Boston is one of those cities that can combine sports, history, culture and fun. However, it’s not known for being particularly cheap. Follow our tips below to see Boston on a shoestring budget with money left over for tea and cream pie.
Once You’ve Arrived
We love it when airports and public transit systems make it easy for travelers to get into the city center on the cheap. Boston is one of those cities with a rapid bus/subway connection. But no matter how you get to Boston, it’s pretty easy and cheap to get to where the action is.
From the airport, the very cheapest way is to use public transit. Logan airport recently added the Silver Line rapid bus service to connect travelers to the Red Line and the South Rail Station of the MBTA system (subway). The fare is only $1.25 for the bus (another nice feature is that there are change machines inside the airport). The Blue Line also connects to the airport with a shuttle bus. If you want to take the bus directly to and/or from the airport, choose routes 448 or 459.
One of the cool things about Boston is that the airport is accessible by water. If your starting point or destination is as well, check out one of the water shuttles or taxis that serve Logan airport. Some of them aren’t very expensive and definitely add to the experience. In fact, children travel free on the Boston Harbor Water Taxi.
Getting Around Boston
Walking: By far the cheapest way to get around, Boston truly is a walking city. In fact, the Freedom Trail is consistently rated as one of the country’s top walks. The city center is fairly compact and there are lots of narrow side streets to explore.
Subway: The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) runs the city’s subway, known to locals at the T. The T generally runs every 15 minutes between 5am and midnight, but check individual stations for exact information. Train lines are organized by color (blue, green, orange and red) as well as by the last stop on the line. The blue line even links with Logan Airport. Each trip costs approximately $1.25, but Visitor’s Passes can be purchased for one day ($7.50), three days ($18.00) and seven days ($35.00). Kids, senior citizens and those with disabilities travel for less.
Bus: The MBTA also runs Boston’s bus service as well as streetcars and trackless trolleys. Though buses can get caught up in rush hour traffic and the effects of the Big Dig, they are still a highly economical way to travel with fares starting at just $0.60. Visitor’s Passes can also be used on city buses. Unfortunately, the trackless trolleys (buses designed to look like trolleys) cost $20 for the day but allow visitors to get on and off as often as they’d like, and stop in front of major attractions.
In a city restricted by entry fees, there are still some attractions that buck the trend and remain free to the public. Take advantage of these bargains while you still can!
Our Choice: Boston Common (Tremont, Beacon, Charles and Boyleston Streets)
Opened in 1634, Boston Common is one of the oldest public parks in the country. Today, the Common and additional Public Gardens occupy 75 prime acres in the center of Boston. Historically, the Common was used to graze cattle, for public hangings, and as a camp ground for British troops before they traveled to Lexington and Concord in 1775. The Common is also the starting point of the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of Colonial and Revolutionary Boston.
Also Notable: Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market (Faneuil Hall Marketplace)
Since 1742, Faneuil Hall (Quincy Market) has been a marketplace and meeting place in downtown Boston. It was at the Hall that Samuel Adams delivered stirring addresses for the cause of American independence, and many city government meetings are still held on the second floor. Today, the first floor is a bustling market, and historical talks are given every thirty minutes.
Old North Church (193 Salem Street)
Built in 1723, the Old North Church is Boston’s oldest church and contains Boston’s highest church steeple. This was the site of the infamous “one if by land, two if by sea” lantern signal as the British approached the city in 1775. Voluntary donations are always welcome, and Episcopal services are still held in the church every Sunday.
Boston Esplanade (Storrow Drive)
On the south bank of the Charles River, the Esplanade is the informal name of the Charles River Reservation park. Throughout the summer, free concerts and movies are routinely held at the Hatch Shell stage. On the 4th of July, the Boston Pops orchestra performs with a fantastic fireworks display, and fireworks are also presented on New Year’s Eve.
The history and culture of Boston should not be missed. A little planning ahead will make it a memorable trip that is easy on your pocketbook. For more ideas on how to visit Boston on the cheap, please visit our website at [http://www.onthecheaptravel.com/].