Cradling American history in its many streets and buildings stands the hotbed of innovation and fast-paced growth – Boston. The capital city of Massachusetts, Boston is amongst the oldest and most populous cities in the USA. There are so many museums, gardens, parks, restaurants, and monuments that you can explore here, that days will fall short, but a number of things won’t. If you find yourself having too much of “learning” and are yearning for some retail therapy, here are some of the best shopping spots in Boston that we’ve put together to satisfy the shopaholic in you. Keep reading below to find out more.
1. Harvard Square
This one’s equally a people watcher’s paradise as is an ardent shopper’s. Rife with university students, excitable tourists, savvy locals, and focussed business persons, Harvard Square is undoubtedly among the busiest commercial neighborhoods of Boston city. Bookstores, toy stores, food stores, jewelry stores, and of course, apparel stores – there’s these and more here. There’s also a small, multi-storeyed shopping mall – The Garage – here. The experience of shopping here is two-fold, with a variety of stores and diverse fellow shoppers. It’s truly a unique shopping experience, so don’t forget to visit.
Address: 18 Brattle St #352, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Website: Harvard Square
2. Back Bay
Home to Boston’s upscale Newbury Street, Back Bay shopping district offers the best of trendy boutique stores, flashy restaurants, and exclusive art galleries. Shine or rain, you’ll always find the place full of avid shoppers from across the world flocking here. There are showrooms of luxury brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Valentino, et al, you can head to. Else, there’s a bunch of zany local upstarts, such as Johnny Cupcakes and Ball & Buck that might interest you. While at Back Bay, you can even head to the nearby Copley Plaza and Boylston Street for a wider selection of stores.
Address: Boston, MA, USA
Website: Back Bay
3. Newbury Street
One of Boston’s poshest shopping neighborhoods is Newbury Street. It is eight blocks of old-worldly brownstone buildings, housing shops, restaurants, boutiques, and so much more. A trip here is a must for a totally unadulterated shopping experience. Whether it’s artisanal products you’re looking for or high-end fashion, funky accessories or great souvenirs, this place has it all. No matter which day or what time you go there, you’ll find it bustling with camera-toting tourists and experienced locals. If heavy-duty shopping stirs up an appetite, have a bite at one of the many cafes/restaurants and enjoy people watching.
Address: Back Bay, Boston, MA 02105
Website: Newbury Street
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4. Downtown Crossing
Grocery, clothing, fancy dining, street performances, and fascinating hustle-bustle, you’ll find it all at Downtown Crossing. As the name suggests, it is located at the intersection of Washington, Summer, and Winter Streets, and is crowded with thousands of professionals from the offices nearby and enthusiastic shoppers. While Washington and Winter Streets are pedestrian-only, Summer Street can be accessed by vehicles as well. The MBTA connectivity to and from the market is great, so you don’t need to worry about how to get there or get out of there. However, do note that most stores here shut earlier than usual since the market primarily caters to the office crowd in the neighborhood. Since the place is so crowded, you may want to be slightly on guard to avoid any unforeseen incidents here.
Address: Red Line Orange Line Boston, MA 02228
Website: Downtown Crossing
5. Beacon Hill
Catering primarily to those living in this neighborhood is the Beacon Hill shopping area, which is old-worldly, beautiful, and quaint in every way. Cambridge and Charles Streets are its two commercial streets. While Cambridge Street is more about dining, Charles Street is where you’ll find a bulk of stores for shopping. This 19th-century neighborhood is quite Europe-like in its vibe and atmosphere, with quaint, narrow streets lined by brownstones, covered by lush creepers. If not shopping, go there only for its charm.
Address: Neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts
Website: Beacon Hill
6. Charles Street
Strewn with many little cafes and shops is Charles Street – one of Boston’s most loved walking streets. Part of the Beacon Hill neighborhood, Charles Street is where you should head if jewellery, antiques, art, and vintage shopping is on your list. An interesting mix of boutique stores, the street also makes for a great place to go for a stroll and just indulge in some window shopping. If there’s one time of the year this place really comes alive, it’s in Spring, when the Hidden Gardens Tour is on. The blooming flora and vivacious colors interspersed amid brownstones really make the overall experience memorable.
Address: Charles Street Boston, MA 02114 (north of Leverett Circle)
7. Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Thriving since the 18th century, Faneuil Hall Marketplace is the umbrella marketplace of the Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market, offering dining, shopping, and local music and dance shows all in one place. An indoor-outdoor space, it sees many an enthusiastic visitor hurrying to lay their hands on some fun stuff to buy. Shops indoors mostly showcase a collection liked by older people whereas the ones outside are more popular with the younger shoppers. You can easily pair a visit to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace while exploring the Freedom Trail nearby. So, put on your comfy shoes and hustle!
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Address: 4 S Market Bldg Boston, MA 02109
Website: Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 11am - 7pm
8. North End
North End is one of Boston’s liveliest neighborhoods. Home to the Italian-American community in the city and a mecca for Italian fare, the place is sometimes also called “Boston’s Little Italy”. Long cobblestone alleys and colorful buildings make it seem as though you’re strolling past the streets of Pisa. Salem and Hanover’s streets are where you’ll find the best restaurants and boutique stores. Head to Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop on Salem Street and pick up some exquisite chocolate selections from the 18th century. Else, there’s always the shops selling Italian cheeses and spices that you can hit up. Monica’s Mercato on Salem Street and Depasquale’s on Hanover Street are two great options.
Address: 30 N Bennet St Boston, Massachusetts
Website: North End
One of Boston’s main open-air markets, Haymarket is located quite close to the North End and Faneuil Hall in the city’s downtown. Locals head here for the freshest and choicest picks of fruits, veggies, poultry, dairy, and seafood. You’ll get a bang for your buck here, but remember to not do anything that ticks off the sellers. They may sometimes be sensitive about you touching the produce, so it’s best to ask them before doing so. Although, going towards the closing time may fetch you great discounts, but there’s no guarantee of the selection and variety you’ll get. So, we suggest that you get there closer to the opening time. Head to the Haymarket and get your dibs on the best of seasonal produce.
Address: 96 Blackstone St Boston, MA 02109
Opening hours: Fri & Sat: 6am - 7pm (closed on Sun to Thur)
10. Boston Public Market
Selling local produce, artisanal products, and crafts’ items year-round is this indoor marketplace set up in 2001 with an aim to promote small-time entrepreneurial ventures and facilitate the sale of plants, flowers, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats at affordable rates. Today, more than 35 individual vendors set up their stalls here. Plus, some of them also conduct free cooking workshops and demonstrations! There are also many little cafes you can head to for a bite and a designated play area for children, where you can leave your little ones to rollick while you do some shopping. And guess what? Not only can you shop, but even hitch a free of cost, hour-long guided tour (every Tuesday and Friday mornings at 10 and 11 am) to learn about the history of the place, its vendors, the produce, and some other fun information too.
Boston Public Market
Address: 100 Hanover St Boston, MA 02108
Website: Boston Public Market
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 8pm; Sun: 10am - 6pm
Make the most of your time in Boston
There’s no better way of exploring Boston than on foot. Take a walk down the Freedom Trail through the town’s historic downtown and reach the Revolutionary War sites. Boston Common and Public Garden and the Trinity Church are two other places that’ll be worth the trip. If you want a taste of culture in the city, there are no better places than the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Oh, and the city’s food scene is amazing, too. There are some superb farm-to-table restaurants you can hit up for the best selections. Else, there’s always shopping at these spots to while away your time in the city.
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