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Walking Tours

Our Walking Tours

a tour group walking in boston

Boston By Foot tours offer opportunities for visitors and locals to explore Boston’s cityscape and discover its history with a passionate and knowledgeable guide. Core tours are offered on a daily and weekly basis during the April-November tour season, while others are offered monthly or quarterly. All tours are available upon request as a private tour at any time.

View tours by frequency, topic or by schedule by accessing our calendar. Each tour page contains detailed information about each of our offerings. We look forward to sharing our love of Boston with you!

Daily & Weekly

Paul Revere's house in Boston's North End

The North End: Boston's Immigration Gateway

Explore Boston’s oldest neighborhood and discover the charm of this unique, compact city space

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance0.88 mile
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
Explore Boston’s oldest neighborhood, the North End, with our knowledgeable guide. Discover the charm of this unique, compact city space that has been home to immigrants for 400 years. Learn what brought waves of people from Ireland, Eastern Europe, and Italy to the North End; the difficulties they faced when they arrived; and how they made a difference in their new home! This tour begins at the waterfront and weaves through Boston’s famous ‘crooked and narrow’ streets. It will end in the heart of the North End, the perfect spot to enjoy an Italian treat after the tour! find out more

Monthly & Quarterly

Front of the Boston Art Museum

Art, Architecture and Gardens

Take note of significant buildings, gardens and pieces of artwork as you stroll the Back Bay Fens.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.5 miles
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
In the early nineteenth-century, Boston philanthropists designed and funded institutions to create a city of culture and learning through the arts, sciences and education for residents and immigrants. They also supported institutions that delivered medical and dental services for those in need. Today the tradition continues and Back Bay Fens represents all that and more. The Art, Architecture and Gardens walking tour highlights the aforementioned while strolling along the southern Fens, a section of the Emerald Necklace designed by landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted. It includes an introduction to architecturally significant buildings, gardens, and pieces of artwork. Participants learn about the history, stories, architectural details and the significant impact each had on society. find out more
victorian buildings in boston's back bay

Back Bay’s Victorian Architecture

Delight in the elegant homes and architectural marvels of Victorian Back Bay

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance0.65 mile
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
On this guided tour, explore how Boston’s back bay was filled in to become one of the United States’ richest collections of art and architecture. The treasures of this Back Bay tour include Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, Old South Church and grand Back Bay townhouses. Walk back in time to uncover splendid examples of Victorian architecture. find out more
view of beacon hill from the charles river

Beacon Hill From Both Sides

Learn the history of both the North and South Slopes and why they became such separate neighborhoods.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.5 miles
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
From the beginning, the presence of each has had an important effect on the history and development of the other. We will explore the many different people who lived here and contributed to the story of Beacon Hill, including the Native Massachusett people, Boston’s African American community, Gay and Lesbian community, and 19th century immigrant populations. We will see some of Boston’s handsomest nineteenth century houses, and hear about the fascinating lives of the people who lived in them. find out more
Map of old Shawmut Peninsula overlayed on Modern Boston

Before Boston

Shawmut Peninsula through 1630

tour duration90 minutes
tour terrainpotential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
Explore 12,000 years of human activity on Shawmut Peninsula, the lands we now call Boston. Follow in the footsteps of the Native people who first walked here. Learn how they hunted and fished, and worked with clay and textiles. Uncover geological features and archaeological sites on this guided walk on and around Boston Common. Hear the stories of how the Massachusett first encountered strange people from afar, European explorers and settlers, who would then claim this land for their own. find out more
Painting of Benjamin Franklin

Ben Franklin

Son of Boston

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.1 miles
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Celebrate the life of Benjamin Franklin on this guided walk along his homes and haunts in Colonial Boston. Born in Boston, he came of age in Philadelphia, and was the darling of Paris. His legacy is without measure. He was one of America's leading scientists, inventors, diplomats, humorists, and statesmen. Uncover stories of Benjamin Franklin’s many inventions, his civic and educational impact, and his roles in the founding of the United States. find out more
Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins, Josephine St. Pierre Rupin, Martin Robinson Delaney, William Cooper Neil, Frederick Douglas

