Not so big, not so small. Boston is like this: a city in the right measure for those who like to explore attractions on foot. With a fantastic collection of museums, historic buildings and outdoor spaces, it offers a range of activities for a weekend, being only three hours from New York.
How about enjoying a contemporary work of art by the river? The Institute of Contemporary Art building is a true architectural icon of the city and has a rich collection along its two floors. Although it is smaller than MASP in São Paulo, or MoMA in New York, its exhibitions are always very interesting. The museum still offers spectacular views of the bay from the Seaport District, surrounded by restaurants, hotels and commercial buildings. If you want to eat something here, the tip is The Barking Crab, which serves seafood like lobster and crab, two tasty house specialties.
From there, walk for thirty minutes or take the T subway (nickname South Station) to get to the most famous part of the city, where are Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. The latter is worth a lunch break: full meals and more than forty sandwiches and snacks are offered. Then walk through the shops that mark the place, such as Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters and Nine West.
If you are with kids, the New England Aquarium is the best option: they are only a five-minute walk to observe animals such as seals, sea turtles and sharks in a 750-gallon tank. For dinner, the Italian neighborhood of North End Little Italy has traditional restaurants such as the Bricco and Galleria Umberto, both on Hanover Street.
Book your morning to enjoy the gardens of Harvard University, founded in 1636 and considered the oldest university in the country. Located in Cambridge, a bridge away from downtown Boston, it has staircases and buildings that can be freely explored by visitors. In the vicinity, there are bookstores, stores and shops that sell objects and shirts with the institution logo. It pays to take home a souvenir.
The region has a relaxed air thanks to the young students who circulate there. It’s worth having lunch in one of the charming restaurants or cafes that mark the place, besides walking the sidewalks and watching the various shop windows of cool shops. After lunch, order a dessert from L.A. Burdick, the best chocolatier in town. If you have time, visit another major institution that made Boston famous: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), considered one of the largest centers of technology and entrepreneurship in the world.
For art lovers: be sure to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which hosts over one million visitors a year. Reserve at least two hours to get to know a little piece of this gigantic place, which houses several wings. The most recent, inaugurated in 2011, has seven contemporary art galleries. Another good option is the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, which exposes three replicas of historic ships: Eleanor, Beaver and Darthmouth.
In the late afternoon, head to the Copley subway station and visit the Boston Public Library, which houses a collection of nearly nine million books. Then head to the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center. Considered the tallest building in the city, it offers a breathtaking panoramic view.
From there, walk three minutes to Newbury Street, surrounded by great shops and restaurants. Frequented by modern people, it received the simple nickname “Fifth Avenue of Boston”. If you want to have dinner here, there’s the warning: the account can be expensive. Among the options is the traditional Legal Sea Foods, with ten units scattered throughout the city and options on the menu that do not weigh in the pocket.
It is impossible to ignore the historical importance of Boston. After all, the city hosted the nation’s most important event: the American Revolution, which culminated in the Independence of the United States in 1776. The Freedom Trail marks a trail of red bricks leading to sixteen historic buildings and monuments reporting the episode.
If you’re still having a hard time, the Museum of Science is guaranteed fun for adults and children. Technological toys and gadgets catch the attention of visitors, who can also watch a planetarium session.
To appreciate the art of Botticelli, Rembrandt, Degas and other famous artists, include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in your list. The building is a kind of Venetian palace, inaugurated in the early 20th century.
To enjoy the late afternoon, take a jump on the Boston Common. Considered the oldest park in the country, it is home to several squirrels, who love posing for the lenses of amateur photographers.