Logo   Sightseeing in Boston & Cambridge MA
What's the best way to see the sights in Boston and Cambridge MA? Here are my strategies to help you plan.




The best way to get the flavor of Boston old and new is to walk the Freedom Trail. Besides leading you to many of the city's historical sites, the Trail takes you past the financial and government districts to fun-filled Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the picturesque North End, both good places for lunch. More...

To fully enjoy the Trail will take a full day. If you cut it short, you may have time in the afternoon for a visit to one of the top museums—the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardner Museum or Institute of Contemporary Art for the aesthetic-minded, the Museum of Science for those of a scientific bent.

The kids are sure to like the New England Aquarium and the Children's Museum.


Start your second day with a walk through Boston Common, the Public Garden, and Back Bay. Be sure to see some of the wonderful old townhouses along Back Bay's Commonwealth Avenue and the shops, cafés and boutiques along Newbury Street.

An alternative: follow the route of Boston's Harborwalk for as long as you wish.

In the afternoon, pick another of the top museums, or do some shopping and café-sitting. For nightlife, look into the current roster of musical events (there are dozens each night), or see what's doing in the Theater District.


On your third day it's time to cross the river for a look at Harvard Square and Harvard University in Cambridge. You can easily spend a full morning sightseeing, shopping and cafe-sitting around the square.

In the afternoon, go shopping: Copley Place and the Prudential Center, Newbury Street, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Downtown Crossing await.

For more shopping tips, see the Shopping section.


With five days to spend you can really get to know Boston. You'll have time to visit the Kennedy Library, the Boston Athenaeum, Arnold Arboretum, and the Boston Harbor Islands.

Here are two walking tours that differ somewhat from the route of the Freedom Trail:

1. Beacon Hill to Faneuil Hall

The major historical sights in the city center, including Beacon Hill, Granary Burying Ground, Old South Meeting House, Old State House and Faneuil Hall. More...

2. North End & Charlestown

Boston's Italian neighborhood, Paul Revere's House, Old North Church, Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). More...

If you prefer, spend a day on an excursion to Salem, Gloucester, Rockport, Concord or Plymouth, or even Cape Cod.

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do in Boston

The Freedom Trail

Finding Your Way in Boston

Boston Transportation

Cambridge MA

Boston Hotels

Boston Restaurants

About Boston

Excursions from Boston

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Back Bay Skyscrapers, Boston MA

View from Boston Common across the Public Garden to tall buildings in the Back Bay.


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