Discover Boston's Back Bay district step by step

The chic and sought-after Back Bay district is famous for its boutiques, shops and restaurants. Its architecture is also renowned, with Victorian brownstones lining the streets. The area also boasts a number of cultural hotspots, such as the Boston Public Library. The idea for this district came from the 19th-century American architect Arthur Gilman, who was inspired by Haussmann's work in Paris. Here, affluent residents frequent designer boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. Tourists mingle with locals, adding to the liveliness of the district. To find out more, we've put together an itinerary for you to follow over 2 busy days! Follow the guide!

Flower-filled street in Boston's Back Bay district

- © Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock

Day 1. Enjoy the composite architecture of Victorian houses and high-rise buildings.

For your information, to the north of the district along the Charles River is the Charles River Esplanade. This is a must for summer nights. The number of festivals and concerts is impressive.

Part of Back Bay and the Boston skyline

- © Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

At the heart of the district, Copley Square is surrounded by a number of sights, buildings and tourist attractions. Architectural eclecticism is at its best here. Note the difference in size between Trinity Church and the 200 Clarendon building (a 60-storey tower designed by architect I.M. Pei). Trinity Church is an old church built in 1877. It is made of granite and sandstone.

Copley Square in Boston

- © CO Leong / Shutterstock

The Boston Public Library has stood proudly around Copley Square since 1895. This imposing library is the second largest in the country, housing more than 20 million documents, books, essays, maps, photographs and drawings. Open every day except certain public holidays. It is open from 9am to 5pm (9pm Monday to Thursday). Sundays only from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For a lunch break, there are a large number of cafés and restaurants in the area. The Prudential Centre has a shopping centre where you can have lunch.

Boston Public Library

- © Richard Cavalleri / Shutterstock

After this break, you can head to the top of the Skywalk Observatory in the Prudential Center. From up there (50th floor) the view of Boston and its bay is remarkable! You'll appreciate the omnipresence of the water that surrounds the city (Atlantic Ocean, Charles River) on its eastern side. If you're here in the late afternoon, you'll be able to watch the sunset - a magical sight! Admission fee required, open all year round except on certain public holidays. Open from 11am to 9pm.

Where to stay in the Back Bay area?

⭐ AKA Back Bay

The luxury hotel the AKA Back Bay richly deserves its 4* rating. Firstly its location in the former Boston police headquarters is already remarkable! Copley Square and the Boston Common public garden are less than 500 metres away. The modern, spacious rooms at the AKA Back Bay Hotel are equipped with flat-screen TVs. There is also a work desk and ironing facilities. The gym is open all day.

Hotel AKA Back Bay Boston

Hotel AKA Back Bay

4* hotel in historic Back Bay with Apothecary lounge, gym and business centre
8.7 Superb
£298 / night

Day 2. Stroll along Boston's famous avenues

Today we're continuing our tour of the district. Right at the start of the walk, you arrive on the city's most popular shopping street: Newbury Street.

The eastern part of the street is packed with luxury boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. After a good coffee, it's time to give in to the temptations of all these shops!

If you continue along Commonwealth Avenue towards the Common Garden, you will reach Marlborough Street and Beacon Street. This is a very photogenic area. Victorian brick houses line the tree-lined streets.

Newbury Street road sign in Boston

- © Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock

🚌 How do I get to the Back Bay district?

The quickest way is to use the metro. The most convenient stations for getting to and around this district are Back Bay, Prudential, Arlington and Copley. Back Bay is linked to the rest of the city by the Orange and Green lines. In fact, the city is very well served by public transport, with the metro and buses providing an efficient network. If you're going to be out late, there are plenty of taxis in this lively part of the city, and there are preferential rates and passes depending on how long you spend there. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority coordinates the bus and metro networks.

by Editorial Team
Need a hand? take a look at our guide
Latest news
Les Landes
Les Ménuires
Top hotels at the foot of the slopes in Les Menuires
Les Landes
Getaway to the seaside resort of Vieux Boucau
Les Ménuires
Top free summer activities in Les Menuires
Les Landes
Top 10 country-style hotels in the Landes countryside
Read more articles
Best cities