/\

AD

Book trip

Photo: Shutterstock

Places

16 best tips for Boston

Boston is one of America’s oldest and most historically abundant cities that also happens to be one of the most culturally cutting edge. It’s also a compact city, so, whether you’re keen to follow the Freedom Trail to learn more about the Boston Tea Party or want to lose yourself in one of the cities 58-plus museums, there’s plenty to do in Beantown most of which can be covered in five days.

History

USS Constitution. Photo: Shutterstock

The American Revolution kicked off in Boston, which means there is history around every corner. So your first day is the perfect time to get to know this eminently walkable city.

The Freedom Trail

Photo: Shutterstock

The 4km red-brick Freedom Trail takes about two hours to complete and will give you the chance to explore one of Boston’s most historical neighborhoods while learning about the city’s history. As the Trail takes you through the North End, you can also stop for a bite to eat at any number of famous Italian eateries, including Boston’s original (and some say best) pizzeria Regina Pizza or the award-winning Table Boston. Boston’s strong Italian heritage includes mouthwatering pastries, so don’t forget the cannoli at Bova’s Bakery.

 

Photo: Shutterstock

Boston Common

Boston Common is America’s oldest public park and is the beating heart of the city. This is where locals go for a walk, lay in the sun and enjoy everything from concerts and sporting events to the kid’s carousel. Once you’ve strolled the gardens or soaked up the sun, grab some classic and casual New England seafood with a twist at Shaking Crab or try a New England ‘grinder’ (sub) at Earl of Sandwich. For more elegant fare, head to No 9 Park, where celebrity chef Barbara Lynch serves up French and Italian cuisine paired with a top-notch wine list.

 

Culture

Photo: Shutterstock

Boston is a cultural mecca, with nearly 60 mainstream museums and galleries waiting to be explored. Here are several that are loved by locals and visitors alike.

 

Photo: Shutterstock

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is not just the site of a famous art heist, it’s also considered one of Boston’s premier art museums. Home to over 20,000 items, including European, Asian, and American art the museum itself could be considered a work of art. Don’t miss the stunning inner garden, which is overlooked by Café G – the perfect place for a glass of wine or a light snack.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

25 Evans Way, Boston

Show on map

Photo: Shutterstock

Museum of Fine Art

With over 450,000 pieces of fine art, the MFA is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world. The collection ranges from Rembrandt, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and the finest Monets outside of Paris to African and Oceanic masterpieces and everything in between. The breadth and scope of the collection is too vast to include here. You can also take classes, attend lectures and browse the world-class gift shop. If you get hungry, there are several choices for food, including a casual café and more upscale options.

Museum of Fine Art

465 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Show on map

Head Out of Town

Photo: Shutterstock

Boston has a close relationship with the ocean, and there are passenger ferries that will take you to any number of places, but Provincetown is one you really don’t want to miss.

 

Photo: Shutterstock

Provincetown

Take the scenic 90-minute crossing to Provincetown on the very tip of Cape Cod, where this haven for artists offers plenty to do. Your first stop is likely be Provincetown’s pedestrian-friendly Commercial Street, where you can wander the Historic District and take in all kinds of quirky street art brightening both buildings and alleyways. When you’re ready for some shopping, try Henry & Company for upscale men’s apparel and selected home décor or Monty’s, which has two shops – House of Monty’s offers both local and global artisanal home décor and accessories, while at Monty’s Boutique you can find accessories from local artists, along with unique clothing for both men and women. For booklovers, try Tim’s Used Books on 242 Commercial Street, the delightfully disheveled bookshop that offers a great selection of both new and used books at very reasonable prices. 

When you get hungry, just a 10-minute walk away you’ll find Mac’s Fish House, which features classic New England fare, including locally sourced seafood, in either the stylish dining room or the outdoor bar. To satisfy your sweet tooth try Cabot’s Candy for classic regional treats like saltwater taffy and peanut brittle.

 

Photo: Shutterstock

Pilgrim Monument

Now that you’ve shopped and eaten, time to take in some sites. Climb the 116 steps and 60 ramps to reach the summit of the Pilgrim Monument and enjoy the best view (from land) of the area. Created in honor of the first Pilgrim’s to land in America in 1620, the tower was built in 1892 and stands at roughly 77m high. It is the tallest all-granite building in America and was designed to resemble the Torre Del Mangia in Siena Italy. The adjacent museum features both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Pilgrim Monument

1 High Pole Hill Road, Provincetown

Show on map

Photo: Shutterstock

Captain John Boats

Boat tours are also a great way to see the town and enjoy its oceanside location. Captain John Boats is a local legend who offers everything from whale watching tours to deep sea fishing, as well as cruises in a historic paddlewheel boat closer to shore. If you have some time left take a walk along the shore and breathe in that fabulous Atlantic Ocean air.

Captain John Boats

10 Town Wharf, Provincetown

Show on map

Crossing the River Charles

Photo: Shutterstock

Boston proper is not all that big, so it’s easy to cross the river and discover more of what the area has to offer. Both Cambridge and Somerville are bursting with attractions for everyone and anyone.

Start your day off with a visit to Somerville’s Davis Square, where there are plenty of interesting food options, including Mike’s Food & Spirits, where you can wash down Roman-style flatbread pizza with a beer the size of your own head or Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar, where the Key Lime Pie is mandatory. Davis Square is particularly known for live music, from the buskers on the street to the clubs at night. The legendary Middle East has been hosting live shows for decades and remains one of the premier venues for up-and-coming local talent in Boston.

