As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston is a cultural gem.
It boasts a rich history, incredible culinary scene, exciting nightlife, and is a great sports city. For curious travellers, Boston is definitely a must-visit.
But, it can be a shockingly expensive city and figuring out where to stay in Boston can be challenging as a result. Some areas are more suited to travelers than others, so it’s important you find the best place for you to make the most of your trip.
To help you out, we’ve created this guide on the best places to stay in Boston for every travel style and budget. So, whether you’re planning a romantic city escape, a family vacation, or anything in between, we’ve got you covered.
- Where to Stay in Boston
- Boston Neighborhood Guide
- Boston’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
- 1. Back Bay – Where to Stay in Boston for your First Visit
- 2. Downtown – Where to Stay in Boston on a Budget
- 3. Chinatown – Best Place to Stay in Boston for Nightlife
- 4. South End – Coolest Place to Stay in Boston
- 5. Jamaica Plain – Where to Stay in Boston with Family
- FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Boston
- Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Boston
Not too fussed which area of Boston you stay in? These are our highest recommendations for accommodation in Boston.
Best Airbnb in Boston: Studio in Prime Location
Spack dab in the heart of Back Bay not far from Beacon Hill is this astonishing home that offers one of the most comfortable stays in the city. Located on the lively street of Newberry, you’ll have access to the most premier shopping in the city, as well as award-winning restaurants.
The studio also offers access to a kitchen, wifi, and workspace, so you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Best Hostel in Boston: HI Boston
Located downtown, the HI Boston is one of the coolest hostels in the city. It’s close to restaurants, shops, and nightlife, so you’ll have loads to do within easy reach. Dorms and private rooms are on offer here, as well as free wifi and an on-site cafe.
Best Hotel in Boston: Hyatt Regency Boston
The Hyatt Regency is a fantastic four-star hotel situated near Chinatown. It boasts comfortable rooms, an on-site fitness center, and a bar and restaurant. Boston’s coolest attractions are all an easy walk away from the hotel.
If you’re visiting Boston for the first time, there’s no better neighbourhood than Back Bay. Centrally located and well connected, Back Bay is close to everything.
Downtown is far and away the most iconic neighbourhoods in Boston. It is home to a number of historic sites and cultural gems, including Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens.
Chinatown is a small but vibrant neighbourhood located in central Boston. It is the fourth largest Chinatown in the United States and this neighbourhood is home to incredible restaurants and colourful shops.
Boston’s South End neighbourhood is one of the most overlooked and underrated areas of the city. Within South End, you’ll find some of the best restaurants and art galleries in the city and can enjoy a hip yet relaxed atmosphere.
For families with children, there’s no better neighbourhood than Jamaica Plain. A quiet and residential district south of the city centre, Jamaica Plain has charming restaurants, cute cafes and a great selection of green spaces to explore.
Boston is the largest city in New England and the capital of Massachusetts, so there’s no shortage of things to do.
For curious travelers, there’s plenty to see and do here, from exploring the Freedom Trail and dancing the night away to browsing the many museums.
Back Bay is the best area to stay in if you’re visiting Boston for the first time. Here, you’ll find a bit of everything the city has to offer: marvelous landmarks, world-renowned restaurants, heaps of museums, and great nightlife.
If you’re traveling on a budget, check out Downtown. This area is still bursting at the seams with things to see, do, and discover, but is slightly more affordable than other areas, it’s also close to Beacon Hill and has the best connections if you’re headed for Fenway Park or Harvard Business School.
Travelers looking for nightlife in Boston should stay in Chinatown. With a vibrant atmosphere, lively clubs, and loads of discos, there’s always something going on in this part of town.
Centrally located and impossibly cool, South End is where you’ll find unique boutiques, innovative restaurants, and loads of interesting art.
South of the city is Jamaica Plain. The green heart of Boston, Jamaica Plain is home to parks and ponds, tree-lined streets, and plenty of family-friendly attractions and activities. This makes it the best place to be if you’re deciding where to stay in Boston with your family.
Still not sure where to stay in Boston? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
There is one item every traveller NEEDS. Some travellers don’t even know they need it, but those travellers need it more than anyone.
What is this forgotten essential of the backpacker-life? SPOILERS! Guess you’ll just have to click the button to find out. 😉Find Out What It Is!
Boston’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.
If you’re visiting Boston for the first time, there’s no better neighborhood than Back Bay, just off Boston Harbor. Centrally located and well connected, Back Bay is close to everything. It’s also the closest neighborhood on this list to Harvard Business School and Fenway Park.
It is within walking distance of Boston’s coolest attractions and is also where you’ll find incredible shopping and delicious restaurants.
