Boston On A Budget: Free and Affordable Things to Do in the City
Explore the best of Boston without breaking the bank! We've curated a list of free and affordable activities, attractions, and hidden gems that allow you to explore Boston and experience the city's rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking sights without draining your wallet.
A Day at the Park
Spending time in one of the city’s many tree-filled parks will bring out the kid in you. If you have children, they’ll enjoy the giddy freedom of running through wide, open park spaces. Bring a picnic lunch and outdoor activities like a ball or frisbee to make a day of it. Boston tourists and locals alike can find great spaces for flying a kite, going on a scavenger hunt, or simply people watching.
- Boston Common: Reminiscent of New York’s Central Park, this is the oldest public park in the U.S. and the site of many free events, from summer concerts to Shakespeare performances.
- Public Garden: Meander through flower-lined paths and pay less than five dollars per person to ride a unique swan boat at America’s first public botanical garden.
- Back Bay Fens: This nature zone offers peaceful trails and beautiful rose gardens.
A scenic place to explore Boston is along the waterfront, and the city makes it easy to do so thanks to miles of urban trails next to sparkling waterways.
- Charles River Esplanade: Walk or bike along the river and enjoy free events, including music series and guided walking tours.
- Harborwalk: Take in impressive skyline views walking along Boston’s scenic waterfront districts.
- South Boston Waterfront: Also called Seaport, this region offers fascinating museums like the Boston Fire Museum, which highlights firefighting history and is free!
Whether through public art installations or renowned art museums, the city celebrates art in all its forms. Boston tourists can experience a wide selection of art free of charge.
- Institute of Contemporary Art: Exhibits rotate so there’s always something new to see. The ICA offers free admission for youth, plus free admission for all on select nights.
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: A true local gem with its creative gardens and unique art collections, this museum offers free admission to anyone under 18, along with additional discounts—see if you qualify.
- Lawn on D: This grassy playground in the South Boston waterfront district features imaginative swings, lawn games, and rotating musical artists who showcase their talent at free events.
Take in Some History
It’s no surprise that Boston provides a goldmine of historical offerings, from museums to historic trails, and more. Explore Boston’s richly historic side.
- Freedom Trail: A walk along this 2.5-mile trail takes you to sixteen historical sites, which you can see for free either at your own pace or with a guide.
- Faneuil Hall: This historic marketplace is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and enjoy free entertainment.
- Frederick Douglass Square: A National Register historic district, this neighborhood offers a look at regional architecture from the 1800s and 1900s.
Book Your Stay at Copley House
Located in the heart of Back Bay, Copley House offers beautiful lodgings in Boston, including apartment-style rooms and suites in traditional brick row houses. Boston tourists find this area to be one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Browse through ourselection of apartments available for any kind of traveler to find just what you need for your next visit to Boston.