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From loads of history to delicious eating, Boston is packed with "must-sees". Here are the highlights that will give you a good taste of Boston in just three days.

Good for
  • History enthusiast
  • Art and design lover
  • Outdoors explorer

15 Places

5 City Tips

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15 Places

Day 1

Beacon Hill

Neighbourhoods

Freedom Trail

Historic Walking Areas, Trails

New England Aquarium

Aquariums

North End

Neighbourhoods

Day 2

Boston Public Garden

Gardens, Parks

Newbury Street

Landmarks/ Points of Interest

Cheers Beacon Hill

Bar/ Clubs

Prudential Center

Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks/ Towers, Shopping centres

Museum of Fine Arts

Art Museums

Fenway Park

Arenas/ Stadiums/ Fields

Day 3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Educational Sites

Museum of Science

Science Museums

Harvard University

Educational Sites, Historic Sites

Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Breweries

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Art Museums

Marina K's City Tips

  • The city is incredibly walkable and compact, with beautiful, historic streets.
  • Boston's roads are infamously confusing, and parking difficult and expensive. Since you can reach everything on foot or via "The T" (subway/trolley system) skip the car.
  • Famous foods to try include the Boston cream pie, lobster rolls, and clam chowder. Beers of choice are the local Harpoon and Sam Adams, ubiquitously available.
  • Tip 15-20% at a sit-down restaurant, and $1 per drink at a bar.
  • Boston is generally a very safe city, but late at night, visitors are advised to avoid the Boston Common and some residential areas on the east and south sides of the city.
    Day 1
  • Save
    Beacon Hill
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    Wander into the narrow brick and cobblestoned streets of Beacon Hill, and you will find yourself surrounded by Federal-style row houses and mansions that date back two centuries. This residential neighborhood is a designated Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, and home to the Massachusetts State House and several small museums, including the Museum of African American History.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Hidden gem
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Shopaholics should allot a little time to stroll down Charles Street, home to some darling boutiques and antique shops.
    • For a great start to your day, choose from the number of great brunch and breakfast spots on Beacon Hill's Charles Street. Then dig deeper into history on the Freedom Trail!
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • Gorgeous neighborhood 19/12/2014
    • A Glorious Old Neighborhood 18/12/2014
    • Beacon Hill
    Address:
    Between Beacon St and Cambridge St
    Beacon Hill
    Boston, MA 02108
    Phone:
    617-227-4392
    Other:
  • Save
    Freedom Trail
    Historic Walking Areas, Trails
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    The Freedom Trail, probably the most-mentioned Boston attraction, is famous for a reason. This 2.5-mile route takes visitors to 16 of the city's main historic sites! Among them are Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, the home of Paul Revere, and the USS Constitution. Give yourself plenty of time – there will be lots to see along the way!

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • If you opt for a self-guided tour, pick up a map at the information booth in Boston Common, and download the SmartPhone App, which offers fascinating stories and facts.
    • Book your tour in advance on the Freedom Trail Website to get 10% off.
    • Consider booking a guided tour. The guides, who represent historic figures, are knowledgeable and entertaining, and there are various themes from the standard to pub crawls.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 195 attractions in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • It is not for everyone. 20/12/2014
    • A must for history buffs! 20/12/2014
    • Freedom Trail
    Phone:
    617-357-8300
    Other:
  • Save
    New England Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    The New England Aquarium is home to hundreds of marine species, from intimidating sharks to adorable penguins. The aquarium schedule is full each day with a variety of animal presentations, so be sure to check what's happening during your visit.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Even if you don't visit, check out the Atlantic harbor seal tank, which is visible from outside the entrance as you walk by.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • Enjoyable time at the Aquarium 18/12/2014
    • In a good spot 16/12/2014
    • New England Aquarium
    Address:
    Central Wharf
    Boston, MA 02110
    Phone:
    617 973 5200
    Other:
  • Save
    North End
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    The North End is home to Boston's Italian community, and accordingly, dozens of authentic family-owned Italian eateries. Here, you simply must sample the pasta and the pizza, or at least grab a gelato or cannoli pastry as you explore the neighborhood. The streets are narrow and seem to be bustling at every time of day.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Take Hanover Street through North End Park to check out the nearby New England Holocaust Memorial.
    • Enjoy some green space and a pleasant view of the bay at Christopher Columbus Park.
    • Although the Freedom Trail passes through the North End, it's worth giving this neighborhood some extra time and eating a meal here, or at least grabbing a gelato or pastry.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • Very cool district of Boston. 20/12/2014
    • A must 20/12/2014
    • North End
    Phone:
    617-720-2283
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    Boston Public Garden
    Gardens, Parks
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    Marina K Says:

    The serene ponds, weeping willows, vibrant flowers, and street performers in this botanical garden are a draw for travelers and locals alike. Located in the center of downtown, the Public Garden can be a great place to relax with a book, enjoy a picnic, or simply walk through en route to your next destination.

