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Freedom Trail Boston guide

The 2.5 mile trail through the heart of Boston passes by some of the city’s most historic sites

JQ Louise
Cheryl Fenton
Edited by
JQ Louise
Written by
Cheryl Fenton

Whether you’re a Boston newbie or a seasoned local, there’s no better place to introduce yourself to (or re-acquaint yourself with) the city and its humble history than the Freedom Trail. The two-and-a-half-mile trail, clearly marked by its recognizable red “line” on the sidewalk, winds its way past several of the Hub’s best-known historical sites and attractions. While it’s easy to DIY your way through the history lesson, you can also opt for an educational tour conducted by 18th-century costumed guides. Fortunately the trail also winds past some of Boston’s best restaurants and Boston's best bars, so you can fuel up for all that exploration at a variety of eateries and watering holes. Get the most out of the Freedom Trail with our guide to everything you need to explore this beloved historical and cultural trail. View the official site here.

Where does the Freedom Trail start and end?

You can join the Freedom Trail at any point, but to get the most out of the tour, it helps to follow from start to finish. The Trail technically begins at the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common, where you can pick up a map or rent an audio tour, and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument and USS Constitution in Charlestown. Note: as the trail doesn’t follow events in chronological order, it’s up to you which end you begin your stroll.

Where does the Freedom Trail go?

The Freedom Trail covers a 2.5 mile stretch from Downtown Boston to Charlestown. Along the way, you’ll pass 16 historic landmarks where you can learn about American history - both specific to the city and the birth of our nation. The 16 sites are Boston Common, Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel and Burying Ground, Boston Latin School/Benjamin Franklin Statue, Old Corner Bookstore, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Boston Massacre site, Faneuil Hall, Paul Revere House, Old North Church, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, USS Constitution, and the Bunker Hill Monument.

freedom trail boston

How long does it take to walk the Freedom Trail?

The amount of time it takes to walk the Freedom Trail depends on how much time you spend at each historical site. Allow a couple of hours for wandering and even more if you’re a real history buff who wants to stop and soak in the history. The halfway point is near Faneuil Hall and Quincy Marketplace, which is the perfect time to stop for a bite to eat before walking the rest of the Trail. You can also schedule in more time to explore the historic North End, home of the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s House along with tons of places to mangia.

Are there guided tours of the Freedom Trail?

Thanks to the tell-tale painted red line along the sidewalk showing you the way, the Freedom Trail is very easy to follow even without a map. However, The Freedom Trail Foundation offers educational and entertaining daily tours, with a variety of themes, starting at both ends of the Trail. Choose from basic 90-minute historical tours (led by costume-clad guides) to more specific topics like African-American Patriots, Revolutionary Women, lantern-lit nighttime tours, a pub crawl, holiday stroll, and more. Ticket prices range from $8 to $17, and an audio tour of the trail is also available.

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