Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston was the one thing I was most excited to do during my trip to New England. And let me tell you—the Freedom Trail did not disappoint! 

In this guide, I’ll share tips about walking the Freedom Trail in Boston—from the must-visit stops to determining which tour option is best for you. 

What Is the Freedom Trail in Boston? 

The Freedom Trail in Boston is an iconic 2.5-mile red-brick trail that leads you to 16 significant places during the American Revolutionary War, including churches, meeting houses, museums, battlegrounds, and more. 

The Freedom Trail begins at the Boston Common and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, across the North Washington Street Bridge. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit

How Long Does It Take to Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston? 

Well, let’s just say—it depends

You can make your walk along the Freedom Trail in Boston as short or as long as you’d like, depending on how much time you spend at each location. 

If you plan to take a walking tour, you may only spend two hours breezing past a few highlight locations. If you take a self-guided walking tour, you may spend an entire day combing through the museums and monuments—and come back for more the next day! 

If you’re a history lover like me, I’d recommend budgeting at least eight hours to walk the Freedom Trail. You can visit the first sites in the morning, stop for a lunch break at Faneuil Hall, then finish the trail before dinner. 

Should I Book a Freedom Trail Tour? 

Personally, I’d recommend booking a tour of the Freedom Trail

If you’re interested in learning as much history as possible, your experience will become much richer when you add a knowledgeable tour guide to your experience! 

We went on the official tour from the Freedom Trail Foundation, which covers the sites spanning from the Boston Common to Faneuil Hall. This tour is just shy of two hours long, and it costs $16 for adults, $14 for students, and $8 for childrenThe tour does not include admission to any of the sites along the trail. 

The Freedom Trail Foundation tour guides dress up in period clothing and play a part in the American Revolution, making the experience fun! For example, our guide “was” John Hancock, and he told us about his close relationship with Samuel Adams and made jokes about how he “funded” the American Revolution. 

If you opt for a mid-morning tour, you’ll arrive at Faneuil Hall by lunchtime. Then, you can carry on to the remaining five sites along the Freedom Trail in the afternoon on your own. 

Can I Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston Without a Tour? 

If you prefer sightseeing at your own pace, you can go on a self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston. 

If you’d like, you can start at the Boston Common and follow the narrow red brick line through the city to see the most popular locations. Each location will be marked with a gold plaque. 

Or, you can choose from the sites that interest you the most and visit those exclusively. You can read a bit more about each stop along the Freedom Trail below! 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit

Freedom Trail Map 

Start your journey at the Boston Common, marked on the map below.

You can also follow this guide of the Freedom Trail in Boston on Google Maps on your phone. It includes all the attractions along the Freedom Trail, so you can follow it during your entire journey!

Freedom Trail Sites 

1. Boston Common 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 10 minutes 

The Boston Common is the oldest public park in America, making it the perfect starting point for the Freedom Trail. You can spend longer strolling around the Boston Common than ten minutes, but if you’re trying to squeeze as much sightseeing as you can into one day, I wouldn’t spend an overly extended amount of time here. 

The layout of the Boston Common reminded me of the parks in London, like Hyde Park and Green Park. It’s very apparent that Boston was modeled after London—after all, that’s what the people had known back then! 

Fun Fact: John Hancock’s mansion, located on Beacon Hill, overlooked the Boston Common. However, his view was quite different than what we see today. People used the ample green space as an area for their livestock to graze! 

Tip: The Boston Public Garden, located across the street from the Boston Common, is a much prettier place to walk. I would encourage you to come back and stroll around this picturesque park. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Boston Common

2. Massachusetts State House 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 10 minutes 

Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM (Monday – Friday) 

Known as the “new” Massachusetts State House (you’ll discover why later), this historic building is the oldest building standing on Beacon Hill. It has served as the seat of the Massachusetts government, holding both the executive and legislative branches, since it first opened in 1798. 

You can take a tour of the Massachusetts State House for free at select times during the weekdays. If you’d like to take a tour, you should add a half-hour to this location’s “time needed.” 

Although we didn’t take a tour, we did admire this building up-close-and-personal after walking through the Boston Common. I loved marveling at the gold dome. Our tour guide told us that Paul Revere had initially covered the building in copper in 1802, but it was gilded in gold when it began to oxidize. 

Fun Fact: You may notice a pinecone at the top of the Massachusetts State House. This symbol is a nod to Maine, the supplier of lumber to Boston in early colonial times. Thanks, Maine! 

3. Park Street Church 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 5 minutes 

Once you’ve left the Boston Common, you’ll pass a beautiful building known as Park Street Church. Founded in 1809, the church sat atop the city’s granary—otherwise known as a grain storage building. 

Although you can’t enter the church, you can admire its beauty as you make your way to the next nearby destination—Granary Burying Ground! 

