of the top 5 shopping malls in America.
25 Lafayette Street, prucenter.com
41. Have some fun at Boston Playground
Open Wednesdays through Sundays, The Boston Playground is an indoor play space for children ages one and up. Guests can enjoy this innovative and fun safe space to indulge in many different activities.
Adults can also enjoy a great time here with many fun options such as party planning, archery, escape rooms, and others. Food and drinks are also available.
Boston Playground encourages kids to play and socialize with other kids and their parents, and none of the activities are screen-based. Guests also have the option of throwing birthday parties and other celebratory events.
Ticket Cost: $12 and up
121 Webster Avenue, bostonplayground.com
42. Grab a beer at the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
Boston Lager helped lead the American craft beer revolution and you can enjoy a pint or a flight of beers at their tap room.
30 Germania Street, samueladams.com/brewerytours
43. Stay at The Langham, Boston
We stayed at The Langham and I was blown away by the hospitality and design of this hotel. The architecture and design is beautiful and the service was stellar. Built in 1922, The Langham was formerly The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston before being converted into a hotel in 1981.
250 Franklin St, langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/boston/