How to spend one day in Boston – watch history come alive

by Rebecca
Boston Itinerary

Want to visit Boston but short on time? This itinerary will help you plan an action-packed day in Boston, squeezing in as much of the city as you can in just one day.

Boston is a special city, it’s where history comes to life. There are so many stories here waiting to be told, most famous of which is of the American Revolution.

Is it possible to have a great experience in Boston with just a day to spare? Of course, it is. Read on and I’ll show you how.

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Boston itinerary

Where to stay in Boston

Budget accommodation in Boston

HI Boston Hostel:

HI Boston is one of the best hostel options in the city. The large modern hostel is located in Chinatown and is only a 10-15 minute walk away from a lot of the cities sights. Prices for beds in dorms start at around $40.

Book here.


Airbnb is always a good budget option for accommodation, especially in the USA where hostel prices are more than in other countries around the world.

Click here to get £25 towards your next airbnb booking.

Mid-range accommodation in Boston

The Verb Hotel:

Boston doesn’t have a lot of accommodation options that are as cheap as elsewhere, but The Verb Hotel in Boston is one of my favourite accommodation options on the cheaper end of the scale. This music-inspired hotel is located close to the famous Fenway Park. Even boasting its own swimming pool, this reclaimed motel is one of the most characterful hotels in Boston.

Prices start at around £102 per night. Book Here.

The Residence Inn:

The restored historic building houses a stunning modern interior. The Residence Inn offers a mix of short and long-stay accommodation options.

Room rates start at around $185 dollars per night. You can book online here.

Luxury Accommodation in Boston

The Liberty Hotel:

If you’re really looking for a luxury accommodation treat, The Liberty Hotel ticks all the boxes. The hotel offers luxurious guest-rooms featuring flat-screen TVs, award-winning dining and lounge options and free seasonal bicycle rentals along with free seasonal yoga classes.

Room rates start at $178 per night. You can book here.


Alternatively,  the below search box is a quick way to compare prices across Boston.

One day in Boston Itinerary

Ok, so let’s get going with our one day on Boston Itinerary, starting of course with breakfast.

Eat Legendary Sticky Buns at Flour Bakery

Flour Bakery is something of a Boston legend. Their sticky buns are everything you want your breakfast to be. Gooey, sticky, sweet and oh-so-good!


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A post shared by Flour Bakery + Cafe (@flourbakeryandcafe) on

Walk the Freedom Trail and step through history

One of the best ways to soak up the mammoth historical importance persevered around Boston is to walk the Freedom Trail.

The 2.5-mile route leads you to 16 historically significant sites. The collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond.

You can choose to walk the freedom trail on your own following one of these maps.

You also have the option to join a 90-minute tour across certain parts of the Freedom Trail led by Freedom Trail Players, 18th-century costumed guides. Tours depart from both the Boston Common Visitor Information Center and the ArtsBoston Booth at Faneuil Hall.

As you only have one day in Boston, you can decide to take a shorter version of the Freedom Trail, and picking the stops you want to go to instead of completing all 16.

For more information about Freedom Trail Tours, visit the foundations website here.

Boston Freedom Trail

Explore Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Learn all about the famous Boston Tea Party and visit the ships and museum, or better yet take part in an interactive tour and become part of the revolution. 

The museum’s historical interpreters will whisk you through interactive exhibits, retelling the tale of life in a very rebellious Boston in 1773.

After the exhibits, enjoy a colonial tea experience at Abigail’s tea room. The Terrace has beautiful skyline views across Boston.

one day in Boston

Visit Boston’s Best Bookshops

Boston has some incredible bookstores. In tucked away corners of the city, you’ll discover hoarders paradises full of books spanning across every genre. Two must-visit Boston bookstores are:

Brattle Book Shop

9 West St, 02111

This book shop has an amazing outdoor market, filled with a treasure trove of old books. The store also has two stories arranged by genre, covering everything from classics to psychology.

Harvard Bookstore

1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, 02138

The Harvard Bookstore is a magical place. This is where students from the nearby campus come to buy their books. It’s easy to spend hours here, browsing books and getting a feel for the Harvard lifestyle.

Shop at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Stop by Faneuil Hall for some of the best shopping in the city. You’ll find 40 local businesses, selling there unique wares – perfect for thoughtful souvenirs.

The hall’s focus is on providing something different to your average shopping mall – an eclectic mix of stores.

History fans can also rejoice as you are able to take a walking tour, or gaze at some of the original artefacts on display.

Discover more about Faneuil Hall here.

One Day in Boston

Then eat at Quincy Market

Quincy market is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat after a hectic morning exploring Boston. You’ll find 18 restaurants and 35 colonnade eateries to choose from.

The market opened in 1826 and is still serving yummy food to visitors and locals alike.

Some of my top picks of foods to try here are:

  • Clam Chowder-  from Boston Chowda Co
  • Boston cream pie (the official dessert of Massachusetts) – Try it at Quincy’s Place
  • Lobster rolls – Eat at Boston & Maine Fish Co

Find out more about all the tasty food at Quincy Market here.

One Day in BostonOne Day in Boston

Take a trip to Harvard

Ever wanted to see just what happens at a world-renowned educational institution? Visiting the Harvard campus is a must. Located in Cambridge, the campus is only a short subway ride away from Boston. The Harvard Square stop on the Red Line of the MBTA subway system is across the street from the Harvard Yard and takes roughly 12 minutes from Boston centre.