Black Voices: 19th-Century Black Writers on Beacon Hill

Discover stories of Boston’s Black writers who were focused on the great topic of the era - slavery.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance0.79 mile
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
Truth, passion, bravery and hope. Discover stories of Boston’s Black writers who were laser-focused on the great topic of the era - slavery. Learn about the mark Black thinkers and writers made on literary and political history: David Walker and his sentinel work, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World; novelist, playwright and editor Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins; Dorothy West and her biting satire on racial tensions, and many others. Walk Beacon Hill as you explore where they worked, raised their families, fought injustice, and wrote. find out more
Winslow Homer illustration of abolitionist riots in boston

Boisterous Bostonians: Riots & Protests

This tour returns to the lineup after a brief absence, timely topics of activism and civil unrest. Experience a most riotous tour through four centuries of protests, social violence and at times downright bad behavior. Known for the protests of the Stamp Act and Boston Tea Party, rebellions and uprisings have taken place throughout Boston's history. This tour examines many of the lesser known riots and street violence often fueled by the powerless who sought a voice over social, political, religious, and economic oppression. Take to the streets of Boston for a tour through anger, fear, rebellion, violence, and bad behavior! find out more
Burned buildings and homes in boston after the great fire

Boston Reborn: After the Great Fire of 1872

tour duration90 minutes
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Join us on a 90-minute walking tour exploring the city's rebirth after the Great Fire of 1872. Follow the route of the progression of the Great Fire, a disaster in Boston's commercial district that proved more costly than the legendary Chicago Fire the year before. Hear how the city's architectural design contributed to the spread and speed of the devastating conflagration, and learn how these fires reformed our fire prevention policies in America. find out more
victorian women in affectionate pose.

Boston’s LGBTQ Past

tour duration90 minutes
tour terrainpotential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
Travel in the footsteps of Boston’s 19th and 20th century gay and lesbian friends. Explore Thoreau’s walks along the Common; Charlotte Cushman’s cross-dressing roles; World War II bars and baths; and the AIDS memorial quilt project. Learn about Boston’s flourishing gay and lesbian culture on this guided walking tour. This tour is presented in partnership with The History Project , a nonprofit organization that documents, preserves and shares New England's LGBTQ history. find out more
re-enactors of British loyalists in boston

Boston’s Loyalists

Hear the stories of Bostonians who remained loyal to the British crown.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.5 miles
tour terrainpotential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
“History is written by the victors” is an oft-quoted aphorism. Our Boston’s Loyalists tour tells the story of Boston’s role in the lead-up to the American War of Independence from the perspective of those who remained loyal to the British crown. This unique tour will visit historic Boston landmarks like the Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel, Old South Meeting House and Marshall Street. Our guides will introduce you to Boston’s Loyalists, some whom are familiar, others lesser known. These include artist John Singleton Copley, Governor Thomas Hutchinson, the enterprising Elizabeth Murray, and the sharp-witted Rev. Dr. Mather Byles. Perfect for those who want a deep-dive into Boston’s colonial history from a perspective apart from the typical Revolutionary War walking tour, Boston’s Loyalists will show you the Old Town from another point of view. find out more
Bullfinch Triangle

Bulfinch Triangle

Find out how this former industrial district has been given a new life.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.5 miles
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
In the last decade, the Bulfinch Triangle has been transformed from a hub of transportation and entertainment to a neighborhood with a growing number of residents and a place on Boston’s skyline. While our walk includes the historic landscape of the Mill Pond and the early 19th century street plan, we'll focus on the cycles of use since then. We will walk across the Triangle, exploring the area's industrial architecture and the transit elements that have shaped it. You'll see how the area continues to change today and how adaptive reuse is giving this former industrial district new life. find out more

Commonwealth Ave.

