Top 10 Things to Do in Boston

Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. As the largest city in New England – boasting a metropolitan population of 4.5 million – it is the northeastern hub of sports, media, culture and entertainment.

Several major historic events have taken place in the city, including some events that were a direct cause of the American Revolution. Examples are the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre. Many significant battles were fought in the surrounding area as well.

Having played and still playing a leading role in the shaping of the U.S., Boston is also home to many ‘firsts’ in the country . For instance, it has the first Latin School, the first public school and the first subway system. Boston is where Harvard University is located, as well as a few other prestigious colleges; it is the hometown of the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox, both extremely successful sports teams; and some of the world’s finest hospitals can be found in the city as well.

There are dozens of activities in the city. Let’s take a look at a (subjective) top 10 things to do in Boston .

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston

10. Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument is an obelisk – the first ever built in America – that commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill that was lost by the colonial army. The 67-meter structure is an important landmark in Boston.

9. Massachusetts State House

The imposing Massachusetts State House overlooks the Boston Common. It is a truly grand building, constructed in the late 18th century, which can be visited. It is the official middle of Boston and not to be missed!

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston: Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House

8. USS Constitution

This 18th-century warship is a national landmark in the U.S. and marks the end of the Freedom Trail (see number 1 below). The ship can be boarded on tours and the nearby USS Constitution Museum is worth a visit as well.

7. Harvard Yard

The 10-hectare Harvard Yard is the central area of the campus of Harvard University. Located in the neighborhood of Cambridge, this historic site is free to visit. You can stroll through the yard and admire the beautiful 18th-century buildings (housing libraries, classrooms, museums,…) that surround it.

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston: Harvard Yard
Harvard Yard

6. Old State House

Built in 1716 and now dwarfed by the surrounding skyscrapers, the Old State House is arguably the city’s most historic building. It was there that, on July 18, 1776, the Bostonians first heard the Declaration of Independence from the balcony. It was underneath that very balcony that the Boston Massacre had taken place six years earlier. The Old State House now houses a visitor center.

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston: Old State House
Old State House

5. Copley Square

Copley Square, located in the Back Bay district, is one of Boston’s most iconic squares and is surrounded by many architectural highlights. It used to be the location of MIT before it moved to Cambridge. Now, the square is fringed with buildings such as the impressive Trinity Church, the John Hancock Tower (the tallest structure in New England) and the Boston Public Library.

4. Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is a small neighborhood in central Boston. It is also one of the city’s oldest, consisting of narrow cobblestone streets, brick row houses and gas-lit streetlamps. This fashionable, and expensive, area is arguably the most charming in the entire city.

3. Quincy Market

Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall are the focal point of social life in the city. Home to more than one hundred stores, bars and restaurants, it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions and one of the most popular on my list of top 10 things to do in Boston.

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston: Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall
Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall

2. Boston Common

Dating back to 1634 when it was a common pasture, the Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States. This large green area lies in the heart of the city, near the Massachusetts State House and Beacon Hill, and contains numerous monuments, statues and fountains, as well as, obviously, trees.

1. Walk the Freedom Trail

The 4-kilometer Freedom Trail is Boston’s number one highlight. Why? Because it takes in pretty much all other highlights. It runs through the heart of the city and past virtually every major historic site and building. The trail is marked with a line on the pavement, making it incredibly easy to walk it. This is the first thing you should do when staying in Boston!

Top 10 Things to Do in Boston: Old Corner Bookstore on Freedom Trail
Old Corner Bookstore on Freedom Trail

About Bram


Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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