Downtown Boston is really the heart of the city. Many companies and agencies have their headquarters in the area, and City Hall and the State House are also located here. It is probably the most European-like downtown in the US, with pedestrian-ized streets, a very popular large public area near Faneuil Hall, lots of street performers, lots of historic sites, and an efficient public transit system.
Boston's nickname as the "Hub" makes more sense once you visit downtown. The population balloons during the day as hundreds of thousands of office workers and tourists descend on the area. The Massachusetts State Government maintains its seat in nearby Beacon Hill, but most state employees work out of office buildings around Government Center, where City Hall is also located. Downtown is home to major shopping areas, many of Boston's most famous historic sites, and plenty of major private employers. The financial and legal industry in the city is still largely based here, although some have decamped to nicer and newer space in the Seaport.
The area now known as Downtown used to comprise most of the City of Boston, aside from the North End and Beacon Hill. Places like Charlestown and Dorchester were originally separate towns. Boston was founded in 1628 on a head of land sticking out into the harbor, connected to the mainland only by a thin strip of land which is today called Washington St. Other Boston neighborhoods were created through filling in marshland or annexing neighboring towns. Boston was a hotbed of the American Revolution, being home to now famous patriots like John Adams, Sam Adams, and John Hancock. Important pre-revolutionary events like the Boston Tea Party and Boston Massacre happened in what is now Downtown.
After the war, Boston continued to be an important seaport and trading center. Until the 1860's and 70's, Downtown was pretty much all there was to the city. During this period, it expanded dramatically and outgrew its old borders, but Downtown remained the hub, although it is one of the northernmost parts of the city. Much of Downtown burned down in the Great Fire of 1872, tragically taking some of the city's older buildings with it. This area is now the main financial district and is mostly modern skyscrapers. In the 1950's the Central Artery, an elevated highway, was built through downtown, cutting off the waterfront from the rest of downtown. At a cost of $15 billion, it was buried during the "Big Dig" in the 1990s and early 2000s and Downtown is now reunited with its waterfront.
- Government Center: This area used to be known as Scollay Square and was demolished in the 1960s to build a new city hall for Boston. Government Center is full of hulking Brutalist architecture and an expansive plaza around city hall. The windswept plaza was mostly deserted until the city recently started holding festivals, sports viewings, and placed lawn furniture and patches of fake grass around. Government Center T Station is a major transit hub, where the Blue and Green Lines intersect.
- Fanueil Hall/Quincy Market: Fanueil Hall is the beating heart of Boston tourism. Locals tend to avoid the area in the summer because of the crowds. Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market used to be the main marketplace in the city, but were converted into a shopping mall catering mostly to visitors in the latter 20th century. North of the marketplace is one of the oldest clusters of buildings in the city. Here you will find some of America's oldest pubs and restaurants.
- Downtown Crossing: Downtown Crossing is the city's major downtown shopping district. While the Fanueil Hall Marketplace is aimed mostly at visitors, Downtown Crossing has many stores catering to locals. Downtown Crossing T Station is the main transit hub for the city as it is the intersection of the Orange and Red Lines, the two high capacity heavy rail subway lines, and travelers trekking from North Station to South Station will pass through here. There are also quite a few restaurants here for the office lunch crowd and some hip after work bars and restaurants. The area is rapidly gentrifying and you will likely walk around construction sites for fancy condos. Real estate brokers are trying to rebrand the area as "DTX," but this has yet to take hold.
- Financial District: Boston's Financial District is the area bounded by State St., Devonshire/Otis St., and the Greenway. This is probably the least interesting Downtown neighborhood for a traveler as it is mostly office space, although no longer just banks. The Financial District is slowly being colonized by tech companies which may give it a funkier, more laid back vibe in a few years. Aside from the lovely Post Office Square and some impressive buildings, there isn't much to do here and the restaurants/bars are oriented to the office crowd so they tend to be overpriced.
