Top 25 Boston Attractions & Things To Do You Cannot Miss

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Nikki Jain

Located in the northeastern region of the United States, Boston is the capital city of the state of Massachusetts. As one of the oldest cities, the originator of the American Revolution, and the unofficial capital of New England, Boston has influenced the country's history and remained the focal point of the culture and economy of the entire region.

History apart, Boston is home to two of the most reputed universities in the United States – Harvard and MIT, keeping the old city young with a continuous flow of brilliant minds from across the world.

Several tourist attractions in Boston ooze out the city's glorious past. From unique museums to medieval churches, historic monuments to grand art galleries, and beautiful parks to elegant restaurants, you will have no dearth of things to do in Boston. Check out these must-visit Boston attractions.

Things To Do in Boston

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1: Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail
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Freedom Trail is a 2.5 miles walk in downtown Boston that takes you through 16 of the most historically important sites significant to the United State's freedom and development. The entire walking trail is marked in a red brick line and is easy to follow.

The Freedom Trail walk takes you through iconic churches, museums, ships, and graveyards. The information boards along the path make you understand the history behind each site and why it is important.

Some notable sites on the Freedom Trail include the location of the Boston Massacre, the USS Constitution, the Faneuil Hall, and the Massachusetts State House. The trail can be walked as a whole, in portions, or as part of a guided tour.

The Freedom Trail is one of the top attractions in Boston and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Address: 139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111

2: New England Holocaust Memorial

New England Holocaust Memorial
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New England Holocaust Memorial is built in memory of the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust between 1941 and 1945. Completed in 1995, the memorial boasts six glass towers near the Freedom Trail.

Visitors can walk under the well-lit, 54-feet high six glass towers where they can remember the events of the genocide.

The six towers are said to represent different things – six extermination camps, the death of six million Jews, or the six years of mass killings.

Outside each glass tower is etched the number of Jews killed in each Nazi camp. The memorial provides an emotional experience and is a must-see in Boston.

Address: 98 Union St, Boston, MA 02129

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3: Boston's North End

Boston's North End
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Housing three Boston attractions on the Freedom Trail (Copp's Hill Burying Ground, Paul Revere House, and Old North Church), the North End is the city's oldest neighborhood and is known for its Italian culture.

Known as Boston's Little Italy, North End's one-mile square area is home to countless Italian restaurants and historical buildings.

Visit one of the dozens of eateries at the North End serving freshly baked bread, homemade pasta, and coffee.

During the summer, the area's cobblestone streets come alive with singers, pushcarts full of Italian food, parades, live entertainment, processions, and more.

Shop at Hanover Street at Boston's North End, filled with boutiques, quirky stores, florist shops, and ice-cream parlors.

Also, don’t forget to admire the old buildings with beam construction, diamond panes, decorative gables, and pendant ornaments.

Address: North End, Boston, MA 02109

4: Fenway Park

Fenway Park
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Bostonians are avid Red-Sox fans and would do anything to be a game-spectator at Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball history.

Red Sox fan or not, you should try to catch a game at Fenway Park to admire its architecture and to watch Boston's passion for sports up-close.

Fenway Park is one of the smallest ballparks in the US in terms of field area and seating capacity of around 40,000 attendees.

If you wish to watch a game, buy the tickets in advance. The ballpark is amongst the top attractions in Boston, and the tickets are hard to come by.

If you cannot attend a game, take a guided tour that happens every hour between 9am - 5pm.

During the guided tour, pay special attention to the stadium's memorabilia, the Pesky's Pole, and the 37-feet-tall 'Green Monster' wall in the left field.

Address: 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215

5: Tea Party Ships and Museums

Tea Party Ships and Museums
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The Boston Tea Party was an iconic episode of the American protest in which more than 300 chests of tea were thrown from ships into the Boston harbor to protest against the tax payments and the monopoly of the East India Company. This event eventually led to the American Revolution.

The Tea Party Ships and Museums in Boston is a floating museum where you are made to experience the time and events that took place on that very December night in 1773 with the help of high-tech, live actors, and multi-sensory documentaries and interactive displays.

In this one-hour guided tour of the museum, you get to recreate the act of throwing tea into the harbor and visit the very ship where the events occurred.

Visiting this museum is among the best things to do in Boston to know about the American Revolution in detail.

Address: 306 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

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6: Boston Public Library and Copley Square

Boston Public Library and Copley Square
Interior view of the Boston Public Library | Dreamstime/Marcos Souza

Copley Square is a public square in Boston known for several architectural landmarks. The Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, and John Hancock Tower in Copley Square are famous in Boston as tourist spots. This area is also known for its high-end stores and elite restaurants.

Boston Public Library is America's oldest and first municipally funded public library. You can visit the library, pick any book of your interest, and read it in public spaces.

