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Boston's Waterfront | © malone545/Flickr
Boston's Waterfront | © malone545/Flickr

Things to Do on a Layover in Boston

Picture of Dave Afshar
Updated: 29 September 2017

Travelers with a layover at Logan International Airport will be glad to know it is less than a 10-minute taxi ride to some of the best neighborhoods in Boston. Whether you have a full day to explore the city or just a few hours to kill, here’s how to make the most of a limited time in Boston.

First, stash your bags

Because there are no luggage lockers in the airport, we recommend taking a water taxi from Rowes Wharf as the company offers free storage to flyers. Alternatively, there are paid storage options at South Station, one of the city’s main train and subway terminals. Once your luggage is taken care of, it is time to explore.

Explore the North End

One of Boston’s most iconic neighborhoods, the North End is best known for its Italian food and bakeries, shopping, and historical buildings that date back to the founding of America. Legendary patriot Paul Revere once lived here, and if you don’t know who that is, you should probably read more.

Check out the Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Established in the mid-18th century, Faneuil Hall has become a hugely popular shopping and tourist destination. The market consists of three historical buildings (North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market) and boasts a spectacular view of the waterfront.

Visit the aquarium

A short water-taxi ride from the airport, the New England Aquarium attracts over 1.3 million visitors every year. Simulating a Caribbean coral reef, the Giant Ocean Tank houses sharks, sea turtles, barracudas, eels, stingrays, and a number of smaller sea-dwellers. Oh, and they have penguins.

Walk the Freedom Trail

This 2.5 mile (4km) city walk takes you through 16 separate historical sights of Boston, all of which were connected to the American Revolution and the founding of the nation. There are guided tours available for those interested in learning more about the area’s rich history, but it is just as easy to walk the trail yourself.

Walk along the Esplanade

One of the most picturesque sights in Boston, this path offers a gorgeous view of the Charles River with the downtown skyline as a backdrop. Bicycles, paddle boats, and even sailboats are available for rent near the docks.

Tour the Sam Adams Brewery

Take this free, hour-long tour to learn more about the history and brewing techniques behind Boston’s most internationally recognized brewery. Also, you get to drink beer.

Go shopping on Newbury Street

For those with some money to burn as well as time to kill, this shopping street is comprised almost entirely of fashion boutiques, beauty salons, and swanky cafés and restaurants. If you are broke, just go and look at all the beautiful people.