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 boat from Boston to Salem and train from Salem to Boston.

On 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 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 Depot (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).

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...

Bus 459 (Downtown Crossing—Salem Depot) connects Boston's prime shopping district with Salem Depot via Logan Airport and Lynn. It departs Boston from the corner of Otis Street and Summer Street (map). Here's the schedule...

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


The fastest way from Boston to Salem is 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).

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

The most direct route, via MA Route 1A, is 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 on Halloween (October 31st) you should avoid driving and take public transportation. More...

Note that routes and highway signs on the North Shore can be confusing. Routes are filled with turns, and signs are inconspicuous or missing. It's great to have a GPS or smartphone map app.


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

—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, a novel: 3 girls, so many secrets...


Friendship, Salem Maritime Historic Site, Salem MA

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

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