The library also hosts guided tours and public events at the venue. Even though it is not a museum, the library houses spectacular paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and murals by John Singer Sargent.

The other parts of the library worth visiting are the magnificent Bates Reading Room and an Italian Renaissance-inspired interior courtyard with arched pathways and fountains.

Address: 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

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7: Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall is a famous Boston landmark | Dreamstime/Diego Grandi

Located just south of North End, Faneuil Hall Marketplace consists of four historic buildings – Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market, with the oldest being Faneuil Hall.

It is basically a marketplace where you will find everything from locally grown flowers to homemade artwork, oversized pretzels to spicy meats, and exciting knick-knacks to vivid souvenirs.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is among the most visited Boston attractions and receives millions of visitors annually. The four different marketplaces are centered around a public plaza, and as you eat, shop, drink and sightsee, you will forget your way back.

Join a free guided tour across the marketplace and enjoy the performances held outside Faneuil Hall. Then, try delicious ethnic cuisines at Quincy Market – the largest international food hall in New England.

Address: 1 S Market St, Boston, MA 02109

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8: Museum of Fine Arts

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is North America's largest and most visited art museum.

It contains 4,50,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, frescoes, illustrated books, prints, drawings, and ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Inside the Museum of Arts building, you will find many galleries showcasing iconic pieces of art from various contemporary artists.

Do not miss to see the work of Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, Turner, and Renoir, as well as West African masks and funeral artifacts on display in the museum.

If you are an art lover, you can easily spend more than a day exploring all the masterpieces. There are special exhibits too. The museum is amongst the best Boston attractions and welcomes art lovers from across the world.

Address: 465 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

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9: Boston Public Garden

Boston Public Garden
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Boston Public Garden is the United State’s first public botanical garden. The garden is best visited to relax after a hectic day of sightseeing.

It features two of the most exemplary statues in Boston – Make Way for Ducklings (a sculpture of a duck and its eight ducklings) and the George Washington Statue (America's first president riding a horse).

The garden is open 24 hours a day and is free to visit. However, a 15-minute ride in the pond on a Swan boat is chargeable.

Meander through the garden, feed the ducks, see the statues, spend time with your loved ones, or play with kids; the things to do in the Boston Public Garden are endless.

The entire garden is covered in a blanket of colorful flowers in the spring.

Address: 4 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114

10: Boston Children's Museum

Boston Children's Museum
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Boston Children's Museum is one of the oldest and best children's museums in the US.

Dedicated to educating the children, the museum houses fun exhibits, objects of scientific and historical significance, and educational programs enabling young minds to explore the world around them.

The museum develops foundational skills, sparks a love for learning, and is one of the most popular things to do in Boston with children.

Go through the museum’s most notable exhibits like the ‘Japanese House’ – a 100-year-old Japanese house renovated by Japanese carpenters, 'Explore-a-Saurus – where kids learn about dinosaurs, their evolution and extinction' and 'Construction Zone' – where children get hands-on experience using small construction equipment.

The museum is as much fun for adults as it is for kids.

Address: 308 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

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11: Charles River Esplanade

Charles River Esplanade
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The Charles River Esplanade is a 64-acre long linear park along the Boston side of the Charles River. Located between the Museum of Science and the Boston University Bridge, the Esplanade is accessible via footbridges.

It is where the Bostonians and tourists come to relax, picnic, exercise, ride a bike, or simply spend time outdoors.

The best way to explore the parkway is by renting a bicycle and riding along the Charles River.

To explore Boston via water, rent a kayak, paddleboard, or a canoe and float down the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge.

The Esplanade is one of the most happening places to visit in Boston, with lots of events being held here, including the Boston Pops, concerts and theatrical performances at the Hatch Shell, Zumba classes, Esplanade 5K Run, and July Fireworks Extravaganza.

Address: Charles River, Esplanade, Boston, MA 02116

12: Arnold Arboretum

Arnold Arboretum

Arnold Arboretum is a botanical garden and a research center that is part of Harvard University.

The trees and shrubs at the arboretum are well marked and described and aim to educate the visitors about the vast array of plant life.

The arboretum is the second largest link in the Emerald Necklace (the chain of 9 parks linked by parkways and waterways in Boston).

You can enjoy several walking and biking trails meticulously marked with signs in the garden. In addition, there are free guided tours in the arboretum during the summer months.

The Arnold Arboretum also features a visiting center, holds art exhibitions, and has a well-stocked horticulture library for those interested.

You won't regret putting this garden at the top of your list of things to see in Boston.

Address: 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

13: John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library

John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library
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As the name suggests, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library is dedicated to the 35th President of the United States.

The museum and the library were designed by architect I.M. Pei and detail the life and times of John F. Kennedy.