    Good for
    • Peace and quiet seeker
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • History enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Within the park, look for the ducklings sculpture that depicts the characters from Robert McCloskey's 1942 Caldecott Medal-winning children's book, "Make Way for Ducklings".
    • From the Arlington St. side of the park, walk down Commonwealth Ave. You'll find statues and memorials with fascinating stories from the histories of the city and the country.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 195 attractions in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A Boston Classic 20/12/2014
    • Odd Boston Medical History in the Public Garden 19/12/2014
    • Boston Public Garden
    Address:
    69 Beacon St.
    Boston, MA 02108
    Phone:
    617-723-8144
    Other:
  • Save
    Newbury Street
    Landmarks/ Points of Interest
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    Newbury is Boston's quintessential shopping and dining destination. Located in the mixed commercial-residential Back Bay neighborhood, it's packed with trendy shops – ranging from upscale boutiques to independent bookshops to thrift stores – all housed in the ground floors of beautiful brownstones. Newbury is also known for its outdoor dining – along with some of the best people-watching in the city.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • Shopping enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • If you're looking for wifi, check out these free options: Trident Booksellers, an eatery and independent bookstore in one, and the Wired Puppy, which has a computer for customers.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #25 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • Lovely, and I don't like shopping 17/12/2014
    • Love Newbury Street! 01/12/2014
    • Newbury Street
    Address:
    Back Bay
    Boston, MA 02105
  • Save
    Cheers Beacon Hill
    Bar/ Clubs
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    After strolling your way through the morning, wind down with a mug of beer and hearty pub fare at this classic bar, the famous setting of the 1980s sitcom 'Cheers'. Historic 'Cheers' and Boston Red Sox memorabilia lines the walls, and the spot is friendly and fun (though you're likely to leave with the theme song 'Where Everybody Knows Your Name' running through your head on repeat!).

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Friends
    • Solo
    • History enthusiast
    • Senior
    • Couples
    Tips
    • Cheers has two locations: Beacon Hill and Faneuil Hall. The Beacon Hill location is the original!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 158 nightlife in Boston
    • Where Everybody Knows Your Name! 13/12/2014
    • Why not 10/12/2014
    • Cheers Beacon Hill
    Address:
    84 Beacon Street
    Boston, MA 02108
    Phone:
    617-227-9605
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    11:00 - 6:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Prudential Center
    Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks/ Towers, Shopping centres
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    When in Boston, be sure to make your way to the top of the Prudential Center Tower. On the Skywalk, you can get a panoramic view of the city, with an audio guide that tells you about the famous landmarks as you view them from up high. Alternatively, enjoy the scenery from the upscale restaurant and bar, 'Top of the Hub'.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • Luxury traveller
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • The Skywalk is open from 10 am - 8 pm during winter and until 10 pm in summer. Last admissions are 30 minutes before closing.
    • It's incredible to see Fenway and other landmarks during the day, but the city lights are beautiful at night. Come just before sunset to get the best of both, plus the sunset!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #38 of 195 attractions in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Solid shopping experience 19/12/2014
    • Remarkable 07/12/2014
    • Prudential Center
    Address:
    800 Boylston Street
    Boston, MA 02199
    Phone:
    617-236-3100
    Hours:
    Sun
    11:00 - 23:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 2:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Museum of Fine Arts
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    The Museum of Fine Arts, or MFA, showcases a comprehensive art collection and is widely considered one of the top ten art museums in the country. In 2010, the museum opened the new American Wing, with art spanning hundreds of years of American history, from before Columbus to the present day.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • The museum is open late (until 9:45 pm) Wednesday - Friday.
    • The museum is free, or by voluntary contributions, on Wednesdays after 4 pm.
    • The museum offers Open House days with free admission on some national holidays. See the website for details.
    • MFA First Fridays (6-9:30 pm on the first Friday of every month) make a fun adult evening, with a bar and live music. Purchase tickets in advance as they often sell out.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 195 attractions in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Amazing! 19/12/2014
    • Beautiful museum with an extensive collection 19/12/2014
    • Museum of Fine Arts
    Address:
    465 Huntington Ave
    Avenue of the Arts
    Boston, MA 02115-5597
    Phone:
    617-267-9300
    Hours:
    Wed - Fri
    10:00 - 2:45
    Sat - Tue
    10:00 - 21:45
    Other:
  • Save
    Fenway Park
    Arenas/ Stadiums/ Fields
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox since 1912, has all the cheerful essence of a classic American ballpark. Of course, the best way to see the park in its full glory is to attend a game there, but if you don't have time, or aren't in town during season, you can opt for a tour of this colorful stadium, or you can even get some great photos just by walking around the perimeter.

