Boston is a wonderful, beautiful and exciting city with lots to do but it is also very expensive. I have recently returned from spending just over a week in Boston. Here are some tips and suggestions as to how to have great time in Boston even though you may have to watch the money.
When I first began a search of Boston hotels, I felt stunned. The ones listed as “cheap” were beginning at $200 a night. However, with some work, I discovered a hostel by the name of 40 Berkeley Street. I was familiar with this establishment because I had stayed there in 1985 when it was The YWCA. While 40 Berkeley Street defines itself as a hostel, I would describe it as a budget hotel. You will have your own room which is very important to me.
40 Berkeley Street is in, what is now, the trendy South End, a neighborhood marked by tree shaded, cobblestone sidewalks and pricey condominiums. It is relatively safe. You are within walking distance to many of Boston’s best attractions as well as some very good subway stations.
My room was small and basic but very comfortable and served all my needs. Bathrooms are shared and communal but are sufficient. The lobby and other sitting rooms are spacious and attractive. There is an outdoor patio. A full and satisfying breakfast is complimentary. There are activities and events at which you can win prizes including passes to Boston attractions. Food is sometimes served at these events.
Staff is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. I also met many interesting other guests from all over the world as well as other parts of the United States.
In my opinion, this is one of the best deals to be found in Boston. My room averaged about $60 a night. I feel comfortable recomending 40 Berkeley Street and would stay there again should I return to Boston.
Boston has excellent public transportation. It seems like you can get almost everywhere very easily and fast taking the subway or trolly. You can pay per ride or per day or per week. I bought a weekly pass for $15 which has now gone up to $18. I went all over the city and outskirts. While the system may seem complicated at first, there is usually staff at all the stations who are very friendly and helpful. Free subway maps are also available
THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
This is a really excellent museum with great collections. There are permanent exhibits as well as visitng exhibits. You could easily spend an entire day at the museum and still not see it all. Ticket prices are $20 for a day and well worth it. Some discounts are available for individuals such as children and senior citizens. However, even better, every Wednesday after 4 pm, is by donation. You can pay whatever you wish to, including nothing. The museum is open until 9 pm on Wednesdays so while you may not have a whole day at the museum, you will still have plenty of time to explore and enjoy.
Boston may be one of the great walking cities in the United States and maybe, even in the world. It does not cost anything to walk. Just wear comfortable shoes. Boston is a beautiful and interesting city, both the old as well as the new. It is rich in American history and you will be frequently reminded about the beginnings of The United States. Very old buildings have been very well preserved. You could spend all day walking from one end of Boston to the next. There is always something happening and something to discover.
FOOD AND RESTAURANTS
Do you like to eat? Well, Boston has great restaurants. Some are very pricey and others are extremely reasonable. Do some research before picking a place. Some of the ethnic neighborhoods such as the North End, which is Italian, and Chinatown have numerous mom ands pop restaurants. These are the places to head to for a good meal at reasonable prices.
On Tuesday and Friday, there is a Farmer’s Market in Copley Square, a very beautiful and very interesting corner of Boston. I was never able to get to The Farmer’s Market so I can not write about in detail.
The weather was very iffy. I was there in June. One day, we had torrential rains and it was almost impossible to go out in the rain. My umbrella got ruined in minutes. Another day it was 65 degrees while other days it was above 90. This is all in a period of just over a week. I grew up in Boston and I do not remember the weather being so unpredictable and not very pleasant. Boston may be caught up in changing weather patterns just like other areas of the country and the world
This came as a pleasant surprise. Public bathrooms are plentiful and somewhat or very clean. I was surprised that it was so easy to find a public bathroom as this does not always seem to be true of other cities that I have visited. I assume that this must have something to do with the number of tourists who visit Boston.
I have often heard it said that Bostonians are unfriendly but I found just the opposite. I found Bostonians to be extremely friendly and extremely helpful. While I love Boston, like any big city, it has some very rough areas and people. You need to be cautious about where you wander and at what time. Watch your belongings.
I did not write this article as any kind of guide. Instead this article has been written to give the reader a few suggestions and tips as to how to best enjoy Boston, even if you are on a budget.