Guides

Arts and Culture in Boston

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Whether you're hanging on an actor's hushed whispers as a theatre production comes to its climax, or being battered by the boom of an orchestra's wall of sound, your culture cravings will be satisfied in Boston. Dotted with world-leading universities, museums overflowing with ancient artifacts, and historic sites that led to the birth of modern America, it's rich with experiences you won't forget in a hurry.

 

Museums

 

Explore the life of President Kennedy - who was born in nearby Brookline – in the ocean-front John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library, before taking a walk along the Black Heritage Trail, learning about Boston’s Underground Railroad safe-houses, which helped to smuggle escaped slaves to safety. And then there are these distractions…

 

The Museum of Fine Arts

 

The entrance fee for this museum gives you the chance to return for free within the next 10 days - which is fortunate, because you'll barely scratch the surface of its 450,000 exhibits in a single afternoon. Inside, you'll find everything from Monet’s water lilies, to seated sculptures of Egyptian pharaohs, and chiseled tools from the ancient world.

 

465 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115. Tel: +1 617 267 9300

 

The Museum of Fine Arts website

 

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

 

This museum brings a pivotal moment in American history to life – when a rebellion against British taxation led to a group of locals throwing a huge shipment of tea overboard. The ruined shipment brought harsh repercussions from the British government, fanning the flames ahead of the American Revolutionary War. See the actual crates, and let the actors drag you back in time to change history for yourself.

 

306 Congress Street, Boston MA 02210. Tel: +1 617 338 1773

 

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum website

 

Landmarks

 

Landmarks are everywhere in this historic city, whether it's Faneuil Hall - Boston's central meeting spot since 1742 - or Boston Common, where you can explore a checkered history of witchcraft and war. Solemn monuments like the Holocaust Memorial, with its glass columns that slowly fill with steam, provide poignant moments during your explorations.
The Freedom Trail

 

Follow the redbrick road on a walk through Boston's history. A costumed guide will show you everything from the towering monument marking the Battle of Bunker Hill, to the floating museum of the fearless USS Constitution ship - which crucially conquered British ships during the War of 1812. The trail is just 2.5 miles long, but with 16 main stopping points, you'll be overwhelmed by the stories of sacrifice, and the quests for liberty that took place all around you.

 

99 Chauncy Street, Boston MA 02111. Tel: +1 617 357 8300

 

The Freedom Trail website

 

Performing arts

 

Enjoy a meal and a glass of wine before taking your seat at one of the Theater District’s many venues. If you're here in August, visit the Boston Arts Festival in full swing, which fills Christopher Columbus Park with swirling ballet recitals, and haunting choral performances.

 

Symphony Hall

 

This beautiful hall has reverberated with the sounds of Mozart, Haydn, and Strauss for over a century, and the music seems to breathe with a life of its own. That's because Boston’s Symphony Hall was one of the first to be designed using scientific principles to enhance the acoustics - it's now widely regarded as one of the best-sounding concert venues in the world. Sit back, and let the waves of organic sound wash over you, as a conductor's twitching baton leads the orchestra.

 

301 Massachusetts Ave, Boston MA 02115. Tel: +1 617 266 1492

 

Symphony Hall website

 

Universities

 

Boston's one of the world’s education capitals, and its prestigious universities welcome only the best and the brightest. The closest most of us will get is to take the tour - so visit to enjoy a rare peek behind the scenes.

 

Harvard University

 

You can almost smell the inspiration and optimism in the air at Harvard University’s campus. America’s oldest higher education facility is one of the world’s most prestigious universities, and its list of alumni is an intimidating mix of US Presidents like Barack Obama, business masterminds like Bill Gates, and UN leaders like Ban Ki-moon. Scheduled walking tours will teach you the history, or you can beat your own path and explore Harvard's breezy green spaces and redbrick buildings at your leisure.

 

Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: +1 617 495 1000

 

Harvard University website