NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Finding Your Way Around Boston MA
Boston is a maze of twisty streets difficult in a car, easy to get lost in on foot. Here's a summary of major landmarks and districts to help you get oriented.

Skyscraper Windows, Boston MA
Skyscraper Windows,
Boston

Customs House Tower, Boston MA

Custom House Tower,
now a Marriott hotel
,
Boston MA

 


 

 

Boston (map) has advantages: train and bus terminals are in the city center, and Logan Airport is less than a 15-minute taxi or subway ride from the center.

Boston Common

The heart of Boston—Boston's central park (map). Park Street Station, at the Common's northeastern corner, is the heart of Boston's MBTA subway system. The most central hotels for sightseeing are around the Common. More...

Public Garden

Just west of Boston Common (map), the formal Public Garden has the famous Swan Boats, some good hotels and, facing the Public Garden, the bar named Cheers. More...

Beacon Hill

On the northwest side of Boston Common, Beacon Hill is crowned by the Massachusetts State House (capitol) and narrow colonial streets lined with charming 18th- and 19th-century houses. More...

Charles River Esplanade

West of Beacon Hill, the Esplanade is a swath of green along the Charles River, with a boathouse and the Hatch Memorial Shell for open-air concerts. More...

Downtown Crossing

A block southeast of Boston Common on Washington Street is the city's downtown shopping district, a pedestrian zone. More...

Chinatown

A few blocks south of Downtown Crossing are a dozen Chinese restaurants, groceries, businesses and a ceremonial Chinese-style archway. More...

Theater District

Just south of Boston Common, Boston's compact Theater District is packed with venues for plays, performances, comedy and entertainment of all types, as well as some good hotels. More...

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Boston's historic Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market complex has shops, takeout food stalls, cafés, good hotels, taverns and boutiques. Don't miss it. More...

Financial District

East of Downtown Crossing and south of Faneuil Hall Marketplace is Boston's Financial District of high-rise office towers and some good hotels. South Station Transportation Center (train & bus) is at the southern limit of the District. More...

Government Center

Boston City Hall, state and federal offices are surrounded by Beacon Hill, the Financial District, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, and Haymarket Square. More...

Haymarket Square

The "square" is long gone, but Boston's big open-air food market still takes place here next to Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Government Center and the North End every Friday and Saturday. More...

Boston Waterfront

East of Faneuil Hall Marketplace and south of the North End is Boston's Waterfront, home to several good hotels, the New England Aquarium, and docks for ferries, harbor cruise and whale-watching boats. More...

North End

Home to successive waves of immigrants (most recently Italians), this is where you'll find Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, and numerous good Italian restaurants, cafés and pastry shops. More...

Commonwealth Avenue

The wide, tree-lined monumental boulevard starting at the Public Garden is the main thoroughfare of the Back Bay. It goes west to Kenmore Square. More...

Back Bay

Developed on filled land during the 19th century and now one of the city's most important residential, business, entertainment and shopping districts, it includes Copley Square, Copley Place shopping complex, the Prudential Center ("the Pru"), Hynes Convention Center, and Newbury Street, good for shopping. More...

Huntington Avenue

Southwest of the Pru, Huntington Avenue passes the Christian Science Church Center, Symphony Hall, Northeastern University, and the Museum of Fine Arts. More...

Back Bay Fens

An uninviting name, but a beautiful park that's an essential link in Frederick Law Olmsted's "Emerald Necklace," Boston's seven-mile string of parks and green spaces. More...

Kenmore Square

Boston University is a few blocks west, smaller colleges are closer, so Kenmore has good hotels, cafés, bookstores, cinemas, and clubs. More...

Charlestown

North of the tip of Boston peninsula are Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") in the old Boston Navy Yard. More...

East Boston

Home to Logan Airport, this district northeast of Charlestown, is reached by three tunnels: Callahan Tunnel north, Sumner Tunnel south, and Ted Williams Tunnel (both directions). More...

South Boston

"Southie," southeast of the Financial District, is across Fort Point Channel. In the Seaport District of South Boston you'll find the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Seaport World Trade Center, Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, and a number of good hotels. To the south and east are the traditionally Irish-American neighborhoods and miles of good beaches. More...

South End

Not to be confused with South Boston, the South End is a pretty 19th-century residential neighborhood with lots of good restaurants, cafés and bars. More...

Cambridge

Across the Charles River is the separate City of Cambridge MA, with its world-famous universities: Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, plus its own selection of good hotels. More...

Brookline

A large, mostly residential city, former hometown of the Kennedy family, Brookline is a separate city surrounded by Boston. More...

Somerville

North of Cambridge, Somerville is largely residential, and home to parts of Tufts University. More...

Around Boston

You can use Boston as your base for day-trips and overnight excursions to nearby towns such as Concord, Gloucester, Ipswich, Lexington, Plymouth, Quincy, Rockport, Salem, and even Cape Cod. All are accessible by MBTA Commuter Rail train, MBTA Greater Boston bus, or intercity bus. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan


Boston Transportation

Boston Area Hotels

Boston Area Restaurants

Boston Shopping

Boston Theater, Music & Nightlife

About Boston

Around Boston

Tourist Information

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Skyscrapers, Boston MA

Above, the mirror slab of the John Hancock Tower and the stolid rectangle of the Prudential Tower (to its left) tell you this is Boston's Back Bay.

Below, the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown.

Bunker Hill Monument, Boston MA



Cityscape, Boston MA
Boston's Back Bay as seen from
Cambridge, across the Charles River.

FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter