Boston is a city full of history, charm, and character. With so many neighbourhoods to choose from, it can be tricky to know where to start and find the best places in town. But, fear not, we’ve compiled a list of five Boston neighbourhoods that cater to all different types of travellers. Whether you’re a budget-conscious adventurer, a luxury-seeker, or a self-proclaimed hipster looking for an instagrammable spot, Boston has got you covered.
The Perfect Neighborhood for Easy-Going Travellers: Downtown
If you’re looking to explore Boston and are looking for an easy-going and convenient area to stay then Downtown is the perfect neighbourhood for you. Located in the heart of the city, Downtown is known for its energy and atmosphere. It offers easy access to many of the city’s top attractions, such as the Freedom Trail, Boston Common, and the New England Aquarium. Additionally, there are plenty of dining options in the area, including food trucks, casual cafes, and food markets tucked away in side streets like High Street Food Place for the latest in fusion and street food classics to Faneuil Hall for traditional New England treats
Top 5 things to do in Downtown:
• Indulge in a classic lobster roll at James Hook & Co.
• Grab a craft beer and catch a game at The Fours
• Experience world class performances at the the Boston Opera House, Boston Ballet or Off Broadway shows in the many theatres.
• Discover the history of the US with a scenic stroll along the Freedom Trail
• Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum known for its beautiful courtyard garden and stunning collection of European and American art. This was also the stage for the worlds biggest art heist!
The Perfect Neighborhood for travellers looking to Shop ‘til you drop: Back Bay
If shopping is your thing, Back Bay is the perfect neighbourhood for you. This area is home to Newbury Street, Boston’s luxury shopping destination, with designer boutiques, local shops, and plenty of high-end stores. Back Bay also has several other shopping destinations such as the indoor Prudential Center and the Copley Place mall. It’s also a great spot for architecture buffs as the neighbourhood boasts beautiful 19th-century brownstone buildings and grand mansions that reflect the city’s rich history. Be sure to check out landmarks such as the Boston Public Library, the Trinity Church, and the John Hancock Tower.
There’s lots of bargains to be had if shopping is your priority, as the Massachusetts sales tax on clothing and footwear only applies to purchases over $175 per transaction!
Top 5 things to do in Back Bay:
• Shop ’til you drop on Newbury Street
• Admire the Victorian architecture of the Back Bay brownstones
• Visit the Boston Public Library
• Stroll along Commonwealth Ave and it’s wide tree-lined boulevard
• Decompress with a takeaway coffee in one of the many locally owned cafe’s.
The Perfect Neighborhood for Art Enthusiasts and Creatives: North End
If you’re an art lover looking for a unique neighbourhood to explore in Boston, then the North End is the perfect place for you. Located in the heart of the city, the North End is known for its narrow streets, charming architecture, and artistic vibe. The area is home to many independent cafes, bars, and restaurants that offer authentic Italian cuisine, making it a great destination for foodies as well.
The North End is also famous for its street art scene, with murals and graffiti adorning many of the buildings. Art enthusiasts will find plenty to discover while wandering the area’s streets, and the neighbourhood is home to several galleries showcasing local artists as well as the historic Paul Revere House, showcasing the life and work of one of America’s most famous artisans.
Top things to do in the North End:
• Get snap happy admiring the local street art scene and colourful murals.
• Visit the Paul Revere House and learn about his artistic work
• Sip a cappuccino at one of the charming local cafes such as Caffe Vittoria while people-watching
• Attend a performance at the Improv Asylum, a comedy theatre that offers hilarious and creative performances.
The Perfect Neighborhood for a Picturesque Scenic Stay: Beacon Hill
Sometimes the only thing we crave on our travels is a beautiful environment and an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and if you can relate to that then Beacon Hill is the idyllic neighbourhood you’ve been searching for. This quaint district is like stepping back in time, with its picturesque architecture and timeless charm. The red-brick sidewalks and gas-lit streets create an enchanting atmosphere that’s both serene and romantic.
The neighbourhood is filled with cosy cafes and unique boutiques that are perfect for a leisurely afternoon stroll. And if you’re a fan of Instagram-worthy locations, then you’ll love Beacon Hill’s famous Acorn Street. This charming cobblestone street with its red-brick houses and flower boxes is one of the most photographed streets in the country. This historic district also has a rich cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Massachusetts State House, the Museum of African American History, and the Nichols House Museum. These sites offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the area’s past and showcase its importance in shaping the city of Boston.
Top 5 things to do in Beacon Hill:
• Walk along the Freedom Trail
• Admire the architecture of the Charles Street Meeting House
• Take a picnic in the Boston Common
• Wander down Acorn street the most instagrammable street in Boston
• Visit the Beacon Hill Pub “Cheers” that inspired the hit TV show of the same name
The Perfect Neighborhood for a mix of old and new: Seaport District
We get it, sometimes you want to feel a bit boujee and enjoy a stay that the perfect blend of renovated warehouses turned local breweries to luxury modern skyscrapers. The Seaport District is the perfect neighbourhood for you if you’re looking for a luxurious stay with eclectic dining, shopping, and entertainment. This area has undergone a major transformation in recent years, with upscale hotels, trendy restaurants, and luxury boutiques popping up left and right. The Seaport District is a great option for those who want to stay in a more modern and upscale area of Boston, with easy access to the waterfront and all its attractions.
Top 5 things to do in the Seaport District:
• Dine at Michelin-starred restaurants like Menton or No. 9 Park.
• Catch a movie at the luxurious ShowPlace ICON theatre with plush leather seats and food and drink service
• Take a sunset cruise on a luxury yacht and enjoy stunning views of the Boston skyline and waterfront.
• Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), which features cutting-edge exhibits and a stunning waterfront location
• Visit the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, and enjoy a multi-sensory experience that includes live actors, interactive exhibits, and full-scale replica 18th-century sailing vessels
Honourable mention: Jamaica Plain
Although a little further outside the city for travellers that want to see the main sights, Jamaica Plain has such an electric vibe that we believe it deserves an honourable mention on our list.
This area is known for its eclectic mix of shops, cosy coffee shops and independent eateries. You’ll find some of the best food and drink spots in the city here, as well as a thriving arts community.
The neighbourhood is also known for its vibrant street art scene, with colourful murals and graffiti adorning many of the buildings. It’s a great place to wander on foot with a camera to capture the gorgeous scenes of such a vibrant neighbourhood.
The neighbourhood is home to several parks and green spaces, including the Arnold Arboretum, which is part of Harvard University and serves as an ideal place to explore with a fresh coffee. The nearby Jamaica Pond is another popular spot for outdoor activities like boating, fishing, and walking.
Top 5 things to do in Jamaica Plain:
• Check out the street art in the Sam Adams Brewery Complex
• Shop for unique gifts at Boomerangs
• Sip a latte at 7 Pond Coffee Bar
• Explore the Arnold Arboretum
• Take a yoga class at The Breathing Room
Planning a Visit to Boston?
Boston is an incredible city with a rich history and culture, and each neighbourhood has something unique to offer. By following this guide, you’ll be able to choose the perfect neighbourhood for your trip to Boston and experience the best of the city! So, what are you waiting for? Speak to one of our travel experts today to start booking your dream trip to Boston