15 Free Things To Do In Boston

Boston is one of the most historic cities in the US, so click through to read about the top FREE things to do!

I’ve been to Boston twice now and I think it might just be one of my favorite cities in the US. Although I’m not a history person, Boston has so much American heritage and even though it’s nothing compared to its European counterpart, it’s still pretty cool. While I don’t mind paying for awesome experiences, I love experiencing a city for free (because the more you save, the more you travel!). To help you also experience Boston for free, here are the top 15 free things to do in Boston that give you a little taste of everything it has to offer.

1.The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is one of my favorite parts of Boston. This route takes you past all of the historic parts of the city, including the site of the Boston Massacre, King’s Chapel, the Old South Meeting House, the Paul Revere House and more. You can go to their website and download a map with all the points on it to guide you around the city.

Paul Revere House Boston
The Paul Revere House

2.USS Constitution

You probably know this from your history classes, but the USS Constitution is the oldest naval vessel still afloat today. It started operation in 1797 and was named by George Washington himself. You can visit the museum for free, but they do suggest donations so they can keep this old beauty alive and well for years to come.

USS Constitution Boston

You can also, believe it or not, actually go on the ship. You need to pass through a security checkpoint and show a passport or license to get on, but that’s nothing to stand on a ship that fought in the War of 1812.

3.Bunker Hill Monument

Bunker Hill Monument Boston

Erected in 1843, this monument is for the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was one of the first major battles between the US and the British during the revolutionary war in 1775. You can go up to the top of the monument totally for free.

4.Old North Church

You may recall the poem you were taught in school, “Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.” One of the lines states, “Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch of the North Church tower, as a signal-light, one if by land and two if by sea.” You guessed it, this is that same North Church, which is why there’s a statue of Paul Revere in front.

Old North Church Boston

Taking a tour is $6, but going to see the church by itself is totally free and still a really awesome experience.

5. Granary Burying Ground

You may be thinking why the heck you’d want to go to a cemetery while on vacation, but the answer is because this cemetery, founded in 1660, is the final resting place of many famous historical figures.

Granary Burying Ground Boston

Here you’ll find the tombstones belonging to Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Peter Faneuil (of Faneuil Hall), Samuel Sewell (a judge during the Salem Witch Trials) and the five victims of the Boston Massacre.

6. Old State House

Old State House Boston

Build in 1713, the Old State House is where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston and was the seat of colonial government. It’s currently the oldest building in Boston. Entry is $10, but seeing the State House by itself is still a remarkable experience.

7. Massachusetts State House

Although built in 1798, this is still the state capitol today and the seat of local government. The land it sits on is what used to be John Hancock’s cow pasture and the iconic gold dome was overlaid with copper by Paul Revere himself.

Massachusetts State House Boston

You can take guided free tours of the State House as well as just walk around by yourself. You can also go on a legislative process tour for free, but you’ll need to arrange it ahead of time.

8. Boston Public Library

Built in 1843, the Boston Public Library is totally worth a visit because of the architecture, but also because it’s the third-largest public library in the country. It only comes after the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library.

9. Museums

Boston has a lot of free museums that are totally worth visiting. You can go to the Museum of Ancient and Honorable Artillery, which is quite unique, as well as more streamlined museums like the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science and the Museum of Contemporary Art (free every Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.).

10. Boston Common and Public Gardens

Built in 1634, the Boston Common and Public Gardens is the oldest park in the entire country. It’s a beautiful area to have a picnic or just relax among the bustle of the city. It got its name because the townspeople bought the land from the first settler of the area and each homeowner paid 6 schillings, and thus is became known as the Boston Common because it was common ground shared by them all.

11. North End Parks

North End Parks Boston

This is one of my favorite areas of Boston because it’s so serene and pretty and during the summer the fountains of water that shoot up are incredibly refreshing. The park used to be a complete eyesore and the city turned it into something beautiful and a place that many locals enjoy.

12. Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall

Built first in 1742, Faneuil Hall was the marketplace and meeting hall for many famous Bostonians. Samuel Adams and James Otis both gave speeches there encouraging the people of Boston to take part in the revolution. Quincy Market was built later in 1826 when Faneuil Hall could no longer accommodate the commercial demand.

Quincy Market Boston

While these are completely free to go into, there’s a good chance you’ll end up buying some stuff anyway.

