Boston is the capital city of Massachusetts, it’s probably the most famous for Fenway Park and the Boston Marathon.
But aside from that, the city also has locations like the MIT Museum and the Boston Public Garden, which are only a few of the attractions that you can visit. Figuring out where to stay in Boston is going to depend on what you want to see first and whether or not there’s a decent hotel close by.
We’ll go over the most notable locations and some of the best hotels in that area, so hopefully, you’ll have a bit of knowledge about the city before you go on your trip.
Where to Stay in Boston
Boston has some of the most notable historic sites in the entirety of the US, primarily due to the large role that its inhabitants played during the revolutionary war.
There are several monuments and statues like the one on Bunker Hill that stand as a testament to the notable history of the city.
Bostonians are very proud of their heritage, so a lot of the old-school Victorian-era buildings that have been there since the Revolutionary war mostly remain the exact same as they’ve always been.
You’ll also find plenty of museums, like the Old South Meeting House or the Bunker Hill Museum, as well as natural history and science museums with fascinating exhibits.
As we alluded to when mentioning Bunker Hill, revolutionary history exhibits are not limited to museums; there are plenty of historic locations like the house that Paul Revere lived in or the many battleships that are located all around the bay.
Having said that, the question of where to stay in Boston is actually an easy one to answer.
Boston’s parts of town, or rather their distinctions, are relatively clear-cut, so it all depends on what exactly you want to see when visiting. If you’re still unsure, we’re here to help. Let’s get into it!
Boston’s 6 Best Parts of Town
- North End: History buffs will absolutely love this part of town
- Downtown: You’ll find a little bit of everything here
- Charlestown: Pub central and the best place to grab a drink
- China Town: The best place to be if you want to experience a different culture
- West End: The party hub of the city and the go-to place for a night out
- Beacon Hill: One of the more scenic locations in the entire city
Boston’s Best Areas and Hotels
Most of the hotels and locations that we mention are generally focused on the central part of Boston.
The main reason is that the best attractions can be found in that general area, and the notable tourist destinations start to diminish as you start to go further south and start to get into the residential areas of the city.
The other reason for this is because the more southern areas in Boston like Roxbury or Dorchester are known for their high crime rates, so not only would we not recommend going to those areas due to the lack of interesting attractions.
But we’d also tell you to avoid them for your own safety as well. Boston is a very large and very beautiful city, but not knowing where you’re going can either lead to you wandering around aimlessly.
1. North End
Go on any tourist site or blog that talks about the main attractions of Boston, and the first thing that most people will mention is the Freedom Trail, and for a good reason.
This two-and-a-half-mile stretch of Boston’s North End takes visitors through some of the most significant historical locations in the city as well as the most interesting museums and art galleries that you’ll find.
Just walking down this part of the city will take you past Colonial and Revolutionary War sites with people in authentic costumes.
You’ll also be able to visit the USS Constitution, which was built all the way back in 1797, and while it may have been restored here and there, “Old Ironsides” is still the same ship as when it helped in America’s fight for liberty.
This is also where you’ll find the Old South Meeting House, where it’s believed that the Tea Party was incited, the Old Granary Burying Ground that serves as the grave of John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Samuel Addams, and other important museums as well.
As you might have seen, this part of the city has a lot of buildings that have “Old” in their name, which makes it a great destination for history buffs.
However, aside from the occasional cafe or restaurant, the nightlife here is non-existent, all of the shops are mostly souvenir-focused, and there really aren’t any attractions that aren’t museums or related to history.
Things to Do
- Visit the Old North Church where Paul Revere hung the two lanterns back in the day to signify that the British were coming.
- Go to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace to see the 18th-century meeting hall that still serves as a marketplace for various items to this day.
- Check out the 18th-century architecture that’s on full display in the Old North Church, which is the oldest church in the city.
- Take one of the many trolley tours that take you past all of the most significant historic locations and monuments that are located in this section of the city.
Where to Eat
- Bova’s Bakery is a great place to get a pastry.
- North Street Grille is where to go if you want to try out some BBQ.
- Ducali Pizzeria & Bar lets you enjoy a beer and a slice of pizza.
North End Budget Hotels
- Courtyard Boston provides you with rooms that have a TV with Netflix streaming capabilities, as well as an American breakfast each morning.
- Harborside Inn comes with a business center where you’ll be provided with the daily newspaper and a Cable TV with a CD player in every room.
North End Mid-Range Hotels
- Bricco Suites has a maid that takes care of the turn-down service for you every day, as well as a flat-screen TV in every room.
