Boston welcomes history enthusiasts, food lovers and architecture admirers with its plethora of sites to visit.
Home to key events in the birth of the United States, Boston is filled with vibrant culture and remarkable landmarks. Experienced tour guides lead visitors on journeys through time, highlighting iconic sites and showcasing the city’s modern facets. City tours in Boston promise an immersive and memorable experience of this popular tourist destination. We’ve gathered seven popular city tours here, all ranked 4.5 stars or higher out of five by past customers. Select from a variety of tour types of all sizes, from walking tours to duck boat tours to trolley tours. Learn the history, taste the food and explore the wonders of this Massachusetts city.
Guided Walking Tour of the Freedom Trail
Take in all 16 of the official sites on Boston’s iconic Freedom Trail with this 2.5-hour guided walking tour. An experienced guide showcases Revolutionary War history and tells the stories of famous Americans such as Paul Revere and John Hancock, along with lesser-told stories of women, African Americans and immigrant patriots and pioneers. Tourists will learn about the less savory residents too, including rebels and gangs. The tour starts at Boston Common and visits such sites as Faneuil Hall, the USS Constitution, the Bunker Hill Monument, the Benjamin Franklin Statue, The Old Corner Bookstore, the Boston Massacre site, the Massachusetts State House with its famous Golden Dome, and the burial sites of Revolutionary War heroes. This tour is a great way to learn about Boston and the influence it had in the American Revolution, abolition, American education and immigration. From $31.50 per person.
Chronological Tour of the Full Revolutionary Story
Not only do participants rank this tour with five out of five stars, but the Boston Magazine called it the Best Historical Tour in 2022. The Revolutionary Story Tour Operators eschew dry lecturing, “kitsch,” colonial garb and partisan bias (then or now) to offer an epic retelling of the dramatic American Revolution events in Boston. Tours are kept small and designed to be immersive, synchronized to visit each site as the story unfolds, a story they say emphasizes “bringing out the passions, personalities and psychologies driving the action.” Both three- and four-hour tours are offered that provide insight into such events as the founding of Boston, the Stamp Act Riots, the Boston Tea Party, the Boston Massacre, Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Scholars lead the tour but present the history with light-hearted entertainment and a focus on being fun for both hardcore history buffs and first-time visitors. From $45 per person.
North End to Freedom Trail
Boston isn’t just for history buffs, foodies love it too, which is why the North End to Freedom Trail combines these two features in a carbon-neutral tour that an eco-certified tour operator organizes and leads. Yes, the tour still visits the great Boston historical sites and tells the story of the American Revolution, but it also shares some of the city’s delicious food offerings. Tourists will walk the Freedom Trail and then visit the birthplace of America’s public education. They’ll get to taste meats, cheeses, fresh bread, sweet local pastries and pizza in the North End. The tour pops into a hidden bakery as well as a historic and quirky local tavern. There are three food stops with a variety of food samples. The tour ends at the Boston Public Garden where participants are invited to relax in the park. Intrepid Urban Adventures is the largest B-Corp certified travel company, recognizing its commitment to sustainable tourism. From $99 per person.
Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour
Take control of your tour with this hop-on hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour. Participants can purchase either a one- or two-day ticket and travel to 14 different stops with more than 100 points of interest among all the locations. The double-decker, orange and green Old Town Trolley lets people visit historic and modern sites at their own pace, exploring buildings inside and out. Start the tour anywhere along the route and listen as conductors narrate the tour with a mix of trivia and humor as the trolley drives through the city visiting places like the New England Aquarium, the bar where the hit television show “Cheers” was filmed, the USS Constitution and Charlestown Navy Yard, Liberty Wharf, the Old State House, Symphony Hall, Trinity Church and Boston Common. The tour includes discounted admission to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. Tours depart every half hour. Tickets from $50 per person.
Boston Duck Tour
Take an exciting 80-minute tour of Boston by both land and sea without ever leaving your seat. Boston Duck Tours offers a non-stop journey on their World War II-style amphibious landing vehicle that travels both the streets and the waterways of the city. The ConDUCKtors narrate the tour as the vehicle travels by the State House, Bunker Hill, Boston Common, Copley Square and Quincy Market. They share little-known facts about the city’s heritage. Then the vehicle splashes into the Charles River for unique views of Boston and Cambridge. In addition to the English-language tours, there are foreign-language tours that depart every half hour from the Museum of Science. They use GPS technology to offer tours in Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Cantonese and Korean. Other tours depart from the Prudential Center and the New England Aquarium. From $54 per person.
Guided Historical City Tour
Joining this tour is easy—See Sight Tours USA picks up participants at their hotel and takes them back when the tour is over. The four-hour journey travels from Revolutionary War landmarks to Harvard University and MIT, with lots of stops in between. Led by an experienced guide, tourists will get to walk the Freedom Trail, visit the Bunker Hill Monument and board the USS Constitution, a three-masted, wooden-hulled ship that is the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. Other sites included on the tour are Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, the Granary Burying Ground, the Massachusetts State House, Boston Common, Cheers Bar Boston and the Back Bay. The tour runs in all sorts of weather and there is walking involved in addition to the driving tour, so the operators encourage participants to wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothes and shoes. From $59 per person.
Welcome to Boston: Private Tour with a Local
Some visitors to Boston are seeking out a more intimate tour experience, one where they can dictate the length and the focus. These private tours, organized by Lokafy, pairs visitors with passionate locals who are ready to reveal all their insider knowledge on a walking tour that starts at the guest’s city-center hotel or Airbnb. Tour guides will provide tips on the best places to buy groceries, great restaurants and pubs and fun things to do in the city. Each tour is customized to the interests of the participants and lasts anywhere from two to six hours. Participants can arrange to visit any local attraction, though they will have to pay for admission for themselves and the local guide. Children under three can join the tour for free while those between the ages of 3 and 12 get a 50% discount. By the end of the tour, Lokafy promises that participants will be more comfortable navigating the city on their own. From $55 per person.