Logo   Boat, Train, Bus & Car to Salem MA
MBTA Commuter Rail trains and buses take you from Boston to Salem every 20 to 30 minutes, but it's more fun to take the fast Salem Fast Ferry at least one way.



Many people travel to Salem MA (map) by car, but it's easier and more fun to go by boat or train—or perhaps go there by train and return by boat.

In October, and especially around Halloween it's particularly important not to take your car. More...


From mid-May through October, the Salem Fast Ferry operated by Boston Harbor Cruises speeds between Boston's Long Wharf (map) and Salem Wharf (map) four or five times daily in each direction. The voyage takes about 55 minutes. More...


MBTA Commuter Rail trains on the Rockport line run from Boston's North Station to Salem, Beverly, Gloucester, and Rockport. After Beverly, some trains go to Ipswich and Newburyport.

The train trip from Boston to Salem Intemodal Station (map), the town's train and bus station, takes about 30 minutes. Trains run about every 20 minutes during rush hours, every half-hour during the day, every hour at night and on weekends. More...


Salem is served by MBTA Bus 450 (Haymarket Station—Salem Depot), which leaves from Boston's Government Center parking garage next to Boston's Haymarket subway station (Green Line or Orange Line) and terminates at Salem Internodal Station, 252 Bridge Street.

Buses leave Haymarket every 30 minutes during rush hours, every hour during the day Monday through Saturday, every 90 minutes on Sunday. Here's the schedule...

Under good traffic conditions, the bus trips take about an hour and end at the Salem Intermodal Station (Salem Depot, the MBTA Commuter Rail station; map), about 10 minutes' walk from Salem Common and most Salem attractions.


The fastest way from Boston to Salem may be the least direct: take I-93 north to I-95 north, then MA Route 128 North, and take the exit marked for MA Route 114 and Salem (map). Speed is dependant on traffic, of course, and at rush-hour times on weekdays, this route may be slower. Consult your GPS for traffic tie-ups.

A more direct route, via US 1, is not usually faster.

The most direct route, via MA Route 1A, may be slowest because it passes through many towns (and many traffic signals) along the way. MA Route 1A North becomes Lafayette Street in Salem.

Remember that in October, especially around Halloween (October 31st), you should avoid driving. Take public transportation instead. More...

Note that routes and highway signs on the North Shore can be confusing. Routes are filled with turns, and signs may be inconspicuous or missing, o your GPS or smartphone map app will be highly useful.


—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do in Salem

Halloween in Salem

Best Salem Hotels


About Salem

Tourist Information


Boston Transportation



Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Friendship, Salem Maritime Historic Site, Salem MA

Above, too bad you can't sail to Salem on the Friendship (Salem Maritime National Historic Site).


Distances From Salem (map) to: Boston: 17 miles (27.5 km) SW Gloucester: 16 miles (26 km) NE Marblehead: 4 miles (6.5 km) SE Rockport: 22 miles (35.5 km) NE

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