- Boston Marriott Long Wharf comes with a concierge service, a free parking spot with a valet, and a coffee maker in each room.
North End Luxury Hotels
- Boston Yacht Haven has rooms that come with a flat-screen TV and free wifi, a fitness center that’s surprisingly well equipped, and even a free continental breakfast that’s served every morning.
- Boston Harbor Hotel provides you with a Smart TV, a coffee maker, and a mini-bar in every room, an in-house bar and grill and fitness center, room service, and even a gift shop located inside the hotel.
This is also where you’ll find the Old State House, which is one of the oldest buildings in Boston and was built back in 1713.
However, if you’re sick and tired of hearing about historic buildings and museums, the Downtown district has a lot more variety in terms of entertainment venues and attractions that you can visit.
For example, you can visit one of the many department stores that are located in this area and go on a shopping spree or maybe get dressed up and go for a fancy meal in one of the many upscale restaurants like Mariel.
You can also find plenty of cinemas and theaters in this area, and while most of them don’t have any historical significance, they’re still a great place to go and just catch a movie.
You can also take a trip to the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park and take a walk through the beautiful gardens, or just take a walk by the water or on the harbor and see how beautiful the city looks at night.
The Downtown area is the largest area in Boston, so getting around can be a bit of a pain.
There’s public transport that’s relatively cheap, and you’ll be able to get just about anywhere for less than $5, but trying to figure out the routes and the locations of all of the spaced-out attractions can get really tiring really fast.
Things to Do
- Visit the famous Quincy Market, which has more than 50 vendors, restaurants, and stands where you can try a whole lot of exotic and interesting foods.
- Go to the New England Aquarium and take a walk past some of the giant water tanks and see the colorful fish and deadly predator exhibits.
- The Boston Harbor Islands are a great destination for a boat trip, especially since you can visit some interesting locations like Fort Warren.
- Visit the famous Orpheum Theatre and check out what sort of shows are on the program if you’re in the mood for live music performance or even a stand-up gig.
Where to Eat
- Chart House is just a nice restaurant by the harbor where you can grab a bite to eat.
- Cafe Bonjour offers a great choice of breakfast options in the morning.
- Clarke’s at Faneuil Hall has a great old-school bar feeling to it.
Downtown Budget Hotels
- DoubleTree by Hilton provides you with free access to the local YMCA fitness center, and you also get an in-house restaurant and bar that you can use as well.
- Boston Omni Parker House Hotel has a business center that’s always open, free wifi throughout the hotel, and a flat-screen TV in every room.
Downtown Mid-Range Hotels
- Hilton Boston Downtown has a pretty impressive library that lets you check out any book that you want, and you also get a coffee machine and a TV in every room as well.
- The Bostonian Boston has a massive 40-inch TV in every room, an in-house restaurant and bar that you can sit down in, and a fitness center that’s open 24 hours a day.
Downtown Luxury Hotels
- Boston Marriott Long Wharf provides you with both concierge services and valet parking, every room comes with an iPod docking station, a coffee maker, and a small work desk as well, and you even have a gift shop inside the hotel itself.
- The Langham provides all of the guests with a 50-inch HDTV in every room that you can use to stream Netflix; more importantly, you have a cocktail bar where you can get a drink and an Italian restaurant where you can grab a bite.
Charlestown is another historically rich part of town with a lot of monuments, museums, and sites that you can visit and read up a bit on the events that happened here.
The Freedom Trail that we mentioned in the North End keeps going into Charlestown as well, and it’s lined with old townhouses and monuments that stand as reminders of the battles that were fought here back during the Revolutionary War.
Charlestown also has Irish roots, which means that there are plenty of restaurants that serve some traditional Irish meals, as well as a lot of classic pubs.
This is one of the better places where you can do a bar crawl since there are plenty of different pubs clustered together, and most of them usually have a band performing on stage if you prefer live music.
There are plenty of malls, shops, and boutiques around here if you want to get a bit of shopping done. The best part is that you still have just as many brands as the other areas of the city.
But there are generally fewer people visiting Charlestown than Downtown, so the crowds aren’t as large. The east end of Charlestown is considered to be pretty dangerous at night.
The crime rates in that neighborhood aren’t quite as high as certain other parts of Boston like Roxbury or Dorchester, but you’ll still want to avoid going down dark streets at night.
Things to Do
- See the Bunker Hill Museum and the Bunker Hill Monument, both of which commemorate and tell the story of the battle of Bunker Hill.