- Waterfront: The waterfront is essentially the area on the ocean-facing section of the Greenway south of the North End. There are a lot of tourist-oriented restaurants and hotels here as well as a few high end places popular with locals. The New England Aquarium is located on the waterfront.
By Commuter Rail
All of Boston's commuter rail lines serve downtown, either arriving at North Station or South Station. The two stations are at opposite ends of downtown, but are only about a 25 minute walk from each other so either will suffice for getting into and out of Downtown. Generally speaking, places north of Downtown are served by North Station and places south of Downtown by South Station.
Most of the subway lines in Boston meet in the downtown area, meaning the area is well served by public transportation. Stations serving this area are Park Street (Red and Green Lines), Downtown Crossing (Red and Orange Lines), Government Center (Blue and Green Lines), and State (Blue and Orange Lines). These stations are within a 5 minute walk of one another.
The Blue Line is a main route for travelers coming from Logan Airport. There are cheap ($6-$7) parking garages/lots at the ends of the Blue Line (Wonderland), Orange Line (Oak Grove) Red Line (Alewife in the north, Quincy Adams in the south), and the Green Line's Riverside Branch (Riverside and Woodland). The T will take you into Downtown from each of these garages in about 30 minutes.
NOTE: Government Center Station is closed for construction until 2016.
There are parking garages along Washington St. and underneath the Boston Common. However, these are fairly expensive. On a weekday, parking will probably set you back over $30 and maybe even $40. In the evening and on weekends, it is typically cheaper, between $15 and $20. On-street parking is all but nonexistent. For most people, taking the subway is the better option.
Driving into downtown in the morning or out in the evening should be avoided at all costs. Traffic in downtown is horrendous and the highways leading into and out of the city can be backed up for miles.
Downtown is easy to get around on foot, if you have a map. There is no street grid since this part of the city was largely laid out 300 years ago, but the distances are short. Jaywalking is the norm, although technically illegal.
If you really wanted to, there are a lot of T stops downtown so you could choose to get around that way, although walking is probably faster and you might end up paying $2.50 to ride 500 yards.
Better not to do this. Downtown Boston is a confusing place to drive to begin with, even for residents. Traffic is bad during all daylight hours and you probably won't find anywhere to park. Even the garages fill up during the day.
Downtown is Boston's historic center. Many of the classic Freedom Trail sites people associate with Boston, like Fanueil Hall and the Old South Meeting House are here. There are also a number of well maintained parks to relax in and plenty of impressive buildings to behold. Most of the city's museums are in other neighborhoods, but you will find the New England Aquarium on the waterfront.
- Massachusetts State House, Beacon & Park Streets (T: Park Street), ☎ +1-617-727-3676, fax: +1-617-973-4858. Monday - Friday: 10:00-16:00. The Massachusetts State House was built in 1781 on top of land once owned by John Hancock. The dome of the State House was recently refurbished with glittering gold leaf, and makes for a spectacular view at sunset from the Massachusetts Avenue bridge.
- Boston Common (T: Park Street or Boylston). Founded in 1634, this is one of the oldest public parks in the United States. Over the years, many large gatherings have been held here, from British encampments in the revolutionary period to anti-war protests in the 1960s. A nice spot for walking around and people-watching at all times of year. The Frog Pond in the center of the Common has wading in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
- Park Street Church, 1 Park St (T: Park Street), ☎ +1 617 523-3383. Founded in 1809, and still an active house of worship, this church is known for a number of historical firsts. Among other things, William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first anti-slavery address here, and "My Country Tis of Thee" was first sung on the front steps.
- Granary Burying Ground, Tremont St. between Park and School Streets (T: Park Street or Government Center). Many famous figures from the American Revolution are buried here, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Crispus Attucks.
- King's Chapel, 64 Beacon St. (T: Park Street or Government Center), ☎ +1 617 523-1749. Founded as an Anglican congregation in 1686. The bell in the bell tower was originally hung in 1772, cracked in 1814, and was recast by Paul Revere in 1816: this bell is still in use today.