Some of the area’s most iconic landmarks include the Boston Public Library, Newbury Street, Prudential Centre, and the John Hancock Tower. The Back Bay is also packed with independent shops and unique boutiques.
Best Airbnb in Back Bay: Studio in Prime Location
This astonishing home is one of the coolest places to stay in Boston. it’s centrally located near Boston Harbor and very cozy, offering a kitchen, laundry facilities, wifi, and a workspace. The studio sleeps up to two guests, making it ideal for couples of solo travelers.
Best Guest House in Back Bay: Oasis Guest House
If you want cheap accommodation in Back Bay, look no further than this gorgeous bed and breakfast in Massachusetts. It’s great value for money, offering comfortable rooms, a top location near Boston Harbor, and a free breakfast! Free wifi is also available at the guest house. Rooms come with private bathrooms and stylish furnishings.
*Best Hotel in Back Bay: Boston Common Hotel Copley Square
Enjoy luxurious amenities for a reasonable price at Copley Square Hotel. This hotel is a convenient base for exploring the city and is one of the best hotels located in Back Bay. It has a gym, free wifi, and spacious rooms, and breakfast is also available.
Best Guest House in Back Bay: No. 284
No. 284 is a popular four-star guest house situated in Back Bay, Boston. Each room is stylishly furnished and offers a double bed, private bathroom, coffee maker, and air conditioning. A continental breakfast is on offer each morning, so you can fuel up for a day full of exploring places like Newbury Street and Boston Harbor.
Things to See and Do in Back Bay
- Visit the exquisite and iconic Boston Public Library.
- Take a stroll along Newbury Street to explore the unique boutiques and local independent shops.
- Marvel at the world-famous, three-story stained-glass globe at The Mapparium.
- Take a stroll through Copley Square.
- Climb up to the Skywalk Observatory and enjoy 360-degree, unparalleled views out over Boston.
- Browse the shops, bar and restaurants that line bustling Boylston Street.
- Enjoy a few drinks and bowl a few frames at Kings.
- Watch the game and drink a few pints at The Pour House Bar and Grill.
- Dine on delicious French dishes at Mistral.
Downtown is without a doubt the most iconic neighborhood in Boston. It’s home to a number of historic sites and tourist attractions, including Boston Common and Boston Public Gardens as well as City Hall, Boston Public Library and Quincy market at Faneuil Hall.
For budget backpackers and cost-conscious travelers, Downtown Boston is your best bet for affordable accommodations. Within this central district, you’ll find a selection of inexpensive hotels, guesthouses, and apartments many in historic buildings.
The downtown Boston neighborhood is also home to a handful of historic and charming outdoor markets. Browse the stalls and shop for fresh fruit and colorful flowers at these iconic spots or wander close to nearby Beacon Hill.
*Best Airbnb in Downtown: Newly Designed Loft
Couples visiting Boston on a budget should check out this contemporary loft. Featuring gorgeous furnishings and modern appliances, it provides a comfortable base for exploring Downtown and places like Boston Public Garden, Faneuil Hall and Beacon Hill. Fast wifi is also included, perfect if you’re working on the go.
Best Hostel in Downtown: HI Boston
Located in central downtown, the HI Boston is one of the coolest hostels in Boston and has loads of awards to show for it. It’s conveniently located close to everything you could need or want, including top attractions, public transport, and there are plenty of sports bars just a short walk away too if you can’t get tickets for Fenway Park!
Best Hotel in Downtown: Temple Place Suites by Short Term Rentals Boston
Enjoy a comfortable and relaxing stay in Boston at Temple Place Suites. Whether you’re visiting Boston for a weekend or longer, you’ll feel right at home.
Each room is stylishly decorated with contemporary furnishings and comes with a private bathroom. It’s also one of the best hotels in terms of location and is pretty close to Faneuil Hall and Beacon Hill.
Best Hotel in Downtown: Boston Homestel
Boston Homestel provides dorm and private rooms for a budget-friendly rate. Each room is simply furnished with basic amenities, and the property also provides a shared kitchen, lounge, and free wifi.
Things to See and Do in Downtown
- Explore the Freedom Trail, a four-kilometre path through Downtown. Boston that passes 16 historically significant places.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a relaxing day in lush and expansive Boston Public Garden.
- Visit the New England Holocaust Memorial.
- Take a stroll through the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.
- Walk along the Boston Harbor.
- Enjoy Boston Common, a large heritage park in Downtown Boston.
- Shop for deals at Haymarket, Boston’s oldest outdoor market.
- Browse hundreds of stalls and shops at the indoor/outdoor Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall.
- Play pool and drink pints at the Beantown Pub.
