What to do on a budget in Boston

Few cities can rival the history and charm of Boston. Or the expense. The Massachusetts capital can get a bit pricey, so here are a few ways to have fun in the city without breaking the bank.


Located in the funky Jamaica Plain neighbourhood, enVision Hotel Boston is just a short drive or walk away from Fenway Park. The boutique hotel has 39 contemporary rooms equipped with free WiFi, fridges and robes, while the lobby serves complimentary snacks and desserts from local restaurants every Tuesday and Thursday night. Rooms start at US$139.


Go Italian in the North End with a US$1.70 slice of Sicilian-style cheese pizza at Galleria Umberto and a huge chocolate cannoli at Mike’s Pastry (US$5). Then head to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace to try a bowl of award-winning clam “chowda” at Ned Devine’s Irish Pub (US$8) or scope out the Bon Me food truck for a US$6 Chinese BBQ pork sandwich.

Explore the world

Strut down a 30-foot glass bridge in the centre of a three-storey stained-glass globe at The Mapparium in The Mary Baker Eddy Library. The US$6 tour includes a sound and light show in the sphere, the chance to play with the room’s echoing acoustics and the opportunity to spot Siam, Yugoslavia, Tannu Tuva and other countries that existed back when the map was created in 1935.

Play ball

See the Boston Red Sox play for the price of a beer. Bleacher Bar on Lansdowne Street is built underneath Fenway Park’s centre field bleachers, and a large bay door gives an incredible view of the baseball field. Order a cold beer (starting at US$4) and a jumbo dog with fries (US$8) to complete the experience.


Follow the red brick road that links 16 historic sites, many of which are associated with the American Revolution, on the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail around the downtown area. Most of the attractions on the self-guided walk are free to visit, including the Massachusetts State House, Old North Church and the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat.


Take a free hour-long tour through the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery to learn how they make their classic Boston Lager. The tour starts with tasting various malts (like chocolate) and ends with sampling three beers in a complimentary 7 oz. souvenir glass.

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