- King's Chapel Burying Ground (T: Park Street or Government Center). Predating King's Chapel, this cemetery was founded in 1630, and is the oldest in Boston. Notable figures buried here include John Winthrop and William Dawes.
- Old South Meeting House, 310 Washington St. (T: Downtown Crossing or State), ☎ +1 617 482-6439. 9:30AM-5PM (Apr-Oct), 10AM-4PM (Nov-Mar). An important meeting place for centuries: currently a museum. In 1773, a group of colonists attacked a tea ship after a meeting here, in what became known as the Boston Tea Party. $5.
- Old State House, 206 Washington St. (T: State or Government Center), ☎ +1 617 720-1713. 9AM-5PM (4PM in Jan, 6PM in July and Aug). The former seat of government in Boston, and the oldest surviving building. In 1770, the Boston Massacre took place just in front of the State House, and in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians from the balcony. $7.
- Faneuil Hall (The Cradle of Liberty) (T: Government Center, State, or Aquarium). 9AM-5PM. First built in 1742 as an old market building at the town dock. Town meetings, held here between 1764 and 1774, heard Samuel Adams and others lead cries of protest against the imposition of taxes on the colonies. The building was enlarged in 1806. Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, and Lucy Stone brought their struggles for freedom here in the 19th century. Market stalls on the first floor service shoppers much as they did in Paul Revere's day. Free.
- Boston City Hall (Government Center, City Hall Plaza), 1 City Hall Square. Boston City Hall is either hilariously ugly or an architectural masterpiece. If it hasn't been torn down in the next 50 years, we will probably know for sure. City Hall is a massive Brutalist structure plonked down in the heart of one of the oldest cities in the U.S.. It's quite the contrast with Fanueil Hall, which is directly behind it.
- New England Aquarium, Central Wharf (Blue Line to Aquarium), ☎ +1 617 973-5200. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-6PM. Home of what was until recently the world's largest fish tank, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the New England Aquarium offers a riveting museum experience which showcases an incredible variety of fish and other types of animals. After recent expansions, it now also has a humongous IMAX theatre, whale-watching tours operating from its pier, and a marine mammal arena out back. It also is known for its penguins, which are a fascinating experience even on their own. It's well worth a visit. $24.95, Students $18.95, Senior 60+ $18.95, Ages 3–11 $12.95.
- Irish Famine Memorial (Intersection of School St and Washington St). Small park located on the Freedom Trail, commemorating the 1845 Irish Famine with statues and plaques.
- Post Office Square ((Also the address)). Post Office Square is a tranquil oasis in the middle of Downtown. In the late 1980's, a decrepit parking garage was torn down and a public park was created on the site, funded by a privately operated parking garage underground. The square is not very crowded in the evening and on weekends, but you may run into a wedding photography shoot.
- Old City Hall, 45 School St.. Old City Hall, unlike the current city hall, is undeniably beautiful. This Second Empire style building was built in 1865 and served as Boston's City Hall until 1969. It has since been converted to office space and also houses an expensive steak house. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and is a much touted example of adaptive re-use in architecture.
- New England Holocaust Memorial, 98 Union St. A glass memorial built in a small park near Fanueil Hall, inspired by survivors who resettled in Boston.
- Shakespeare on the Common (Boston Common). Every year in late July-early August, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company puts on free performances on Boston Common of various Shakespeare works. Performances are well attended, but there are few space constraints so you should be able to find a decent vantage point. Food Trucks show up and picnicking is a popular activity.
- Orpheum Theatre, 1 Hamilton Pl, ☎ +1 617 482-0106. Famous theater, originally built in 1852, that hosts many big name acts throughout the year. The Orpheum was the original home of the Boston Symphony and seats 2,700.
