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Boston

166 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 →

There's a special focus on American masters from the 18th and 19th centuries: Copley, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassat, John Singer Sargent, and Gilbert Stuart. — Condé Nast Traveler

The sheer majesty of this world-renowned arts institution would be overwhelming if it weren’t so enchanting. I’ve been delightfully lost many times, wandering through labyrinthine halls. — Travel + Leisure

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

Arguably one of the top museums in the country. Go for the Copleys. — Not For Tourists

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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

The Gardner is filled with almost 2000 priceless objects, primarily European, including outstanding tapestries and Italian Renaissance and 17th-century Dutch paintings. — Lonely Planet

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

Often over-shadowed by the Museum of Fine Arts next door, the museum is packed with more than 2,500 paintings, sculptures, tapestries. The Palm Courtyard is one of the prettiest places in town. — Condé Nast Traveler

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

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

Boston Public Library

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

People need at least one place where they can be their most effective, motivated and focused. Sometimes it's their home, a coffee shop, the back corner of a bookstore, a random park... — Not For Tourists

The first in the country to lend books. — Michelin Guide

The central branch of the city's library system is an architectural and intellectual monument. — Frommer's

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

Dedicated to JFK and the legacy of Camelot, spotlighting such subjects as JFK as a child, the 1960 campaign, Vietnam, the Peace Corps, and civil rights — Where

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

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

A monument to Boston's favorite son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the US... inside, you'll get to know Kennedy, the man. — Michelin Guide

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

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 — Where

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

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

The interactive, educational exhibits at the delightful Children’s Museum keep kids entertained for hours. — Lonely Planet

With three levels of hands-on exhibits, the Boston Children's Museum offers a day of fun and education for little ones. — Travel + Leisure

Museum of Science

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

The Museum of Science is a compelling technology and science-based destination — Where

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

At Boston’s most popular attraction, see lightning produced indoors by the world’s largest Van de Graaff generator — The Telegraph

Favorites include the world’s largest lightning-bolt generator, a full-scale space capsule, a world population meter and a virtual fish tank. — Lonely Planet

Bunker Hill Monument

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

The ill-equipped colonists were ultimately defeated in battle, but caused considerable damage to British forces. The towering, 221-foot obelisk is a reminder of these patriots’ bravery. — Where

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

This monument on Breed's Hill proves that one of the most famous battles of the Revolutionary War is misnamed.  — Atlas Obscura

The 221-foot granite obelisk, a landmark that's visible from miles away, honors the memory of the colonists who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill. — Frommer's

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

Harvard Museum of Natural History

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

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

Like many great works of art, Harvard University's collection of glass flowers -- officially, the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants -- has about it an air of magnificent obsession. — New York Times

Drawn from specimens of Harvard's 3 research museums, it covers the categories of animal, vegetable, mineral. My favorite has to be the glass flowers. — Afar Magazine

The public face of the botanical, zoological, and geological museums. — Not For Tourists

Grouped under one roof, these four museums hold 21 million specimens and artifacts that make up Harvard's outstanding research collections — 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 →

Look up! In this building's original steeple, sexton Robert Newman hung two lanterns on the night of April 18, 1775, to signal Paul Revere. — Frommer's

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

Freedom Trail attraction — Where

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

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

Trinity Church

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

Considered a masterpiece of church architecture for its Richardsonian Romanesque design, its incredible murals...and its museum-quality stained glass windows. — Where

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

Romanesque, with massive open interior. Completed in 1877. — Not For Tourists

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

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 →

Mounts exhibits in the compact art gallery on the first floor... and schedules lectures, readings, concerts, and, on rare occasions, viewings. — Frommer's

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

The Boston Athenæum published America's first literary magazine and acquired an extensive library of books and works of art. — Time Out

This landmark is one of the city’s largest and oldest membership libraries and its first museum of fine arts — Where

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Public Garden

Beacon Hill & Boston Common 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

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

Established in 1837, it is the country’s first public botanical garden — Where

It's one of America's most scenic public places. — Concierge

Great spot for a picnic, enjoy a coffee, read a book or explore Boston’s history — 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

Granary Burying Ground

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

Featuring John Hancock, Mother Goose, many others. — Not For Tourists

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

Passing through the Egyptian-style granite gateway of the Old Granary Burying Ground one is instantly transported back in time to Colonial Boston. — Afar Magazine

Founded 1756. People out for a stroll tend to pass by this small cemetery within the bounds of Boston Common and not even notice it. — Where

"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

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 →

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

Now the ICA is building a major permanent collection for the first time in its history, while continuing to showcase innovative paintings, videos, installations, and multimedia shows. — Fodor's

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

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

The museum houses a performing arts theater, education and workshop facilities, and a generous amount of gallery space. — Travel + Leisure

New England Aquarium

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

Located right on Boston Harbor on Central Wharf, the New England Aquarium is home to animals from both the Northeast and around the world. — Concierge

The dimmed light gives the illusion of an underwater world. — Michelin Guide

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

Check out penguin snack-time. — Not For Tourists

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

Old State House

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

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

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

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

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

Oldest surviving public building in Boston. — Not For Tourists

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USS Constitution

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

Berthed near the end of the Freedom Trail in Boston, "Old Ironsides" is the oldest US Navy warship still afloat.  — Atlas Obscura

Launched in 1797, this 44-gun frigate is one of the first commissioned warships for the U.S. Navy. — Travel + Leisure

Ship exhibits and crew members stationed at Dry Dock 1 and at USS Constitution Museum offer more information and interactive opportunities. — Where

The 30-minute tour, led by an active-duty sailor in an 1812 dress uniform, is an excellent introduction to an era when the future of the new nation was anything but certain. — Frommer's

Sailors show visitors around the ship, guiding them to her top, or spar, deck, and the gun deck below. — Fodor's

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

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

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

Leave it to the mischievous brainiacs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to come up with the city’s quirkiest museum. — Lonely Planet

Mt. Auburn Cemetery

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

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

America's first landscape-designed cemetery, good for birdwatching. — Not For Tourists

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. — Where

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

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

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    33 museums and galleries
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    20 places of historical interest
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    18 parks, gardens and outdoor attractions

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