Walk the same corridors as some of the minds that have helped shape the world that we live in. The best way to see the campus is to take a student-led walking tour. The tour is around one-hour long and is completely free. For more information about tour times visit the Harvard website here.

Harvard University

Take a tour of Fenway – or catch a game

Even for those who aren’t die-hard baseball fans, seeing a game is probably one of the most American pastimes you can experience. The main season starts in April and runs through to the end of September, but you can also visit Fenway during the spring training season. Home games run regularly throughout the main season. To find out when the Sox are playing, you can view the schedule on their website.

You can also by tickets for games on the Red Sox website here

Alternatively, you can take a tour of the stadium at a really reasonable price. A one-hour small group tour of Fenway is $21, which you can book here. The tour takes you behind the scenes, with unrivalled access down Fenway’s hallowed halls.

So grab a hotdog, take a seat and get yourself down to the ballgame.

Boston Baseball

Dinner in Chinatown

Boston’s Chinatown area has some great, authentic Chinese restaurants. These eateries have everything form dumplings to dim-sum. Just visit this neighbourhood and pursue what’s on offer until something catches your eye.

One day in boston


See more of Boston in my travel vlogs

Check out my Favourite travel resources, perfect for one day in Boston.

My recommendations

For amazing cheap flight deals, I love Jack’s Flight Club.

To get great train passes across Europe, Interrail is the place to go.

Check out this site for awesome last minute travel deals.

To book onto a fabulous group tour, check out Contiki. 

You may want a guide book for your travels if so I love Lonely Planet.

Never leave for a trip without travel insurance! You’ll never know when you may need it.


Thank you for reading my post all about how to spend One day in Boston, and I hope you feel inspired and ready to explore the city.

If you liked this post, why not check out my Ultimate Washington D.C Itinerary – An epic 48 hour how to

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Things to do in BostonBest attractions in Boston

Don’t forget to connect with me on social media, as I love hearing about your adventures.

Connect with me on Facebook to keep up to date with new content.

You can follow my travels on Twitter.

Be inspired by my travel photography over on Instagram.

And get pinning some travel inspo over on Pinterest.

See you on the road,

Rebecca Rayner

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maggie 21/02/2018 - 9:31 pm

I haven’t visited Boston in years, but I’d love to go back. I’ve always liked the “Make Way for Ducklings” park, though of course now I can’t remember what it’s actually called.

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:06 am

haha make way for the duckings park sounds amazing! You should definitely make time to go back at some point. I feel like there’s too much to see and do for just one visit.

ashley 21/02/2018 - 10:07 pm

Boston is one of the big US cities I haven’t hit yet. So many great things to do – I loved your review. Also, I love the tabs layout of the page!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:05 am

Thank you for your lovely comment. There really is so much to see and do. There are so many other US cities I’d love to visit. If you have any suggestions of must see places or any blog posts please do send them my way.

Richa 22/02/2018 - 5:40 am

I love Boston! It’s been so long since I last visited so this post was very refreshing and brought back a lot of great memories 🙂

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:03 am

Thank you so much for your comment 🙂 It’s such a great city to explore and theres so much to learn about. The freedom Trail was like a giant outdoor museum.

Sarah 22/02/2018 - 8:40 am

I just love how your blog is set up! It’s so interactive and informative. I’ve been to Boston but never beyond the city to the islands. Maybe I’ll check them out some day.

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:02 am

Thank you so much for your kind words. I put so much work into it and it’s comments like this that make it all worthwhile. I really loved visiting the islands. The beaches were gorgeous and Kayaking in the harbour was one of the highlights of my trip 🙂

Rajlakshmi 22/02/2018 - 2:17 pm

More than anything I am totally impressed by the layout of your blog. It looks very brilliant and so neat. Loved the videos too. What a beautiful place!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:01 am

Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I wanted to make it look as nice as I could. I enjoyed making the videos, they are great to watch back now and remember how great my trip was.

Amanda Blizzard 22/02/2018 - 3:12 pm

What a great guide!! I love that the tour through Harvard is a free walking tour, those are my favourite! That’s where I’d be going first!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 11:00 am

haha free tours are always the best kind! Whats the best free tour you’ve been on? Mine was in Stockholm.

Jen 22/02/2018 - 3:42 pm

I’m from the east coast so I always take it for granted when it comes to travel. Boston is a great city and deserves to be noticed more!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 10:59 am

I loved travelling the east coast, there are so many incredible places to visit! I have to agree, Boston needs it’s time in the limelight.

Martha 22/02/2018 - 4:56 pm

I visited Boston about ten years ago now and I’ve been itching to go back ever since then! I love the history and the culture of the town. I haven’t ventured to the harbour islands, but that’s definitely on my itinerary for the next time I visit. Safe travels!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 10:58 am

I think the history of the area was my favourite part, that and all the amazing book shops! Thanks for your comment and safe travels to you too.

Alexis Rae 22/02/2018 - 7:52 pm

The Freedom Trail Map pulls up with Bermuda? Happy to visit there too! Lol Ive always wanted to visit Boston, and as an American, I don’t really have an excuse. Bring on the sticky buns!

Rebecca 23/02/2018 - 10:35 am

Haha Bermuda, not quite what i’d hoped for. Thanks for letting me know I have fixed it now 🙂 Well America is such a huge country and there are so many incredible places to visit it’d be almost impossible to go and see all of them.

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