For any visitor to Boston, the Freedom Trail presents the opportunity for an enjoyable and highly informative insight into Boston’s rich history, dating back to the days of the Revolutionary War. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile redbrick walking trail that makes its way to 16 of Boston’s most historic sites. During this tour you will witness a unique collection of churches, museums, meetinghouses, burial grounds, historic ships as well as several other historical sites. Together these sites tell the story of the American Revolution as it unfolded in Boston during the 1700s. This tour is well worth the $12 price of admission for anyone looking for a comprehensive yet extremely enjoyable look into the rich history of the city of Boston. Trips of the Freedom Trail depart from the Boston Common (located directly across the street from the Public Garden) at 11, Noon, 3:30, and 4:30 Daily. For more in-depth details about each of the 16 primary sites on the Freedom Trail as well as information on how to pre-order tickets at a discounted price, visit the Freedom Trail website .
The following sites are part of the Freedom Trail:
- Boston Common
- Massachusetts State House
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground
- King's Chapel
- King's Chapel Burying Ground
- Benjamin Franklin statue and former site of the first public school, Boston Latin School
- Old Corner Bookstore
- Old South Meeting House
- Old State House
- Site of the Boston Massacre
- Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market
- Paul Revere House (North End)
- Old North Church (North End)
- Copp's Hill Burying Ground (North End)
- USS Constitution (Charlestown)
- Bunker Hill Monument (Charlestown)
- Boston National Historical Park Visitor Center, 15 State St, ☎ +1 617-242-5601. Daily 9AM-5PM. National Park Service Rangers lead a free 90 minute walking tour along the heart of Boston's Freedom Trail. Discover Boston's role in the American Revolution. For more information call +1 617 242-5642. Tours are offered weather permitting. Each tour is limited to 30 people: first come, first served. On day of tour, rangers will distribute free stickers 30 minutes before tour time. Reservations are not accepted. Tours fill up quickly in summer months. Tour times for 2008: Jun 21 - Aug 31: Daily at 10AM, 11AM and 2PM. Apr 19 - Jun 20; Sep 1 - Nov 30: Weekdays at 2PM only, Weekends at 10AM, 11AM and 2PM. Last day for Freedom Trail tours is Sunday, November 30.
- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway (the Greenway), 185 Kneeland St. The Greenway is a public park running along the route of the former Central Artery, the road that was buried during the big dig. Instead of developing the land freed up by the new tunnel, the city turned it into a public park running in an arc around Downtown. There are numerous art installations and seating areas, fountains for kids to play in, and even a carousel.
- Fanueil Hall Marketplace, Faneuil Hall Market Pl (T: Government Center, State, or Aquarium), ☎ +1 617 248-0399. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-6PM. This plaza with its conglomeration of shops, a variety of restaurant types, and bars across several buildings is quite popular with tourists. Outdoor performance artists are common. It is without a doubt the cheesiest place in Boston, but still worth a visit just to soak up the history. Before it was rebranded and turned into a mall, the shopping area behind Fanueil Hall was Quincy Market, the city's main produce market.
- Downtown Crossing. a major outdoor shopping area with many department stores and storefronts along Washington Street. The area is a pedestrian mall for several blocks. This area was formerly known as the "Combat Zone" and was something of a Red Light District. Today, it has cleaned up a bit and is mostly chain stores. The area is rapidly going upmarket with the construction of very expensive apartments, a Primark (first in the U.S.), and a fancy grocery store.
- Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St (underneath Haymarket Garage). W-Sun 8AM-8PM. A year round market with vendors from all over New England. Most of the stalls sell food, either prepared or fresh produce and meat, but there are also a few stalls selling hard goods like cutting boards.
- American Stonecraft. Artisan producer of dishes, coasters, food slates and such. All made from stones pulled from New England farm fields.
- Peterman's Boards and Bowls. Producer of fine wood products made from fallen or discarded timber from around New England.
- Hopster's Alley. All Massachusetts & New England beer, wine and spirits. Hopsters Alley is run by Hopsters brewery and you can also get growlers of their own beer here.
- Mange. Producer of fresh fruit vinegars for use in cocktails and cooking.
- Brattle Book Shop, 9 West St., ☎ +1 617 542-0210. Three floor used and rare book store with an outdoor bargain area set up in a neighboring alley. Brattle Book Shop was founded in 1825 and is one of the oldest book shops in the country.
