There are so many free things to do in Boston, especially (but not only) for history buffs, that I had a hard time whittling my list down to just 10 I had originally planned. But I picked what I thought were the best and I hope you agree.
I started out making a list of 10 free things to do in Boston. But, you’ll notice the list has more than 10 free things to do–and also a few cheap thing to do in Boston (but they’re pretty close to free). That’s because I keep learning or thinking of new ones.
Here are my fav picks for fun free things to do in Boston that won’t break the bank.
- Take a self-guided Freedom Tour. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites as you wander through the city. Each spot has an authentic treasure. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. Simply use the map in the link above or pick up a map at one of the Visitor information centers.
- Tour the USS Constitution. This is part of the Freedom Trail but the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat can certainly be enjoyed on its own. You’ll need a federally issued ID to go on board and will need to go through a minor security screen. Check the link for times and hours of operation, they sometimes change.
- Climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. This 221-foot high monument is located at the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution. Not only is it a nationally recognized historic landmark but its also a spot for one of the best views of Boston. You can climb the 294 steps for free year round from 9:00am – 5:00pm (climbing access closes at 4:30pm). I have to admit, I chickened out of this one.
- Wander around Faneuil Hall. In addition to the cute shops, carts, and restaurants, you can usually find an assortment of street performers like magicians, jugglers, dancers, and more. Plus, there are historical talks given every half hour. And of course, you can always just people watch–you never know what or who you’ll see.
- Grab a brew and see how beer is made. You can take a FREE (though a $2 donation is suggested) tour of the Sam Adams Brewery 6 days a week. Plus you can sample some of their libations. Harpoon Brewery offers daily tours for $5 and you can sample freshly brewed beer.
- Tour the Boston Public Library. The nation’s first public library is full of incredibly beautiful architecture which you can learn about through daily tours or you can just wander around and explore on our own with or without one of the guide books suggested here.
- See Stars at Boston University’s Coit Observatory. Every Wednesday is public open night beginning at 7:30 pm in the fall and winter and 8:30 pm in the spring and fall. This is weather dependent so be sure to check before you go.
- Tour the State House. If you’ve never been inside it really is a beautiful building. You can learn about the architecture and history of the building during FREE weekday tours (reservations are required).
- Explore the 50-acre Boston Common. In addition to just enjoying the peace, beauty, and serenity of the country’s oldest park in the middle of a bustling city, you can often catch a festival, fair, or performance, or watch a city ball game. You could also pack a lunch and a frisbee, or just stretch out and relax, there’s plenty of room.
- Walk through the Public Garden and enjoy the flowery beauty of the country’s first botanical garden. From April to September you can watch the Swan boats float by or pay a few dollars to enjoy a 130-year-old tradition yourself.
- Paul Revere House in the North End. Visit the house where, on the night of April 18, 1775, silversmith Paul Revere set out on a journey that would make him into a legend. It is downtown Boston’s oldest building and one of the few remaining from an early era in the history of colonial America.$3.50 for adults, $1.00 for kids 5-17.
- Take a Quincy Market History Tour at Faneuil Hall. Learn the history behind one of Boston’s most popular tourist spots. These tours are given seasonally between May and October.
Looking for more Free & Cheap things to do in Boston check out:
- You don’t have to be going on a date to like these Free & Cheap Date ideas in Boston
- Half Price Entertainment–for discounted tickets to area shows
- Where and when Kids eat FREE–check out what restaurants will let your kids eat FREE on which night
- Birthday Freebies–Find out what restaurants, stores, and more will give you FREE food and more on your birthday
- Which museums offer FREE days and when
If you know of more free things to domain Boston that I’ve missed, let me know.