Budget-friendly travel is something everyone strives for. It’s nice to experience a touch of luxury and splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime meal but at the core of our travel plans, we want to stay easy on the wallet. The less we spend on each trip, the more we can do and the more trips we can actually take. It’s simple math. With this in mind, we’ve put together seven of our top free things to do in Boston. Because what’s more budget-friendly than free activities?
The Boston Common is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s large, the views are gorgeous and you can spend hours walking around. There are baseball fields and tennis courts and you’ll often find all kinds of artists setting up shop from painters to musicians. It’s even more gorgeous come fall as the leaves all turn red, orange, yellow and brown.
Boston Public Market
The Boston Public Market was right down the street from my hotel, The Boxer Boston, which made it easy to visit daily. It’s an indoor farmer’s market with everything from fresh meats to doughnuts. It’s free to browse around and you might even get lucky with lots of samples but make sure to take some cash if you don’t have good self-control. Union Square Donuts has a booth here and they are some of the best donuts you will ever eat.
The Esplanade is public space along the Charles River from the Boston Museum of Science to the Boston University Bridge. It’s a beautiful landscape full of monuments, recreational activities and more than five miles of paths for walking, running and biking. Find everything from tennis courts to a bistro, boating docks to playgrounds and more. The Esplanade hosts free activities too including movies, live music and more.
Right in downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall is recommended by everyone who lives in Boston. At least by everyone who gave me recommendations! It’s home to dozens of shops and restaurants and hosts events year-round. Every day you can find street performers doing everything from acrobatics to playing guitar and there are daily events.
The Freedom Trail is the bonus of today’s post. There are plenty of resources to give yourself a free walking tour and the trail hits sixteen historical sites over a 2.5 mile span. This does not include all the gems you'll find en route to your next stop. If you’d like to further explore some of these sites, they won’t all be free. But you can visit every single one without paying a cent. It’s an incredible journey with a number notable stops including the Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, Paul Revere House and more.
Harvard Square & Yard
Harvard Yard, like Boston Common, is a great place to spend a few hours walking around. The Harvard campus is gorgeous, especially in the fall and there are several places to explore. You must get a photo on the steps of their library and check the museums to see if any offer free admission days. Depending on the time of year, you can usually find a few to get in free. Harvard Square is the downtown area of Cambridge with lots of shops and restaurants. You can often find live music and performances along with the occasional events they hold.
Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is one of the oldest buildings crafted by some of history’s biggest names. The cornerstone was laid by Samuel Adams in 1795 and the dome was made copper by Paul Revere in 1802. It’s an architectural treasure from the revolutionary period and offers free walking tours daily. I wouldn’t miss the Grand Staircase on Floor 2. Gorgeous!