Cradle of the American Revolution for its independence from the United Kingdom, Boston is full of museums, libraries and important historic buildings which testify to the origins of one of the oldest cities in the country, founded by British settlers in 1630.
Considered the capital of culture and knowledge in the United States, Boston is home to prestigious universities such as Harvard and the MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as art schools, laboratories, conservatories and major banks and financial institutions. Its port is also one of the largest on the East Coast. For these reasons, among others, a trip to Boston from New York is one of the things to do if you spend 15 days in the city of skyscrapers.
The best option
The best of Boston, in one day
Experience one of America’s most iconic cities with an expert guide. You will also visit Harvard and MIT.
Duration: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you want to get to know the capital of Massachusetts without worrying about the transport to take, a very comfortable and recommendable option is to do this day trip to Boston with visit to Harvard and MIT from 144 €
Boston is approximately 350km from New York, the adventure begin so early, at 6:30 a.m., when the group of up to 50 gathers at the meeting point in Midtown Manhattan to depart to Boston with the guide in a comfortable minivan. There are about 4 hours of driving left along the Connecticut coast, which, thanks to the minibus’ Wi-Fi connection and the magnificent landscapes available to us, is all the shorter. I’ll tell you more about what you’ll see on this Boston day trip later today, but you’ll see downtown, the famous Freedom Trail, Queency Market, Harvard, and MIT. Lunch is included.
Why I like this option: This is the cheapest and most convenient way to see Boston on a guided tour. Accompanied by an expert guide, you will visit the city’s essential sites and return to New York the same evening. It’s as simple and convenient as that.
Recommended if…. you want to take a break from your trip to New York to get to know another of the most important cities on the East Coast of the United States.
How long is an organized trip to Boston from New York?
Trips to Boston from New York last between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., time to journey included. This means you will have around 4 hours to explore the city, mostly on an organized tour. The journey, which you will make by bus or luxury minivan, takes about 4 hours (which is not long considering the great distances between American cities).
My advice: an organized tour can take you a little longer than your own tour, because you have to take into account, for example, the stops you will have to make along the way. However, it is worth it because, going with an expert guide, you’ll make the most of your time in Boston and see so much more than if you chose to travel only.
If you’re new to Boston, an organized tour from New York is a great way to get a first impression of the city. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore at your leisure and choose where to have lunch.
How to get from Boston to New York on your own?
Maybe you prefer not to stick to a specific day and time to visit Boston during your stay in New York. However, just because you’re not a fan of organized tours doesn’t mean you can’t make the trip. Here is a brief overview of means of transport at your disposal so you can choose the one that best suits your travel plans:
The bus: this is the same means of transport used by most tours and you can get a ticket for only 10 USD per trip. It is important to book your ticket in advance to prevent prices from increasing. Some of the operating companies are Megabus, Greyhound and Boltbus. The journey takes approx. half past four if there is no traffic.
The train: If you choose the express train, the journey from New York to Boston will take less than four hours. Still, I don’t think it’s worth it unless you’re picking up a good deal online. The price can be around 100 dollarswhich is too high to save on traffic.
The rental car: if you’re traveling in a group, it’s a budget option, but if you’re not traveling in a group, it’s probably not worth it. the trip takes about five hours and parking is expensive.
By plane: the fastest option? Is this the fastest option? At first, yes, the flight is less than an hour, but don’t forget to add the time it will take you to get to the airport from New York and Boston airport to downtown. At the end of the day, while the price of the plane ticket, which amounts to around $60, may be worth it, the overall price and duration of the trip may not be.
What will you see on organized tours to Boston from New York?
During an organized visit, you benefit from a major advantage: you do not have to think about what you will see once you arrive in Boston, as the guide will take you directly to the most important sites. You will thus obtain a complete overview of the city without having to plan your stay in detail.
Tour of MIT and Harvard University
This Boston tour takes you to Harvard University with its Harvard Yard Campus (the oldest part and heart of campus, a green space with elms and pines that contrasts with the urban character of adjacent Harvard Square) and the large Widener library (whose holdings constitute one of the most comprehensive humanities collections in the world). You will also have time to visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The guided tour of the city center
Once in the city center, you will visit places of interest such as the Trinity Church, the finest example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Copley Square. The tour of Boston continues with a walk along the historic Freedom Trailwhich departs from Boston Common and travels 2.5 miles through downtown to the port area and the flagship USS Constitution.
Visiting the Freedom Trail
This is a memorial trail marked by a line of red bricks that leads to the 16 sites that played a key role in the American revolution for independence. In the Boston Common park, where the Freedom Trail begins, there is a visitor center where you can get maps and additional information to supplement the information provided by the guide during the activity.
You will learn anecdotes and legends about this episode of American history while admiring the architecture of colonial buildings which were very important in the unfolding of events, such as the Revolution:
- The Old South Meeting House (where the meeting that started the tea riot was held).
- Tea Old State House (seat of British colonial government until 1776)
- Faneuil Hall (where the speeches of the Revolution were delivered, known as the “cradle of freedom”).
The best place to fully experience historic Boston is Quincy Market, the oldest market of the city (1800) with a multitude of stalls and carts selling delicious dishes (pasta, hot dogs, sandwiches, noodles…) although the emblematic dishes of the city are clam chowder and lobster rolls . This market is right in front of Faneuil Hall and the open spaces in the neighborhood are perfect for relaxing while enjoying the animation and street art.
Tea Party Ships and Museum
The final stop on this Boston tour is the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, a floating museum where actors explain the episode which lit the fuse of the revolution against England – a fun experience! Finally, after several hours in Boston, it’s time to wrap up the tour and board the minivan to head back to New York.
Lunch and free time during the organized visit
The Freedom Trail in Boston is a long route, so there’s a mid-day break for lunch and a chance to recharge your batteries. Want to know what you can see in your free time in the city?
- Harvard Yard: The oldest part of the Harvard campus, the Yard is filled with historic red-brick buildings, tall groves of trees and ivy-covered walkways that exude the academic and intellectual spirit that characterizes this place.
- Widener bookcase: Harvard’s Main Library was donated by the Widener family to honor the memory of Harry Widener, a Harvard graduate who perished in the Titanic tragedy. Its staggering collection includes 6.5 million books and one of the few complete copies of the Gutenberg Bible still in existence.
- Copley Square: This is a plaza located in the Back Bay neighborhood where important buildings such as the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church are located.
- Trinity Church: This is Boston’s finest example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Its exterior is notable for its large portico and side cloister, while the interior is filled with murals and stained glass, almost all the work of artist John LaFarge.
Other interesting excursions
If you’re ready to leave the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple behind but still unsure which destination to choose, I recommend you take a look at this handy guide I’ve written on the best excursions you can do from New York. You’ll find all the options here, but my favorites are the Washington Getaway, Philadelphia Tour, and Niagara Falls Tour.
This is why I have related my experience, analyzing the best organized tours to these destinations in the following articles: