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Boston

152 expert recommended attractions

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Museum of Fine Arts

Kenmore Sq & Fenway 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The MFA’s encyclopedic collection culls some of the world’s finest treasures, including international and contemporary art, instruments, photographs and textiles. Upcoming: The largest... — Where

Count on staying a while if you have any hope of seeing what's here. — Fodor's

Founded in 1870, the MFA moved from Copley Square to its current home, a neoclassical granite building on Huntington Avenue—the so-called "Avenue of the Arts"—in 1909. — Time Out

The Museum of Fine Arts holdings encompass all eras, from the ancient world to contemporary times, and all areas of the globe, making it truly encyclopedic in scope. — Lonely Planet

One of the world's great art museums, the MFA works nonstop to become even more accessible and interesting. — Frommer's

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Kenmore Sq & Fenway 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This eclectic museum occupies a meticulous replica of a Venetian palazzo and showcases an unparalleled collection of old masters, Gothic tapestries, and Renaissance furniture. — Travel + Leisure

Isabella Stewart Gardner was an heiress and something of a black sheep of late-19th- and early-20th-century Boston society: She was a rabid Red Sox and horse-racing fan. — Concierge

Isabella Stewart Gardner’s vast collection of more than 2,500 fine and decorative art objects, paintings, tapestries and furnishings and includes a venue for contemporary artists and concerts. — Where

The Gardner museum is a lavish reconstruction of a 15th-century Venetian palace, complete with a luxurious interior courtyard with a seasonally changing floral display. — Time Out

Today, it's probably America's most idiosyncratic treasure house. — Fodor's

Boston Public Library

Back Bay 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The original structure, designed by Charles McKim and completed in 1895, is now the research library, while an extension opened in 1972 to function as a general library. — Time Out

This central branch at Copley Square is home to the magnificent Bates Hall reading room, the most architecturally revered and historically significant room at America’s first public library. — Travel + Leisure

Beautiful Italianate courtyard in the BPL’s historic McKim building, the Courtyard Restaurant is steeped in history. Great place to grab lunch of bring your own from a nearby spot like... — On the Grid

This venerable institution is a handsome temple to literature and a valuable research library. — Fodor's

A lovely find for a lover of literature and libraries full of old charm. — Afar Magazine

Bunker Hill Monument

Charlestown 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The 221ft granite obelisk (1842), which actually stands on Breed's Hill where the 1775 battle was fought, is Charlestown's most prominent landmark. — Michelin Guide

What was once a wooden pillar just shy of 20 feet is now a 221-foot granite obelisk and a prime observation point. From the top of this historic site commemorating the Battle of Bunker... — Travel + Leisure

The 220ft granite obelisk monument is visible from across the harbor in the North End, from the expanse of the Zakim Bridge and from almost anywhere in Charlestown. — Lonely Planet

Battle actually took place on nearby Breed's Hill. — Not For Tourists

Freedom Trail attraction. One of Boston’s most iconic sights is, ironically, a misnomer: the Bunker Hill Monument actually sits atop Breed’s Hill, where the American Revolution’s Battle... — Where

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Boston 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This esteemed institution is famed for its botanical galleries, featuring more than 3000 lifelike pieces of handblown glass flowers and plants. — Lonely Planet

Three prestigious academic collections come together to create a world-class natural history museum.  — Atlas Obscura

This historic museum boasts a vast and slightly creepy collection of stuffed, bottled and dried creatures from around the globe. — Time Out

This museum is the most visited attraction at Harvard, boasting rarities such as the world’s only mounted Kronosaurus—a 42-foot-long prehistoric marine reptile. — Travel + Leisure

These fascinating museums house the university's collections of items and artifacts related to the natural world. — Frommer's

John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library

Seaport District & South Boston 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Houses 21 permanent exhibits examining JFK's life and work. — Not For Tourists

South of Boston's city center and away from all the crowds, the museum is full of memorabilia from JFK's life before and during his presidency. — Afar Magazine

The legacy of JFK is ubiquitous in Boston, but the official memorial to the 35th president is this striking, modern, marble building designed by IM Pei. — Lonely Planet

Chronicling a time now passing from memory to history, the library-museum is both a center for serious scholarship and a focus for Boston's nostalgia for her native son. — Fodor's

The Kennedy era springs to life at this dramatic library, museum, and educational research complex overlooking Dorchester Bay. — Frommer's

Boston Children's Museum

Seaport District & South Boston 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Kick off a visit to this youngster-friendly museum by scaling the giant, three-story New Balance Foundation Climb. Kids engage in interactive and educational displays; exhibits include... — Where

Founded in 1913 by a well-meaning group of local science teachers, the Children's Museum in Boston was just another collection of things to look at until director Michael Spock arrived in 1961. — Time Out

Most children have so much fun here that they don't realize they're actually learning something. — Fodor's

A three-story-high structure, the New Balance Climb, incorporates motor skills and problem-solving; kids work their way through while adults watch from the stairs. — Frommer's

The museum is a wonderland of learning and play. — Michelin Guide

Old North Church

West End & North End 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On the evening of April 18, 1775, the sexton displayed two lanterns in the steeple to signal the departure of the British from Boston to Lexington by boat, thus prompting the ride of Paul Revere. — Michelin Guide

One if by land, two if by sea. — Not For Tourists

The site of Paul Revere's historic two lantern warning  — Atlas Obscura

This is Christ, or Old North, Church, where Paul Revere and the young sexton Robert Newman managed that night to signal the departure by water of the British regulars. — Fodor's

‘One if by land, Two if by sea…’ Everyone knows the line from Longfellow’s poem, Paul Revere’s Ride. — Lonely Planet

Trinity Church

Back Bay 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In his 1877 masterpiece, architect Henry Hobson Richardson brought his Romanesque Revival style to maturity. — Fodor's

The Copley Square landmark features 30-minute organ recitals by local and visiting artists on Friday at 12:15pm. — Frommer's

A masterpiece by visionary American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, this Episcopal Church has dominated Copley Square since it was built on Back Bay marshland during the 1870s. — Travel + Leisure

Completed in 1877, Trinity Church is considered a masterpiece of church architecture for its Richardsonian Romanesque design, its incredible murals by John LaFarge and Augustus... — Where

The masterpiece of architect Henry Hobson Richardson... the west porch that catches the eye with its carved statues and biblical friezes. — Michelin Guide

Boston Athenaeum

Beacon Hill & Boston Common 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This landmark is one of the city’s largest and oldest membership libraries and its first museum of fine arts. Its collections include the personal library of George Washington and art by... — Where

Old books, including one true crime account bound in the author's skin. — Not For Tourists

Bostonians now jealously guard the title "Athens of America." One of the oldest libraries in the country. — Fodor's

An old and distinguished private library, having hosted the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. — Lonely Planet

This magnificent private library is tucked away behind red leather–bound doors with more than 600,000 volumes of gilt-lettered books and rare manuscripts. — Condé Nast Traveler

Museum of Science

West End & North End 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

At Boston’s most popular attraction, see lightning produced indoors by the world’s largest Van de Graaff generator. Learn about the earth and space, animals and plants, dinosaurs and... — The Telegraph

The Museum of Science is a compelling technology and science-based destination. Permanent exhibits study the weather, mathematics, bird species, dinosaurs, space and the human body, among... — Where

With 15-foot lightning bolts in the Theater of Electricity and a 20-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex model, this is just the place to ignite any child's scientific curiosity. — Fodor's

For the ultimate pain-free educational experience, head to the Museum of Science. — Frommer's

A kaleidoscopic array of exhibits... features cutting-edge, interactive displays that encourage kids and adults to think. — Michelin Guide

Boston Common

Beacon Hill & Boston Common 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A beautiful spot to walk in all seasons, during the winter, the Frog Pond has a magical skating rink that will delight both young and old. — Afar Magazine

The Boston Common has served many purposes over the years, including as a campground for British troops during the Revolutionary War and as green grass for cattle grazing until 1830. — Lonely Planet

A green, 50-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Boston, the Common is the oldest park in the United States (first laid out as a pasture for cattle grazing in 1634). — Condé Nast Traveler

The Public Garden is quiet and contained, the adjacent Commons is open and bustling. — Michelin Guide

Nothing is more central to Boston than the Common, the oldest public park in the United States and undoubtedly the largest and most famous of the town commons. — Fodor's

Boston Public Garden

Beacon Hill & Boston Common 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Next to King's Chapel is the King's Chapel Burying Ground, Boston's oldest cemetery, founded in 1630. This is the final resting place of John Winthrop (the Massachusetts Bay Colony's... — Michelin Guide

The central feature of the Public Garden is its irregularly shaped pond, intended to appear, from any vantage point along its banks, much larger than its nearly 4 acres. — Fodor's

The first recognized public botanical garden in America evokes a sense of Victorian style in the 21st century. — Travel + Leisure

Great spot for a picnic, enjoy a coffee, read a book or explore Boston’s history. Since Boston is such a walkable city, be sure to cut through on your way across town. The swan boats are... — On the Grid

Boston's Public Garden is beautiful in every season. Winter provides a special opportunity to view its structural elements highlighted by a dusting of snow. — Afar Magazine

New England Aquarium

Downtown & Waterfront 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Just a 10-minute walk from Quincy Market, this appropriately acclaimed showcase of sea life sits on Central Wharf overlooking Boston Harbor. — Travel + Leisure

Explore the world’s waters from the Amazon rain forest to Pacific reefs to the Gulf of Maine, and the creatures living there. Come see the Giant Ocean Tank, a Caribbean coral reef... — Where

Check out penguin snack-time. — Not For Tourists

This aquarium was huge—with a large central tank, incredible jelly fish area, penguins, even an IMAX. — Afar Magazine

This aquarium challenges you to imagine life under and around the sea. — Fodor's

Granary Burying Ground

Downtown & Waterfront 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

American revolutionaries and British soldiers alike are buried here in the fourth-ever cemetery in Boston.  — Atlas Obscura

"It is a fine thing to die in Boston," A. C. Lyons, an essayist and old Boston wit, once remarked, alluding to the city's cemeteries, among the most picturesque and historic in America. — Fodor's

Dating to 1660, this atmospheric atoll is crammed with historic headstones, many with evocative (and creepy) carvings. — Lonely Planet

The Granary Burying Ground is the third oldest graveyard in Boston, established in 1660. — Time Out

Buried here are Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and Crispus Attucks. — Michelin Guide

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Seaport District & South Boston 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Founded in 1936, the ICA showcases work by the likes of Nan Goldin, Mona Hatoum, Paul Chan, and Julian Opie (major exhibitions rotate three times per year). — Concierge

The new, 65,000sq ft site features a facade of translucent and transparent glass, wood and metal, and a dramatic folding ribbon shape. — Michelin Guide

The ICA stands at attention over Boston Harbor. All glass and modern angles, it is architecturally unique in the city's overwhelmingly brick landscape. Looking out over the water from... — Afar Magazine

Stunning new building. Oh, and the art's pretty good too. — Not For Tourists

Once crammed into a tiny building in Back Bay, the ICA moved to its spacious new home in late 2006, and is now the cultural cornerstone of the waterfront. — Time Out

Old State House

Downtown & Waterfront 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This colonial-era landmark has one of the most recognizable facades in Boston, with its State Street gable adorned by a brightly gilded lion and unicorn, symbols of British imperial power. — Fodor's

Built in 1713, this brick structure served as the seat of colonial government before the Revolution and as the state capitol until 1798. — Frommer's

Oldest surviving public building in Boston. — Not For Tourists

The Boston Massacre took place outside the building in 1770, and on July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read from its balcony. — Michelin Guide

Dating to 1713, the Old State House is Boston’s oldest surviving public building, where the Massachusetts Assembly used to debate the issues of the day before the revolution. — Lonely Planet

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Mt. Auburn Cemetery

Cambridge 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Visitors to this National Historic Landmark find history and horticulture coexisting with celebrity. — Frommer's

A cemetery might not strike you as a first choice for a visit, but this one is a pleasure. — Fodor's

On a sunny day, this delightful spot at the end of Brattle St is worth the 30-minute walk west from Harvard Sq. — Lonely Planet

This is the final resting place for Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Bulfinch and some 86,000 others. — Time Out

Founded 1831. Culture hounds have a field day at Mount Auburn, where the souls of 19th-century forward thinkers linger in America’s first landscaped cemetery. Mary Baker Eddy and Isabella... — Where

MIT Museum

Cambridge 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Engaging holography displays and robots are the hallmarks of the MIT Museum, where you'll also find works in more conventional media, such as kinetic sculpture. — Frommer's

Five blocks from MIT's campus, this fascinating museum serves as a historical record of the institute and a showcase for its amazing inventions and related art. — Time Out

This microcosm of technological, engineering and scientific strides attracts visitors from around the world. Exhibitions change frequently and focus on subjects like emerging... — Where

A place where art, science, and technology meet, the MIT Museum boasts the world's largest collection of holograms,. — Fodor's

A gadget-lover's delight, this fun house of mind-boggling art includes stop-motion photographs, kinetic sculptures and reputedly the world's largest collection of holograms. — Michelin Guide

Faneuil Hall Historic Site

Downtown & Waterfront 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Faneuil Hall (that is, the building) dates from 1742. — Not For Tourists

Built in 1742 (and enlarged using a Charles Bulfinch design in 1805), this building was a gift to Boston, which was then just a town, from prosperous merchant Peter Faneuil. — Frommer's

‘Those who cannot bear free speech had best go home,’ said Wendell Phillips. ‘Faneuil Hall is no place for slavish hearts.’. — Lonely Planet

The hall is the cornerstone of the redeveloped Faneuil Hall Marketplace, known as Quincy Market. — Michelin Guide

Built for the city by the wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil in 1742, the hall was later remodeled by ubiquitous Boston architect Charles Bulfinch. — Time Out

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  • Museums
    32 museums and galleries
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    20 places of historical interest
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    17 parks, gardens and outdoor attractions

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