- Go into the hull of the USS Cassin Young and check out the living quarters and operating center of the ship.
- Go on the New England Brewery Tours and learn a bit about the entire brewing process while also enjoying a drink with your friends.
- Rent out a boat and either go and see the city from another angle or visit one of the islands that are off-shore.
Where to Eat
- Warren Tavern is a small restaurant where you can get some breakfast in the morning.
- Sorelle Bakery & Cafe lets you enjoy a pastry and a coffee while you sit and have a chat.
- Kipos is where you go if you want to try some authentic Greek cuisine.
Charlestown Mid-Range Hotels
- Moroccan Boutique Guest House offers suites that are all decorated in vibrant colors and with unique decors, which come with coffee and tea facilities in every room, as well as balconies with great garden views.
Charlestown Luxury Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott comes with a complimentary breakfast each morning, an indoor heated pool and hot tub, allows you to keep pets in your room, and even has a fitness center that’s always open for whenever you want to sneak in a workout on your vacation.
4. China Town
The obvious biggest draw of this area is the ability to experience Asian culture as closely as possible without actually buying a plane ticket to Beijing.
There are plenty of festivals that you can stumble into on the street that celebrate certain Asian holidays. This is also the best place to visit if you’re in the mood for the best Asian food in the entirety of the city.
You’ll be able to find Dim Sum palaces, restaurants that serve dozens of different types of noodles, and the streets are just packed with dumpling stands and other eateries that you can visit and get something tasty for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
You’ll also see some interesting architecture since the buildings have a distinctive narrowness, and the roofs have a unique shape that serves to distinguish them from the typical Victorian-style buildings or the more modern structures that you see in the rest of the city.
This is a rather small area of the city, so the number of attractions and the interesting locations that you can visit is pretty limited.
It’s a great place where you can spend a few days and get immersed in the culture, but most people would probably get bored if they stayed in this area for a whole week or longer.
Things to Do
- Visit the Pao Arts Center and check out the music and performance events that are held here on an almost daily basis.
- Take a walk by the Rose Kennedy Greenway park or put on your running shoes and maybe work up a sweat down the jogging path.
- Go to Phillips Square and see if there are any festivals taking place.
Where to Eat
- Gourmet Dumpling House serves exactly what the name suggests.
- Banh Mi Huong Que has quite an extensive menu full of Asian delicacies.
- May’s Cake House is a great place to get something sweet.
China Town Budget Hotels
- HI Boston Hostel is located in Chinatown and offers you a bed to sleep on for so little money that it’s practically free but offers no luxuries.
- Found Hotel offers cable TV and an AC unit in all of the rooms, as well as a 24-hour reception service and free wifi.
China Town Mid-Range Hotels
- Moxy Boston provides all of the guests with a flat-screen TV, free wifi, a fitness center, and a bar that guests can visit whenever they need a drink.
- Courtyard by Marriott Boston has a business center, a fitness center, free wifi, and a coffee maker in every room.
China Town Luxury Hotels
- Revere Hotel comes with a coffee maker and HDTV in every room, a business center with fax and photocopying services, as well as a fitness center that’s open 24/7 so that guests can use it at any time.
- W Boston offers an on-site restaurant that guests can use, a fully-equipped fitness center, a DVD player in every room, and concierge services.
5. West End
The West End is known for the many bars and clubs that are all over the place. Here, you’ll easily be able to choose between a sports bar where you can sit down and have a beer while you enjoy the game and a bar with a more relaxed atmosphere.
There’s no shortage of nightclubs that you can go to either. Regardless of whether you’re in the mood for a live rock gig or if you prefer to find a place with a DJ where you can dance all night, you’ll easily be able to find both in this section of the city.
Anyone that wants to try out the local cuisine or just wants to go out to a nice place for a date night can easily find great accommodations in any of the high-class restaurants in this area.
If you go out during the day, you’ll be able to visit the Museum of Science that’s located near the riverside.
It’s also close to the planetarium that has a lot of fun exhibits, especially for children. While there are a lot of pubs and restaurants all over the place, they draw in quite the crowd on a regular basis, so it can get cramped both during the day and at night.
Bigger crowds also usually mean that a certain section of town is going to be a bit more expensive as well, and the same applies here as well.
Things to Do
- Visit the Museum of Science and check out some of the most interesting exhibits that you can find anywhere in the city.
- Go to one of the many sports fields around here and rent in for about an hour to work up a sweat and play a match with your friends.
- Get yourself a ticket and catch one of the big names in music that play on the Big Night Live stage.
