Where to Stay in Boston → TOP 6 Areas (2024 Guide)

Sunset over the historic architecture of boston juxtaposed with modern skyscrapers.

If you’re planning a trip to Boston and wondering where to stay, you’re in for a treat. Boston offers many great spots that cater to every taste and budget. Whether you want the quaint charm of Beacon Hill or the lively atmosphere of the Seaport District, there’s a place for you. 

After comparing all the areas and numerous hotels, I have narrowed down the list to 5 main areas, with Back Bay taking the number 1 spot

The best yet is that I went through a huge list of accommodation options in each area, and I handpicked only the best-rated ones. 

So, you can now book your ideal accommodation in just a couple of minutes!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

Here are top hotels in Back Bay, Boston’s best neighborhood.


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


Here’s a handy map of Boston’s best neighborhoods:

map of Boston with all the where to stay regions
  1. Back Bay: for first-timers
  2. Downtown: without a car
  3. North End & Waterfront: for sea views
  4. Beacon Hill: for nightlife
  5. SEAPORT: for a luxury vacation
  6. South End: for foodies

1. Back Bay – where to stay in Boston for the first time

A church in the middle of a city with tall buildings.

Built on the bank of the Charles River, Back Bay is home to some of the country’s oldest and most well-preserved Victorian brownstone homes.

Back Bay is actually built on reclaimed land, which means that before its man-made creation, it was actually part of the ocean! 

Back Bay is great for first-time tourists because it’s centrally located, making it easy to visit famous spots like the Prudential Center, Copley Square, and the Charles River Esplanade. 

And you’ll also want to snap a photo of the John Hancock Tower and the Hynes Convention Center that make a very nice backdrop with the Boston city skyline! 

The neighborhood is also filled with shopping options on Newbury Street, fine dining, and is within walking distance to the Boston Common and Public Garden. 

P.S. By the way, we also have a post about the best tours in Boston, check it out as well!

Luxury hotel
collage of three hotel photos: dining room, bedroom, and lounge with library

The Newbury is a Back Bay icon welcoming guests for over a century and symbolizing the city’s rich history. The architecture may be from another time, but there are modern amenities. Have an upscale dinner at Contessa, the rooftop restaurant, and enjoy the view of the Boston Public Garden.

Other accommodation options in Back Bay

Mid-range
hotel bedroom

Boutique hotel in a historic building offering free breakfast

budget
hotel exterior

Chic budget hotel with options for shared dormitories or private rooms

airbnb
apartment living room

All the amenities you’ll ever need will be here at this gorgeous apartment for 4 people and close to all the main attractions!

The Bay neighborhood is home to more than just one luxury hotel, so I couldn’t resist recommending a couple more options.

  • Fairmont Copley Plaza – guests at the Fairmont Copley Plaza can enjoy the rooftop terrace, have daily brunch, or go for al fresco dining.
  • Four Seasons Hotel – this luxurious hotel offers magnificent city views but also features an indoor pool, on-site fitness center, and spa facilities.

If, however, you want an option with jacuzzi in the room, see our full list

Things to do in Back Bay, Boston

statue of a man on a horse in Boston Public Garden
  • Make new memories at the Skywalk Observatory
  • Go park-hopping down Commonwealth Avenue
  • Run down the Charles River Esplanade
  • Enjoy the water features at Christian Science Plaza
  • Visit the Boston Public Library, Central Branch
  • Head west to Fenway Park, home to the Red Sox
  • Relax in Boston Public Garden

2. Downtown – where to stay in Boston without a car

a street with buildings and people

While Downtown Boston is essentially the business and economic hub of the city, what makes Boston’s downtown neighborhood unique is its labyrinth of cobblestone streets winding their way through modern skyscrapers and glass-facade office buildings.

Just because you are in the business center doesn’t mean you have to miss out on revolutionary monuments. Quite a few of the Freedom Trail points are located downtown!

When staying downtown, you should stop by the Boston Common, and relax in the park. You should also venture out to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace or the Quincy Market and shop like a local! 

The area is a paradise for walkers, with everything from high-end shopping to historic sites just a short stroll away. 

TIP: Bluebikes is a bike-sharing system available in the Boston Metropolitan Area. You can pick up a bike from various locations – whether that’s Union Square in Allston or Post Office Square downtown, and get around the city on a bike!

Luxury hotel
collage of three hotel photos: living room, bedroom, and seating area

This historic hotel has been recently renovated to offer the most luxurious commodities. Blue is the trademark color of all hotel rooms, while the furniture is custom-designed for each room. The hotel bathrooms are a testament to the luxury, with Italian marble being the centerpiece of each private bathroom.

Other accommodation options in Downtown Boston

mid-range
apartment living room

The Dagny is one of the best hotels for convenience, with an on-site grocery store, coffee shop, and a restaurant

budget
A group of people are sitting in a coffee shop.

