Free Things to Do in Boston

The city is a perfect destination for history buffs and fun-seekers alike.

Written by Kristen Kuchar / June 20, 2022

Quick Bites

  • One of Boston’s most popular attractions, the Freedom Trail, is totally free.
  • For a unique outing, Boston University hosts an open observatory night for the public when you can witness the stars through their telescopes.
  • You may know Boston Common as the name of a TV show, but it’s also America’s oldest park.

Boston is a city filled with famous colleges and a rich history, and completely free ways to soak it all in.

From the Freedom Trail and Fanueil Hall to the plethora of events hosted by Harvard, Boston University and more, there is no lack of unique—and free—ways to enjoy the area.

Take a history lesson

One of the most well-known Boston attractions is the Freedom Trail, which happens to have zero cost associated with it. Follow the red-brick 2.5-mile trail to historic sites, including Paul Revere House, the Site of Boston Massacre, USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument.

Boston Women’s Heritage Trail offers numerous free self-guided tours.

Black Heritage Trail is a 1.5 hour tour led by a Park Ranger from the National Parks of Boston. You can also download the free NPS app for a self-guided tour.

The Boston Equality Trail highlights the important role the area has in drawing attention to LGBTQ rights.

Faneuil Hall has a visitor center as well as hosts activities, programs and events.

You can also visit the New England Holocaust Museum, which offers a mobile tour where you get survivor interviews on your smartphone.

Go back to college

If you never got the chance to attend Harvard, you can still tour the famous university for free during a 45 to 60 minute in-person tour.

Make a wish on a star with the Boston University Department of Astronomy. Their Public Open Night at the Observatory is a free opportunity to observe the night sky in a way you normally wouldn’t.

Browse the Boston University events calendar for no-cost dance performances and sporting events.

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard is a 281-acre preserve with more than 15,000 plants with virtual walks and guided tours.

Enjoy the outdoors

Get some fresh air at Franklin Park, the city’s largest open space.

Step inside Boston Common, America’s oldest park founded in 1634.

The Public Garden features a variety of unusual plants and was the first public botanical garden in America.

The Greenway is a 1.5-mile park in Boston that’s home to gardens, fountains and public art.

Check out the scenic and historic Castle Island.

About the Author

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar is a journalist, covering money, travel and the beverage industry. Kristen has previously contributed personal finance and business content to Money.com, Money Under 30, The Simple Dollar, Saving for College, Credible, The Brad’s Deals Blog, Outdoor Business Magazine and more.

Full bio

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