The charming capital of Massachusetts charms visitors with a lot of history and gentle big-city life. No other American city can look back on as long a tradition as Boston. And yet the home of Harvard University, the renowned M.I.T. and the world-famous Boston Symphony Orchestra is a modern metropolis. In recent years, it has also developed into the new “Hollywood of the East Coast”.
Boston, the city of contrasts, offers old and new, tradition and progress in a fruitful symbiosis. On one side is the time-honored Beacon Hill, on the other the trendy South End. Here modern skyscrapers, there historic row houses. Here the extensive green of Boston Common, there the hustle and bustle at and in the modern harbor. Many corners are reminiscent of European metropolises, but Boston is also a typical American city – and an ethnic patchwork.
Tip 1: Faneuil Hall Marketplace
The mighty Faneuil Hall is located near Christopher Columbus Park and once served as a market hall and meeting place. Together with the later market halls Quincy Market 47 and the South – and the North Market, it forms the Faneuil Hall Marketplace.
The construction of the magnificent Faneuil Hall was financed by the wealthy merchant Peter Faneuil. The architectural realization was the responsibility of the architect John Smibert. Goods were offered for sale on the first floor and the upper floors were used as meeting rooms. Designed in the style of an English country market, Faneuil Hall was completed in 1742, burned down in 1761 and was rebuilt a year later.
Over the next decades, the market hall was rebuilt several times, the last time in 1806.
It is no coincidence that Faneuil Hall is also called the Cradle of Liberty: Many famous speeches against the British crown and slavery were made here. It’s hard to believe, but the market is still political today: there is still a meeting room on the second floor that is used for political debates!
Tip 2: Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a path across Boston that connects 17 historic sites within the city. It is virtually impossible to stray from the path, as it is marked by a solid red line on the floor, so that you can see at a glance whether you are still on the right track.
But it is best to take a guide. He looks in his old-fashioned clothes as if he had come straight out of the 18th century and when you listen to his stories about the bold ancestors of the US-Americans, you almost get the impression that he had experienced all this live…
Let yourself be carried away into a bygone era of destiny and heroism for about 90 minutes as you walk with your guide through the various stations of the Freedom Trail, such as the John Adams Courthouse or the Boston Navy Yard. Experience how the ‘Fathers of Liberty’ must have felt at that time and what radical steps were necessary to gain independence from the British colonial power. What perseverance it must have taken to actually get the Declaration of Independence signed at Liberty Hall in Philadelphia! Your tour ends in one of the old taverns, where Thomas Jefferson may have met with his advisors John Adams and Benjamin Franklin in his day. Enjoy the atmosphere, a touch of nostalgia hangs in the air here. Whether you end the day here in the old town district or take the subway to get to know other corners of the port city, remains your decision.
Tip 3: Tea Party Museum
The Boston Tea Party is considered one of the most significant events in American history. As the culmination of a dispute between the 13 American colonies and the British mother country, Boston citizens disguised as Indians threw three shiploads of tea into the harbor basin at the end of 1773.
The escalation of the conflict led to the outbreak of the American War of Independence beginning in April 1775.
At the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, history comes alive through interactive exhibits and performers dressed in period costumes. Visitors are involved in reenacting historic scenes: they receive a ticket at the entrance with the name of someone involved in the Tea Party, and within an hour they experience the historic events of nearly a quarter of a millennium ago.
The grounds also include a tavern serving typical 18th-century fare, a gift store, and a visitor center offering information and tickets to various Boston attractions, including Freedom Trail, Boston Harbor Cruises, New England Aquarium, Old Town Trolley Tours, Boston Children’s Museum, and Museum of Science. And, of course, the museum can’t be without a Tea Room.
Tip 4: Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the largest museums in the United States and a popular Boston attraction.
It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most extensive art collections in America. Artifacts from Egypt, Rome, Greece, Africa, Oceania, America and impressionist paintings from France are represented here. In addition, you will find works on paper, sculptures, jewelry, musical instruments and contemporary artworks from around the world.
Founded in Boston in 1870, the Museum of Fine Arts moved to its current location in 1909. A partner museum is located in Nagoya, Japan, which is also named the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Tip 5: Boston Common
Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States, established around 1634 at the beginning of the settlement of New England.
Once purchased as a military training area, Boston Common was a place of execution (hanging) and also served as a grazing area for sheep and cows. Today it is a recreational park and serves Boston residents as more for recreational activities, concerts, parades, and picnics. In the summer you can cool off in Frog Pond. If you walk the Freedom Trail, a historical tour you can do on foot, Boston Common is also included.
Right next to Boston Common is the Public Garden, the oldest botanical garden in the United States. You can take ‘swan boats’ (pedal boats) on the lake. The Swan Boats have been around since 1877 and are one of the oldest traditions in Boston. For children, the most interesting thing might be the many bronze duck statues in the park.