My 10 Favorite Things to Do in Downtown Boston

To celebrate my 10th year of living in Boston, I’m sharing my top 10 favorite things to do in various parts of the greater Boston Area.

Some famous, some not. Some popular, some random. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Downtown Boston.

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My Top 10 – Boston the City

1. Café Algiers in Harvard Square – This cafe in Brattle Square is one of my favorites. Go upstairs and enjoy being tucked away in a little corner with fun Algerian architecture. Get a regular latte, or try something crazy – like the orange mint hot chocolate.

2. Boston Public Gardens in the Springtime – I’m not sure if there is anything more glorious than the first springtime walk through the gardens after a harsh winter. Grab a cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes, or an iced coffee at Dunkin’ and enjoy the view.

3. Boston Duck Tour – If you are a local, you are probably rolling your eyes. But if you haven’t been on a Duck Tour, just GO! It’s fun, entertaining, and informative. I’ve gone twice and the guides have always been highly entertaining, and it’s fun to blitz through Boston’s historical sites with fresh eyes and learn some trivia about the city. *Quack Quack*

4. ICA / Isabella Stewart Gardner – The Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is beautiful and worth several trips, but the less frequently touted Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are two more art museums that should make the cut! The ICA is right on the water in the growing Seaport District and around the corner from Legal Test Kitchen (the testing restaurant for Legal Seafood). The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is not your typical art museum – as the pieces were arranged by Isabella herself. It’s home to one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of art theft in history.

5. Boston Harbor Hotel Summer in the City Nights – It’s like a drive-in movie, except the screen is floating on a dock in Boston Harbor, and instead of being stuck in your car you’re sitting at the base of a beautiful hotel. Classic and popular movies are played every Friday – for free! You may want to bring a cushion to sit on.

6. The Nutcracker by the Boston Ballet is the perfect Christmas-time activity. The Boston Opera House is sumptuous and the Boston Christmas Tree is only a few blocks away.

7. Ana’s Taqueria – I eat Chipotle with the best of them, but if you want a real burrito Ana’s is the place to go. It’s no frills, all delicious.

8. Marathon Monday – I attended the Boston Marathon this year, and I’m glad to say it was every bit a celebration as in the past. There are few things more joyous than Boston on this day – celebrating the official arrival of spring, Patriot’s Day, and cheering on 36,000 people who have come to achieve their dreams.

9. Salsa Dancing at the Havana Club is one of my favorite ways to warm-up in the frigid Boston winters. Rockin’ music, fun crowds, and sizzling dance moves. If you don’t know how to salsa, go early and catch the free lesson.

10. Quincy Market is the epitome of touristy, but I love the performers! The street performers at Quincy Market are required to audition and get a permit, so they are pretty great. My personal favorites are the drum troops and the live musicians. Once you’ve been able to take in the bubble and twinkle lights, head on over to Hanover Street in the North End for dinner. If you’re still not ready to go home, get a cappucino at Cafe Vittoria.


What’s your favorite things to do in Boston? I’m always up for a new adventure!





6 thoughts on “My 10 Favorite Things to Do in Downtown Boston

  1. Anything by the water in the spring and summer is my favorite! The best is when the cherry trees are blossoming and the whole city feels light and fresh after a cold and dreary winter.

  2. Amen to that! I’m almost grateful for the ugly winters because they make the rest of the year seem so much more precious.

  3. I am wondering where that colored glass wall in picture labeled #4 is located. I cannot find it on a Google search, but would love to see it when I come to Boston in September. I checked the websites for the art museums you’re talking about in that section, but couldn’t find that cool wall. Any info you could give me would be appreciated! Thanks!

  4. Hello! That is in the Institute of Contemporary Art! It may have been a temporary exhibit, as I think the last time I went they had something else going on in the lobby. The ICA is a great place to check out. Enjoy your trip!

  5. Hi the architecture style in Café Algiers is Algerian not Moroccan, because it’s called Algiers which in the capital of Algeria. Love the article though, it was really helpful 🙂

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