Our most recommended things to do in Boston

Boston Duck Tour: The Original and World-Famous

1. Boston Duck Tour: The Original and World-Famous

Make a splash on an 80-minute “Duck” tour of Boston and see the city from the land and water on one non-stop journey. Climb aboard your World War II-style amphibious landing vehicle at the Museum of Science or Prudential Center, and set off to discover unique neighborhoods. You will be welcomed on board by one of the legendary “ConDUCKtors®” who will narrate your tour and tell you about Boston as the birthplace of freedom and place of “firsts.” Travel by the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill, and continue to Boston Common and Copley Square. Hear about the “Big Dig,” and marvel at fashionable Newbury Street. Go to historic Quincy Market, and more. As the best of Boston unfolds, your “ConDUCKtor®” will give you lots of little-known facts and interesting insights into the heritage of the city. Then, just when you think you've seen it all, it's time for a splash into the Charles River. Enjoy views of Boston and Cambridge that you won't get anywhere else. All tours feature a fun, informative local guide. In addition, foreign language tours depart every half hour from the Museum of Science location. These tours utilize cutting-edge GPS technology to offer tours in Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian dialect), Cantonese and Korean, at no additional cost to you. If you require this multilingual commentary, be sure to choose the option from the Museum of Science.

Boston: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

2. Boston: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

Go whale watching off the coast of Boston on a comfortable, high-speed catamaran with maximized outdoor and indoor viewing capacity. Look out for humpback, finback, and minke whales, as well as white-sided dolphins on this adventure cruise. Benefit from the best-guided experience, with professional researchers from the Whale Center of New England, the region's foremost authority on whale populations, on-hand to provide you with expert commentary. After you find your crew at the dock, board the high-speed catamaran that offers the fastest, most comfortable way to explore the Atlantic.  Make the most of the 3 outside viewing decks, climate-controlled cabin space with cushioned seating, tables, state-of-the-art sound and video systems, and a galley offering snacks and beverages for purchase. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for:  Humpback whales The humpback’s name comes from the way its back arches out of the water when preparing for a deep dive. “Megaptera” is its true scientific name, which means “large-winged,” in reference to its long flippers. Finback whales Finbacks are second only to Blue Whales in overall size, measuring in at 45-70 feet in length and weighing approximately 40 tons as full-grown adults. Minke whales A sleek, small dolphin-like baleen whale, Minkes are the most abundant whale in the world today with a population numbering well over 1 million worldwide. White-sided dolphins Found only in the North Atlantic, in waters just south of New England and north to Norway, these playful mammals feed on single prey such as squid, unlike whales, who feast on large numbers of small fish.

Boston Fenway Park: Guided Ballpark Tour with Options

3. Boston Fenway Park: Guided Ballpark Tour with Options

Discover Fenway Park, the historic Boston icon and home of the Boston Red Sox, through an array of tour options. Whether you prefer a public one-hour tour, a private one-hour tour, an exclusive Pre-Game Tour, or a convenient 15-minute tour, there's a perfect experience for every fan. Join our public one-hour tour and delve into the rich history of Fenway Park. Led by an expert guide, explore the ballpark and baseball field where Red Sox legends Williams, Yaz, Fisk, and Rice made their mark on Red Sox Nation. See Pesky's Pole and sit atop the world-famous Green Monster, which stands 37 feet 2 inches high overlooking left field. Take in the magnificent sights and breathtaking views of Boston atop the Roof Deck overlooking right field. For a more exclusive experience, opt for our private one-hour tour. In addition to visiting the same locations as the public tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore exclusive areas like the Red Seat, Visiting Team Clubhouse, and more (subject to availability). For the ultimate fan experience, the Pre-Game tour affords you exclusive access to the ballpark and field (subject to availability). Get early access to the ballpark before the general public and enjoy unique privileges. This experience takes place three hours prior to game time on game days. Short on time? This convenient 15-minute tour provides a quick glimpse into Fenway Park's stunning panoramic view of the ballpark and city skyline. Led by an experienced tour guide, this express tour covers the ballpark’s most iconic structures and locations, allowing you to soak in the atmosphere and capture your very own memorable photos. No matter which tour you choose, GeetYourGuide’s exclusive tours of Fenway Park offer a unique view into the Red Sox’s remarkable legacy and historic venue.

Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

4. Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

Join a student-led walking tour of America's oldest university, Harvard. See the historic campus through the eyes of a student and visit highlights, including the John Harvard Statue and Memorial Hall. Beginning in the heart of Harvard Square, you'll be led into the historic Harvard Yard by an enthusiastic Harvard student. Enjoy the sights while your guide entertains and inspires with tales of Harvard history and personal experience at the university they call home. You'll get an up-close look at major Harvard landmarks including Johnston Gate, the John Harvard Statue, Memorial Hall, and Widener Library. You'll even become privy to a few Harvard secrets along the way! Whether you're a student visiting colleges or a family on vacation, the Hahvahd Tour is undoubtedly the top way to see Harvard.

Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

5. Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

Enjoy a hop-on hop-off tour aboard Boston’s charming orange and green Old Town Trolley and visit more than 100 points of interest in the city at your own pace. Enjoy the freedom to hop on or off all day and discover sights like the Boston State House, Liberty Wharf, and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Take in double-decker height views while protected from the elements. The comfortable enclosed trolleys allow you to experience elevated viewing come rain, snow, or shine. Choose between 1-day and 2-day ticket options with free unlimited re-boarding. The Boston Trolley tour covers all the major areas including downtown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the theater district, and the waterfront. Conductors narrate the tour, offering a fun mix of trivia and humorous stories. There are 14 stops conveniently located close to over 100 points of interest in Boston, these are: • Stop 1: New England Aquarium/Faneuil Hall Marketplace • Stop 2: Historic North End • Stop 3: USS Constitution/Charlestown Navy Yard • Stop 4: North Station/TD Bank Garden • Stop 5: Old State House * Stop 6: Beacon Hill/Antique Row • Stop 7: Cheers Bar "The Original" • Stop 8: Prudential Center/Skywalk Observatory (Currently closed due to construction) • Stop 9: Christian Science Plaza/Symphony Hall • Stop 10: Copley Place Shopping Galleries • Stop 11: Copley Square/Trinity Church • Stop 12: Old Town Trolley Welcome Center • Stop 13: Boston State House/ Boston Common/Beacon Hill • Stop 14: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (discounted admission included)

Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

6. Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

Considered the most important event that led to the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party was part of a resistance movement in British America. Be part of this event that changed history on an interactive tour. Meet live characters, see replica ships, and learn about the people involved. Take a handbill from one of the colonists and find out what part you’ll play. In the meeting house, hear the story of the night of December 16, 1773 and receive your own mohawk disguise before the march to Griffin's Wharf begins. Experience the thrill of throwing a crate of tea into the sea and explore the replica ships that recreate the original vessels from the 18th century. Inside the museum, travel back in time with 3D holographic characters and watch British soldiers and colonial patriots argue right before your eyes. Then experience the battle inside the giant wraparound theater for a complete history lesson.

Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

7. Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

See all 16 of Boston's iconic Freedom Trail sites in a single tour with an experienced guide. Learn about famous Americans like Paul Revere and John Hancock, along with lesser-known stories of women, African Americans, and immigrant patriots and pioneers. Start your tour just inside the Boston Common at the back of the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, located at the corner of Park and Beacon Streets. Discover tales of rebels, gangs, and Midnight Riders, with a few cheap dad jokes for good measure. Gain an understanding of Boston's role in the American Revolution and how the city became a pioneer in the fields of abolition, American education, and immigration. Along the way, learn about the explosive events of the American Revolution like the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre in the places they happened. See Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King's Chapel, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, the Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, the Old North Church, Copp's Hill Burying Ground, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill Monument.

Boston: Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise

8. Boston: Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise

Meet at Rowes Wharf and set off on a guided boat tour. This sunset cruise will give you unparalleled views of Boston's famous landmarks. Escape the heat and admire Boston’s beautiful skyline and the historic USS Constitution as the sun sets behind the city. Your expert guide will be able to tell you about some of the city's landmarks and history. As evening sets in, the sunset cruise will highlight popular and famous scenes set at Boston Harbor from both past and present. Snacks and cold beverages including water, juice and soda; as well as a full bar, are available on every boat.

Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

9. Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

Board a sightseeing cruise in Boston and take a tour around Boston Harbor. Experience breathtaking views, refreshing sea breezes, and vividly told stories of Boston's past and present as you admire the city's sights from the water. Depart from Long Wharf, then Cruise past the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned US Navy warship afloat today, marvel at the Bunker Hill Monument, and catch a glimpse of the fabled Old North End Church steeple. Hear heroic tales told by expert narrators and learn about local legends from the Revolutionary War. You'll also discover how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest waterways in the country. Enjoy the best view no matter the weather, with spacious outdoor viewing decks when the weather is fine, and indoor spaces with large windows if you want to be indoors. Onboard refreshments and snacks are also available for purchase.

Salem: Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl

10. Salem: Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Come sip Salem’s best brews and potions on this history-packed pub crawl of the Witch City. You’ll meet your seasoned US Ghost Adventures guide at Turner’s Seafood, where a mysterious woman in white haunts the dining room. From there, you’ll wind through seven other spooky, historic locations, including four pubs. Delve into the story of a jealous and murderous sea captain at Rockafellas. Mingle with the spirits of Mercy Tavern, where sailors disappeared into secret underground tunnels — never to be seen again. You’ll head home with a pleasant buzz and plenty of tantalizing stories to entertain friends and family.

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Frequently asked questions about Boston

What are the best day trips and excursions from Boston?

