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What to see and do in Boston

A historic residential street in Boston pictured in the autumn season

Experience the history of Boston

A few centuries ago, events in Boston changed the course of history - revolutionaries started to break from colonial powers and an independent America was born.

Most of the city’s landmarks are nestled in the prettiest neighborhoods, so history lessons which offer context to the events leading up to the American Revolution are both educational and visually appealing.

As befits a distinguished city such as Boston, you’ll find intriguing museums, galleries and institutions with strong ties to the past.

You can feel the presence of great minds and great achievements in the storied grounds of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and explore the 20th largest art gallery in the world at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Things to do in Boston

Boston is now a city full of culture and excitement. There is so much to see and do in Boston that you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Taking the top spot on the list is the Freedom Trail. This 2.5-mile city path boasts an impressive 16 landmarks. You can take a walking tour of the trail, or explore it at your own pace.

Walking along the Freedom Trail, you’ll visit Boston Common, Massachusetts State House, Bunker Hill Monument and Park Street Congregational Church, among other sites.

You’ll also find the city is home to many sports fans passionate about the Red Sox (baseball) and the Patriots (gridiron). Cheer alongside locals at a baseball game at Fenway Park, the nation's oldest ballpark.

Many say that a visit to Boston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Home to European, Asian and American art, it is an impressive Venetian house in the center of the city.

A street scene in Boston with the harbour basking in evening light
A Boston city street scene pictured in the snowy winter

Shopping in Boston

A Harvard sweatshirt and a Red Sox cap? They might be must haves but rest assured there's plenty more to souvenir shopping in Boston.

On the Freedom Trail, the marketplace behind Faneuil Hall is a good place to start. There you’ll find stalls, food, street performers and history all around.

The city's links with history and academia mean that it's known for its enticing bookstores and charming antiques. Newbury Street in Back Bay is a great place to wander, for high-street labels and upmarket finery among the townhouses, with some excellent refueling stops too.

The SoWa Art + Design District has found its home among the old warehouses of the South End and is a must-see for unique artisan studios, galleries and boutiques.

Places to eat in Boston

The history lesson continues into the kitchens of Boston. The oldest restaurant in the US is in Boston. Established in 1826, the Union Oyster House is popular among travelers and locals alike.

Meanwhile Quincy Market, or Faneuil Hall Market, is a great place to enjoy local food in one of the oldest market buildings in the US.

Seafood is the crowning glory all over town. Cod, lobster, oysters, clams and delectable creamy chowder are high on wish lists, and the Seaport District is the best place to find all manner of fish dishes.

The North End neighborhood is the city's Little Italy, where pizza and pasta is cooked to perfection. Nearby wine bars and bakeries also offer an authentic slice of Italy.

The South End and neighboring Chinatown are home to excellent late-night eateries too. Cambridge swells with a vibrant bar scene and plenty of crowd-pleasing food options (including many budget friendly options for the students in town).

Quincy Market in Boston pictured on a sunny day with groups of people enjoying the sun outdoors
A scene of Boston in the autumn with blue skies, sky scrapers and beautiful orange and brown trees

The best time to go to Boston

The thriving city of Boston is a wonderful place to visit practically all year round.

If you’re looking for slightly lower airfare and accommodation rates, and want to beat those summer crowds, then between September and October is the perfect time to visit Boston. The mild weather offers optimal conditions for exploring the city on foot, too.

Winter in Boston often sees low temperatures and snow on the ground. Though on the plus side, Boston doesn’t hold back on the Christmas celebrations. Expect festive lights and decorations in abundance, outdoor ice rinks, Christmas markets, and the Nutcracker, Boston’s beloved annual ballet performance.

If you visit Boston in March, be sure to check out their world-famous St. Patrick’s Day parade. Bostonians were the first to celebrate this day in North America and they sure know how to put on a party. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it.

Getting around Boston

Boston is a large US city, and whilst you can easily explore each district on foot or bike, it’s advised that you use public transport to travel between them.

Luckily, Boston has plenty of transport links. From the Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour to buses and boats, you’ll find there are plenty of options to take you around the city whilst also ticking off some sights.

Taxis (or cabs, as they call them in America) can also be found by the bucket load in Boston, and you’ll have no trouble flagging (or hailing, as Americans say) one down.

Boats and bus boats are making their way in the Boston city harbour

FAQs about travel to Boston

Helpful information for travelers to Boston, USA

Does Icelandair offer Dublin to Boston flights?

Icelandair offers flights from Dublin to Boston. Use the booking tool above to view the latest flights to Boston and book your next adventure today.

But before you taste the baked beans that Boston is so famous for, how about trying some of Iceland’s very own flavors? When you book tickets to Boston with Icelandair, you can add a stopover in Iceland at no additional fee.

When can you book the cheapest flights to Boston?

You’re most likely to find cheap flights from Boston during its coldest months (January and February). The Christmas festivities are over and it can get pretty cold and wet, making these the cheapest months to fly to Boston.

For the best prices on your tickets to Boston, we recommend checking flight deals regularly and booking your trip in advance.

What airport in Boston do travelers fly into?

From the UK, Icelandair passengers will land in Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).

Flights to Boston are available from Dublin Airport.

How far is Boston Airport from the city?

Downtown Boston is just 5 miles from Boston Logan International Airport (BOS). The journey only takes 30 minutes by Subway, and just 10 minutes if you hire a taxi or take a car.

How long is the flight to Boston from Ireland?

On average, the flight time from Dublin to Boston is 8 hours and 30 minutes.

Icelandair offers regular flights to Boston from Ireland. Book now for your chance to explore this bustling city in the United States.

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