Boston is an amazing city no matter your budget. With 35 colleges in the city itself, Boston is brimming with college students and young professionals. The city’s youthful energy coupled with it’s historical charm and classic New England architecture make Boston truly one of a kind. There are plenty of things to do in Boston regardless of weather, budget, or demographic and below we’ve listed just a few of our favorites.
Things you can do for Less than $15
- Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art. The Museum of Fine Art often overshadows this smaller museum located in Boston’s Seaport, but it is well worth the visit. Built almost entirely of glass and situated on Boston Harbor the building is art itself, but the exhibits which lie within it are always captivating. Open until 9 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, visiting ICA after sunset is ideal if you want to avoid the crowds and seeing the harbor lit up by the boats at night is definitely an added bonus.
- See an IMAX movie at the New England Aquarium. This is the perfect activity regardless of the weather in Boston. If you find yourself in the city on a particularly cold, rainy, or snowy day, seeing an IMAX movie is a perfect way to spend the day. Like the ICA the New England Aquarium is also located in the Seaport.
- Visit the Garment District in Cambridge. Branded as an “Alternative Department Store” the Garment District is a thrift-shoppers dream. The store has a unique pay by the pound section which is just as it sounds. Picking the items out of the pay by the pound section is part of the fun as you have to physically trudge through a giant mound of clothing on the floor to find the pieces you love, but at $2 per pound ($1 on Fridays!) the effort is certainly worth it. Each morning they release 850 lb of clothing so you are sure to find something you can’t live without. After you finish at the Garment District make sure to check out Cambridge’s Cheapo Records just two blocks away. Between its neon signs, $2 records, and sampling of vintage clothing Cheapo is a hipster paradise.
- Take a Tour of the North End. Boston’s oldest neighborhood, The North End is rich with culture and history. Walking tours for this area of the city are offered for $13 and are a great way to visit some of Boston’s most historic sites including the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church, also known as the launch spot for the American Revolution. After you finish your tour make sure to get a cannoli at the famous Mike’s Pastries!
Things you can do for Free
- Visit the SoWa Art and Design District. Located in the South End this indoor outdoor market has plenty of shops and art galleries to occupy your whole day. And if you happen to be visiting Boston on a Sunday definitely checkout SoWa’s weekly vintage market.
- Visit Eataly in the Prudential Center. This is the perfect activity if you want to add an international splash to your Boston getaway. Within Eataly you can walk around the market, watch cheese making demonstrations, eat an authentic Italian gelato or get a drink at the bar. There is also an amazing restaurant located on the top floor of Eataly called Terra, but it is on the more expensive side. This is a great spot if you want to get some appetizers or a few drinks. The decor of this terrarium themed restaurant is truly one of a kind.
- Have a picnic in Boston Common. This is a must-see area when visiting Boston. Between the water which flows through the park and the beautiful landscaping of the public garden it is definitely the most beautiful green space in the city. It was the first botanical garden in the United States and the Common also marks the beginning of the Freedom Trail. This is both a beautiful and historical addition to your trip. During the winter months the entire park is illuminated by string lights after dusk and there is an ice skating rink located on the Frog Pond. Admission to the rink is $6 if you bring your own skates (free for children) and a skate rental is $12.
- Visit the Boston Public Library. Founded in 1848, this is a great place to checkout if you want a taste of New England history mixed with European influences. The building itself is stunning, but the art and courtyard inside are the true selling points of the library. There are free public tours offered at varying times throughout the week if you want to learn more about this quiet treasure. For more information on the tours checkout the BPl website (https://www.bpl.org/visit-central-library/art-tours/).
If you’re looking for a city vacation that won’t break the bank Boston is the place for you! Rich with history and culture the city will not disappoint. Hopefully our tips will help you enjoy all this amazing city has to offer without emptying your wallet! Good luck!