Boston is a big international airport, so you may find yourself stopping through. On my way to Israel, I had a 12 hour layover in Boston and couldn’t help but stretch my legs outside the airport.
Getting to the City…
Boston Metro has done a great job at making it fairly easy to get to the city. One of the easiest ways to get there is the free Silver Line bus to South Station. There is an area right outside the baggage claim where all buses and shuttles pick up. Just look for the sign that says Silver Line. Be wary that it may take a while, and the bus is packed- like a can of sardines with heavy luggage.
There is also an option for a free transfer to the Red Line at South Station from the Silver Line. You simply just do not exit the train station to transfer. The Red Line will take you to Harvard.
At the South Station, there is a place to store your bags. Again, find the sign or ask someone where the luggage storage is. We paid $8 for storage for the entire day.
Navigating the City…
From the South Station, you can basically get anywhere in the city. We decided to stay in the Metro area rather than venturing to Harvard, although that is on my list for next time. Again to get to Harvard, you can use the Red Line using your free transfer from the Silver Line and a CharlieTicket for your venture back to the airport (noted in further detail later).
For breakfast / brunch, we stopped at Tatte Cafe, which is right outside of South Station. It is a trendy cafe with a surprisingly diverse menu. I ordered their specialty Shakshuka, which is an African breakfast made of poached eggs in tomato sauce.
Then, we walked to the Quincy Market, which is vibrant of tourists and people and shops and lights. This is also located next to Faneuil Hall and Boston Market. You can grab a bite to eat in this area, from the street vendors, or along any of the side streets.
Next, walk in the direction of City Hall and visit Kings Chapel on your way to Boston Common. This is the large park located in the center of the city. We laid out in the grass and watched the fun tours of people dressed in funny costumes and kids playing frisbee.
I took a walk around the park, maneuvered my way through the side streets adjacent to the park, and found Acorn Street. This is a lovely cobblestone alley lined with beautiful old homes.
From here, I made my way to Newbury Street, which is lined with generic clothing stores, high-end stores, fancy corporate buildings, and franchised restaurants.
The day was beautiful, so we spent a majority of it laying in the sun at Boston Common.
Getting Back to the Airport…
Be sure to leave yourself ample time to get back to the airport. For domestic flights, be back at least 1.5 hours before you BOARD (not takeoff). For international, be there at least 2-3 hours before you board- don’t leave the city 2-3 hours before you board. Be back at the airport checking into your flight 2-3 hours before. It was rush hour when we were headed back, so it took about 45 minutes to get from South Station to our terminal.
To get back to the airport, don’t forget to pick up your bag! Then, you must go to a kiosk and buy a one-way $2.65 “CharlieTicket” back to the airport terminal on Silver Line. There are three terminals that the bus stops at (A, B, and C)- it lists which airlines are the corresponding terminals.