Boston’s Grand Boulevard

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.5 miles
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Take a walk through the heart of Victorian Boston on this tour of Commonwealth Avenue! Boston's grand boulevard, Commonwealth Avenue, provides an enduringly popular stroll. The tour parallels the 19 th century filling and development of the Back Bay from its origin at Arlington Street down the seven blocks along the tree-lined, grassy Mall. See how careful effort over 150 years has preserved the "grandness" of the Avenue. find out more
Maverick Square Mural in East Boston

East Boston: Maverick Square and Beyond

This tour is presented in partnership with the Boston Preservation Alliance , a nonprofit organization that protects and improves the quality of Boston's distinct architectural heritage through advocacy and education. Discover East Boston’s rich history and dynamic present by exploring the neighborhood of Maverick Square, East Boston’s oldest commercial center. Trace its roots back to Noddle’s Island and learn how the East Boston Company created a planned community that became today’s vibrant and diverse East Boston. This tour will examine the built environment, from the street grid laid out in 1833 to the new developments sprouting up along the waterfront, to get a sense of the people and forces that have shaped East Boston over the years. We’ll discuss the crucial role of the waterfront, from its famed shipbuilding industry and extensive port facilities, to its contribution to East Boston’s find out more
view from Pickney Street Boston

The Hub of Literary America

tour duration90 minutes
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
Journey to Victorian Boston and see where writers and poets including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau gathered to share new ideas and influence society! Learn how local publishers lured Charles Dickens and other famous writers to Boston. Discover why Edgar Allen Poe rejected Boston as his home. On this fascinating guided tour, walk in the footsteps of literary greats as you stop outside the Old Corner Bookstore, Louisa May Alcott’s home, the famous Athenaeum private library, and more. find out more
Star of David stained glass in Circular Window

Jewish Beacon Hill

Boston’s Jewish immigrants created an active community that blended Old and New World customs.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance0.75 mile
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
Journey to Beacon Hill’s North Slope at the turn of the 20th century. Explore the lives of its Jewish residents during a period of cultural and architectural change. Uncover how Boston’s Jewish immigrants created an active community that blended customs from Eastern Europe and changes to the new world around them. Discover sites where Boston’s Jewish West End residents worked, lived and worshiped, including the sites of three synagogues within a few blocks of each other. Tour can include a visit to the Vilna Shul upon request. find out more
Women's suffrage poster 1915

Road to the Vote

Boston Suffragists

The Road to the Vote for national woman suffrage was a long and arduous one. Along the way, countless suffragists, in the City of Boston, throughout the Commonwealth, and across the nation, organized meetings, delivered speeches, published journals, distributed literature, held fundraising bazaars, rode the rails, marched, picketed, boycotted, set watchfires and went on hunger strikes to call attention to their cause, all the while hoping to open minds and move hearts. Generations were involved in the struggle and by the early 20th century women in Boston were being arrested and jailed for their convictions. It was 72 years from Seneca Falls to the time when American women voted in municipal, state and federal elections exercising the right provided to them in the 19th amendment. This tour celebrates the centennial of the ratification of that amendment and highlights the places, people and protests that helped win the vote for find out more
Old clock in South Boston

South Boston’s Broadway

South Boston has played a major part in Boston’s history from the occupation of Dorchester Heights to the many manufacturing companies that once dotted the neighborhood and waterfront to the many churches that were built as places of worship for the many immigrants who came to Boston. We will walk along Broadway, considered the main street of South Boston, starting at West Broadway and ending on East Broadway. We start at the former site of Blinstrub’s Village and see the oldest street clock in Boston dating back to the 1870’s. We will see many beautiful buildings and their architectural styles along the way. We will learn about the occupation of Dorchester Heights which led to the evacuation of the British troops from Boston. We will stop at several former sites of businesses and institutions that have played a key role in Boston and learn about several famous people and find out more
Rowe's Wharf architectural rendering 1984

