Top Attractions In Boston For Free

Did you know that the city of Boston in Massachusetts is one of the oldest cities in the United States?

It’s clear to see therefore, why it’s home to so many incredible free activities and attractions.

Whether you’re looking to soak up some American history and culture, or you’d prefer to explore some of the city’s most beautiful outdoor spaces, we’ve got something for everyone in our detailed guides below.

You’ll find the top 10 best free attractions in Boston, as well as all the top-rated paid activities in Boston in our extensive guide to the city!

Free Things To Do in Boston

1. The Esplanade (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

The Boston Esplanade is a 17-mile stretch of bank along the Charles River and is most famously known for hosting the annual Fourth of July Gala.

A stroll along the Esplanade makes for a great way to spend an afternoon in Boston, or for keen runners, you’ll find plenty of pathways dedicated to getting your steps in and meeting your daily running goal!

There’s even a kids’ playground at the end of Storrow Drive which even has a splash pad; perfect for those long, hot summer days! Or better yet, head out in a kayak on to the water and cruise up and down the river!

Pay a visit to the park’s café for lunch which offers beautiful views of the river and the surrounding embankment.

Address:Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA 02116

2. Boston Public Library (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

Boston Public Library is one of the best free attractions in the city as there’s so much to enjoy there!

Take a free tour of the art collections and exhibits, or just make your own way around and admire all the fascinating historic books, as well as the various sculptures and paintings located throughout the Library.

The Boston Public Library is an attraction that’s better suited to those interested in contemporary art, as well as ancient literature; it’s not an ideal place to take kids.

Once you’ve had your fill of the interior of the Library, make sure you spend some time outside taking pictures of the beautiful exterior as the outside is just as impressive as the inside!

Address: 700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

3. Walk the Freedom Trail (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

Did you know that there are 16 stops along the Boston Freedom Trail It’s often said to be the very best way to see Boston and as it’s completely free, it’s a perfect activity that the whole family can enjoy!

You usually begin the walk in the Boston Common, but you can easily pick up the Freedom Trail at any point along the 2.5-mile path.

Each of the 16 locations are significant to the history of the United States such as the Massachusetts State House, the King’s Chapel and Burying Ground and the Benjamin Franklin Statue.

If you have plenty of time to explore Boston, then we’d highly recommend trying to complete the entire Freedom Trail as it’s without a doubt one of the best free things to do in Boston.

Address:Downtown Boston, Massachusetts

4. Harborwalk (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

The Harborwalk is one of the best free activities in Boston as it takes you along the city’s waterfront and through many popular neighbourhoods.

Along the way, you’ll pass through Charlestown, Downtown, South Boston, Dorchester and more, and if you walked the entire route from East Boston to Neponset River, it’d take you across a total distance of 47 miles!

There’s plenty of things to enjoy along the Harborwalk, including many little cafes, restaurants, bars and even public art displays!

Of course, you don’t have to walk the entire thing, but it’s such a lovely way to experience the different neighbourhoods in Boston and get a feel for the various areas in the city.

Address:East Boston to the Neponset River

5. Sam Adams Brewery Tour (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

For beer fanatics, there’s really no better place to visit in Boston than the Sam Adams Brewery!

You can enjoy a free tour where you’ll get to see first-hand how the beers are brewed and learn all about the incredible and humble beginnings of the highly popular Sam Adams beer!

You can even try a few samples in the Tasting Room and while you do have to show proof of age-appropriate ID to sample the goods, the Brewery is famously a family-friendly place for everyone!

The free spots on the tours do fill up fast, especially on weekends, so make sure you arrive as early as possible to grab a parking space and secure your place on one of the best free tours in Boston!

Address:30 Germania St, Boston, MA 02130

6. Arnold Arboretum (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

Set upon an incredible 260 acres in Jamaica Plain in Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is a top free attraction to visit while in the city.

The vast expanse of free public space can be experienced from sunrise to sunset and you can enjoy strolling through the beautiful gardens and open lawns.

Runners can also enjoy the numerous running trails located throughout the Arboretum, so even though you’re on vacation, you can still work some exercise into your day!

Nature lovers will adore wandering through the vast plant collections, most notably the giant Bonsai tree collection.

The Arnold Arboretum is said to be much quieter and more peaceful than the Boston Public Gardens so it’s definitely worth adding to your Boston itinerary if you’ll be looking for somewhere to escape the busy city for a few hours!

Address:125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130

7. Bunker Hill Monument (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

Fun fact: The Bunker Hill Monument is actually located on top of Breed’s Hill which is where the Battle of Bunker Hill actually happened! The actual Bunker Hill resides a quarter of a mile from the monument!

However, the Bunker Hill Monument is still a must-see if you’re looking for the best free things to do in Boston.

Standing at an impressive 221-feet high, in the American history-abundant area of Charlestown, the Bunker Hill Monument commemorates one of the first major battles during the American Revolutionary War.

You can climb to the top of the hill free of charge and see the monument up close and personal and you can also pay a visit to the nearby museum to learn more about the historic events.

Address:Monument Square, Charlestown, MA 02129

8. USS Constitution (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

The USS Constitution, or “Old Ironsides” as it’s often referred to, is a three-mastered frigate belonging to the United States Army.

History enthusiasts will love visiting the permanently docked ship at Boston Harbour. You can enjoy a free tour of the boat every 30 minutes so make sure you carve some time out in your itinerary to experience one of the best free attractions in Boston!

On the free tour, you’ll learn how the ship lived through its time in the war, how it didn’t lose any of the 40 battles that it was involved in, as well as exactly what it’s made from!

This activity is a must-do for history geeks who want to learn more about America’s involvement in the war.

Address:3rd St, Boston, MA 02129

9. Harvard Square and Book Store (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

While in Boston, make sure you head to Boston Square for some light-hearted afternoon of entertainment from one of the 300 registered street performers there!

Take in the beautiful surroundings of one of the most prestigious universities in America and live like a local student as you soak up the atmosphere.

Next up, head to the Harvard Book Store with the kids and make your way to the children’s book section where you’ll find a plethora of child-friendly novels and educational books.

The renowned bookstore is one of the most famous places on campus and you can pick up Harvard University memorabilia and souvenirs from the gift shop to take home as a memento of your time in Boston.

Address:1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

10. The Hatch Shell (Free)

5 Free Tourist Attraction

Hatch Shell is said to be the epicentre of Boston for various concerts, outdoor events and performances.

The most notable day of the year for Hatch Shell events is the Fourth of July when thousands of Boston residents and visitors flock to the event to watch the Boston Pops perform.

Depending on when you’re visiting Boston, you’ll likely be able to catch a performance or two, but if not, it’s still a great thing to see and one of the best free attractions in Boston.

The Shell also hosts numerous outdoor movie nights and live music evenings, so grab a blanket and pack a picnic and make sure you have one of the most memorable nights while in Boston!

Address:47 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02108


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