1. Charlestown Navy Yard

The Charlestown Navy Yard is home to the USS Constitution, the famous Revolutionary War-era frigate known as “Old Ironsides”. Also here is the 1943 destroyer USS Cassin Young. Both admission and the ranger-led tours of the ships are free (see Charlestown Navy Yard).


USS Constitution or “Old Ironsides”

2. Hatch Shell

Fridays from June through August are free, family movie nights at the Hatch Shell, located on the banks of the Charles River. The Hatch Shell also hosts free concerts throughout the year, including Boston Pops’ Fourth of July concert.

3. Mount Auburn Cemetery

prac_info 580 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge • 617 547 7105 •

One of the best places to take a walk in the city is historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, which serves as a park, botanical garden and arboretum, as well as the final resting place of luminaries ranging from poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to inventor Buckminster Fuller. The stunningly beautiful 0.3-sq-mile- (0.7-sq-km-) grounds feature 3 miles (5 km) of walking trails and miles of quiet roadways.

4. Black Heritage Trail

In the 19th century, Boston’s thriving black community was a driving force in the fight to end slavery and, in the 20th century, they strove to achieve equality. A free National Park Service tour of the Black Heritage Trail visits a diverse range of historic homes, schools, and businesses that tell the story of Boston’s early African-American citizens. Included are visits to the first black public school in America and the 1806 African Meeting House.

5. Freedom Trail

One of the most popular activities for visitors in Boston is walking the self-guided Freedom Trail. Touring the trail is free, as are entering all but four of the 16 sites and attractions along the way. Allow at least half a day for this stroll through history.


Freedom Trail Town Crier

6. Harvard Square


One of Boston’s liveliest public spaces is also a great place for people-watching. There are always buskers performing, and it hosts a regular schedule of events including outdoor musical and theater performances. In September, thousands of locals come to take part in the free, one-night RiverSing to celebrate the fall equinox.


People gathered in Harvard Square

7. Shakespeare on Boston Common

prac_info 617 426 0863 •

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company performs one of the Bard’s plays free-of-charge on Boston Common each July and August. Perfomances are often preceded by free musical concerts.

8. Boston HarborWalk


Connecting public parks, historic sites, and points of interest from Charlestown to South Boston, HarborWalk is an ideal place for cycling or walking. When completed it will stretch 43 miles (69 km).


Stretch of Boston HarborWalk

9. Fort Independence

Fort Independence on Castle Island, at the entrance to Boston’s inner harbor, was a cutting-edge military defense system when it was begun in 1834. Free tours are available in summer. Be sure to stop at Sullivan’s legendary hot-dog stand, which is found nearby.

10. Free Guided Tours

There are many free guided tours available around Boston. Four of the most popular are the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, the Boston Public Library, and the Samuel Adams Brewery. Other options include Harvard Yard and the Massachusetts State House.


1. Bargain Tickets


BosTix kiosks sell discounted tickets to many events on performance day.


BosTix ticket booth

2. CityPass


A CityPass ($59) gives discounted access to many sights.

3. Go Boston Card


Save up to 55 percent on entry to a wide range of sights with this card.

4. Public Transit Passes

MBTA passes allow unlimited travel on subways, buses, and ferries (see Traveling by Public Transportation).

5. Museum Admission

Some Boston museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts, offer free or pay-what-you-want admission.

6. Special Discounts

Student and senior citizen discounts are often available with identification.

7. College Galleries

College and university art galleries offer some of the city’s most provocative exhibitions, with free admission.

8. Boston Symphony Savings

Reduced-price tickets for rehearsals and for people under age 40 are available at Symphony Hall.

9. Theater Deals


The Huntington Theatre has $30 tickets for under-35s; as well as a limited number of $25 tickets for all ages at every performance.

10. Music Schools

Berklee Performance Center offers discounted performances. The New England Conservatory holds free performances at Jordan Hall.

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