The Best Places for Shopping in Boston

Boston's Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Whether you are in downtown Boston or in the suburbs, there are plenty of shopping destinations, including upscale department stores, quirky gift shops, and more. Holiday gifts, clothes, accessories, housewares, and electronics—you can find it all in the Boston area.

Within the city of Boston, head to Newbury Street, the Prudential Center or Copley Place. Here you'll find everything from boutique shops to high-end luxury retailers and plenty of spots to eat and drink as well.

And if you find yourself in the suburbs or with a car, there are now several indoor and outdoor shopping plazas to experience, many of which have movie theaters, fitness studios, and more. These include destinations both north and south of the city, including the new Assembly Row, Patriot Place, and the Burlington Mall.

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    Newbury Street & Boylston Street

    Arguably the most popular shopping streets in Boston are Newbury Street and Boylston Street, located in the Back Bay. On Newbury Street, you’ll find high-end shops, local boutiques, and a variety of restaurants. It’s here you’ll get a feel for this historic shopping district, as the street is lined with beautiful brownstone buildings.

    Parallel to Newbury Street is Boylston Street, which also has several shops and restaurants. You can also enter the Prudential Center from Boylston Street. And in between Newbury Street and Boylston Street, you’ll find larger retail stores such as TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack.

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    Prudential Center

    A general view of the TESLA and Under Armour stores at the Prudential Center on Boylston Street on August 31, 2018 in Boston MA.

     Paul Marotta / Contributor/Getty Images

    On Boylston Street and Huntington Avenue, you’ll find the main entrances to the Prudential Center, Boston’s most well-known skyscraper. If you’re taking the MBTA, you can get right to the Prudential Center via the Green Line’s Prudential stop. Here you have the option of shopping at over 40 different stores, ranging from department stores like Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue, to Lululemon Athletica and Sephora. Several of the shops rotate every so often, and there are also smaller-scale pop-ups in the middle of the mall.

    The Prudential Center also has more than 20 places to grab a bite to eat, with one of the most recent additions being Eataly, a 45,000-square-foot Italian marketplace with 4 restaurants, a wine bar, and lots of counters to pick up something to eat. You can also take a break from shopping and head up to the Skywalk Observatory or Top of the Hub to get some of the best views of Boston. 

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    Copley Place Mall

    In the heart of Copley Square, Copley Place is Boston's most upscale mall. This is where you go if you're looking for a new pair of Jimmy Choos, a suit from Barneys, copper pots from Williams-Sonoma, or a new Tory Burch handbag, among other luxe finds.

    Take the MBTA Orange Line to Back Bay Station, then just cross the street to the mall—there’s even an underground tunnel that’s quite convenient during the winter months. You can also access Copley Place through a skywalk from the Prudential Center or via the Marriott or Westin hotels. If you park in the mall's parking garage, you can get your pass validated for $12 if you spend $10 or more and are there for a max of three hours.

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    Charles Street

    National Scenic Byway Historic Charles Street in Federal Hill Neighborhood

     

    SEASTOCK/Getty Images 

    If you find yourself strolling through Boston’s picturesque Beacon Hill neighborhood, stop by the shops along Charles Street. This is where you’ll find 15 clothing boutiques with local charm, along with several restaurants and bars. Popular stores include Crush Boutique for designer apparel, Follain for natural beauty products, and Red Wagon for clothing and toys for the kiddos.

    To get here, take the MBTA Red line to the Charles/MGH stop. Charles Street is also easily walkable from popular tourist destinations such as the Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and Newbury Street. 

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    Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a cobblestone promenade where 4 actual places are in this one location: Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market. Lots of shops and restaurants are also part of it. Millions of tourists visit Faneuil every year.

     

    Instants/Getty Images

    This is an incredibly popular shopping destination in Boston, especially for tourists. This historic area has been around since 1742 and today sees more than 18 million annual visitors from all over the world.

    Aside from Quincy Market, where you can shop various kiosks and grab a bite to eat, there are many popular stores such as Gap, Urban Outfitters, and LOFT. If you’re looking to buy some Boston gear, visit one of the pop-up pushcarts in the square or Best of Boston store.

