If you’re planning a trip to Boston, you’ve probably heard that Boston is a relatively small city. Many people love the fact that it’s quite walkable, so you can take in many parts of the city, including all of its unique neighborhoods.
Find classic Italian food in the North End, shop on Back Bay's Newbury Street, or catch a sports game at Fenway Park or the West End's TD Garden—there are more than enough activities, landmarks, and pieces of Boston history to experience while you're visiting.
Allston is a popular destination for Boston University students and graduates to live within the city, which is right off the MBTA Green Line. Here you’ll find a variety of restaurants and bars, including the Sunset Grill & Tap, Deep Ellum and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. Every September marks “Allston Christmas,” an unofficial holiday where students move in and out of apartments, and items left behind become a free-for-all for new tenants.
Home to Copley Square and Newbury Street, along with the Prudential Center and Copley Place, Back Bay offers the ultimate shopping experience. The Prudential Center is also one of the spots to pick up the popular Duck Boats, which will then take you around the city to various landmarks before driving into the Charles River.
Every April, people from Boston gather in the neighborhood on Boylston Street to stand at the finish line of the iconic Boston Marathon.
Beacon Hill is the perfect place to capture photos that scream “Boston,” especially on Acorn Street, one of the most photographed streets. The brownstones in this neighborhood are both historic and beautiful, especially around the holiday season when it seems everyone that lives there puts out festive decorations. The State House can be found in Beacon Hill, and it’s also the start of the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden, where you’ll find Frog Pond and the Swan Boats.
Brighton is another area that many students and graduates from Boston University and Boston College live in, yet this neighborhood is a bit more residential than Allston. A great spot to check out during the summer months with a roof deck, cheap beers, and happy hour food is Cityside.
Another historic neighborhood, Charlestown, is where you’ll find the USS Constitution, Paul Revere Park, and the Charlestown Navy Yard. It’s a short walk over the bridge to the North End, or you can grab a ferry to East Boston or the downtown area to continue exploring the city. This family-friendly part of the city has lots of greenways and parks, which are also enjoyed by four-legged friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll run into a Boston Bruins player—many are rumored to live there given the close proximity to the TD Garden.
Boston’s largest neighborhood was actually its own city until it was officially named part of Boston in 1870. Dorchester is a diverse melting pot with neighborhoods within the neighborhood, like Savin Hill, Ashmont, and other that aren't as as well known, such as Port Norfolk and Clam Point. With South Boston becoming increasingly popular to live in, nearby Dorchester is quickly becoming the new hot spot for Boston residents to move to. Check out the Dorchester Brewing Company and their outdoor patio in the summer for local beers. You can also visit the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum and Library here.
East Boston is another up-and-coming neighborhood that many come to specifically for Santarpio’s Pizza, which is a staple in this part of town. This area is also close to Logan Airport, so it would be a convenient spot to rent an Airbnb. What many don’t know is that you can take an inexpensive water taxi from East Boston to other parts of the city. This can make for a much more enjoyable ride to your destination than a traditional taxi or Uber, especially when there’s traffic and warm summer weather.
This neighborhood’s name speaks for itself, as it’s home to Fenway Park, where the MLB’s Boston Red Sox play. Fenway Park is also now a popular stadium for concerts, so check out what is happening there, or take a tour while you are in town. The Fenway/Kenmore area has plenty of sports bars and other restaurants that aren’t just for game days, as there’s something for everyone. From here, you can also check out the Museum of Fine Arts or walk over to Back Bay’s Boylston and Newbury Streets.
Fort Point is a newer neighborhood bordering downtown and the Seaport. Many companies are moving to this area as it becomes more developed, but it’s also a good spot for tourists to check out. It’s here you’ll find the Children’s Museum, the Hood Milk Bottle and the Boston Tea Party (yes, you can take part in a reenactment!). In the summer, the InterContinental Hotel puts lawn games out on their greenway and has a great outdoor bar to grab a drink overlooking the water.
When you think of Boston beer, it’s likely Sam Adams that comes to mind, and you can find that brewery in Jamaica Plain. But there’s much more to offer in this neighborhood, such as the Arnold Arboretum, a big park that’s great for walks, especially with dogs. In May, it’s even more beautiful than usual during the Lilac Sunday event, and there are other events held here throughout the year.
If you’re on the hunt for the city’s best Italian food paired with lots of history, the North End is where you want to be. Take a stroll down Hanover and Salem Streets, and pop into any restaurant for a delicious meal of fresh pasta, chicken parmesan, and many other classic and modern Italian favorites. And while Regina Pizzeria is certainly a top pizza choice, rest assured knowing that truly any pizza you get in the North End will not disappoint. Once you’re done dinner, pop into either Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry for a cannoli. The Freedom Trail takes you right through the North End to see some of the city’s landmarks, such as the Paul Revere House.
Over the past few years, the Seaport has blown up, with buildings going up left and right along the water. It’s quickly become a new destination for tech companies, but there’s also plenty for tourists visiting the city to check out. One of Boston’s most popular roof deck bars is here at Legal Harborside, and there are a number of other restaurants and bars along the same stretch on Northern Avenue. You can also head to this area to catch a show at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion where many popular musicians and performers play during the warmer months.
Boston’s Irish-American neighborhood, South Boston, also known as “Southie,” is now a popular residential neighborhood for people of all ages, with new condos being built regularly. Many people travel to this part of town to take a walk along the HarborWalk at Castle Island, checking out the beaches and Fort Independence. It’s there you’ll find Sullivan’s, a Southie staple that serves lobster rolls, hot dogs, and more. Over the past few years, many other restaurants have popped up throughout the neighborhood, the majority along Broadway, the main street that goes from one end of Southie to the other.
The South End is a beautiful, diverse neighborhood filled with brownstone townhouses, many of which are occupied by families with young children. It’s the perfect spot for those with little ones that just can’t picture themselves in the ‘burbs just yet. But those visiting the city will love strolling through this dog-friendly, picturesque neighborhood. Many well-known restaurants can be found on and around Tremont Street and Harrison Ave. And the South End continues to grow, with a new part of the neighborhood called “Ink Block” bringing even more restaurants, workout studios, and recently a Whole Foods.
Last but certainly not least, the West End of Boston is an area that sports fans tend to find themselves visiting, as it’s home to the TD Garden, where the Celtics and Bruins play, along with many other events and concerts. Taking the T to North Station, accessible via a few different lines, along with the commuter rail from outside the city, will drop you right at the TD Garden on Commercial Street. It’s also very close to the North End if you want to check that out while you’re in that part of town.