Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Sammie

How to do Boston in 24 Hours


Of course, doing Boston in 24 Hours is akin to doing the US in a week. But we take what we can when we have it. So if 24 hours is all we have to do Boston then gosh darn it, we are going to do Boston in 24 hours. Let’s go.

Boston downtown

Useful Information for 24 Hours in Boston:

Getting There

  1. Airport– Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is a 7-minute drive from the center of Boston
  2. Train Station– AMTRAK South Station is the main station. Unless you are arriving or departing from Maine or New Hampshire, then it will be AMTRAK North Station.
  3. BusThere are multiple options for bus routes into the city. A great website to check out for options is MegaBus.

My first time in Boston came after flying into Worcester (second largest city in MA BTW) and realizing in the Uber ride that the Bulls were playing at TD Garden THAT NIGHT. In case you don’t know, TD Garden is the sports arena in Boston. I was overwhelmingly excited for multiple reasons. ONE: I’ve never seen the Bulls play (THE CHICAGO SHAME) and this would be a lovely occasion to do so. TWO: It was a few weeks past Christmas and I was still unsure about the perfect Christmas present for my French croissant of a boyfriend. VOILÀ! I got the tickets and away we went skipping and frolicking into the Massachusetts freezing cold air.

We took the hour and half train ride from Worcester to South Station and got to the arena early. My boyfriend was hoping they’d ask him to join the team if we got there before warmups started.

Useful Information for 24 Hours in Boston:

Getting Around

I highly suggest Boston’s subway system. It’s very easy to use, clean, and convenient. There are also city buses; the MBTA, known locally as the T’s. Bus fare will be between $1.70 to $4.25 one-way. You can pay cash onboard, buy a ticket at the fare vending machines, buy online, or load up your CharlieCard. And if buses and subways aren’t your thing, there are also ferries and water taxis to suit your fancy.

Well, we were in for a surprise when getting through security and my tickets wouldn’t buzz in. I had boughten them for the wrong day. HAHA. Great. I wasn’t about to ruin this oh-so-perfect recently thought-of Christmas present so I casually cried to the desk person while asking if they had any other tickets to buy. They were sold out. I mean the Bulls are awesome but are they that awesome? C’mon world, gimme that Christmas magic! Ticketmaster pulled through for me and we got tickets to the game. YAY. Bulls lost. BOO.

This was my first experience in Boston but I don’t expect you to spend 20% of your 24 hours at TD Garden. Though it would be completely and utterly worth it. Let’s get to some other amazing things Boston has to offer.

Useful Information for 24 Hours in Boston:

Best Time to Visit

May-June or September-October. I went during the winter and it was painful. Still beautiful, but painful. I also advise against the dead summer due to crazy tourist crowds and the humidity.

Highly Rated Tour Ideas

24 Hours in Boston


Breakfast at The Friendly Toast


The friendly Toast Boston MA

Image by Stout Heart Media

This quirky spot has a wonderfully creative menu as well as the classics. Their vibrant interior will surely wake you up and put you in a good mood from the red polka dot tables to the multicolored walls. Honestly, you can’t help but smile as you walk through the door. Some menu favorites include their “Doughnut Stop Believin” breakfast sandwich and their “Chicken Cordon Blue Benny.” There are amazing vegan options for our plant based people and everyone can wash it down with their mimosa flight, or my personal favorite, the “Hot Maria Bloody Mary.”

NOTE: Come early as there is often a wait at this hot spot!

OR – Want something quicker?

Flour Sticky Bun Boston, MA


Photo courtesy of flourbakeryandcafe Instagram

Bobby Flay said the best thing he ever ate was Flour’s Sticky Sticky Bun, so I think we can say it’s safe to try it. Flour will be a better option for those who want a quick fuel up on amazing pastries and good coffee before hitting the streets for site-seeing. There are a few locations around town to make it easier to grab and go without wasting much time.

Activity- Stroll down “one of the most beautiful streets in the world “

Acorn Street in Beacon Hill was selected by Architectural Digest as one of the most beautiful streets in the world. Beacon Hill was built in 1795 and Acorn street, in particular, gives the most perfect hommage to this stunning architectural design era. Only a few blocks away from the wonderful Boston Public Garden, it’s the perfect excuse to walk off the morning’s pancakes and waffles. Its narrow streets take you back to Colonial Boston with plenty of American federal-styled homes (design firmly rooted in symmetry) as well as some more decorative Victorian styled houses.

Acorn Street- Boston MA

OR – Need your museum fix?

Boston Old State House Museum

Old State House Museum

The Old State House is Boston’s oldest surviving public building, and the historic site of the Boston Massacre. A symbol of freedom for the past 300 years. It was the office of the royal governor appointed by the King of Great Britain until 1775. And in 1776, The Declaration of Independence was read for the very first time from the balcony. The Old State House is not a huge site but is definitely worth at least 30 minutes, if not a few hours of exploring. 

