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Boston, Massachusetts: Sightseeing Tours

Boston, Massachusetts: Sightseeing Tours

The capital of the state of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, with a history that spans four centuries. Its main landmarks attract every type of traveler, from sports fanatics to history buffs, and everyone in between.

Sightseeing tours in Boston, Massachusetts provide ample opportunities to admire the city’s most captivating sites, from the Grand Massachusetts State House to the notorious Boston Common and Old South Meeting House.

Walking Tours

Walking tours in Boston, Massachusetts are the most obvious choice for those wishing to gain an introduction to “Beantown.” The majority of these excursions are guided tours of Freedom Trail, which is a 4-kilometer stretch that includes 16 significant landmarks. These attractions include the Old South Meeting House, which sparked the Boston Tea Party, as well as the Boston Common and the 18th-century Massachusetts State House.

Those who are looking for the most budget-friendly type of excursion can participate in a free walking tour in Boston, Massachusetts. These have no upfront cost and you’ll wander the city with a friendly local learning about its highlights, tipping them accordingly at the end.

Boston Harbor

No trip to Boston is complete without a visit to its acclaimed harbor, which once served as a major trading port. There are all manner of ways to see this 130-square-kilometer stretch of water, including leisurely cruises and rip-roaring high-speed boat tours in Boston Harbor, during which you’ll gain a unique perspective of the city’s most notable landmarks from the water.

Those who are more interested in nature than soaring skyscrapers can instead participate in a Boston whale-watching tour that travels to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where a myriad of cetaceans migrate during the summer months. You’ll have the opportunity to see the largest animal on earth — the blue whale — as well as fin, minke and sei whales, alongside several species of dolphins, including orcas.

Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Those who prefer to reserve their energy for exploring the city’s sites can participate in a hop on hop off bus tour in Boston, Massachusetts. This is one of the most convenient ways to navigate Boston’s maze of streets and cover as much ground as possible in just a few short hours.

Hop on hop off bus tours also give you the flexibility to create your own itinerary and follow your interests throughout the day. You’ll enjoy an audio-guided tour of the city as you meander past prominent landmarks and, when an attraction catches your eye, simply ring the bell, and hop off to explore in greater detail.

Then, when you’re ready to move on, simply board another bus and make your way toward the next intriguing destination.


Often considered part of Boston, Cambridge is its own destination, located just a stone’s throw northwest of the city across the Charles River. Cambridge is home to two of the most prestigious colleges in the U.S. and features many architectural gems, including the Stata Center.

Cambridge tours from Boston, Massachusetts come in all shapes and sizes, from bicycle excursions to historic experiences revolving around the 1775 Battles of Lexington, and Concord. Alternatively, participate in one of the available Harvard and MIT tours from Boston, Massachusetts, and learn about the world’s leading education institutions from a students’ perspective.

Ghost Tours

Those who are looking to explore Boston’s darker side can instead take to its streets after dark in search of paranormal activity. Ghost tours in Boston, Massachusetts, allow you to dive into the most gruesome events that have shaped the city’s history, including the assassination of supposed witches on Boston Common.

Learn about the ghost of Harvey Parker — a hotelier who continued to roam the 10th floor of the Omni Parker House, even after his death — as well as the Granary Burial Ground, where victims of the 1770 Boston Massacre were laid to rest. Those who need a little Dutch courage to brave Boston’s scariest spots can choose a haunted pub crawl and bond with like-minded travelers over their shared spooky experience.

Beacon Hill

The historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill is best known as the location of the Massachusetts State House. This grand building is the seat of the state’s government and its construction at the end of the 18th century cost the equivalent of US$3.3 million today.

Beacon Hill tours in Boston, Massachusetts often include other sights, such as the Boston Common where criminals, witches, Quakers and pirates were regularly hanged up until 1817, as well as Park Street Church — known as the spot where the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, gave his first speech against slavery — and the Colonial Acorn Street.

Photo Tours

If your camera is always at the ready, you are bound to enjoy a photo tour in Boston, Massachusetts. Instead of guiding you to the most popular landmarks, these excursions typically focus on capturing the most visually striking spots in the city. While some of the most renowned buildings in Boston fit the bill, other places you’ll visit include picturesque side streets, such as Acorn Street — one of the most photographed lanes in North America.

In other cases, you may stroll Freedom Trail with a photography expert at your side, providing tips and tricks to catch its 16 attractions in their best light.

Movie Mile Tours

Cinema fanatics will recognize several of Boston’s most popular landmarks from over 30 TV series and movies, including "Good Will Hunting", "Legally Blonde", and "Cheers". There are filming locations all over the city, however, many of these cinematic pieces were shot in the area surrounding Beacon and the Boston Common.

As you wander these attractions with an enthusiastic local on a Movie Mile tour in Boston, Massachusetts, you’ll learn little-known facts about a number of films, drink in bars frequented by your favorite TV characters and recreate iconic movie moments in photographic form to show your loved ones back home.

Scanvenger Games

One way to add a little spice to your vacation is through a scavenger game in Boston, Massachusetts. These treasure hunts lead you on an exciting journey through the city and are suitable for every type of traveler, from solo explorers to large groups, bachelor parties, and everything in between.

Typically, you’ll use your smartphone to guide you around Boston, answering clues and solving riddles to unlock the next destination, and ultimately, complete the game. Fun for all the family, these excursions are perfect for anyone who finds regular sightseeing experiences a little lackluster.

Another added benefit of these scavenger games is that they are completely self-paced, meaning that if you see an attraction along the way that piques your interest but is not on the itinerary, you can simply pause your tour to explore and return to it when you’re ready.

Boston CityPass

The Boston CityPass allows travelers to save money on vacation by granting access to several of the destination’s most popular sites for one all-inclusive price. This budget-friendly pass includes the New England Aquarium, which is home to a range of fascinating species, including African penguins, California sea lions, green turtles and red-bellied piranhas.

By purchasing a Boston CityPass, you’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science, which features 700 interactive exhibits, as well as the Franklin Park Zoo and Harvard Museum of Natural History. With this pass, you’ll save up to 45% on admission fees, freeing up more of your budget for additional experiences, such as guided city tours in Boston, Massachusetts.