Boston

Boston is the capital of Massachusetts. Its many colleges and universities have made Boston a higher education international hub. Many students from all over the world come to this city to study law, medicine, engineering, and business. Moreover, the city has around 2,000 start-ups which has earned it’s the title of world leader in innovation and entrepreneurship. Make sure to visit some of the most popular spots while you are there! If it’s your first time visiting the city, walk the Freedom Trail to get a sense of its innovation and history. Explore some museums like the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum and neighborhoods like the North End, Boston's Little Italy, and of course, catch a Red Sox game from the bleachers! Boston is one of the most historic cities in the United States, and although there is much to see and do in the city, there are also warnings you should listen to, so you can stay safe and enjoy your visit. Bellow, you will find what you need to know when visiting the city.

SAFETY INDEX

As any major city, crime can be a problem. With all of the tourist attractions, museums, and monuments, it’s best to not walk around displaying your belongings like cameras, especially in poorly lit areas. It is best to avoid walking in parks at night as crime and drug use increases around parks after dark. So try to stay in busy areas and avoid the parks at night. The tourist areas are generally safe, but there are some specific areas of Boston in which crime is an issue like Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester. Fortunately, there are not many tourist attractions here. The Boston Common or the Public Garden should be avoided late at night unless there is a big public event, like a concert. The North End, the Waterfront area, and the Theatre District are usually busy and offer many activities, but, again, you should be careful late at night.

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Most crime is drug related and occurs between individuals who know each other or in high crime-ridden areas of the city, in which tourists would have little reason to go to. We recommend you take normal safety precautions and exercise common sense as you would in any other major city. Watch out for pickpockets in tourist areas and protect your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM

Pickpocket and bag and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM

Muggings are the crime for tourists to be concerned with. Though most victims are not physically injured, criminals usually do not hesitate to use force if the target does not cooperate; in case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM

As in any touristic place, there may be people trying to scam you. Homeless people can be aggressive towards you if you don’t hand them money. Credit card scams are also common. Never leave your card out of sight, and withdraw money from reputable banks or hotels.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Public transportation in Boston is generally safe, convenient and reasonably priced. It mainly consists of buses, subways, commuter rail, and ferries operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA or "T").

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

There can be some occasional natural hazards such as earthquakes, tornados, and hurricanes.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Terrorist attacks are unlikely. However, they cannot be ruled out as was unfortunately the case at the Boston Marathon. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues.

Carte

WHAT TO DO?

Downtown Crossing

The Downtown Crossing is located between Boston Common, Chinatown, the Financial District, and Government Center. Start your walk on The Freedom Trail which runs along one edge of this shopping and business neighborhood. It is mostly busy during the day and dies down in the evening. The Opera House, the Modern Theatre, and the Paramount Center are also found here.

Financial District

This neighborhood has many restaurants, bars, and tourist attractions like the New England Aquarium. Although, it's usually quiet at night and on weekends due to being a business area, it has a few popular after-work spots.

North End

This is the Italian district with the best restaurants! It is also home to the Old North Church. During the 20th century, this district was mostly Italian. Most of its residents are young professionals who want a short walk to work in the Financial District. Although there are not many Italians as back in the day, you'll can still hear Italian spoken in the streets and find many Italian restaurants, caffés, and boutiques.

Useful Information

The US has one of the harshest entry policy, sometimes asking for an interview even for a tourist visa. Prepare to pay fees up to USD 160 for your application. Some countries like the ones from the EU or Australia have a visa waiver program (ESTA) which can be filled online. See https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html for more information. Strong custom regulations also apply (see the CPB website for more details), and the Travel Safety Administration can open your luggage without your presence. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in the United States is the US Dollar. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted countrywide, and ATMs are found nearly in every city. The costs can vary widely between the states, but it is fair to assume a $100 budget per day on average, $150 if you rent a car and around $300 for top end accomodation. A 10% service tipping is customary in many sectors such as airport and hotel bag porters, bartenders , hotel maids, restaurant servers and taxi drivers.
The weather in the US varies greatly between the states : from the mediterranean weather of California to the Glaciers of Alaska or the subtropical Florida, each region has its best time to visit; although major cities can be visited all year round. This graph can be useful for finding the best time to travel.
The main international airports are in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco. If you’re looking fore cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page