Downtown is not Boston's culinary epicenter. Truly exciting restaurants tend to be located in outlying neighborhoods due to the high costs of real estate downtown and the weird demographics (filled with office workers and tourists during the day, deserted at night). Because of this, visitors to the city who mostly stay Downtown may think that Boston is living up to the tired New England stereotype of bland cuisine. This couldn't be further from the truth so leaving Downtown to eat is a must when visiting. While there are a lot of truly forgettable places to eat Downtown, it's not all bad. With a little research you should be able to find a quality meal at whatever price point you're seeking.
Downtown's budget restaurants tend to be geared towards the horde of office workers who descend on the city during the week so many of them are only open for weekday lunch. If you do happen to visit during a weekday, save some money and follow the be-suited crowds to a place that will have better food for much less than tourist oriented spots.
- Quincy Market (behind Faneuil Hall and across from the Government Center). An upscale food court. The building is an old brick marketplace (~1825) restored beautifully to contain a central seating area in the midpoint of a long rectangular building. Two hallways extending left and right are completed lined with all vendors selling all varieties of food, dessert and coffees. You can find everything from the famous New England clam "chowda" in a bread bowl to swordfish kabobs to pizza to some of the very best cannolis. There is something good to eat for all, but get there before 9PM.
- Silvertone Bar and Grill, 69 Bromfield St, ☎ +1 617 338-7887. A hip afterwork hangout with very good "new American" food and the best macaroni and cheese in town, right near Tremont Street and the Boston Common.
- Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, 86 Bedford St, Boston, MA 02111, ☎ +1 617 482-1888. Incredibly cheap hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant with a 10 dish menu specializing in hand-pulled noodles.
- Piperi Mediterranean Grill, 1 Beacon St, ☎ +1 617 227-7471. Kind of like Chipotle, but for falafel and gyros. There's a basic price depending on your protein and you can get it as a wrap or a salad. There are lots of toppings to customize your order and you can add a side of chips and hummus. Fast and cheap food so you can get back to sight seeing, but you can also see King's Chapel across the street while you eat.
- Fill-A-Buster, 142 Bowdoin St, ☎ +1 617 523-8164. A favorite with the workers of Beacon Hill, Fill-A-Buster is a small deli with a huge menu running from classic American breakfasts to falafel. Portions are big, prices are low, and you might see a politician (or at least their staff).
- Chicken & Rice Guys, 85 Bedford St, ☎ +1 617 903-8538. 11AM-3PM. Brick and mortar location of a popular food truck. Serves exactly what the name implies, but is only open for weekday lunch.
- Falafel King, 48 Winter St, ☎ +1 617 338-8355. Busy Downtown Crossing falafel shop.
- Durgin-Park (Faneuil Hall Marketplace), ☎ +1 617 227-2038. Famous for their service with attitude. Wholesome New England fare, especially prime rib, lobster. This place does have highly-rated meals, but can range from about $8 for a burger, to up to $25–40 for bigger meals (steak/lobster). Expect to pay at least $20 per person for dinner.
- Haymarket Pizza, 106 Blackstone St (in Boston's historic Haymarket), ☎ +1 617 723-8585. The atmosphere is like eating (standing) at a work bench in a garage, but the pizza is inexpensive and among of the best in Boston. In nice weather, tables are set up outside facing the space newly opened up when Route 93 was put underground.
- Joe's American Bar & Grill, 100 Atlantic Ave (Waterfront), ☎ +1 617 367-8700. Right on the water at Christopher Columbus Park, with both inside and al fresco dining.
- Union Oyster House, 41 Union St (MBTA: Green or Blue Line to Government center.), ☎ +1 617 227-2750. Oldest continuously operating restaurant in the US. Comfortable atmosphere. Raw bar. $30-50 (less expensive in bar section).
- jm Curley, 21 Temple Pl., ☎ +1 617 338-5333. Small, meat focused menu that serves late into the night. Also has alcoholic milkshakes and a decent beer list. For something more exclusive, there is a secret steakhouse in the back.