The HI Boston Hostel offers a choice of private rooms or dormitories featuring individual lockers and common areas for relaxing

airbnb
hotel bedroom

This 2nd floor apartment features a large bedroom and bathroom as well as other spaces you need for a comfortable stay

Things to do in Downtown Boston

3. North End Boston & Waterfront – where to stay for sea views

an old corner building

The North End extends up from the Downtown border all the way to the edge of the water. The neighborhood is also known as Boston’s Little Italy.

It’s famous for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and some of the city’s best Italian restaurants and pastry shops. 

The Waterfront area offers stunning views of Boston Harbor, access to the Rose Kennedy Greenway—a linear park perfect for leisurely strolls. 

Waterfront is in a prime location for admiring the sea views, and many of the luxurious hotels offer spectacular views of the sea and the harbor. 

If you also want to admire the views while enjoying your meal, the Boston Sail Loft boasts great views of the Boston Harbor.

Luxury hotel
collage of 3 images with: lounge, bedroom, and balcony with a view of harour and city

For the true feeling of summer, make sure to book a room in this luxurious 4-star hotel with its own on-site marina! The whole hotel is nautical-themed and offers incredible views from its spacious, light-filled rooms.

Other options in North End & Waterfront

mid-range
hotel lounge area

Conveniently located hotel within walking distance of North End’s main attractions, offering spacious and bright rooms with air conditioning

budget
A room with brick walls and a bed in it.

Gorgeous modern-style studio with an exposed brick wall in the center of the Italian part of North End

airbnb
A small bedroom with a bed and a tv.

Located in a waterfront building featuring bay windows that provide sweeping views over the bay

Things to do in North End & Waterfront

  • Visit The Paul Revere House
  • See the Old North Church
  • Relax in the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
  • Snap a picture of the Skinny House
  • Check out Boston Public Market

4. Beacon Hill – best place to stay in Boston for nightlife

a cobbled street with buildings made of red bricks

Beacon Hill is one of the oldest (and most expensive) Boston neighborhoods, situated just a 10-minute drive northeast of Downtown. As you might expect from the name, Beacon Hill has some of the steepest streets in Boston, but believe me, it’s worth it!

Beacon Hill is the name derived from the beacon used to warn people about any invasions by foreign forces in Boston’s history

This Boston neighborhood is also home to the Boston Common, the oldest public garden in the United States, and one of the most extensive green spaces in central Boston. 

Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s most picturesque neighborhoods, known for its narrow, gas-lit streets and brick row houses.

During the day, you can also go shopping in one of the boutique stores on Charles Street. But Beacon Hill truly comes to life at night!

Cheers is also pretty iconic if you’re looking for classic pub grub and an 80s grunge vibe!

Luxury hotel
collage of 3 images with: bedroom, lounge and hotel's entrance

This high-end, 5-star hotel features a sleek, bright, modern interior and countless deluxe features sprinkled throughout the property. Borrow one of their free bikes to explore the city or spend the morning at the on-site gym before capping off the day with a delicious cocktail at their bar.

Other accommodation options in Beacon Hill

mid-range
living room with a pool

The AKA Hotel Boston is 4-star accommodation featuring in-room spa services, gym, and furniture with plush leather finishings

budget
A small bedroom with a bed and a chair.

Cozy studio in the heart of the historic Beacon Hill with a relaxing outdoor seating area

airbnb
A small room with a bed and a clock on the wall.

Cute studio at the top of Beacon Hill located right next to the oldest home in the neighborhood

THINGS TO DO IN BEACON HILL, BOSTON

  • Stroll the Public Garden and/or Boston Common
  • Visit the Massachusetts State House
  • Enjoy the rich history at the Museum of African American History
  • Take a stroll down the scenic Acorn Street
  • See Louisburg Square

5. Seaport – best place in town for a luxury vacation

View of the city skyline on the coast

The Seaport District (often referred to as the Innovation District) is part of the much larger South Boston area, and it’s one of the newest parts of the city! The area is super trendy and it is fast-growing, known for its waterfront setting and contemporary vibe. 

Many of the hotels here feature high-end luxury and modern styles, so if you decide to spend the extra buck on your Boston trip, the Seaport District should be your top choice! 

If you want to explore the culture a little more, then the Seaport District will deliver, too! While here, you can visit the Boston Children’s Museum or the Institute of Contemporary Art, but the main attractions are the Boston Tea Party Ships – a must-visit while in Boston!

The Seaport is also a hub for concerts and events, especially on the lawns of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. 

Luxury hotel
collage of three hotel photos: seating area with a view, rooftop terrace with a view, and bedroom

An upscale hotel on the Boston waterfront offering rooms with a private bathroom, comfy bedding, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel provides guests access to a bar, restaurant, business center, and a 24-hour health club.

Other accommodation options in Seaport

Mid-range
hotel exterior

The 4-star hotel offers room service, currency exchange, a 24-hour front desk, cable TV, and access to an outdoor pool

Budget
outdoor pool

The Hampton provides private parking, free breakfast, access to an indoor pool, air conditioning, and free Wi-FI

Airbnb
hotel bedroom

For gorgeous views over Seaport, this private luxurious apartment is fantastic. It comes with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a shared pool!