 

Russell House Tavern, Cambridge. Photo: Russell House

Harvard Museums

Harvard University’s plethora of museums cover everything from Historical Scientific Instruments to Visual Arts and Graduate School Design Exhibitions. In other words, there’s something for everyone. And Harvard is, of course, located in the famed Harvard Square, which offers great shopping, great eating, and great drinking. Charlie’s Kitchen is legendary among locals for its cheap double cheeseburger and classic beer selection. And don’t forget to head upstairs, where the music is loud and raw. If you want to avoid the college crowd, try Russell House Tavern, which has a fabulous tavern-style menu and both local and national beers.

 

Shop ‘til You Drop

Photo: Shutterstock

You’ve seen the sites and now it’s time to hit the shops. Newbury Street, the Prudential Center and Copley Place are rightfully hailed for being top spots for indulging in a bit of retail therapy, but there are plenty of other less known shopping areas too.

 

The North End

The North End is not just brimming with Italian food and plenty of history, it is also home to any number of shops and boutiques that offer something unique. Shake the Tree has been a staple of the area for more than two decades and offers a range of clothing, handmade jewelry, home goods, cookbooks, and even craft cocktail supplies. Sedurre, which means ‘to seduce’ in Italian, is known for a fabulous range of, well, seductive lingerie, but you also find everything from funky leather jackets to affordable jewelry.Sedurre: 28 ½ Prince Street, Boston, sedurreboston.com

Shake the Tree

67 Salem Street, Boston

Show on map

Somerville

If you have time, be sure to stop by Bobby from Boston in Somerville, one of the city’s best spots for decades. Owner Bobby Garnett is no longer with us, but his daughter Jessica has carried on the tradition by offering savvy shoppers everything from authentic military jackets, vintage Christmas Tree bulbs, jewelry and everything in between.

Bobby from Boston

One Bow Market Way, Somerville

Show on map

Beacon Hill

Dava Maramatsu spent 33 years on Newbury Street, took a hiatus and then reopened her Matsu boutique in the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Known for its eclectic selection, here is where you’ll find the perfect pair of jeans, light-as-a-feather cashmere, linen, dinnerware and even incense. But the big draw is Dava’s own jewelry line, Nymph Jewels, which features gemstone-rich pieces that are anything but ordinary.

Dava Maramatsu

76 Charles Street, Boston

Show on map

Back Bay

Argentinian-born women’s clothing designer Daniela Corte has dressed some pretty high-profile people, including Vice President Kamala Harris’s sister, Maya for the 2021 Inauguration. Known for wearable fashions created in supple, high quality fabrics, Corte’s designs are where fashion and function meet. Even better? When she holds a sale, you can walk out the door with some true bargains.

Daniela Corte

15 Marlborough Street, Garden Unit, Boston

Show on map

Where to stay in Boston

 

Photo: Liberty Hotel

Liberty Hotel

Here is your chance to spend the night in the ‘slammer’. Set in the former Charles Street Jail, which once housed some of the city’s most notorious criminals, the looming granite building is now on the National Historic Register and has been developed into one of Boston’s premier hotels, with floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms and a vast lobby that will take your breath away. Located in midst of the hustle and bustle that is Charles Street, you’ll find plenty of boutique shopping and highly rated eateries close by – although the five bars and restaurants in the hotel are among the city’s most popular, including the ultra-trendy Alibi Bar and Lounge, which offers a laid-back club atmosphere, Thursdays through Saturdays.

Liberty Hotel

Photo: Shutterstock

Omni Parker House

Centrally located in the stylish Beacon Hill district, Omni Parker House is American’s oldest continuously operating hotel and has hosted everyone from Charles Dickens and Mark Twain to Malcolm X. This 5-star property is rich in history and offers classic rooms for couples, as well as family-friendly rooms designed with kids in mind. Its prime location means you have easy access to Boston’s famed Faneuil Hall, the historic North End and many of the city’s best neighborhoods, such as the Back Bay and Downtown Crossing.

Omni Parker House

Photo: Shutterstock

The Verb Hotel

This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Fenway – yes, that Fenway, where baseball’s Boston Red Sox play just across the street. The Verb has music-themed touches throughout the hotel, including rooms with rock and roll artwork and an extensive vinyl library that you can explore at your leisure. Some rooms have a balcony or patio, and there’s a pool where you can chill out at the end of the day. And because you’re located on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, you’ll be just a few dance steps away from some of the city’s top clubs.

The Verb Hotel

A Final Note

Photo: Shutterstock

No trip to Boston is complete without making one very important stop sometime during your stay – a visit to Dunkin’ Donuts. This lovingly mocked New England staple has franchises all over the region, so you won’t have trouble finding one. Once you do, grab a cup of ‘joe’ (coffee) and your choice of donut – and there you have it, you’ve been to Dunkin’s and are unofficially a local.

Travel to Boston

SAS operates the new Airbus 321LR Long Range aircraft on routes between Scandinavia and Boston.

Did you find this article inspiring?

Give it a thumbs up!

likes

Book trip

Use your points

From60,000 Round trip

Spend points

AD

Close map

Category

From the article

Share this tips

Close

Looking for something special?

Filter your search by

Close