- Sam LaGrassa's, 44 Province St., ☎ +1 617 357-6861. One of the city's most famous sandwich joints. Serves up classic deli fare like pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.
Many of Boston's swankiest restaurants are located Downtown. Be sure to do some research before embarking on a Downtown fine dining adventure. There are some truly world-class restaurants here, but also a lot of overpriced places catering to tourists and expense account lunches.
- Troquet, 140 Boylston St (at Boston Common), ☎ +1 617 695-9463. Its a wine bar serving a variety of half and full glasses along with bottles of wine paired with its French menu. The food is fabulous as its atmosphere. Expect dinner for two people will run $100-200+.
- No. 9 Park, 9 Park St, ☎ +1 617 742-9991. One of the classiest and most popular fine dining establishments in Boston. Regionally inspired Italian and French cuisine across the street from the Statehouse and Boston Common.
- O Ya, 9 East St., ☎ +1 617 654-9900. Boston's quintessential sushi restaurant. You could easily spend $300 on just yourself here, but it would probably be worth it. Also has Wagyu beef and a James Beard Award.
- Legal Crossing, 558 Washington St., ☎ +1 617 692-8888. The swanky sibling in the Legal Seafoods empire. Instead of the slightly kitschy standard Legal, Legal Crossing has sleek modern decor and fancier dishes. There is a full bar with an extensive cocktail menu.
- Meritage, 70 Rowes Wharf (Boston Harbor Hotel), ☎ +1 617 439-3995. "Vineyard-to-table" fare in a swanky waterfront hotel.
Downtown Boston is dominated by thumping dance clubs, expensive cocktail bars aimed at the bankers and consultants who work here, and some older dive bars leftover from its seedier days. Most of the spots where you can get a nice drink in a relaxing environment are located in outlying neighborhoods where real estate is cheaper.
- J.J. Foley's, 117 East Berkeley St (Downtown Crossing), ☎ +1 617 338-7713. Hard-drinking Irish bar for the downtown crowd.
- Good Life, 28 Kingston St, ☎ +1 617 451-2622. Mo-Fr 11:30AM-2AM; Sa 5PM-2AM. The Good Life is a hidden gem, located in Boston's financial district. They offer an oft-changing menu of high quality food in their simple/chic dining room. Guests can also enjoy visiting their unique downstairs vodka lounge that features over 150 different types! Various music acts featured nightly downstairs. No Cover Charge.
- The Tam, 222 Tremont St, ☎ +1 617 482-9182. A good old fashioned Boston dive bar. The Tam used to be quite seedy, being located in the former "Combat Zone." Today, you can still get the timeless atmosphere without the danger since the area around the Tam has gentrified considerably.
- Stoddard's Fine Food & Ale, 48 Temple Pl., ☎ +1 617 426-0048. Stoddard's is also a restaurant, but it is better known as a place to drink. Has a respected take on the Moscow Mule and an extensive draft selection. The bar itself is a slightly modern spin on the late 19th century with lots of dark woods and brass fixtures.
- Marliave, 10 Bosworth St., ☎ +1 617 422-0004. Fancy cocktails and French bar food. This is a reincarnation of the original Restaurant Marliave, founded in 1885 and a spot where Boston's elite took their mistresses.
Faneuil Hall Area (Government Center or Aquarium subway stop)
This area of Boston caters mostly to tourists. A lot of the bars here turn into dance clubs at night, but during the day they are "Irish" pubs and such. Some of them are quite historic with some of America's oldest bars being located in the cluster of old buildings just north of the marketplace.
- The Black Rose, 160 State St (Faneuil Hall Marketplace), ☎ +1 617 742-2286. Despite its proximity to Faneuil Hall, tourists overlook this location regularly. Excellent deals on lobster too. Try the seared scallops (~$18) - plump, juicy, very fresh. Live acoustic Irish music with authentic Irish musicians. Much appreciated by the local crowd early on a Sunday evening (fathers dancing with small children, regulars calling for their favorite songs). Wait staff quite efficient and friendly.
