Do you want to know everything there is to see and do in Boston? In this post we tell you about our time in the largest city in New England, and one of the places with the most history and interest in the entire country (If you don’t know why you are already taking time to read our super –not so- summary of the history of the United States XD).
We will always remember it as the first place we set foot on the American Continent, and it is here that we landed with a tremendous desire to discover an incredible country. And yes, Boston is a great gateway! Here we are going to tell you the best things to see and do in Boston in two days
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- What to see and do in Boston
- Walk the Freedom Trail (on your own or with a group)
- Relax on the Boston Common
- Falling in love with Beacon Hill
- Grab a bite to eat at Quincy Market
- Stroll through the North End
- Explore Back Bay
- Go back to college (and what a college…Harvard!)
- Enjoy the Waterfront, one of the best places to see in Boston
- Boston Chinatown
- Museum of Fine Arts
What to see and do in Boston
Walk the Freedom Trail (on your own or with a group)
The Freedom Trail is an itinerary that will take you to discover the main historical points of interest in Boston (which are not few!). Along the 4 km of the route you can visit these 16 stops:
- Boston Common
- Massachusetts State House
- The Park St. Church
- Granary Burial Ground
- King’s Chapel
- Boston Latin School
- Old South Meeting House
- The Old Corner Bookstore
- Old State House
- The Boston Massacre
- Faneuil Hall
- Paul Revere House
- Old North Church
- Copp’s Hill Burial Ground
- USS Constitution
- Bunker Hill Monument
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We did part of it on our own and also joined a tour organized by a local non-profit association that leaves from the Boston Common Visitor Center , and in which they told us a thousand and one curiosities about the city and its famous people.
The price of this tour is $12, but if you want to do it on your own, we have prepared a post with the step-by-step itinerary and brief explanations and anecdotes of each of the places of interest:
Relax on the Boston Common
In addition to being the base from which the Freedom Trail starts, this immense park is the green lung of the city and the center around which the streets are distributed. Strolling through it, taking a little nap or improvising a picnic (being careful that the huge squirrels don’t destroy your snack) is a real pleasure.
And if you know little, you only have to cross the street to find yourself surrounded by more trees in the Boston Public Garden.
Falling in love with Beacon Hill
With Beacon Hill it was love at first sight (before we even met in person). The fault was a photo we saw on Pinterest, where a pictures que alley was shown, with brick houses , flags on the facades and colorful flowers in the windows. For us it is, without a doubt, one of the best things to see and do in Boston !
After visiting this neighborhood of Boston we swear that this is one of the cases in which reality surpasses fiction: Beacon Hill is the best! Cobblestone streets, Victorian houses, doors perfect for Instagram XD, vintage stores and a fantastic atmosphere.
Tip : if you don’t have much time try to visit (at least) Acorn Street , more authentic and cute, and Charles Street , more commercial. Chestnut Streets would also deserve a visit, we leave it there
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Grab a bite to eat at Quincy Market
The truth goes ahead: it is a very touristy market , which means two things… a lot of people and quite high prices. If you are looking for a more authentic place, we recommend you go to the Boston Public Market. But, looking is free and the building where Quincy Market is located is an architectural marvel with a lot of history, so it’s worth a visit. Also, you know, among so much offer (there are from lobster sandwiches typical of this area to hamburgers or pizzas) you will always find something good, nice and cheap to put in your mouth.
We recommend the Boston Chowda , to try one of its famous clam chowder (clam chowder and potatoes) or a lobster roll , a lobster sandwich very typical of the area. Although not cheap, the lobster roll menu with soup and drink costs around $30.
Advice : if you are not too hungry you can leave there quite satiated, just learn not to say NO , let’s eat all the food samples that they offer in the different stalls, it will be like having gone to a modern restaurant and paying for the menu $100 tasting.
And this brings us to the next point…
Stroll through the North End
Or what is the same for Boston’s “ Little Italy ”, a neighborhood full of pizzerias, pastry shops and little shops that will take you to the Belpaese. Do not miss a walk along Hannover Street , the main artery of the North End and along “ All Saints Way ”, a narrow alley full of images of Saints. Super curious!
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Are you hungry? Go to Regina Pizza and you won’t regret it! The cut pizza costs about $3 and the individual ones about $12-14. Another safe bet is Galleria Umberto , a super authentic place where you can eat pizza for $1.80 and more delicacies for a few dollars.
Tip : take a look at the parties that are celebrated around here and if they coincide with your stay, don’t miss them (Italians know how to party!).
Explore Back Bay
Another charming neighbourhood, where Victorian houses alternate with luxury establishments and the occasional skyscraper. The essential stops here are:
- The Boston Public Library , a beautiful library, founded in 1848, is the first public library in the United States and has more than 15 million books. Be sure to visit the Bates Hall reading room.
- Trinity Church , a handsome Episcopal church in the Romanesque style.
- Newbury Street , one of the most interesting shopping streets in the city, full of shops, bars and restaurants (although many of them have quite high prices).
- Skywalk , if you want to enjoy the best views of the city you have to go up to this viewpoint ($19).
Go back to college (and what a college…Harvard!)
Even if it’s just to take a look… and it is that in Cambridge , a few kilometers from Boston, there are two of the most prestigious universities in the world. We are talking about Harvard and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). We went to tour the Harvard campus, you know that you can set up your own guided tour with the help of this website. If you prefer to go with a guide who explains everything in detail, they recommended this €10 tour.
Enjoy the Waterfront, one of the best places to see in Boston
You may not know it, but Boston is a city of the sea, and to make the most of its more “maritime” air, you absolutely must go to the Waterfront, a neighborhood full of locals and where you can take some wonderful photos.
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Tip : If you want to see Boston from another perspective, hop on a water taxi ($12). Or on a cruise. The two tourist cards that we talked about include a cruise to see the USS Constitution.
Boston has one of the largest Chinatowns in America , it is where the large Asian population of the city is concentrated and where you can find almost everything! We were looking for a cheap adapter for a day and a half and nothing at all, it was looking at the first store we saw in Chinatown and bingo! How do the Chinese know?
We are in love with Asia, so it goes without saying that we felt like fish in a great ocean, we loved strolling among dunplings restaurants and others with ducks hanging in their windows, seeing little old men (and not so much) playing or just looking and noticing that typical street scene.
10+1. Museum of Fine Arts
And if you have a little more time, you can spend it visiting this interesting museum. Admission is $25 but on Wednesdays after 4 it’s free! More information on their website. If you want to reserve your ticket in advance, take a look here.
So far the things to see and do in Boston (in two days)… although there is certainly much more to explore in this beautiful city!