- Enjoy great drinks and live performances at The Point bar.
Chinatown is a small but vibrant neighbourhood located in central Boston. It’s home to incredible restaurants and colorful shops, and is also where you’ll find the best nightlife in Boston.
Whether you’re looking for a cool jazz bar, a thriving discotheque, a relaxing pub or a wild night out, there’s something for everyone in Chinatown.
Best Airbnb in Chinatown: Modern 1BR Near Train
This rental unit sits in the heart of Boston’s vibrant Chinatown and provides comfortable accommodation for up to four guests. The apartment features modern furnishings and also boasts wifi, air conditioning, and laundry facilities. It’s ideally located just one block from the subway station, so you can make your way around the city with ease.
Best Hostel in Chinatown: FOUND Boston Common
FOUND Boston provides superb budget accommodation in the heart of the Theater District. It’s surrounded by epic nightlife options and is a short walk from all of Boston’s top attractions. The hotel is contemporary and offers free wifi throughout.
Best Hotel in Chinatown: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston – Downtown
The DoubleTree by Hilton is a comfortable and luxurious hotel in Chinatown offering a restaurant, bar, and fitness center. The rooms are clean, spacious and outfitted with modern amenities. A short walk from the hotel, you’ll find the Boston Commons, shops, and restaurants, so it’s one of the best hotels for location.
Best Hotel in Chinatown: Hyatt Regency Boston
The Hyatt Regency Boston is our top choice for where to stay in Chinatown. This four-star hotel boasts an incredible pool, an in-house restaurant, and a stylish lounge bar as well as contemporary furnishings. Staying at this boutique hotel, you’ll have the Freedom Trail, Opera House, and theaters right on your doorstep. It’s one of the best hotels in the whole city, not just boston!
Things to See and Do in Chinatown
- Excite your sense at Shabu-Zen, where you can enjoy authentic Asian “Hot-Pot” cuisine.
- Eat delicious dumplings at Gourmet Dumpling House.
- Sample a myriad of dishes and delicacies at Winsor Dim Sum Café.
- Dance the night away at Bijou, an 1882 former theatre that is now a sleek late-night club.
- Spend a night drinking and dancing at Guilt, a chic and stylish nightclub.
- Visit Royale, the biggest nightclub in New England.
- Sip and sample a vast selection of cocktails at The Ghost Walks bar.
- Explore the bustling and vibrant Theatre District section of Chinatown.
- Enjoy bright lights and the city’s best DJs at Tunnel, Boston’s hottest underground nightclub.
A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!
An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected. It’s just that easy.
Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.Buy an eSIM!
Boston’s South End neighbourhood is one of the most overlooked and underrated areas of the city. Within South End, you’ll find some of the best restaurants and art galleries in Boston and can enjoy a hip yet relaxed atmosphere.
South Boston is home to beautiful brownstones and unique boutiques. It is an incredibly diverse neighborhood and is a haven for artistic types and culture vultures. There is a myriad of art galleries and museums, local shops and open markets to explore and experience.
South End is also a paradise for foodies. Its charming tree-lined streets are packed with innovative eateries and quaint cafes that serve dishes and delicacies from around the world.If you have time, there are some fantastic food tours in Boston that serve some of the most famous Boston delicacies.
Best Airbnb in South End: Traditional 1850s Brownstone Home
This gorgeous Airbnb in Boston could come straight out of a vintage movie set. It sits at the top of a historic building with beautiful views of the skyline. The property is beautifully decorated with traditional furnishings, and also includes modern comforts like wifi and a flat-screen TV with Chromecast.
Best Apartment in South End: Historic South End Condo
This spacious, bright, and beautifully furnished South End condo provides classic accommodation in one of Boston’s coolest areas. The space is cozy and inviting, and the outdoor terrace is the ideal place to relax after a day in South Boston and beyond. Up to four guests can stay here, making it one of the best places to stay in Boston for couples or small groups.
Best Hotel in South End: Residence Inn
The Residence Inn is a flashy three-star boutique hotel situated in South End. Boasting family rooms, an on-site bar, and a fitness center, the hotel makes for an ideal base for visiting Boston. It’s a short walk from some of the coolest places to visit in Boston, including the Fine Arts Center, Franklin Square, and the New England Conservatory. So it’s one of the best hotels if you want to explore what South Boston has to offer.
Best Hotel in South End: Staypineapple at the Alise Boston
The Staypineapple is located at the heart of the South End neighbourhood. There are eateries, shops, landmarks, and public transit within walking distance, so it’ll be easy to explore Boston in full.
It boasts an on-site restaurant, stylish and spacious rooms, and luxurious amenities.