    Good for
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • History enthusiast
    Tips
    • Have a drink or lunch at Bleacher Bar, where the windows look straight into the park.
    • Available daily and year-round, the 60-minute tours depart on the hour from 10 am - 5 pm. Arrive early as they sometimes fill up.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • Derek Jeters last game 19/12/2014
    • Go for batting practice! 19/12/2014
    • Fenway Park
    Address:
    4 Yawkey Way
    Boston, MA 02215
    Phone:
    617 267 1700
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    9:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Educational Sites
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    A big name across the river in Cambridge, MIT provides the kind of modernist architecture you may expect from a top school in the sciences. Its surrounding area offers scores of trendy bar and restaurant options, with equally minimalist and inventive decor. You'll find the greatest concentration of food and drink options at One Kendall Square, which is counter-intuitively half a mile away from the T's Kendall Square stop.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • For food or drinks, try all-day breakfast with a twist at Friendly Toast, a campsite-themed meal at State Park, or whatever is on tap at microbrewery Cambridge Brewing Co.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 42 attractions in Cambridge
    • Nice school, worth a look 19/12/2014
    • Disneyland for Academics! 18/12/2014
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Address:
    77 Massachusetts Ave
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    Phone:
    617 253 1000
  • Save
    Museum of Science
    Science Museums
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    Spread over three floors, this museum has hundreds of exhibits on topics ranging from dinosaurs to electricity to the human body. Fun and informative for both children and adults, the museum also houses an IMAX theater and an observatory, which is open on clear Friday nights (8:30-10 pm) from March to November.

    Good for
    • Local favourite
    • Everyone
    Tips
    • Certain exhibits, including the Butterfly Garden and Planetarium, require timed tickets (and additional fees). Visit the website in advance to determine what you want to see.
    • Friday nights at the observatory are free! Arrive early in the evening (around 8:30 pm) to avoid long lines.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 195 attractions in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Always something new to learn 18/12/2014
    • Truly Awesome 16/12/2014
    • Museum of Science
    Address:
    Science Park
    Boston, MA 02114
    Phone:
    617 723 2500
    Hours:
    Fri
    9:00 - 2:00
    Sat - Thu
    9:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Harvard University
    Educational Sites, Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    The oldest university in the country, prestigious Harvard University is renowned both for its intellectual elite and iconic red-brick buildings. A stroll through Harvard Yard, the main student thoroughfare, will leave you feeling inspired (and maybe studious), and after you've acquired some intellectual fuel, you can find sustenance at one of the scores of restaurant bars, trendy fast food options, ethnic eats, and independent cafes in the area.

    Good for
    • Must see
    • Budget traveller
    • Trendy traveller
    • History enthusiast
    • Outdoors explorer
    Tips
    • Some excellent cafes to try here are Pamplona (over 50 years old, and the first in the neighborhood!), Clover, Crema Cafe, and L.A. Burdick's.
    • Take the red line of "The T" which will let you out just near Harvard Yard.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 42 attractions in Cambridge
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Not worth going out of the way 19/12/2014
    • Harry Potter University 18/12/2014
    • Harvard University
    Address:
    1350 Massachusetts ave
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    Phone:
    617-495-9400
    Other:
  • Save
    Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
    Breweries
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    Harpoon Brewery, which produces the well-loved Harpoon beers, shouldn't be missed by travelers interested in the beer production process - or just in trying new and inventive beer styles! The brewery offers tours on the hour every afternoon, but even without the tour, the large beer hall is a lot of fun, with experimental beers on tap that are unavailable elsewhere. Of course, the classics are available as well, as are soft pretzels and inventive dipping sauces.

    Good for
    • Food lover
    • Must see
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • Nightlife lover
    Tips
    • Your tour ticket includes the 1-hour tour of the production facility, plus a tasting session! Tickets are sold at the door.
    • Because tickets do sell out, arrive early in the afternoon to book a spot, and expect to come back for the tour one or two hours later.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 174 activities in Boston
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Monday Tour 24/11/2014
    • Fun beers, great pretzels 23/11/2014
    • Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
    Address:
    306 Northern Ave.
    Boston, MA
    Phone:
    617-456-2322
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    11:00 - 0:00
    Thu - Sat
    11:00 - 4:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The Institute of Contemporary Art
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Marina K Says:

    For a modern art experience inside and out, definitely make time for a visit to the ICA. With a relatively small permanent collection (the ICA only started collecting art in 2000) the Institute of Contemporary Art dedicates itself to incredibly varied visiting exhibitions by talented contemporary artists. It also hosts scores of events, including First Fridays concerts and parties, which are incredibly popular with local 20- and 30-something professionals – and often themed according to the art on exhibit.

    Good for
    • Everyone
    • Trendy traveller
    • Art and design lover
    Tips
    • Don't forget to step outside the museum to relax on the back deck, with a spectacular view of Boston Harbor.
    • Anytime in the month, check the museum's schedule of workshops and music and dance performances.
    • Thursday nights (5-9 pm) at the museum are free!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #96 of 195 attractions in Boston
    • not for evryone 28/11/2014
    • DO NOT GO. BORING BORING BORING. 24/11/2014
    • The Institute of Contemporary Art
    Address:
    100 Northern Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115
    Phone:
    617-478-3100
    Hours:
    Tue - Wed
    10:00 - 22:00
    Thu - Fri
    10:00 - 2:00
    Sat - Sun
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
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