- McCormack & Schmick's, North Market Building (Faneuil Hall Marketplace), ☎ +1 617 720-5522. $1.95 bar menu during happy hour..
- Cheers Boston, 5 Faneuil Hall (Faneuil Hall Marketplace), ☎ +1 617 227-0150. Not the original Cheers from the TV show which is on Beacon Street, but owned by the same folks.
- Bell in Hand, 45 Union St, ☎ +1 617 227-2098. Established in 1795, the bar claims to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in the country, but is far more a club than a tavern. Downstairs is generally packed on weekends, upstairs is a multiroom club.
- The Green Dragon Tavern, 11 Marshall St (in the historic Blackstone section of Boston), ☎ +1 617 367-0055. A nice relaxing place to stop in after work or whilst walking the freedom trail. A replica of the original 1657 Green Dragon Tavern , that was the meeting place for the Sons of Liberty as they discussed and planned political revolution. British officers also frequented the original pub and were spied upon by American patriots. The Green Dragon Tavern the “Headquarters of the Revolution” was rebuilt on Marshall street after a major fire. Featuring lively entertainment and lovely food in an Irish pub atmosphere. Very reasonable prices. Two with drink is about $25-30.
When in Downtown Boston, you are probably within sight of a Dunkin Donuts. If not, try turning around. There are also quite a few Starbucks in this area. But you didn't come here to drink your coffee at national chains, there are plenty of other options.
- Boston Common Coffee Company, 10 High St, ☎ +1 617-542-0595. Provides a comforting atmosphere. A great place to get fresh coffee, soups and salads, and fresh pastries. All entrees are under $10
- Flat Black Coffee Company, 50 Broad St, ☎ +1 617 951-1440. A great place to get fresh coffees from around the world. Most of their coffees are certified Organic, Shade Grown and Fair Trade.
- 260 Franklin St.
- 100 High St.
- Thinking Cup, 165 Tremont St, ☎ +1 617-482-5555. A great place to get a cup of coffee. The staff is young and hip, but they are always very friendly, upbeat, and professional. They offer an array of sandwiches and baked goods.
- Ogawa Coffee, 10 Milk St, ☎ +1 617 780-7139. First U.S. location of an upscale Japanese coffee chain.
- Caffe Nero, 560 Washington St, ☎ +1 617 936-3432. 7AM-9:30PM. The first U.S. location of a popular British coffee chain
- Boston Brewin Coffee, 45 Bromfield St, ☎ +1 857 302-0859. 7AM-4PM M-F. Coffee shop dedicated to paying it's employees a livable wage and donates all its profits to local charities chosen by customers.
- Friend Street Hostel, 234 Friend St, ☎ +1 617 934-2413, fax: +1 617 674-2449, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Internet terminals, free wifi, free breakfast, towel rental, security lockers, luggage storage, 24 hour access. Dorms $43-50.
- HI Boston, 19 Stuart Street (http://bostonhostel.org/contact/directions/), ☎ +1 617 536-9455, toll-free: +1-888-464-4872, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 4PM., check-out: 11AM. Recently renovated. Communal kitchen, common areas, laundry facilities, meeting rooms and luggage storage. $40 dorm / $190 private ensuite.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston-Downtown, 821 Washington St, ☎ +1 617 956-7900. Guests gain complimentary access to the adjoining YMCA fitness center (complete with indoor pool, basketball court and group classes). A full-service Starbucks is also located on the lower level of the hotel.
- Harborside Inn, 185 State St, ☎ +1 617 723-7500. Boston, Pleasant, remodeled in the boutique style (exposed brick, modern furniture without being uncomfortable). Rooms are a decent size, comfortable bed, no desk, nice TV, wireless internet free in all rooms, clean. Very quiet - no street noise at all. Coffee available in the lobby all day for free. No restaurant or room service. Basic travelers hotel - no gym. Close to Fanueil Hall, Aquarium, many restaurants within walking distance. Close to Financial District. Close to various convenience stores. $200.