Faneuil Hall Boston

13. Charles River Esplanade

The Esplanade doesn’t have any particular historical significance, it’s just a beautiful area along the Charles River. It’s got a path that’s perfect for walking and running and it’s beautiful at all times of year. If you’re looking for a little peace and quiet and exercise, this is definitely the place to be.

14. Sam Adams Brewery

If you’re a fan of Sam Adams then this tour of the Brewery is perfect. You’ll learn about the history behind the beer, the entire crafting process, taste special malts and even sample of the best beers Sam Adams offers. The tour is entirely free, but they do encourage a donation of about $2. Tours typically last between 40 minutes and an hour.

15. Boston HarborWalk

Much like the Charles River Esplanade, the Boston HarborWalk is a beautiful area of the city that’s great for taking in the views and getting some fresh air. It’s not yet completed (when it is it’ll be 47 miles long), but it will currently take you along the piers, wharves and beaches around Boston where you can look out at the ships.

Boston HarborWalk

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  • Ashley Stephenson

    I have never been to Boston but I think it would be fun to visit! Nothing better than some free things to do in a city! Thanks for sharing – if I ever make it to Boston I will have to remember some of these!

    • I love free things! It allows me to go to more places 🙂 I hope you do go to Boston some day!

  • I could just eat Boston up. It’s the perfect city for a history buff! We were only there for one night, I’m dying to go back.

    • It is! I totally agree, Chelsea. I’ve been a couple of times and I’ve loved it just as much both times.

  • Belle Bermudez-Tubel

    Such a great post! I’ve always wanted to go to Boston but didn’t know we could do a lot.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Yes, there’s so much to do Belle! And so much of it is free, which is even better!

  • Marissa Pedersen

    I had no idea there was so much to do in Boston! I’ve never been but hope to go soon!

    • It’s so great! Even though I’ve been a couple of times I would totally go back. I hope you go soon!

  • Abby Castro

    I always love a free attraction. I would love to visit Boston. That harbour walk view is amazing!

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

    • Free attractions are totally the best. The harbor walk view was so stunning, I totally could have lived there! (But not, because god knows how much those apartments cost haha.)

  • Anya Perry

    I need to get back to Boston now!! Have not done a few of these. Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Anya! I hope you go back and get to finish everything 🙂

  • Boston is such a pretty city! Thanks for compiling this great list!

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Anna! It’s such a pretty city, you’re right, and I’d so go back in a heartbeat.

  • Seeing as I’ve yet to visit Boston, this is SUCH a handy post! Pinning for when we travel up!

    Coming Up Roses

    • I’m glad you found it helpful, Erica! I just love all of the history, especially since we don’t have all that much in the US.

  • I went to Boston when I was in middle school and saw a lot of these, but my fiance and I have been talking about making a trip up to Boston! I never got to go on the USS Constitution – we just walked past it when I was a kid – but it’d be fun to go on the ship and explore it. Great list and summary of what to see 🙂

    • Oh that would be so fun, Liz! I hope you go back and get to go on it because that was definitely one of my favorite things to do. I’m glad you liked the list!

  • I’ve been to Boston a bunch and still have some of these items to check off. So surprised at how many of them are free! A tour of the Sam Adams Brewery is now #1 on my list haha. Thanks for sharing!

    • I know! It’s awesome how much free stuff there is to do there. And I was so shocked to discover the Sam Adams Brewery was free because normally you have to pay for that kind of stuff!

  • I love boston! It’s so much fun! The Harbour Walk was one of my favorites!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    • I agree, Rachel! It’s just one of those cities that’s great for getting outdoors and moving, which I love.

  • Saving this for future reference! I hope to get to visit soon!

    • I hope you do too, Cara! It’s such a fantastic city.

  • I haven’t yet been to Boston but have heard it’s an amazing coastal town. You have me convinced to take a visit soon!

    • I’m so glad, Shane! I think the coolest part for me other than how pretty it is is the incredible history. So much crammed into one little spot!

  • Veronica Pototska

    Boston is in my Bucket list! There are so many amazing things to do there!

    • There totally are, Veronica! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading 🙂

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  • I have never been to Boston. I’ve heard so many great things about visiting there though! I will keep these places in mind for when I do go visit.

    • I’m so glad! I hope you get there eventually, it’s an awesome city and you’ll never be bored, that’s for sure.