The building holds galleries that move through Kennedy's formative years to his time in the White House.

You can honor JFK's legacy in the library by going through Kennedy's speeches, audio recordings, and videos.

In a guided tour, you will come across presidential papers, artifacts, photographs, and oral histories related to the Kennedy family.

The JFK Presidential Museum and Library is a tribute to President Kennedy and is the best place to see in Boston for history and art lovers. For others, the museum site offers incredible views of the Boston harbor.

Address: Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125

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14: Castle Island

Castle Island
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Castle Island is a peninsula located next to the Boston Harbour. It is connected to the mainland by a small strip of sand and is a bit isolated from the other Boston attractions.

Castle Island is home to one of the oldest fortresses in what was once British-controlled America. It was built to stop the British from claiming the American land.

Castle Island also houses Fort Independence, where you can learn more about its history through a guided tour.

On the island, visit the beaches, admire the incredible views of Boston Harbour, swim at the Carson Beach or Pleasure Bay Beach, stroll on the harbor walk, and watch flights land and take off from Boston Logan airport.

Address: 2010 William J Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127

15: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner was an art enthusiast who thirsted for travel, the bohemian lifestyle, and the luxuries of ancient culture.

She collected art pieces from Italian masters like Rembrandt, Botticelli, Titian, and John Sargent during her lifetime. She set up a museum of her collections in 1901.

The museum showcases fine and decorative art objects, books, paintings, and historic objects worldwide, including furniture, sculptures, and textiles. It is built around a central courtyard with trees, patios, and archways.

The famous artwork in the museum's collection ranges from Titian's Rape of Europa to Rembrandt's Self Portrait.

Join a free introductory guided tour to get an overview of the museum. Visit Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum if you are looking for unexpectedly awesome things to do in Boston.

Address: 25 Evans Way, Boston, MA 02115

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16: New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium

New England Aquarium is amongst the top Boston attractions drawing more than 1.3 million visitors annually.

It works towards marine conservation and ocean exploration and is considered a primary public education resource for all age groups.

The 4-storeyed giant ocean tank at the aquarium is made to replicate a Caribbean coral reef. You can walk underwater through the tank's see-through tunnels.

The Ocean Tank is filled with several underwater species like sharks, eels, sea turtles, sting rays, and sea dragons.

There is a touch-pool area where you can touch and feel snails and sea urchins. You can learn more about ocean life through presentations, shows, and demonstrations.

Children love the penguin and seal exhibits at the aquarium. Visiting the New England Aquarium is one of the most family-friendly things to do in Boston.

Address: 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110

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17: Beacon Hill and the Black Heritage Trail

Beacon Hill and the Black Heritage Trail
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Beacon Hill is an area in Boston home to historic buildings, narrow gaslit streets, and brick sidewalks. It is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, where the Massachusetts State House resides.

Beacon Hill is a popular Boston attraction with its iconic alleyways, picturesque streets, boutique shops, and farm-to-table eateries.

The Black Heritage Trail is a 1.6-mile walk through the heart of Beacon Hill. It explores the sites associated with the Black community who resided on the north slope of Beacon Hill and fought for equal rights.

Join a 90-minute guided walking tour of Beacon Hill to get good insights into the area.

Charles Street is another area of Beacon Hill where you can shop at Boston's finest antique shops, boutique stores, and art galleries.

Address: 46 Joy St, Boston, MA 02114

18: Samuel Adams Boston Brewery

Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
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Despite being located away from Boston city center, Samuel Adam's Brewery is a popular spot amongst Bostonians and tourists.

It offers more than 60 different variations of beer and locally-made snacks. This smallest brewery of the Boston Beer Company is also used as a testing site for new products.

Learn about the craft of making beer, see the equipment used to create brews, and know about the brand's history by taking a guided tour of the brewery.

In such a guided tour, you also get a chance to sample different beers of your choice and get a souvenir glass as a return gift.

The brewery also has a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs like glassware, coasters, and other trinkets.

This classic brewery is ideal for spending a relaxed time after you have explored other Boston sights and attractions.

Address: 30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130

19: Museum of Science

Museum of Science
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Museum of Science is one of the world's largest science centers and an indoor zoo in Boston.

The museum's interactive exhibits, live presentations, and hands-on demonstrations make it interesting for adults and kids. As a result, it is amongst the most family-friendly places to visit in Boston.

The museum's permanent exhibits feature topics such as natural mysteries, the evolution of dinosaurs, colossal fossils, electricity, computers, the human body, and many more.

The Museum of Science also houses a planetarium and a domed film theatre. Watch movies and planetarium shows, learn how vaccines are made, and participate in fun activities at the Children's Discovery Centre.