The Story of Rowes Wharf

tour duration60 minutes
tour distance0.25 mile
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
When the modern Rowes Wharf was conceived in 1982, it was a design competition with a bold vision of a new Boston. Learn why this building was such a breakthrough, and how it remains at the center of 21st-century Boston. Our hour-long, accessible, quarter-mile tour will lead you through memories of colonial wharves and elevated trolleys, schooners and steamships, and into the transformed city. Presented in partnership with the Boston Harbor Hotel find out more
A Woman Booster for the Trade Union League

Working Women: Boston Women Find Their Voice

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance1.1 miles
tour terrainpotential uneven surfaces and moderate inclines
As working women were fighting for rights in the workplace, suffragists were demanding the right to vote. Boston’s women’s trade unionism & suffrage movements were led by proud, defiant women who were divided along class lines. By the end of the 19th century, suffragists were becoming sensitive to the growing number of immigrants (non-native born factory workers). They decided to appeal to the legislature to limit the franchise to native born women. For most of the 19th century, Boston’s working women’s (non-native born) voices were not being heard. Unions had remained male dominated. It would take the creation of the WTUL (Women’s Trade Union League) founded by Mary Kenney O’Sullivan in Boston (1903) to show women how to organize themselves into trade unions. Women’s voices grew from the foundation laid by the Denison House and the WEIU (Women’s Education & Industrial Union). It wouldn’t be until the find out more
dorchester burial ground entrance

Upham’s Corner

tour duration60 minutes
tour distance0.44 mile
tour terrainmostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines
Upham’s Corner is one of the oldest crossroads in Boston. Come with us to explore this interesting section of Dorchester. We will walk up a piece of the Emerald Necklace that did not get built (Columbia Road) and find out why not. We will see a series of commercial buildings and discuss why Amos Upham came to this intersection to open his store in 1804. This tour is presented in partnership with Upham's Corner Main Street , an organization whose mission is to improve quality of life in the Upham’s Corner business district by helping neighborhood businesses thrive. find out more

Annual Events

Patriotic Celebration at Boston's HatchShell outdoor stage

Footloose on the Freedom Trail

Our special annual 3-hour July 4th event!

tour duration180 minutes
tour distance2.5 miles
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
July 4th A Boston tradition! Footloose on the Freedom Trail is a 3-hour guided walking tour of the entire Freedom Trail from the Boston Common and Massachusetts State House to the U.S.S. Constitution offered every Independence Day. Walk the 2.5-mile route with us on this patriotic tour through 16 historic sites, as it winds its way through Boston's history. There's no better time to do it than on the Fourth of July, no better way to start off the day, and no better way to celebrate America's birthday! The tour ends in the Charlestown Navy Yard. Following the tour, you may wish to check out the USS Constitution Museum or enjoy the views on a water shuttle trip back to downtown. find out more
lit pumpkins in the dark

Beacon Hill with a BOO!

For more than 30 years, this tour has been part of any great Halloween celebration in Boston.

tour duration90 minutes
tour distance0.94 mile
tour terrainlikely uneven surfaces and significant inclines
Join Boston By Foot for our most popular event of the year! For more than 30 years, this tour has been part of any great Halloween celebration in Boston. There is no better place than Beacon Hill to walk to the dark side on All Hallow’s Eve. On the Boo! tour, you will hear stories that shed a new light on this quiet residential neighborhood. Murder and mayhem lurk just below the surface. Beacon Hill transforms itself for Halloween with elaborate decorations and hoards of trick or treaters in costumes. If you have not seen Beacon Hill on Halloween, you are missing out! The Boo! tour highlights the Hill’s dark legacy of mystery and murder. Visit the home of the infamous Dr. George Parkman and learn what happened to his dismembered body. Learn the names and stories of Boston women hung for witchcraft. find out more