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How to Get Around in Boston

How to Get Around in Boston

With its extensive public transportation network and patchwork of eminently walkable neighborhoods, Boston is easy to explore without a rental car. Take advantage of the “T” subway and hop-on hop-off trolley tours; join walking tours along the historical Freedom Trail; or hop on a bike, bus, or boat to sightsee. Here are your options.

Public Transit

Boston’s public transportation system is comprehensive and spans the subway—usually referred to as the “T”—buses, trolleys, commuter trains, and boats. The network covers all the city’s attractions, including outer areas such as Cambridge. The easiest way to pay for subway and bus fares is via a CharlieCard—a smart card that’s loaded with cash value or passes—or a paper CharlieTicket, loadable with subway, bus, rail, and ferry passes and tickets.

Walking and Biking Tours

Boston is relatively compact and thus easy to explore on foot or bike. The city also puts walking at its heart through its Freedom Trail—a marked path that leads to its main historical sites. Walking tours along the trail are popular for viewing and learning about the city’s revolutionary history in particular, and include self-guided audio options. Other guided walks focus on districts such as the North End, with townhouse- and cafe-lined cobbled lanes perfect for strolling. Bike tours and bike rentals also are easily available if you prefer two wheels or want to cover more ground quickly.

Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tours

One of the easiest ways to get your bearings and round up Boston’s landmarks is on a hop-on hop-off trolley tour. Modeled on vintage trams, the trolleys trundle around the sights, including the historic USS Constitution, Fenway Park, and Boston Common. Stay aboard for the full loop to discover each sight’s past via the onboard commentary, or hop out at the designated stops to explore at your own pace.

Ferries, Cruises, and “Duck” Tours

Round-trip ferries circle Boston Harbor before sailing to nearby Spectacle Island or Georges Island. Join a narrated harbor cruise to view Boston’s skyline and waterfront attractions such as the Boston Tea Party ships and USS Constitution. Other popular options include whale watching cruises and “duck” tours—where an amphibious vehicle transports you around the landmarks before cruising along the Charles River.

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

9 Tours and Activities

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Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 15 Stops

star-4.5
2049
Explore the best that Boston has to offer on this hop-on hop-off tour of the city. See Boston’s top attractions—like the USS ‘Constitution’ and the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, to name a few—on the loop. Enjoy discounted admission to attractions like the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum with the purchase of your tour. If you upgrade to the Gold or Platinum Pass, you will be given your (seasonal) Harbor Cruise ticket when you check in for the Trolley Tour. These seasonal cruises depart periodically throughout the day close to Stop 1.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.35
From
$49.35

Boston Whale Watching Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Boston Whale Watching Cruise by High-Speed Catamaran

star-4.5
1356
Experience the best of New England’s marine wildlife on this guided whale-watching cruise around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Hop on a high-speed catamaran that gets to and from the whales in the least amount of time possible. See humpback and fin whales, plus Atlantic white-sided dolphins with the help of a naturalist guide. The on-board galley offers food and beverages for purchase during the trip.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From
$62.85
From
$62.85

Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution

Boston Historic Sightseeing Harbor Cruise with Up-Close View of USS Constitution

star-4.5
367
See some of the top attractions in Boston from the waterfront on this narrated sightseeing cruise. Explore Boston Harbor and see the city’s historic sites while listening to live commentary on board. Pass landmarks like the Boston Tea Party ships, USS Constitution, and Boston Light—the oldest continuously manned lighthouse in the United States.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
From
$36.71
From
$36.71

Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River

Boston Duck Boat Sightseeing City Tour with Cruise Along Charles River

star-4.5
6681
Hop into a duck boat—renovated World War II amphibious vehicle—for a comprehensive tour of Boston. Pass Boston Common, Quincy Market, and the Celtics' home turf at TD Garden. Then splashdown into the Charles River for a view of the city by boat. Learn all about Boston's history and landmarks as you go.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$53.35
From
$53.35

Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Walking Tour: Downtown Freedom Trail plus Beacon Hill to Copley Square/Back Bay

star-4.5
242
Travel back in time through the early years of American history during this guided walking tour of Boston’s famous Freedom Trail and its most iconic landmarks. Relive the events of the American Revolution as you pass Faneuil Hall, see the Old and New State Houses, and visit the setting of the infamous Boston Massacre. Then head downtown past Boston Common and the modern John Hancock Tower, finishing in Copley Square. A professional guide joins your trip to help add context.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
From
$35.00

Boston City view Bicycle Tour

Boston City view Bicycle Tour

star-5
353
Discover Boston’s top attractions on this comprehensive guided bike tour around the city. See the unique character and charm of each community up close, like the beautiful brownstones in Back Bay and the South End. Visit Boston’s historic North End and pedal past Copley Square and Fenway Park. Cross the Freedom Trail, passing significant locations to United States history.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$68.00
From
$68.00

Private Customized Walking Tour of Boston

Private Customized Walking Tour of Boston

star-5
5
Explore Boston in a way that interests you on a private walking tour that can be customized to your preferences. You'll follow a flexible itinerary tailored to include attractions that you want to see, such as Boston Common, Freedom Trail, or Copley Square. If you don't have specific interests, you can leave the itinerary up to your guide. Either way, this is a chance to enjoy Boston's history and charm with a guide all to yourself.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$450.00
per group
From
$450.00
per group

Comfort Hybrid Boston City Bike Rental

Comfort Hybrid Boston City Bike Rental

star-4.5
11
Set out for the colonial streets of Boston with this 2-hour or 24-hour bike rental and explore the city’s winding neighborhoods at your own pace. Select among a variety of comfortable hybrid bikes and pedal past the North End, Boston’s picturesque wharfs, historical Fenway Park, the dignified brownstones of Beacon Hill and the downtown public park of Boston Common within minutes.
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  • 1 day
From
$34.00
From
$34.00

Boston's North End and Waterfront Walking Tour

Boston's North End and Waterfront Walking Tour

Explore the historic streets and landmarks of Boston’s oldest section on a walking tour from downtown to the North End. Get a taste of Revolutionary New England as you visit key sites along the Freedom Trail, then immerse yourself in a colorful neighborhood with rich Italian American heritage. Follow in the footsteps of Paul Revere, the ‘Sons of Liberty,’ and generations of immigrants with an experienced guide that brings their stories to life.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.00
From
$35.00