NOTE: This is a stop on the Freedom Trail

24 Hours in Boston


Lunch at The Quincy Market

Quincy Market Boston MA

It’s hard to come to Boston without hearing about this tourist hotspot. Though some believe it is becoming more of a tourist trap rather than a must-see, there are still plenty of delicious quick options for lunch at this historic Bostonian landmark. Try classic New England style Chowder at Boston Chowda or grab some fried oysters at Fisherman’s Net. Want to know more about Quincy Market’s History? CLICK HERE.

Boston Chowda at Quincy Market

Word of advice, the small is more than enough. It’s delicious but man is it filling…

OR – Linger over a beer at Samuel Adams Brewery

Samuel Adams brewery Boston MA

Samuel Adams Brewery

Only snacks are served at the brewery, but their friends at Chilacates will be serving tacos near the beer garden. You can also bring your own food into the brewery!

OR – Try a lobster roll at Yankee Lobster Co.

Yankee Lobster Co.

Yankee Lobster Co.

Boston’s lobster rolls might not be as famous as Maine’s but it is a cherished staple in this city. Honestly, it’ll be hard to find a bad lobster roll in Boston, but to make the choice easier, Yankee Lobster Co. serves a great classic cold one.

Activity- Spend the afternoon walking the Freedom Trail

Boston Freedom Trail sign, Massachusetts, USA

Maybe one of the most quintessential Boston activities there are. The idea was conceived by a local journalist who had the brilliant idea of joining all of Boston’s historic landmarks with a pedestrian walkway. Smart dude. The trail is 2.5 miles long and marked with a red line of paint or brick, joining 16 nationally historic monuments. I wish I could say it was obvious, as for so many it is. But my boyfriend and I spent an hour in the dead winter, trying to figure out where it started and what it was. I blame my frozen brain. Turns out it’s much easier in the summer because you just follow the crowd, and probably just use your brain.  But to save you some time walking in circles, it’s completely fine to start at the end (Bunker Hill) or halfway through if you want. Nobody’s gonna yell at you. I was concerned. If you’re interested in learning more about each landmark you can visit, CLICK HERE.

OR – Get some shopping done

SoWa Market Boston, Massachusetts

SoWa Market Boston

Boston has everything from high-end department stores to unique boutique local spots. If you’re in Boston during the Spring and Summer check out SoWa Open Market. With local artists putting their work on display, food trucks, and a beer garden, it’s hard to go wrong. It’s open Saturdays & Sundays from 10AM-4PM. If you can’t manage to snag a summer Saturday for your shopping trip, try the North End which has dozens of markets, boutique shops, historic sites and LOTS of italian restaurants. 

24 Hours in Boston


Dinner at Mamma Maria

Mamma Maria, Boston MA

View from our table at Mamma Maria

Oh my goodness gracious, this place is wonderful. Cozy, romantic, Italian fare, this place is insane in the best way. It’s set in an old townhouse that makes it feel as if you’re about to have dinner at a friend’s place (if your friend happened to live in a luxurious historic townhome in the center of Boston). My boyfriend and I decided to celebrate our anniversary here and I am very happy we did. It’s high end fine dining by the way, so prepare your wallet. But it was worth it in my opinion. I don’t splurge on much but food has my heart. I went with the beef while my guy went with the Lamb Three Ways. Both of us practically licked our plates.  We were there in the winter but I heard whispers of an amazing patio that is heavily utilized in the summer. I guess I’ll just have to come back. Shesh. Pull my arm why don’t you.

Beef at Mamma Maria Boston Massachusetts

My dinner, “The Beef” at  Mamma Maria. Heavenly.

OR – Grab dinner at a bakery

Bova's Bakery Boston Massachusetts

Bova's Bakery in Boston

Bova’s Bakery has been open since 1932 serving the sweetest pastries alongside pasta and pizza. It’s a family-owned spot that’ll satisfy your cravings at any point you feel one coming on. It’s open 24 hours a day people. Midnight pasta run anyone?

Still going?? Try some live music!

how to do boston in 24 hours

Haven’t had enough? You impress me. If you’re looking for live music I suggest Toad for a tiny bar with a tiny burger menu with no cover charge and some fantastic rock and Americana bands. Or grab a cocktail and listen to jazz, soul, reggae, and everything between at Beat Brasserie. Or check out Plough and Stars if you simply need music, an Irish Pub, and good food.

If you have any updates or suggestions for bettering our guide to Boston in 24 Hours, comment below!

George Washington statue in snowfall, Boston

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What to do if you have 24 hours in Boston
What to do if you have 24 hours in Boston