Getting Around Boston – How to Get Around Boston for Tourists

Shipping up to Boston? We put together a go-to guide packed with information for getting around the city and beyond, including getting to and from the airport.

Downtown Boston is easy to navigate. It’s compact, walkable, has an abundance of taxis, and an accessible public transportation system.

Driving downtown can be a challenge with its dated road layout and limited parking options but, it’s the most convenient option for travel outside of Boston Proper.

Planning to see lots of Boston attractions? Check out the Go Boston® Card—the more you do, the more you save.

Photo Credit: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Photo Credit: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Boston Public Transportation

The MBTA is Boston’s public transportation system, and it’s a great way to get around quickly and cheaply. The “T” refers to the subway, which runs throughout Boston, into Cambridge, and into nearby suburbs, providing access to all the attractions located in Boston. Just look for the big “T” in a circle to find a stop. You can also take buses to get all over the city, and the Commuter Rail is an easy way to get to points outside of Boston.

You can buy paper “Charlie Tickets” for single or multiple subway rides at vending machines located in most stations. When your ticket runs low, visit a fare vending machine to add value.

A single basic fare for the T is $2.75 with a Charlie Ticket, although if you pick up a Charlie Card (a plastic card like a credit card), the fare is lower at $2.25 for one way. You can load the Charlie Card with an amount of your choosing, so it’s smart way to explore the city. They’re available at almost every T stop, and are free to get.

Once on board, hang on! Being one of the oldest public transportation systems in the country, the T is not always the smoothest ride.

Walking & Biking

You’ll be amazed at how small the city really is — you could walk across the heart of Boston in about an hour! It’s worth taking a stroll along the Charles River Esplanade or across the river to Cambridge, where you’re rewarded with amazing views of the city skyline.

Explore the city by neighborhood and you’ll find that many attractions are in close proximity to one another and easily walkable.

Consider renting a bike for the day for a fun and memorable way to get around the city and experience the enthusiastic Boston biking culture.

Taxis & Ride Share

Taxis are widely available, easy to flag down, and a great option for getting around the city after the T’s operating hours.

Popular ride-sharing services are available in Boston as an alternative to taxis as well, with services like Lyft and Uber easy to use and access. Keep in mind that you will need to download the app of your chosen service in advance, so do some research before your trip.


Depending on where and when you’re looking to park in Boston, securing a spot can be difficult. Most street parking downtown is metered with time limits and restrictions are strictly enforced. Parking garages are easy to find, but can be pricey. If you park in a garage, check to see if it offers validated parking (for, example, guests of a hotel or nearby attraction).

Other Options

You can also take a Hop On/Hop Off Trolley Tour to see the sites at your own pace.

And, if you are venturing to attractions beyond city limits, Enterprise Rental Car offers a special deal for Go Boston Card customers!

Getting To Boston

By Plane

Boston’s airport, Logan International Airport, is located in East Boston. Travelers can easily grab a cab, reserve a GO Boston Shuttle, or take public transportation.

To get a taxi, simply follow signs to ground transportation. Rush hour traffic can add a significant amount of time to your trip so plan accordingly.

Public transportation to and from Logan is an affordable alternative to a taxi and a great way to avoid traffic. Look up the MBTA stop closest to your destination to determine which bus to take.

The Silver Line connects with the Red Line and Commuter Rail at South Station while the Blue Line connects to the Green Line, Orange Line, and Commuter Rail at North Station.

It’s free to ride the Silver line when inbound from the airport, but keep in mind that you’ll need to pay the fare when returning to the airport.

By Train

Amtrak services 3 train stations which are also T stops: South Station (700 Atlantic Ave), Back Bay Station (145 Dartmouth Street), and North Station (On Causeway Street, under the TD Bank North Garden — trains departing from this station are northbound only, heading to Maine and points north).

To get downtown from South Station, take the Red Line to Park Street. From Back Bay Station, take the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing. From North Station, take either the Orange Line to Downtown Crossing or the Green Line to Park Street.

By Bus

The bus is typically used by travelers coming from other New England cities and towns. The bus terminal is located on Atlantic Ave, next to South Station. From South Station, take the Red Line inbound to connect with the Orange Line or Green Line.

Go Boston Card

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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