Things to do in Boston // My 8 must-see sights

Welcome to my blog! My name is Mathilde, and I’ve been living in Boston since 2012. I organize guided tours in French of my new city, Boston. On this blog, you’ll find many articles to visit and enjoy Boston as I do, as well as articles to discover New England: Salem, Cape Cod, Vermont… I’ve created this page to guide you in the most well known attractions here in Boston, to enjoy your tour in this awesome East coast town. I keep it updated regularly!

What to do in Boston? You are here to spend a few days in Boston, 1 or 2 days, or maybe more. These are 8 of my favorite places to see here, the activities to do to enjoy Boston, sorted from the most to the least essential, and for each one of them, I have a few suggestions on what to do and see, depending on how much time you have and what you like.

☞ Guided Tours. I organize guided tours of “my Boston” in French only, and for small groups. It’s a 3 hour tour, half a day, to discover what makes Boston special – in general and to my heart. Please read all the informations on this page if you ever need a French guide here in Boston (3 hour tour, 50$/person)

Freedom Trail Boston

 

☞ Boston is one of the oldest town of America, and its history goes back to 1630: Puritans in the 17th century, Patriots in the 18th and industriels in the 19th lived there. A good way to start discovering Boston in by foot: follow the Freedom Trail, a red line drawn on the sidewalks (either drawn or in red bricks). It’s easy to follow it, you can’t get lost, and you have a nice 2,5 mi walk ahead of you. 

Where? Start at the T stop: Park Street.

 

Interested?  I made a video about following Freedom Trail

Beacon Hill

 

☞ Beacon Hill, it’s la crème de la crème – a must-see in Boston! It’s one of the oldest neighborhood, with tiny crooked streets from the 19th century, with a few rare wooden house.

Where? By the Boston Common, or go to the T stop Charles/MGH. As its name says it, it’s on a hill!

If you have time… Another trail to self guide you on the neighborhood: not the Freedom Trail but the Black Heritage Tour. If you are lucky, at the end of May, you can visit the hidden gardens of Beacon Hill. If you like antiques, walk by Charles street, the main and only commercial street of Beacon Hill.

Interested? More pictures and info on my article about Beacon Hill

Back Bay et Copley

 

☞ Copley square, is the main square of Back Bay, with many attractions during the summertime and the weekends – markets, festivals, lines to hear some Christmas carols (like on the picture!)

Where? Metro Copley Square, perfect way to begin your exploration of the Back Bay.

Do not miss:  Go inside the Boston Public Library, gorgeous courtyard inside. Look around Trinity Church, a nice 19th century church next to the huge Hancock Tower, the highest building in Boston.

If you have more time… Go shopping on Newbury street.

Stop to eat a cupcake at Georgetown Cupcakes (83 Newbury street). Parish Cafe has really good sandwiches for lunch (361 Boylston street). On a lighter note, SweetGreen, 659 Boylston St. offers good salads.

Interested? Read my article about Newbury street

Les universités à Cambridge

 

 

☞ Boston and its neighbor Cambridge are 2 big university hubs in the USA. When the students leave the town at the end of May, the city looks empty and quiet!

Where? To go to Harvard, stop at the T station Harvard (red line), and for the MIT: Kendall/MIT.

Do not miss in Harvard : Read my article about the most prestigious university in the States here. Founded in 1636, it’s the oldest american university, and you can access the campus freely – most of the time. If you’d like, students offer free tours. Meet them at the T station.
Harvard museums are awesome too: the Harvard art museums reopened in November 2014, and the Peabody museum is great to see too.

If you have more time… The MIT campus, more contemporaneous, is worth the tour. Go toMassachusetts avenue and Vassar Street.

L'esplanade Boston

☞ The Esplanade, on the Charles River, is a very nice walk/bike ride/ way to run outdoors. You can also peacefully read a book on a bench! At night, you’ll have the nicest views of Boston here. During summertime, concerts and movies take place in the Hatch Shell, for free.

Where? Along the river; access through foot bridge, there’s one at the end of Arlington and Cambridge street.

Do not miss on the Esplanade The 4th of July fireworks

 

Interested? read my article on the Charles River

Kenmore Fenway

 

☞ Boston is famous for its sports team, like the Red Sox, the baseball team! The streets around Fenway Park are lively: good restaurants, as well as less good sports bars, bowlings, concert halls. This is a great place to go out at night.

Where? T stop: Kenmore

If you have more time… Close to the Fenway Park, there’s another type of park, the Fenways, with a couple of great museums: MFA, or the weird and unique Isabella Stewart Gardner.

Waterfront Boston

☞ Don’t forget that Boston is by the Atlantic Ocean! Unless a chilly wind is blowing, go walk on the Waterfront. That’s where the cruises to visit the Boston Harbor Islands leave, as well as the Whale Watching Tours. Read my article about my experience of whale watching

Where? T stops: South Station, Aquarium or Haymarket.

Do not miss: Boston Tea Party museum, of course!

If you have more time… The Institute of Contemporary Arts is a great building, with nice exhibits.

 

South End Boston

 

☞ The South End is one of my favorite neighborhood. It’s mostly residential, but you’ll find some hidden restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. And on Sunday morning, it’s market day at the “SOWA”!

Where? “Below” Copley Square. There’s no T stop here. Walk along Tremont street or Shawmut avenue.

If you have time… Stroll around at the SoWa market on a Sunday morning (closed during wintertime)

Guided tours of Boston in French!

If you want to discover the central neighborhood of Boston by foot and in French, come and meet me! I organize a self-made guided tours to share my passion about the city of Boston: history, architecture, tidbits of cultural life and life as an expat, recommandations for good restaurants and places to go out, this is half a day well spent. You’ll find all the information on this page, read the comments of happy customers!

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Mathilde

Mathilde

Writer, organizer and social media-ter for my own blog. When I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm organizing guided tours of Boston with my own company "Boston le nez en l'air". It's in French! Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest.

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