A Solo Traveler's Guide to Boston

The Barking Crab
The Barking Crab | © John Hoey / Flickr

Freelance Writer

Traveling solo is an experience everyone should have. Whether it’s for business or fun, traveling alone allows you to learn more about yourself as you visit a new destination. You can also enjoy your time entirely on your own schedule and see the attractions that interest you. Boston is a wonderful, welcoming city for solo travelers. Here is a guide to help you find the best places to stay as well as what to do and eat.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Where to stay

The Verb Hotel

Located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, The Verb Hotel is a quirky, rock and roll boutique hotel that is great for solo visitors looking to have fun. Hang out in your spacious room, the artsy lounge, or grab a drink at the Japanese tavern downstairs. This hotel is right next to Fenway Park and Landsdowne Street, making it a great spot for solo travelers looking to go out close to where they are staying.

Envoy

Situated in Boston’s Innovation District, the Envoy Hotel is a perfect destination for solo travelers, especially during the summer months. The rooftop deck offers stunning views of Boston’s skyline, and the hotel is just blocks away from the Seaport strip, with top restaurants and nightlife. This boutique hotel has a uniquely modern design and is in an ideal location from which to explore the city. During the winter, the rooftop bar houses igloos so that you can enjoy the views and stay warm.

Omni Parker House

The Omni Parker House Hotel is located in downtown Boston. A luxury hotel built in 1927, it was also the birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie. Have a slice in the restaurant and then explore the city at your doorstep. Hop on the Freedom Trail or take a walk to Faneuil Hall. The historic hotel is the longest continuously operating hotel in the United States. To save money, book an economy petite single room.

Omni Parker House

What to do & see

Fenway Park

Fenway Park is a must-visit attraction in Boston. This historic park is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Catch a Red Sox game, or take a tour of the park to learn more about its history and the famous baseball players who have played here.

Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts is the fourth largest museum in the world. Spend a few hours, or a day, wandering the museum’s many collections of art from around the world, from ancient history to contemporary art. Be sure to check out their visiting exhibit as well.

Harvard Square

If you’re looking for an afternoon trip, visit Harvard Square, right off the Red Line in Cambridge and home to the prestigious Harvard University. Walk around the school’s campus, or wander around the square’s many boutique shops and wonderful bookstores.

Boston Public Garden

Next to the Boston Common, the Boston Public Garden is a beautiful, romantic green space that is brimming with tulips in the spring. Walk the winding paths, take a Swan Boat ride, or check out the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture, as well as the statue of George Washington.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Located right near the Museum of Fine Arts in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is modeled after a Venetian palace and has art from ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, among other collections. Be sure to check out the beautiful courtyard, pictured below.

Go to a concert

Boston has a lively music scene that is perfect for those traveling alone. Check out the bands playing at the House of Blues, or go to a concert at the TD Garden, Orpheum Theater, The Sinclair, or Royale.

Where to eat

North End

The North End is the best place in the city to go for Italian food. Many of the restaurants are family owned, and there are also delicious bakeries nearby. Explore the cobblestone streets, and fill up with pasta dishes and wine at any of the restaurants. While they are all on the higher end, some are more than others, so go off of the main stretch to find less pricey options. If you are on a budget, go to Regina Pizzeria for affordable, incredible pizza.

Union Oyster House

The historic Union Oyster House is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States. Eat at their raw bar or JFK’s booth. Both Daniel Webster and President JFK frequently visited this restaurant. Order up some oysters on the half shell, or try out their top-notch clam chowder.

Union Oyster House

The Barking Crab

The Barking Crab is a no-frills seafood joint located right on the Boston Harbor. The restaurant has picnic table dining perfect for solo travelers looking to talk to others and offers stunning views of the water. Try out their fish and chips or crab cake sliders.

The Barking Crab

Practical tips

Buy museum tickets online

At the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as well as other museums in the city, you can purchase tickets online so that you do not need to wait in line. If you know which day you want to visit, this is a great way to save time so that you can enjoy the art and culture for longer.

Purchase a discounted attractions card

If there are a lot of tourist attractions that you’d like to visit, consider purchasing a discounted attractions card. Check out CityPass or Go Boston to see which package works best for you. These cards are usually only a great deal if you’re looking to visit all of the sites included, but Go Boston also lets you create your own itinerary of sites.

Get a Charlie Card

The best way to get around Boston is to take the T – the city’s subway system. The fares are cheaper if you use a reusable Charlie Card. You can save 15 to 50 percent depending on what sort of transportation you take. You can pick up a Charlie Card at South Station or other major T stops, or you can purchase a three-day or week pass.

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