    The Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a short walk from the MBTA’s Aquarium and Government Center stops, but it’s so centrally located that you can walk to it from a variety of other stops as well. For example, it's a nice walk from the city's Fort Point and North End neighborhoods that you'll likely also want to check out while in town.

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    Downtown Crossing

    people enjoy shopping in the pedestrian zone at Washington street at night

     

    travelview/Getty Images 

    Downtown Crossing isn’t exactly known for luxury shopping, but it is becoming more of a go-to destination as new condo buildings and stores are built up. This is where the city’s giant Macy’s is located, along with stores like TJ Maxx, Old Navy, and Primark. Today, there are more than 200 retailers and 300 independent jewelers in Downtown Crossing.

    There’s also now a Roche Bros grocery store that has become a convenient spot for those living or working in the city, as well as people who are visiting. This area, which is easiest to get to via the MBTA Downtown Crossing (Red or Orange Line) or Park Street (Green or Red Line) stops, is more of a daytime destination, as it’s where many locals that work in the city go to get their shopping done. 

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    Harvard Square

    Just outside of Boston proper is Harvard Square in Cambridge, located nearby the Harvard University campus. But this section of the city isn’t just for students, as locals from both the city and suburbs head to this area to shop and dine out at bars and restaurants. Harvard Square is more hipster than Newbury Street, with stores like Newbury Comics, Goorin Bros Hat Shop, and Urban Outfitters.

    There are also plenty of independent boutiques where you can pick up unique souvenirs and knick-knacks. If you’re looking for more upscale shopping, try Mint Julep or The Tannery. Harvard Square is accessible by the MBTA Red Line via the Harvard Station stop, and there are plenty of buses that will get you there, too. 

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    SoWa Open Market

    In Boston’s South End neighborhood is the SoWa Open Market, an outdoor marketplace that is open on Sundays from late May through October. Here you’ll find over 150 local vendors of all kinds, from food and beers, to boutique clothing shops, and gourmet dog treats. It’s a celebration of local makers that brings the community together, oftentimes with activities like free music. There are always food trucks on-site that are a great way to try out local eateries in one spot.

    Extra bonus: the market is dog-friendly, so go ahead and bring your four-legged friend along. The SoWa Open Market is a short walk from the MBTA Back Bay Station off the Orange Line, as well as Broadway Station off the Red Line. There are also $10 parking lots nearby on Albany Street, Harrison Avenue, and Randolph Street.

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    CambridgeSide

    A short walk from the Green Line MBTA station, CambridgeSide – formerly known as the CambridgeSide Galleria – is a quick stop for city dwellers to hit major mall retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, H&M, J. Crew, and TJ Maxx, among many others.

    You can also get here by taking a free shuttle from Kendall Square or a $2 EZ Ride shuttle from North Station, Kendall Square, or Cambridgeport. Alternatively, parking at the on-site garage starts at $1.99 per hour and goes up to $20 maximum for five hours or more.  

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    Burlington Mall

    As you head outside the city, there are several traditional malls, with the Burlington Mall being one of the most popular, easily accessed off Route 128 in nearby Burlington. This mall might look familiar to movie buffs: It was the setting of the 2009 hit movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Department stores include Lord & Taylor, Macy's, and Nordstrom. It also has a huge Crate & Barrel outpost that's a destination in itself – perfect for those putting together wedding registries or redecorating a home. If you're bargain hunting, check the Burlington Mall's deals website before you go to get the latest promotions and coupons available.

    The mall is currently in the early stages of a redevelopment project, so you can expect more modernization out of this shopping destination in the coming years. The area around the Burlington Mall has grown over the years, with a plaza next to the mall that has newer restaurants including Island Creek Oyster Bar, Tuscan Kitchen, and Tavern in the Square.