Fun Fact: The colonists used to call this building “Brimstone Corner”—but not because of a “fire and brimstone” preacher. The colonists stored ammunition here, and they would walk on the other side of the street to avoid the building in fear of an explosion. It sounds like an inviting church, right? 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Park Street Church

4. Granary Burying Ground 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 30 minutes 

Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM 

The Granary Burying Ground was easily one of my favorite attractions along the Freedom Trail in Boston. You might be wondering, “how can a graveyard be so spectacular?” But let me assure you—it absolutely is! 

Here, you can find the headstones and final resting place of Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. You can also find the resting place of James Otis, Benjamin Franklin’s parents, and Robert Treat Paine—the third signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

It’s incredible to stand where so many American Patriots are buried! I’d recommend spending at least a half-hour walking around to soak in the history. This portion of the tour is fascinating with a guide who can point out the notable headstones to you! 

Fun Fact: You may see a tomb marking John Hancock’s final resting place—however, he’s not there. His body was stolen from his grave, and it was never recovered. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Granary Burying Ground

5. King’s Chapel & King’s Chapel Burying Ground 

Cost: $5 per adult ($10 for a guided tour) 

Time Needed: 20 minutes 

Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM 

The King’s Chapel was Boston’s first Anglican church, and it still stands at its original location at the corner of the oldest English burying ground in Boston. George Washington, Abigail Adams, and Paul Revere visited this famous church. 

At the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, you’ll find the headstones of notable residents like John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, and Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off the Mayflower in Plymouth. 

Fun Fact: The interior of King’s Chapel is considered one of the best representations of Georgian architecture in North America. 

6. Boston Latin School & Benjamin Franklin Statue 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 5 minutes 

Imagine going to school with five signers of the Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, and William Hooper. Well, if you had attended the Boston Latin School in the 1700s, you could have! 

Although there’s a mosaic where the former schoolhouse used to stand and a statue of former student Benjamin Franklin, you won’t need to spend more than five minutes here. However, Old City Hall, located next to the statue, is a picturesque photo spot. The building is now a steakhouse, so if you’re looking for a fancy dinner out, this would be an excellent location! 

Fun Fact: Even though Benjamin Franklin was a genius, and his statue sits outside his former school—he was a dropout! 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Old City Hall

7. Old Corner Bookstore 

Cost: Free (unless you’re ordering a burrito, haha) 

Time Needed: 5 minutes 

The Old Corner Bookstore is Boston’s oldest commercial building, constructed in 1718. Many famous writers from the American Renaissance, like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and more, were first published here. 

However, if you’re hoping to explore a historic bookstore, you may be dismayed to discover this building is now home to Chipotle—but if you’re hungry, it may not be so disappointing, after all! 

8. Old South Meeting House 

Cost: $15 per adult 

Time Needed: 30 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM 

In addition to Granary Burying Ground, the Old South Meeting House was my other favorite along the Freedom Trail in Boston. It has been a public museum since 1877 when it was saved from demolition by a group of inspiring women. 

The exterior and interior are both beautiful, but this building holds some rich history. The Old South Meeting House was the center for protest meetings against the British during the American Revolution. This building was made famous during a protest against the tea tax in 1773 when Samuel Adams gave the “green light” for the Boston Tea Party when thousands of colonists dumped hundreds of chests of tea into Griffin’s Wharf. 

You can tour the inside of the building, which I would highly recommend, or simply admire the building’s exterior. 

Fun Fact: The Old South Meeting House was the first building in the United States saved because of its association with historical events, like the Boston Tea Party. 

Tip: Visit the Boston Tea Party Museum to participate in the protest the spurred the Boston Tea Party, and you’ll see a replica of the Old South Meeting House! 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Old South Meeting House

9. Old State House 

Cost: $15 per adult 

Time Needed: 20 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM 

The Old State House was built in 1713, and it is the oldest surviving building in Boston. It’s stood the test of time through fire, revolution, and more—and it’s certainly a sight to see! 

Although we ran out of time to tour the Old State House, you can do so for $15 per person. The building is now a museum home to dozens of artifacts from the Revolutionary War era, like John Hancock’s red velvet coat, guns and ammunition from battles, and tea salvaged from the Boston Tea Pary. 

Fun Fact: See the balcony in the picture? That’s where the Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time! Also, notice the gold lion and unicorn? Those were symbols of English rule that the colonists destroyed. However, they were eventually replaced to restore the building’s original appearance. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Old State House

10. Boston Massacre Site 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 2 minutes 

Fortunately, the Boston Massacre Site is right outside the Old State House, so you won’t have to walk far to see it. The Boston Massacre killed five men in 1768 and was one of the significant events leading up to the American Revolution. 

The site of the Boston Massacre is commemorated with a circular medallion that is just a few yards away from where the historical event occurred. However, there isn’t much to see besides the medal—so once you’ve soaked it all in, you can carry on! 