- Hilton Boston Downtown (Formerly the Wyndham Boston), 89 Broad St, ☎ +1 617 556 0006. Built in 1928 as Boston's first skyscraper.
- Boston Marriott Longwharf, 296 State St, ☎ +1 617 227-0800. Located on Boston Harbor at the historic Long Wharf in downtown Boston. This Boston, Massachusetts hotel features 400 hotel rooms, 11 hotel suites, a concierge lounge with harbor views, and Oceana Restaurant that serves fresh seafood cuisine.
- Four Seasons Hotel Boston, 200 Boylston St, ☎ +1 617 338-4400, fax: +1 617 423-0154. Boston, Massachusetts 02116. Most Bostonians consider this hotel to be the nicest in Boston.
- InterContinental Boston, 510 Atlantic Ave (On the Waterfront), ☎ +1 617 747-1000. The InterContinental Boston Hotel, a new symbol of elegance and luxury on the Boston Waterfront. The 424 guest rooms & suites of this 5 star hotel are conveniently located close to the Boston Commons, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North End, Logan Airport, Boston Convention Center and other downtown Boston attractions.
- The Langham Hotel Boston, 250 Franklin St, ☎ +1 617 451-1900. Originally the building of the Federal Reserve Bank, this AAA four-diamond Boston hotel is now a national architectural landmark. The hotel overlooks the gardens of Post Office Square and is steps from Boston's shops, restaurants and attractions such as Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, the Freedom Trail, and the financial district. Cafe Fleuri inside is now known as one of Boston's finest restaurants and is known for its Saturday Chocolate Bar Buffet and Sunday Jazz brunch.
- New Ritz-Carlton, 10 Avery St, ☎ +1 617 574-7100, fax: +1 617 574-7200. Located in the Theater District directly across the common from the original Riz-Carlton. Relatively new hotel with a very modern design.
- Nine Zero, 90 Tremont St, ☎ +1 617 772-5800, fax: +1 617 772-5810. Trendy boutique hotel. For a real splurge stay in the Cloud Nine Suite with views of Boston Common.
- Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School St, ☎ +1 617 227-8600, fax: +1 617 742-5729. The oldest hotel in America. Located in downtown Boston on the Freedom Trail, the venerable Omni Parker House Hotel opened its doors in 1855. If you want to surround yourself in history in the heart of Downtown Boston, this is THE place to stay. However, note that many of the hotel's rooms are small and over-crowded with furniture. Ho Chi Minh & Malcolm X are former employees. Bonus: If you eat in the dining room, ask to sit in the booth in which JFK asked Jackie O to marry him.
- The Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, 50 Park Plaza Arlington St, ☎ +1 617 426-5545. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, The Boston Park Plaza has welcomed numerous U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries. The hotel is located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood adjacent to the Boston Public Gardens. The hotel features 941 guest rooms and 38 meeting and conference rooms totaling 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
- Taj Boston, 15 Arlington St, ☎ +1 617 536-5700, fax: +1 617 536-1335. This is the original Ritz-Carlton, and is located right in the heart of downtown Boston on the Newbury Street side.
- Hyatt Regency Boston, 1 Ave de Lafayette, ☎ +1 617 912-1234. Big luxury hotel $425+.
Downtown Boston is the hub people are talking about when they refer to the city as "the Hub." All major transit lines and two major highways converge Downtown so not only can you get anywhere in the city from here, you can get anywhere else pretty easily too.
|Routes through Downtown|
|END ← Beacon Hill ←||SW NE||→ Financial District → Revere|
|Fenway-Kenmore ← Back Bay ←||W N||→ North End → Cambridge|
|Malden ← North End ←||N S||→ Chinatown → Jamaica Plain|
|Cambridge ← Beacon Hill ←||N S||→ South Boston → Braintree|
|Hyde Park ← Dorchester ←||SW NE||→ END|
|Needham ← Back Bay ←||W E||→ END|