- Take a tour of one of the breweries that you find by the coast, or just call it quits on the learning and have a drink at one of the many bars.
Where to Eat
- GRECO greek cuisine is a buffet where you can make your own meal.
- A&B Kitchen • BAR is a pretty chic-looking place where you can grab a quick bite.
- QDOBA Mexican Eats is where you go if you’re in the mood for something a bit spicier.
West End Budget Hotels
- Onyx Boston provides you with complimentary tea and coffee services, as well as a fitness center that’s always open.
- The Boxer gives you free wifi throughout the hotel, a flat-screen cable TV in every room, and both a fitness and business center.
West End Mid-Range Hotels
- Hotel Indigo Boston Garden has a 32-incl flat-screen TV in every room, a business center that’s right next to the lobby, and a cleaning service that’s open 24/7.
- Boston Omni Parker House Hotel comes with a business center and a fitness center, both of which are open 24/7, and free wifi throughout the hotel.
West End Luxury Hotels
- Courtyard Boston provides all of the guests with a flat-screen TV that comes with streaming capabilities, a luxuriously large bath that you can use, and a complimentary American breakfast each morning.
- The Liberty has a cocktail bar where you can get a nice cold drink, a bar where you can enjoy a nice stiff drink and maybe just chat with your friends, an in-house Italian restaurant, and a fitness center as well.
6. Beacon Hill
Widely considered to be one of the most picturesque locations in the entire city, the cobbled streets and the Victorian-era buildings that you can find everywhere in this area give this place an old-school sort of feel, especially when lit up by the antique lanterns.
Going with the old-school esthetic, you’ll also find a lot of chic restaurants and boutiques that you can visit and then sit down for a coffee or buy a few things for yourself if you want a wardrobe change.
This is where you’ll find the Boston Public Garden, which is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the US.
You’ll get to take a look at all of the different floral arrangements, see the fountains and the monuments that are littered all over the place, and just enjoy the fresh air. Right next to the gardens, you’ll also find the Boston Common, which is America’s oldest public park.
Between the park and the garden, there are also plenty of streets that are full of trendy restaurants and boutiques as well as a lot of Victorian-era houses that just give the whole place a more old-school sort of feel.
Most of the restaurants and shops that you’ll find in this location are usually going to be a bit pricier than the average store in any other part of the city.
You’re not going to end up penniless, but certain bars on Beacon Hill definitely charge double for the same drink that you could get in Charlestown.
Things to Do
- Visit the Cheers bar that was the inspiration for the show of the same name, which was one of the most beloved sitcoms from back in the day.
- Go to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and visit the main exhibit that’s called The Mapparium and see the map of the world like you’ve never seen it before.
- Take a trip to the golden-domed Massachusetts State House and learn a bit more about this historically significant building.
- Check out the sheer number of books that are available in the Central Boston Public Library.
Where to Eat
- Tatte Bakery & Cafe great place to grab a coffee and a pastry.
- The Paramount is where you go if you want to get yourself a burger or an American breakfast.
- Capitol Coffee House offers you and your friends a place where you can just chill and enjoy a mocha.
Beacon Hill Budget Hotels
- Bay Village Suites doesn’t cost much at all, comes with free wifi, and it’s located near the Boston Common park.
Beacon Hill Mid-Range Hotels
- The Whitney Hotel Boston comes with an in-house restaurant, a TV and AC unit in every room, and a front desk that’s on-call 24 hours a day.
- The Godfrey Hotel Boston provides all of the guests with laundry facilities and dry-cleaning services, as well as a reception desk that’s open 24/7.
Beacon Hill Luxury Hotels
- Loews Boston Hotel has rooms that allow you to keep your pets inside, provides free wifi throughout the hotel, has a reception desk that’s always open, and even comes with an apothecary in the lobby.
- The Newbury Boston offers a complimentary continental breakfast each morning, all of the rooms are equipped with a TV, and a few of them also come with a kitchenette as well.
So, Where Should You Stay in Boston?
We stand behind all of the locations and hotels that we mentioned in this article, but it’s also important to mention that some areas and some hotels aren’t going to be to everyone’s liking.
As we’ve already mentioned several times, there’s no shortage of attractions in this city, and the same goes for the hotels as well.
If you’re not getting the sort of service that you expected from a certain hotel, or if you’re not as interested in a certain attraction as you thought you’d be, then you can easily find something more appealing just down the road.
But we hope that everything on your trip turns out exactly how you hope it will, and we think that our article will help you do just that!