A few months ago, a friend of mine, who was planning to to visit Boston over a weekend, asked me to recommend things to see absolutely in such a short time. I realized that the answer did not come to me as easily as I would have liked! I lived 4 months there and I visited the city in length, in width and across. And yet, ideas were swirling around in my head. I loved it so much that everything seemed important to me. So I thought a little more seriously about the issue and I established a 7 things to do list in Boston to discover the city quickly.
But since visiting Boston also involves spending a few days there, I can also advise you on the best accommodations and the little restaurants you absolutely must try during your stay.
In the program :
What to do in Boston?
Whether you’re spending one or more days in Boston, there’s no shortage of things to do!
Stroll through the Public Garden
I start with my favorite in boston : the Public Garden. I discovered this park on my first day there.
I wandered a little blindly in the city and discovering this green setting made me smile. The Public Garden is a pretty park, right in the heart of the city. It is recognizable thanks to its small water point.
And in any good self-respecting park, there are also ducks, squirrels and flowers: everything you need to feel good.
Do the Freedom Trail
Most definitely the best way to see boston, the Freedom Trail. This long red brick line crosses the city and allows you to see the most important sites. The walk takes 2 to 3 hours, although it can take much longer if you decide to visit all the points of interest.
Personally, I enjoyed climbing to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. On the other hand, the visit to the New State House was less appealing to me, but if you like to visit prefectures, don’t hesitate!
To find out more, discover 5 reasons to do the Freedom Trail!
Wander the Waterfront
Another of my Favorites in Boston, the waterfront. If you like the ocean, smelling the salty air, hearing the sound of the seagulls or sunbathing on the port, this is for you!
It is also the departure point for cruises to go whale watching and it’s a stone’s throw from Quincy Market, a nice place where you can eat and shop…. And the next item on my list 😉
Eat a Lobster Roll at Quincy Market
Another must see in boston : Quincy Market! A bustling place in the city, Quincy Market is a collection of small take-out food stalls.
There are also souvenir shops, but also very good restaurants. In short, it’s a place you’ll love, that’s for sure! In summer, you can see many street performances there. In winter, a large fir tree is installed there.
Stroll through Harvard
Harvard, the prestigious American university. It really is a must-see in Boston. The campus is not exactly in the city, but in Cambridge, which is about ten minutes away by tube.
It’s very nice to wander between the buildings and see all these students, more or less studious. Moreover, some of them offer tours of the campus in English. If you prefer the language of Molière, I invite you to get closer to Mathilde and the visits she offers in French, with Boston Nose in the Air.
For more info on the famous university, be sure to check out my article on Harvard !
Discover Beacon Hill
It is most certainly boston’s cutest neighborhood. But Beacon Hill is also the most exclusive area!
All the beautiful houses are lined up and at the bend of a street, you can come across pretty well-kept gardens. But the place to see absolutely when you walk in Beacon Hill, this is Acorn Street. It is the most photographed street in the United States. Besides, I too took a picture of it every time I went there.
Climb to the top of the Prudential Tower
Last but not least, as we say in English, the Prudential Tower. If you really want to see everything in Boston, I advise you to take a short walk to the top of this building. The view from the observatory is great!
We have a panorama of the whole city and it’s even prettier when the sun goes down and all the lights come on. And if you’re not interested in the cultural side of things, you can also go down one floor to the panoramic restaurant there.
What activities in Boston should you choose?
You have understood, I have just told you about my 7 favorites for visiting Boston. Of course the city hides many other surprises! Maybe you prefer museums and in these cases, I recommend the Museum of Fine Arts. If you prefer to discover the city by walking, why not walk along the Charles River?
If you are a sports fan, then go visit the mythical Fenway Park! In short, the possibilities are numerous. But by starting with these 7 points of interest, you will already have a good overview of Boston
Where to sleep in Boston?
Accommodation in Boston is a real problem. The cost of living there is very expensive! For example, when I was a student there, I lived with a roommate in Fenway Park. The area was quite nice and I was only a 45 minute walk from downtown. But my apartment was really tiny and I shared my room with another girl. And for that, I paid $1,200 per month, or about €1,100, which is very expensive per square meter!
If you want to spend only a few days there, you may encounter the same problems. But I still have some good addresses to share.
Take an AirBnb in Boston
The AirBnb option is often the preferred solution, and yet it is not necessarily the cheapest. But you have the advantage of having a very wide choice. I had the opportunity to try a few and my preference is a loft in the South End.
For 2 nights, we paid $660, which is still substantial, but there were 4 of us, so the price per person is still interesting when you divide it. Especially when you know that we were 15 minutes from the metro and only 30 minutes from downtown.
Book a hotel
The hotels are really Expensive in Boston, but sometimes you can get lucky.
In particular, I had the opportunity to go and stay at the Boston Park Plaza which is located in the very center. The price per night can quickly reach several hundred dollars, but by some miracle, I was able to benefit from a very attractive rate of $200 a night in the middle of summer.
Same thing, when you divide the total price, it remains interesting given the other accommodations. And breakfast is included!
The economical choice: the youth hostel
There are several hostels in Boston, I tested 2 of them. The first was so catastrophic, that I won’t dwell on it. On the other hand, the second was really great.
Located in the heart of Chinatown, HI Boston is an ultra-modern hostel. You can book a double room there if you want privacy, but the price is the same as at the hotel. There are also rooms for 4, 6 or 8, mixed or not.
First prices start at $30 and breakfast is included. On the other hand, the rooms leave quickly so remember to book in advance!
Where to eat in Boston?
There are quite a few very good restaurants in Boston. Having been lucky enough to have lived there for 4 months, I had the opportunity to try a good number of them. It’s high time I listed my favorites.
The principle of this restaurant is simple: you make your selection of raw foods and cook them on the giant plancha in the middle of the restaurant. An almost unlimited variety for a pure delight.
205 Berkeley St
Not only does this restaurant offer an unlimited (or almost) choice of cheesecakes, but the menu of savory dishes is also excellent. I’ve never been disappointed, especially since the portions are huge, for a more than reasonable price.
115 Huntington Avenue
Mon conseil ? Prenez de l'avance, les réservations ne sont pas possibles et il y a souvent affluence !
This restaurant offers only Japanese specialties and the fondue called Shabu-Shabu is their flagship dish. You can eat meat, seafood or fish with vegetables. A very healthy and very friendly dish!
1 Harrison Ave
If you like chocolate, you absolutely have to try Max Brenner. This restaurant located in the heart of Boston on Boylston Street only offers chocolate dishes! Foodies take note…
745 Boylston S
When we think USA, we think burgers. Tasty Burger is the ultimate chain to try. Located right next to Fenway Park, the brand occupies an old garage for a very American atmosphere. And of course, their burgers are excellent!
1301 Boylston Street
Why visit Boston?
Boston is a city worth seeing. Already, because it’s the most European city in the United States, and it’s quite funny to see how you can “Americanize” a place.
There are many places with a strong historical touch, which have really marked the history of the country. Bostonians are adorable, very sporty, but always attentive. Just open a map on the street and someone will stop to offer help. Finally, another important point that may come as a surprise: the food is good!
If you can find cheap accommodation, I’m sure you’ll love the city!