It may sound crazy that I advice something like that, but… you have to try the Boston Duck Tour! This tour, which lasts about two hours, has two different but almost equivalent routes and not only shows you the main points of interest in the city, but with the same vehicle you will enter the river and have a beautiful postcard of the skyline. The cost is a bit high ($45 circa) and includes the audio guide in your own language. I really enjoyed it, as I was able to see a lot more than I would have on my own and especially to better understand how the city is structured.
In the city, what you can’t miss is the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in the beautiful area of Northen University. Behind it begins Fenway Park, where sports lovers can see the famous Red Sox baseball stadium and art lovers can enjoy photos and paintings. The MFA, founded in 1870, it now contains almost 500,000 works from ancient to contemporary art. If you want to get in for free, check on the website what days and time admission is free. The museum is huge, and the structure is breathtakingly amazing. Some of the rooms are beautifully set up in terms of lights and paintings. It sounds like a no-brainer, but the position of the light can drastically change the view of a painting.
If you want to enjoy a 360° view of the city from above, go to the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Centre. To go there, take the T green line towards downtown. Get off at Copley Square to find yourself in the Back Bay area not far from the famous shopping center (Prudential Centre). Admission for students is $16, and remember to go near sunset time. When time approaches take a little space and wait quietly enjoying the show: the lights of the city turn on to reflect on Charles River and in the meantime the sky is tinged minute by minute with orange and pink and the colors in turn are lost among the buildings and intertwined with the shimmer of the river.
The port is definitely not to be missed, both during the day and in the evening the view is unforgettable, there are many little places with terraces where you can enjoy a good dinner. From the harbor take the blue line and get off at Government Centre, where you will find the famous Quincy Market in the area of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, a covered market with any kind of typical food, from the Lobster Roll (highly recommended!) to the New England Clam Chowder, up to all possible desserts. Going up the main street to Downtown Boston you’ll find the Old South Meeting House, a historic church of 1729, recognizable because it obviously stands out in the midst of skyscrapers with shiny glass.
Then, you can go down to Copley Square to visit Trinity Church and Old South Church built in a neo-Romanesque style called Richardsonian Romanesque. An architectural style that I’ve never seen. From the outside, the church looks unkempt and with ruined stones, moreover the inside is all brown and gloomy to give a feeling of sadness. Yet, if you pause and look carefully at the details you can appreciate the contrast with the stained glass windows, the blue and gold in the decorations. In front of it, you’ll find the Boston Public Library. The old building has marble walls and columns, polished wood tables with green lamps whose light creates an almost surreal atmosphere compared to the libraries I’m used to.
Last but not least, Harvard and the MIT are located in the Cambridge area, slightly out. The complex is a real city, not only is the center of studies but you will find museums, churches, stores, and bars, in short, everything. To facilitate your visit, download the Harvard Tour app that allows you not only to have a map of the area but also indicates the most important monuments to see. It makes you feel like you’re in a parallel and utopian world. Thinking about how students and teachers go about their daily lives, in an entire city almost entirely to them, makes you envy. Entering through the main gate, you will find the Harvard Yard with the lucky statue of its founder. If you go towards the River Bridge, you will surely come across the Harvard Art Museum and then even earlier for the Museum of Natural Sciences.