Address: 1 Museum Of Science Driveway, Boston, MA 02114

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20: Forest Hills Cemetery

Forest Hills Cemetery
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Forest Hills Cemetery is a 275-acre active garden cemetery, open-air museum, arboretum, and green space in Boston.

The cemetery surrounds a peaceful lake and is a burial ground for famous people, including E.E. Cummings, Eugene O'Neill, and Anne Sexton.

The graves at the Forest Hill Cemetery are adorned with beautiful sculptures and display intricate architectural details.

Be on the lookout for a miniature village made of stone and family dressed as trees. The entire landscape is surrounded by grassy slopes, cultivated bushes, trees, a waterfall, fountain, and shaded lanes creating a peaceful and enchanting atmosphere.

The cemetery is open for a public visit throughout the year and should be high on your list of places to see in Boston.

Address: 95 Forest Hills Ave, Boston, MA 02130

21: Rose Kennedy Greenway

Rose Kennedy Greenway
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In 1991, an elevated highway running through downtown Boston was decided to be relocated underground. The project was named Big Dig.

The government built a 1.5-mile-long underground tunnel for the traffic, opening a prime urban area above.

This land was used to enhance Boston's city life by making parks, gardens, plazas, promenades, fountains, and art.

Rose Kennedy Greenway is a series of linear parks stretching 1.5 miles in length that replaced Boston’s elevated highway ‘Central Artery’.

Today, Rose Kennedy Greenway is where locals and tourists come to relax, have fun, play, picnic, eat, and soak up the ambiance that makes Boston one of the most beautiful cities in the US.

In the park, you must visit the Rings Fountain, Harbor Fog, American Heritage Park and sculpture, and a lone highway pillar from before the Big Dig.

Address: Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02109

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22: SkyWalk Observatory

SkyWalk Observatory

For the best views of Boston, take an elevator to the 50th Floor of the Prudential Centre to the SkyWalk Observatory.

It is the best vantage point in the city that offers 360-degree views of most of the Boston attractions.

The admission to SkyWalk Observatory also covers a guided audio tour that points out all the important sights you can see from the top, like Massachusetts State House, Boston Common, Fenway Park, and many more.

Skywalk Observatory is also rated as one of the best sunset viewing spots in Boston by travelers. It is also considered the most romantic spot in the city by many.

Admission to the observatory also includes free entrance to the Dream of Freedom Museum, where you can learn about the unique story of Boston's immigrants through interactive exhibits.

Address: 800 Boylston St #50, Boston, MA 02199

23: Newbury Street

Newbury Street

Newbury Street is one of the best places to visit in Boston for both foodies and shopaholics.

It is a 1-mile-long street filled with high-end fashion stores, boutique shops, best salons, cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Located in the Back Bay area of Boston, Newbury Street is a one-stop shop for all your shopping needs, from jewelry, accessories, clothes, and souvenirs to trinkets.

You will find upscale shops at the lower end of Newbury Street, but as you make your way up the street, the shops become less expensive.

Even if you are not interested in shopping, visit this street for its sophisticated architecture and historic brownstone buildings.

Address: Back Bay, Boston, MA 02105

24: Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall
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The Symphony Hall is one of the most acoustically perfect concert halls and is home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops.

The notable features of the Symphony Hall include sixteen statues of Greek luminaries, fourteen half-moon windows, and ceiling decorations.

The hall was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1999 and is awaiting to be a Boston Landmark.

Symphony Hall is museum-like, with plaques filled with facts about the hall and a collection of antique instruments.

It is one of the top Boston attractions welcoming classical music aficionados from all over the world.

In addition to the Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra, the hall has hosted classical and jazz musicians, youth concerts, and folk artists.

Go here for a live orchestra performance and relive the age-old unmatched acoustics experience.

Address: 301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

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25: USS Constitution Museum

USS Constitution Museum

USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship, launched in Boston in 1797.

It is referred to as 'Old Ironsides' after defeating four British warships during the 1812 War because the enemy's cannon balls could not penetrate the ship's strong hull.

Constitution was designated a ship museum in 1907. It is also a part of the Freedom Trail.

The USS Constitution Museum is built to promote the Navy's role in war and peace. It is among the top-rated tourist attractions in Boston.

You can understand how the ship was built, sailed, and preserved at the museum through educational outreach and historical demonstrations.

You can also ask questions and speak with the U.S. Navy sailors stationed at the ship. If lucky, you can even watch the ship sail to Castle Island during special anniversaries and commemorations.

Address: Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 02129

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Plan your trip to Boston soon!

From museums, gardens, and seaside attractions, to picturesque streets, these are just some places to visit in Boston, Massachusetts. So, if you are looking to plan a trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., start here. There's enough here to fill up your itinerary. This list will help you choose the Boston attractions that you simply don't want to miss out on.

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