The best day trips and excursions from Boston are:

Plymouth, Massachusetts

Insider Tips: Planning a trip to Boston

Matthew Kepnes runs the award winning budget travel site, NomadicMatt.com. His writings and advice have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, Budget Travel, BBC, Time, The Wall Street Journal, and countless other publications. When not traveling the world, he lives in New York City.

What should I do on my first trip to Boston?

If it's your first trip to Boston, make sure you walk the Freedom Trail. It's a 2.5-mile trail that takes you around the city's most important historical sites, including the State House and Bunker Hill (the site of an important battle during the Revolutionary War). After, spend some time relaxing in Boston Common, the country's oldest city park.

What are some hidden gems to see in Boston?

The Coit Observatory offers free stargazing on Wednesdays throughout the year (pending clear skies). Space is limited so you need to book your free tickets in advance but it's a fun and interesting activity a lot of people don't know about. Just make sure to check the weather as you'll be outside so you'll need to dress appropriately.

How much time should I spend in Boston?

Boston makes for a great weekend destination, so 3 days is perfect if you want to see the main sights. That gives you time to walk the Freedom Trail, visit some museums, and maybe even catch a came at Fenway Park. If you're a huge history buff and want to really dive deep into US history, 3-5 days would be best.

What food is Boston known for?

Seafood has played an important part in the city's history, so you'll want to make sure you have some while you're here. Be sure to try a lobster roll or clam chowder. They're local favorites! Some other favorite places to eat include Zaftigs (the best brunch) and FuGaKyu (the best sushi).

What is the best way to get around Boston?

While much of the city is walkable, the easiest and cheapest way to get around is public transportation. The bus can get you anywhere you need to go and there's a day-pass option available if you're going to be using it a lot. The city also has a bike sharing program if you'd prefer to bike around.

What are the best months to visit Boston?

While the summer (June-August) is when most people visit, personally I think the shoulder season is best (April/May or September/October). The weather is still nice but there will be fewer crowds. Prices will be a little lower too. Just pack a sweater for the cool evenings and mornings.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Boston?

My favorite neighborhood is Back Bay/Copley. It’s got a little bit of everything, it’s centrally located, and there are a lot of great restaurants in the area. If you'e a budget traveler, stay in Brighton/Allston. It has lots of cheap food and nightlife options and is where a lot of young people live.

What's are 4 best tips for a person traveling to Boston?

1) Enjoy free concerts – During the summer, there are a lot of free concerts. Check with Visit Boston to see what’s happening during your visit.

2) Get the Boston City Pass – This pass provides up to 50% off at a number of attractions. If you plan on seeing and doing a lot, it will likely save you money.

3) Eat at Quincy Market – The Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall offers a wide range of food stalls at low prices. It’s a hugely popular place to eat, especially during lunch.

4) Enjoy the free parks – You can experience nature for free at the Arnold Arboretum. There are over 260 acres of free public space here, open from sunrise to sunset. There are running trails, gardens, open lawns, and lots of flowers from all over the world. It’s super relaxing!

What should people avoid doing in Boston?

Boston has an iconic accent — don't try to imitate it while you're here. While most people probably won't care, they won't really like it either. Also, avoid wearing Yankees clothing. There's a huge baseball rivalry between Boston and NYC and Red Sox fans here hate the Yankees. Don't stir the pot!

What are your top 5 favourite GetYourGuide experiences in Boston?

1) Boston: Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail

2) Boston: Whale Watching Catamaran Cruise

3) Boston: 1.5-Hour Ghosts and Gravestones Tour

4) Boston Fenway Park: Guided Ballpark Tour with Options

5) Boston: Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Interactive Tour

What is one thing that surprised you about Boston?

I grew up here so nothing surprises me about the city aside from the fact that so many people visit the US each year but only a small fraction of them visit Boston. The city has a lot to offer (specially if you love history or sports) so I think it deserves much more attention!

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Boston?

If you're visiting with kids, be sure to stop by the Museum of Science. It's one of the best museums in the country in my opinion, and while it's mostly designed for kids, adults will have fun too. Their permanent exhibits showcase dinosaurs, energy conservation, cartography, wind and weather, nanotechnology, and, of course, space. There's a planetarium too.

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What people are saying about Boston

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 13,759 reviews

Our harbor tour was great! The weather was working with us during our hour tour. Seeing Boston from the harbor was wonderful. Give you a different perspective. Plus, the guide was very good. Easy to hear, funny and very informative. I would highly recommend the tour.

Fantastic tour, Charlie was a Harvard grad and current adjunct history professor and was very passionate and knowledgable about the Revolution and Boston. He painted a great picture that brought you back in time.

So much fun! Guide was the sweetest and gave us awesome facts about the city! Definitely recommend for a fun morning.

Sabrina was awesome! Organized, professionally informative but funny, and overall great experience! Thank you!

A must for any fan, even if a casual fan. The history that oozes out of Fenway is spectacular!