Things to See and Do in South End
- Visit the vibrant SoWa Art + Design District and browse a variety of artist studios, art galleries, independent boutiques, showrooms and restaurants.
- Explore Harriet Tubman House.
- See more than 10,000 original vintage posters from around the world at the International Poster Gallery.
- Browse the shops, stalls, food trucks and breweries at SoWa Open Market, the largest local market in Boston.
- Take in a performance at the Boston Center for the Arts.
- Sip incredible wine and eat delicious Spanish food at Barcelona.
- Enjoy fresh and delicious oysters and seafood at B&G Oysters.
- Dine on innovative Italian fare at Coppa.
- Kickstart your day with an incredible breakfast at Mike’s City Diner.
For families with children, there’s no better neighborhood than Jamaica Plain. A quiet and residential district south of the city centre, Jamaica Plain has charming restaurants, cute cafes, and a great selection of green spaces. The area provides a quiet base that’s still full of things to see and do.
Jamaica Plain’s most famous attraction is the expansive and incredible Arnold Arboretum. Covering more than 280 acres of land, this gorgeous urban forest is an oasis for families looking for a breath of fresh air. If you want to explore the city, just jump on the train to North Station.
When you’re ready for a bite to eat, head to Centre or South Street where you can choose from a great selection of eco-friendly and delicious local restaurants. If you’re on the lookout for some cheap hotels in Boston that are still really high quality, this is a good area to look.
Best Airbnb in Jamaica Plain: Airy light-filled Home
If you’re planning a family vacation to Boston, then you should check out this large family home in Jamaica Plain. Up to seven visitors can sleep in this remodeled house, which comes complete with a large kitchen/diner, living area, and garden. There’s plenty of space for everyone to run around in, and all the comforts of home to make your trip as easy as possible.
Best Apartment in Jamaica Plain: Egleston Square Condo
This two-bedroom apartment is ideal for families or groups deciding where to stay in Boston. It’s comfortably furnished and pet-friendly, and sleeps up to five guests. The apartment sits close to Franklin Park Zoo, Fenway Park as well as many shops and restaurants. You’re close to a train station too so it’s easy to head to North Station and explore the city centre.
Best Hotel near Jamaica Plain: Homewood Suites by Hilton
Take some stress out of holiday-planning by booking a family room at Hilton’s Homewood Suites. Each room comes with a seating area, ensuite bathroom, and free wifi, and guests also have access to an on-site fitness center, pool, and bar. The property is surrounded by shops and eateries, while top attractions can be easily reached on foot or by public transport. If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Boston, this is a great option.
Best Hotel near Jamaica Plain: enVision Hotel Boston-Longwood
Boasting modern rooms, a gym, and an awesome location, this is one of the best hotels near Jamaica Plain. It’s close to Fenway Park and the Children’s Museum, making for an ideal place to stay with kids. Parking is available on-site, and the hotel can be easily reached from the airport by public transport.
Things to See and Do in Jamaica Plain
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a restful day at Arnold Arboretum, a 281 acres urban green space.
- Go for a walk around the water or rent rowboats at Jamaica Pond.
- See gorillas, zebras, giraffes, tigers and more at Franklin Park Zoo.
- Dine on Irish-American fare at Doyle’s Café.
- Tease your taste buds at Chilacates a colourful and fun taqueria
- Enjoy good food and a warm welcome at The Haven.
- Try incredibly delicious food and seafood at J.P. Seafood Café.
- Browse the shops, cafes, and restaurant on Washington, Centre and South Streets.
- Shop for new-to-you fashions at 40 South Street.
- Grab a cone of amazing ice cream at J.P. Licks.
FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Boston
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Boston and where to stay.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Boston
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Boston
Boston is a city with so much to offer travelers. From the Freedom Trail where you can visit the city’s most iconic sights to high-end boutiques and innovative restaurants, there’s something for everyone on every budget in Boston.
If you’re still unsure where to stay in Boston, we recommend Downtown. It’s budget-friendly while offering up loads of the city’s coolest attractions. It’s also home to our favorite hostel, the HI Boston, which is centrally located and well-equipped.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading – that was fun! 😀
We bring you epic FREE content!
Find out how YOU can help support us.
We’re a big site with a big team and this job isn’t always easy. But we do it because we love it – we love providing epic and free content. We love the knowledge that our content keeps you adventuring. We don’t ask for money, but if you’d like to find out how you can help the site in more organic ways, click the button below.
Thank you for your support 🙂
Bye for now, but not forever!
If you want MORE top-tier Broke Backpacker content like this, then sign up for our weekly newsletter below to get the latest and greatest!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!