Student Guide to Boston

Starting life in a new and unfamiliar city can be a challenge. Whether you are a single student living in the dorm, a married student residing in Halki or Dendrinos Village, or someone commuting day to day, this information will be of great help to you.

What to do in Boston

Gobostoncard.com is the best way to purchase passes to see all that Boston has to offer.  The following tours are available:

The Red Beantown Trolley Tour

This tour ties Boston together, so you really get a sense of the city as a whole with all its charm and history. Sit back and relax during the 110-minute Beantown Trolley tour. This is Boston's most comprehensive tour, fully narrated by expert guides and covering all of Boston's highlights. Plus you can tour at your own pace with the freedom to disembark and re-board at your leisure at any of 19 stops. You may travel around the loop as many times as you like. 

Duck Tour

You've got to love a tour guide that encourages you to quack at passersby. The Duck Tours combine high-energy fun with a unique perspective on all the history that makes Boston a great town. During the 80-minute tour, see the gold-domed State House, Newbury Street, and much more. Then, just when you think you've seen it all, the World War II landing craft you've been riding in takes you to the edge of the Charles River... and drives right in! Your tour bus becomes a tour boat, and you get a duck's-eye view of Boston and Cambridge from the water. A Boston Duck Tour is a wonderful way to get a fresh look at the city, and have a blast doing it.

Mass Bay Lines Whale Watch

If you've never seen whales out in the ocean, this is one of the best places in the world to do it. On this 4-hour excursion, cruise out to Stellwagon Bank, only an hour offshore and the most active whale habitat on the east coast. Cruise with Boston's premiere whale watching company and see humpback, minke, and finback whales. Learn about the biology and behavior of whales, and witness for yourself these amazing mammals. Be sure to bring warm clothes and a camera!  They guarantee whale sightings, or you receive a free ticket to cruise with them again.

Boston Harbor Tour

Visit perhaps the most treasured of all Boston's landmarks, the USS Constitution. This fully narrated 45-minute tour of Boston's inner harbor brings you up close and personal with "Old Ironsides" at her home in the Charlestown Navy Yard and allows you the option to disembark for a tour of the famous ship and accompanying Naval Museum. The cruise also highlights the waterfront's other historical and contemporary landmarks including Old North Church, the Bunker Hill Monument, and the wharfs that have been transformed into some of the city's most luxurious harborside residences.

Fenway Park Tour

Visit the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, "America's Most Beloved Ballpark", where the Babe pitched, The Kid hit, and Yaz dazzled fans of all ages. Soak up the rich history; hear the echoes of the past, visit the new State Street Pavilion, sit atop the fabled Green Monster and stroll the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park.

Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail is an indispensable resource for any visitor to Boston. It is a 2 1/2 mile trail, marked by a wide red brick line (you can't miss it!), connecting 16 of Boston's most historic sites. Make the most of your journey by picking up your portable audio guide at the Visitors Center and enjoy commentary at every stop. The Freedom Trail starts at the Boston Common Visitor Center, just behind the exit from the Park Street T-stop. From there, it winds its way through Beacon Hill, downtown Boston, Faneuil Hall, the North End, and Charlestown.

Paul Revere House

On the night of April 18, 1775, silversmith Paul Revere left his old wooden home in Boston's North End and set out on a journey that would make him into a legend. Today, the home at 19 North Square is a national historic landmark. It is downtown Boston's oldest building and one of the few remaining from an early era in the history of colonial America. Paul Revere owned the home from 1770 to 1800. After Revere sold the home in 1800, it soon became a tenement, and the ground floor was remodeled for use as shops including, at various times, a candy store, cigar factory, bank, and vegetable and fruit business. In 1902, Paul Revere's great-grandson, John P. Reynolds Jr., purchased the building to ensure that it would not be demolished. Over the next few years, money was raised and the Paul Revere Memorial Association formed to preserve and restore the building. In April 1908, the Paul Revere House opened its doors to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in the U.S. The Association still owns and operates this national treasure. A variety of family, school, and adult programs are available onsite.

Old North Church 

If it weren't for the aromas of sweet Italian sausage and oregano wafting through the North End, you could easily imagine standing in front of this church in 1775, when it earned its rightful place in America's history. On the night of April 18, 1775, the sexton Robert Newman climbed the steeple and briefly hung the two lanterns. This small act touched off the War for Independence. The lanterns, arranged for by Paul Revere, signaled the movement of British Regulars up the Charles River to Cambridge to begin a march to Lexington and seize a cache of Colonial military stores. As the signal was given, Revere was being rowed with muffled oars to the Charlestown shore; his subsequent dash on horseback, immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," brought out the militia. "The shot heard round the world" was fired on Lexington Green the following day. Old North Church, built in 1723, is the oldest church building in Boston and has a thriving Episcopal congregation. The church also houses the oldest church bells in North America.

Museum of Fine Arts 

No trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. See cultural treasures and historic icons from around the world and across the ages including Ancient Egyptian, Classical and Asian art, as well as world-renowned collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. And as befits an art museum founded by Yankees, the stellar collection of early American paintings and decorative arts brings the history of the Revolution to life. (Look for Paul Revere's Liberty Bowl as well as his portrait by John Singleton Copley.) Other highlights include superb 19th-century French paintings such as Renoir's Dance at Bougival, one of the largest collections of works by Monet found outside of France, and Egyptian and Japanese collections that are unrivalled anywhere in North America. From mummies to Impressionism, to fresh contemporary works, there's something for everyone at the MFA. Check the website for information on daily events and current exhibitions.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for seventy years, offering new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in th excitement of new art and new ideas. The ICA has opened a new, state-of-the-art facility on Boston's waterfront, providing triple the exhibition space, a performing arts theater, education spaces, a media center, bookstore, and café. With its expanded programming and newly established permanent collection, the new ICA is an influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts. The landmark building, the first building designed by award-winning architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro to be built in the U.S., offers spectacular views of Boston's harbor and skyline throughout.

Museum of Science 

With over 600 interactive exhibits, Boston's only 180-degree wraparound movie screen, the Charles Hayden Planetarium, the Theater of Electricity, and more, science comes alive at the Museum of Science. Meet the updated 39-foot long T. rex and its scaly-skinned friends at the fascinating dinosaur exhibit or experience the world's largest Van de Graaff generator as it creates a lightning storm so close you can smell the ozone. Plan to spend even more time if you're visiting with kids, as the Museum of Science has lots of great exhibits just for them, including its Discovery Center for children 5 and under. Be sure to check the museum's web site for Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni Theater show times. 

The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Housed in a striking building designed by I. M. Pei, the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the nation's memorial to President John F. Kennedy, sits on a 10-acre waterfront site on Columbia Point, offering panoramic views of Boston's skyline and Harbor Islands. Twenty-five multimedia exhibits and period settings from the White House offer an exciting you-are-there experience and create a stirring account of President Kennedy's days in office. The museum presents President Kennedy's enthusiasm and love for the American system of politics and government. The museum is a must-see for anyone interested in Kennedy and his family, life in America during the early 1960s, and Boston's connection to both.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History

The Harvard Museum of Natural History's collection of glass flowers is the only one of its kind in the world. Between 1886 and 1936, German glassmaker Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf produced exquisite, breathtakingly lifelike models of approximately 3,000 plants to be used for teaching botany at the university. Even if this remarkable garden were all that HMNH offered, it would still be well worth a look, but the museum has much more to captivate even the least science-minded visitors. The museum complex bulges with collections documenting over two centuries of scientific exploration of our planet. Exhibitions like "Dodos, Trilobites & Meteorites" showcase never-before-seen treasures from historic expeditions to the depths of the oceans, Tibetan mountain peaks, the Brazilian Amazon, America's western frontier, and other remote environments then unknown to science. Don't miss the world's only mounted Kronosaurus, a 42-foot-long prehistoric marine reptile, or HMNH's huge 1,642-pound amethyst. 

New England Aquarium

Step inside the New England Aquarium and be transported into the world of water. Experience more than 70 exhibits featuring aquatic animals from around the world. Watch sharks, sea turtles, moray eels, barracuda, and colorful tropical fish in a four-story, 200,000-gallon coral reef exhibit. Greet the penguins, cradle a sea star or horseshoe crab, say hello to the harbor seals, find adventure on a whale watch, and marvel at the captivating sea dragons. And don't miss the exciting IMAX Theatre film presentations, offering unparalleled 3-D experiences on New England's largest movie screen.

Movie Theatres

Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard St, Brookline
(617) 734-2500

 

AMC Theatres at the Fenway
201 Brookline Ave, Boston
(617) 424-6266

 

AMC Chestnut Hill Cinema 5
27 Boylston St # B, Chestnut Hill
(617) 277-2500

 

Kendall Square Cinema
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge
(617) 499-1996

 

Lowes Theatres
100 Huntington Street, Boston
(617) 266-1300

 

Showcase Cinema
950 Providence Highway, Dedham
(781) 326-4955

 

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St, Cambridge
(617) 876-6837

 

Harvard University: Film Archive
24 Quincy St, Cambridge
(617) 495-4700

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