Boston is one of the oldest, most important and historic cities in the whole of the United States. We have carefully assembled a full guide to get you to, from & around the city as efficiently as possible.
- Airport to City
- Public transport guide
- Popular excursions
Airport to City Centre
At a glance, you may see our summary of cheapest, fastest & best options to get between the airport and the city centre. Click on your preferred method for full instructions. For an overview of all methods available, click here to read our full guide.
The cheapest way is an airport to downtown bus shuttle. It is free for arriving passengers and 2.40$ otherwise with a journey time of around 40 minutes. Read more.
The fastest way is a taxi, taking 20-30 minutes with a cost of 25-35$. Read more.
The best way taking into account the cost, convenience and speed is the metro, costing 2.40/2,90$ and a journey time of around 35 minutes to most of downtown Boston. Read more.
Public Transport Guide
Whilst a very walkable city, Boston has a functional and simple public transport system that will get you through some of the longer journeys with ease.
- Transport methods
- Metro/subway & rail
- Buses, taxis & ride-sharing
- Other methods
- Ticketing & stored value card
- Getting around
- Popular excursions
Metro/subway & rail
Boston’s subway system, commonly referred to by the wonderfully short nickname – the “T”, connects the city with its four colour coded lines. There are also rail commuter lines connecting Boston with the surrounding area.
South Station is Boston’s main and largest train station. It is also the northern terminus of the northeast corridor, connecting it with New York and cities in the northeastern part of the United States.
Buses, taxis & ride-sharing
Boston buses are a popular option with many travellers, particularly those travelling on a budget and for journeys outside of the downtown area.
Taxis in Boston are plentiful but not cheap due to the combination of high cost of living, US tipping (at least 10%) expected and numerous tolls throughout the city.
Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services both have a large presence in Boston. Prices are typically more competitive than other available taxi options.
Boston is connected with the surrounding area with ferries, also operated by MBTA.
Ticketing & stored value card
The CharlieCard is Boston’s public transport stored value card. Along with the convenience, it comes with significant savings over single tickets.
How to get it & adding credit
While the CharlieCard is free, you are unable to get one at the airport. This means that if you opt to go using the subway instead of the Silver Line, you will have to purchase the more expensive paper ticket.
The list of stations where you can get a CharlieCard is available on the MBTA website. This includes South Station.
You can add creidts onto your CharlieCard using cash or credit cards at ticket machines sprinkled around the city. The process is very easy and quick.
How to use it
Using your CharlieCard is very easy on all methods of transport. At the metro, tap the card for the gates to open and cross quickly. It’s the same process when exiting the subway. At the bus, tap the card at the designated spot near the driver with the card’s picture when entering the bus when boarding at the front. Remember, whenever in doubt just follow what everyone else is doing.
Fares & passes
The fare structure of the MBTA public transport system is very simple, with a one-way journey on the metro is $2.40 and just $2 on a local bus. Other methods including express buses, ferries and commuter rail are available with different fares structure.
Excellent value day and weekly passes are available to purchase. At a cost of $12.75 or $22.50 respectively, it’s a cost of 4 & 9 one-way subway fares.
Read more about the CharlieCard card, including how to return it to recover the credits and validity for future travels.
Our favourite companion app in Boston is Citymapper. The useful journey planning function will provide you with a handy overview of all methods of getting between A and B, comparing walking, the various public transport options as well taking a taxi.
The official MBTA website is an excellent resource. Most notably, you may check the current status of the line/bus you are about to get on, to be aware of any possible delays or anything else that may affect your journey as well as a handy “visitors guide”, with some of the important information you should know.
MBTA also published a useful “rider etiquette” guide on their website. It’s worth having a brief read to make sure you and your fellow riders have an equally good experience.
Boston is well connected to other cities in the northeast corridor of the USA. Read about some of the popular excursions we have covered so far:
- Coming soon