Things to do in Seaport

  • Catch an event at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
  • Snap a pic at The Lawn On D
  • Attend a concert at Leader Bank Pavilion
  • Observe the city skyline at night from Lookout Rooftop and Bar

6. South End – for foodies

A crowd of people at a market in front of a brick building.

South End is just a 10-minute drive from Downtown Boston. This nice part of Boston is full of bars, restaurants, affordable hotels, and art galleries, with Kingston Gallery and the Boston Center for the Arts being the best places to enjoy the fine arts.

The South End of Boston is a stylish neighborhood celebrated for its Victorian brownstone buildings and a vibrant arts scene. It proudly hosts a lot of highly-rated restaurants, trendy cafes, artisanal bakeries and SoWa Open Market. 

Make dinner reservations at Bar Mezzana or Coppa, the neighborhood enoteca, which offers small Italian plates. 

Things move at a slower pace in the South End, which is why it is a perfect neighborhood for families or couples who want the local experience. 

The area is also great for a weekend stay if you only want to unwind and relax. 

Luxury hotel
collage of three hotel photos: bedroom, hotel exterior, and seating area with a fireplace

Located in one of the few super modern buildings in the city, The Residence Inn focuses on minimal, stylish luxury. Their spacious rooms feature cityscape views and comfortable beds; some even have a kitchenette!

Other accommodation options in South End, Boston

mid-range
A hotel room with a yellow bed and yellow accents.

Bright, colorful, European-style boutique hotel with lush marble bathrooms and a great location in South Boston

budget
The lobby of a hotel with a mural on the wall.

A top-rated budget stay with a modern design, an on-site restaurant, a fitness center, and a terrace

airbnb
A living room with a spiral staircase.

Room in a super modern and bright loft featuring a spiral staircase and exposed brick wall

Things to do in South End

👑 Luxury price:US$350
💵 Mid-range: US$250
🛏️ Budget:US$150
📍 Best area:Back Bay
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:The Newbury Boston
💵 Best mid-range hotel:Charlesmark Hotel
👛 Best budget hotel:Found Hotel

FAQs about where to stay in Boston

aerial view of a city

🏛️  Where should I stay in Boston for the first time?

First-time visitors to Boston should stay in Back Bay due to its historical landmarks, great location, and abundance of accommodation options. Back Bay also perfectly represents the entire city in one small neighborhood.

🥾 Where to stay in Boston without a car?

Most of Boston is relatively walkable, but Downtown is the best neighborhood if you don’t have a car at your disposal. You’ll be just a short walk away from the main attractions, and you can easily get to other districts.

❌  Where should you not stay in Boston?

Boston is a relatively safe city for visitors. However, some areas to avoid include Roxbury, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Mattapan, simply because they do not have any points of interest for tourists.

💸 Where to stay in Boston on a budget?

You can find some affordable hotels in the South End. If you want to save on transportation, Downtown Boston is a viable alternative option because everything is just a short walk away. 

🛌 Where to stay for one night in Boston?

The Downtown area is the most convenient part of the city if you’re staying in Boston for just one night or even for a weekend because it offers easy access to major attractions and public transportation options. 

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 Where to stay in Boston with family?

Back Bay, South End and Seaport are the ultimate areas for a family stay in Boston. The areas are safe, offer a wide range of accommodations, and provide easy access to attractions if you want to go sightseeing.

💼 Where to stay in Boston as a business traveler?

If you’re visiting Boston for work, the best area is Downtown, home to the Financial District. The ultimate hotel for a business stay in Downtown Boston is The Langham, but if you prefer boutique hotels, The Dagny is a great option, too. 

Conclusion

a girl holding an umbrella next to a fountain

The capital of Massachusetts offers many attractive accommodation options, so it’s no wonder many people have a hard time deciding where to stay in Boston. 

I provided plenty of recommendations, but if you’re still undecided, here are my top 2 hotel choices

As I said, Boston is quite popular among tourists, so book your stay in advance. And if you’re continuing your trip to New York City, make sure to check out my post for the best places to stay and top Airbnbs in NYC! 

Lastly, feel free to leave me a comment if you found this post interesting. I love hearing what you think and answering any other questions you might have about Boston neighborhoods or hotels.

Happy travels,
Hristina 


Pin it for later!

Where to stay in Boston PIN 1

Pin it for later!

Where to stay in Boston PIN 3

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links on this page might be affiliate links, which means that at absolutely no extra cost for you we will earn a small commission for a sale generated through the website. We only recommend the things we actually use ourselves and never accept useless sponsored crap. Thank you so much for supporting this project!

3 Comments

  1. Kim Aspin 26.01.2023 at 04:08
  2. Karen Held 08.11.2022 at 05:29
    • Abby Pierce 08.11.2022 at 11:25

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow @misstourist on Instagram!