Boston’s overnight accommodations are not for the faint of heart or the light of wallet. (If money is no object, check out our guide to the very best hotels in Boston). It’s an expensive town to a live in and an even more expensive town to visit, but bargains can be found—it just requires some sleuthing. We’ve scoured the local landscape to locate the best cheap hotels in Boston, each providing easy access to the best Boston attractions without triggering budgetary panic. (Save those pennies for the best restaurants in town and other treats).
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Best cheap hotels in Boston
One of the city’s best-kept lodging secrets, the College Club is the country’s oldest women’s club ... and also happens to be an 11-bedroom bed and breakfast (open to men and women alike). Situated inside a stunning Back Bay brownstone, guestrooms are each named after a regional college. Sitting on the lower end of the historic Commonwealth Avenue, the club puts you within walking distance of many key attractions.
What was once an unremarkable Best Western has morphed into a modern, bright, and budget-friendly boutique hotel, with locally sourced art and amenities like free Wi-Fi and bath slippers. Its North Cambridge location (near Fresh Pond) provides visitors easy access to historic across-the-river landmarks and the ability to hop on public transportation to head downtown.
Another hidden gem in a historic neighborhood, the John Jeffries House was once a boarding house for nurses before morphing into a 46-room boutique hotel. The studio rooms are the bargains here, but even they feature river views and unique architectural details. (Some of the larger rooms include kitchenettes.) The courtyard garden is a lovely place to start your day with some coffee before you begin wandering the cobblestoned streets of historic Beacon Hill to explore its retail shops and antique stores.
Step into the Buckminster and you step into history. Located smack in the center of Kenmore Square, with Fenway Park just a home run shot away, the brownstone hotel recalls an earlier era. Today it’s a cozy, centrally-located optionwith comfortable, basic rooms, plus a tiny gym and laundry room.
A hotel that especially caters to families traveling to Boston for medical care, the Inn at Longwood Medical distinguishes itself with kindly customer service and kid-friendly amenities. (Kids receive a teddy bear and coloring book upon check-in, and eat for free at the hotel’s restaurant). A short distance away from Fenway Park, the hotel is also perfect for large groups in town to take in a Red Sox game (or series). Rooms are spacious, bedding is plush and the city views are sweeping; the suites also come with kitchenettes.
In a busy are with rather limited lodging options, this modern, 56-room boutique hotel stands out. The sleek, marble-heavy lobby gives way to light-filled rooms thanks to the oversized windows. Porter Square is the forgotten child among Cambridge and Somerville’s more celebrated squares (Harvard, Davis), but the eclectic area boasts a full range of dining options.
Hotel Indigo is a great option for those looking to be based in the Newton area. Guests enjoy the high-end BOKX 109 restaurant, then work it off at the gym or outdoor pool (where the cabanas are popular in summer). The rooms are modern and bright, with extra-plush bedding, and are also pet-friendly. Most Boston attractions are within driving distance; hotel parking is free, and there’s also an MBTA stop a few minute’s walk away if you prefer to go the public transit route (it’s about a 40-minute ride into town).
If Bunker Hill sits atop your Boston to-do list, Constitution Inn is the ideal bunking spot. Rooms are spare, but the location cannot be beat: smack in the middle of the Charlestown Navy Yard and at the head of the Freedom Trail, which means you can walk Boston’s historic path at your leisure. You’re also just a few minutes away from excellent waterside dining. The inn shares a building with the local YMCA, giving guests access to a pool and ample gym equipment.
A home away from home, this Victorian B&B provides an oasis of tranquility in the middle of Brookline. Set in a residential area and decorated in a country style, each room booking includes a hearty continental breakfast (including bagels from one of the best bakeries in town), afternoon cookies, and, if requested, free parking. The location places you within walking distance of many popular shopping and dining options, but you’re also just a few T stops away from the city center.
Marriott’s “lifestyle” conceit provides relief to strapped travelers, and this Medford entry is especially welcome to traveling families. Guest rooms are moody and modern, with sizeable bathroom suites, and some even have water views. There’s a surprisingly robust breakfast buffet, but for dinner your best bet is to head to Assembly Row, less than a mile away, to sample the outdoor mall’s array of indie restaurants.
This narrow hotel sits on a busy stretch of commercial Boylston Street; it almost feels like a small condo complex. Rooms are cozy and basic, but you’ll be spending most of your time out on the town given your proximity to, well, everything. The hotel sits across the street from the historic Boston Public Library and a block away from the famed shopping and dining of Newbury Street; the Copley MBTA stop is less than 50 yards away.