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    Natick Mall

    Richard Berkowitz / Contributor/Getty Images 

    The suburbs got an upgrade when the Natick Mall underwent an extensive renovation in the late 90s/early aughts. Reopen since 2007, the Natick Mall caters to greater Boston's most stylish clientele and regularly hosts fashion shows, beauty events, and cooking classes. Key retailers include Anthropologie, Burberry, and Neiman Marcus, among more than 200 others (from a store count perspective, Natick is New England's largest mall). Located off Route 9, the Natick Mall has underground and garage parking, traditional lot parking and valet.

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    Assembly Row

    Just outside of Boston, several outdoor shopping plazas are popping up. One popular destination a few exits north of the city off I-93 N is Assembly Row in Somerville. In the past few years, this area has been transformed into a village of outlet stores with everything from J.Crew to Nike, along with an AMC movie theater and even LEGOLAND. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from while you're shopping, such as Earls Kitchen + Bar, Fuji at Assembly, and a Legal on the Mystic.

    If you're looking for a hotel to stay at, you can even do that here with the new The Row Hotel at Assembly Row. And don't forget to schedule a workout class while you're visiting, as there is now FitRow with lots of studio class options. You can also play all sorts of arcade games and bowl at Lucky Strike.

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    Legacy Place

    In Dedham, you'll find Legacy Place, a 675,000-square foot open-air shopping center with more than 75 retailers, including Anthropologie, L.L. Bean, Lululemon, and Apple. Here you'll also find workout classes like SoulCycle, a Showcase Cinema de Lux, and a Whole Foods Market. Legacy Place is located 25 minutes outside of Boston, just off of 128/I-95 on Route 1. 

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    Derby Street Shops

    Derby St Shops

    Derby St Shops 

    South of the city are the Derby Street Shops in the town of Hingham, complete with 65 stores and restaurants. Stores include M.Gemi, Crate & Barrel, Banana Republic, Vineyard Vines, and much more. There is also a Whole Foods Market here to get your grocery shopping in, along with Burtons Grill, CAVA, Rustic Kitchen and several other restaurants.

    The Derby Street Shops are right off Exit 15 on I-93 North and South. There's usually a bit of traffic leading up to the exit, but it's nothing that should keep you from visiting. But do keep in mind that going south on I-93 on a summer Thursday or Friday will result in lots of traffic, so check before you go!

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    South Shore Plaza

    Also south of Boston off of I-93 in Braintree off of Exit 6 is the South Shore Plaza, a traditional shopping mall anchored by department and clothing stores, including Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Target, and Primark. There are more than 200 shops, ranging from Apple and Sephora, to Primark, Banana Republic, and J.Crew.

    When you’re done shopping, there are 10 different full-service restaurants to dine at, including Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and California Pizza Kitchen. For fun that goes beyond shopping and eating, head to Dave & Busters. 

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    Patriot Place

    If you’re in town for a New England Patriots game, combine your football visit with some shopping in the area. Gillette Stadium is located a little bit outside the city in Foxboro in an area that was once essentially only the stadium, but there’s now a full plaza with plenty of places to shop, eat, drink, and play. For shopping, you'll find shops such as Trader Joe’s, Ulta Beauty, to Vineyard Vines, Olympia Sports, and Charming Charlie. Here you can even play Topgolf, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, including CBS Sporting Club, Davio’s, and Scorpion Bar.

    If you're not in the area for an event, you’ll want to check for big events at Gillette Stadium to avoid traffic. Coming from Boston, you’ll take I-93 South to I-95 South to Exit 9 onto Route 1 Routh. There you’ll just follow the signs for about 3 miles to Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium.

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    Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

    If you’re looking for an outdoor shopping center full of outlets, the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets is your spot. This is New England’s largest outdoor shopping center, with over 170 stores that feature something for everyone. Find deals at Off Saks, Tory Burch, Lululemon, Vineyard Vines, and the Nike Factory Store.

    If you have a AAA card, check in at the visitor’s center when you arrive to get a packet of discounts to save even more money on your purchases. And you can also join their VIP Club to get their Savings Passport and other savings.

    To get to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, which are located 35 miles south of Boston, take exit 15 off of I-495.