One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston holds immense historical significance and is home to many of the social elite. With its finest educational institutions, this city has a cultural, economic, and political stronghold. This is the largest city in New England and the capital of the state of Massachusetts. Despite its historic background as the place of the famous ‘Boston Tea Party, this is also a lively city with a thriving student population and some beautiful architecture.
Unlike other American cities that are laid out in a grid, Boston is similar to old European cities and is a little difficult to navigate if you are new. The efficient public transport system more than makes up for the city’s complicated layout and is extremely convenient. It is managed by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. It consists of the subway, bus, water shuttles, and commuter rail. One can even travel using Water Shuttles, Commuter Rails, taxis, and even by foot.
One of the best ways to get in the sights is to buy the “Go Boston” Card which allows you prepaid admission to more than 70 popular attractions, activities, and tours and exclusive deals at shops and restaurants. It is available for 1,2,3,5 or 7 days starting from US$49.99.
Freedom Trail – The 4 km Freedom Trail links 16 historic sites associated with the freedom struggle from British Colonialism and events leading up to the revolution. It follows a painted red line or red bricks on the sidewalk with markers identifying stops with information all the way from downtown to the North End to Charlestown and Bunker Hill ending at the USS Constitution
Boston Public Library – This was the first large municipal library in the United States. Founded in 1848, it has over 2 million patrons every year who come to admire its beautiful architecture or research, or just read. There are tours of this magnificent building including that of its artworks.
Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum – In 1773, revolutionaries dressed as Mohawk Indians stormed the ships docked in the Boston Harbor loaded with tea, as an act of rebellion against the British and in particular against the outrageous taxes imposed on Tea. Today one of the ships, the Beaver II has been turned into a museum and is moored to the bridge.
Cambridge – Although this is a city by itself because it is located just across the Charles River and due to its intricate association with Boston, many think of it as part of Boston itself. This is the location of two of the most prestigious universities in the country – Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). More than 300,000 students reside and study here.
Museum of Fine Arts – Boston’s oldest, largest and best-known art institution houses an impressive collection of over 22,000 pieces of artwork including some of the most famous European paintings in the world.
Boston Public Garden – The Garden is a real escape from the hustle-bustle of the city and is a must-visit for any traveler. This was the first of its kind in the country and has over 600 varieties of flora and even a lake where people can enjoy a relaxing boat ride or enjoy great views of the cities through immense greenery.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace – A great Boston day trip and shopping destination, Faneuil Hill Marketplace offers superb shopping with all your familiar designer stores as well as great restaurants and sidewalk cafés.
Mapparium – One of Boston’s most stunning architectural settings, The Mapparium, features interactive exhibits that explore how powerful ideas can change the world. Step across a glass bridge spanning the world-famous Mapparium, a three-story stained-glass globe that gives visitors a dazzling view from the center of the earth.
5WITS – 5WITS provides a unique, fully immersive, walk-through interactive adventure, using state-of-the-art special effects and mind-boggling riddles in a fantastic setting. Their premier show, TOMB, takes your group of archaeologists deep into an Egyptian tomb for 45 minutes of excitement.
Cheers Bar – Founded in 1969 as the Bull & Finch Pub, the original inspiration for the setting of the TV show Cheers, was a favorite neighborhood bar.
Others: Boston Common Frog Pond, USS Constitution Museum, Black Heritage Trail, Children’s Museum, Boston Common and Public Garden, Sam Adams Brewery Tour, Boston Gondolas, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Harbor Islands, New England Aquarium