11. Faneuil Hall 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 30 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 9 PM (11 AM – 7 PM on Sundays) 

At this point, you’ve reached the halfway point of the Freedom Trail, which means it’s time for some lunch! Plus, if you’re taking a tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston with the Freedom Trail Foundation, the tour will end here, at Faneuil Hallthe perfect place to take a break. 

Built in 1741, Faneuil Hall was used as a center of commerce—and not much has changed! Inside, you can find tons of local vendors selling foods, goods, and services to purchase. You can also walk across the street to Quincey Market, another marketplace with tons of local restaurants inside, to find something to eat. 

If you’re looking for some traditional New England fare, order a lobster roll and cup of clam chowder from Boston Chowda Co. 

Fun Fact: Have you ever heard the term “no taxation without representation?” That phrase was coined here, at Faneuil Hall, where colonists protested the Sugar Act and Stamp Act! 

12. Paul Revere House 

Cost: $6 per adult 

Time Needed: 30 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 4:15 PM 

Chances are, you learned about the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere in history class. However, you may not realize that Paul Revere was much more significant to the American Revolution than his late-night ride! 

This famous Patriot left his fingerprints all over Boston—and you can tour his home on the Freedom Trail to learn more about his life at home. Built in 1680, Paul Revere’s home is the oldest remaining structure in Downtown Boston. 

Fun Fact: Aside from being part of the Sons of Liberty, Paul Revere was also a silversmith, goldsmith, businessman, entrepreneur, and dentist. Talk about a jack-of-all-trades! 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Paul Revere House

13. Old North Church 

Cost: $5 per adult 

Time Needed: 20 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 4 PM (Wednesday – Saturday) 

Aside from Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church is the only other stop along the Freedom Trail in Boston in the North End. 

For just $5, you can go on a self-guided tour of this historic church—made famous for being the starting point of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. You’ll notice a giant statue of Paul Revere as you enter the church’s courtyard. 

Although the church is beautiful, I’d encourage you to walk around the courtyard to see the beautiful fountains, monuments, and other sites outside the church. I particularly enjoyed paying my respects at an Iraq-Afghanistan Memorial just outside the church. 

Fun Fact: If you’re visiting on a Sunday and can’t take a self-guided tour, you can attend church services at 9 AM and 11 AM. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - Old North Church

14. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 5 minutes 

Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM

Copp’s Hill is the third and final cemetery on the Freedom Trail in Boston. 

Unlike King’s Chapel Burying Ground and Granary Burying Ground, there aren’t as many historically notable people buried here. However, you can find Robert Newman, the man who hung the lanterns on the night of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride, Edmund Hartt, builder of the USS Constitution, and others. 

If nothing else, soak in the panoramic views from the top of Copp’s Hill—and rest your legs because the following site is nearly a one-mile walk away. 

15. USS Constitution 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 30 minutes (ship), plus 45 minutes (museum) 

Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM 

If you’re tired, have young kids, or it’s getting late, I’d end your tour of the Freedom Trail at Copp’s Hill since the following two sites on the Freedom Trail in Boston are across the North Washington Street Bridgesand it’s a climb! 

However, if you still have the energy, I’d definitely recommend visiting the USS Constitution. It was one of my favorite stops along the Freedom Trail in Boston! The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat and was made famous during the War of 1812. You can step on board for free and discover what life would be like on the ship! And, it’s wonderfully maintained by the United States Navy. 

You can also tour the accompanying museum for a donation. However, we skipped the museum because we got hungry and were ready for dinner! I think touring the ship was well worth it, though, and I’d highly recommend it. 

Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston - Travel by Brit - USS Constitution

16. Bunker Hill Monument 

Cost: Free 

Time Needed: 30 minutes 

Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM 

Just a half-mile walk from the USS Constitution is the Bunker Hill Monument, commemorating the first battle of the Revolutionary War on June 17, 1775. 

If you’re feeling brave, you can climb 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument for incredible views of the city. Or, you can go to the Bunker Hill Museum to learn more about this significant battle. 

This is the only site we skipped, so I don’t have much to add from personal experience, other than the fact that I’d love to return to the Freedom Trail in Boston to see it. 

Don’t Miss These Sites on the Freedom Trail in Boston 

If you’re not a huge history buff and want to see a few highlight sites, here are the places I’d recommend visiting: 

  • Granary Burying Ground 
  • Old South Meeting House 
  • Faneuil Hall 
  • Paul Revere House 
  • Old North Church 
  • USS Constitution 
Travel by Brit in Boston

Bonus Tips for Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston 

After spending a whole day walking the Freedom Trail in Boston—here are my best tips! 

  • Start early—I’d recommend starting your Freedom Trail Foundation tour between 9 AM – 10 AM, so you’ll end up at Fauniel Hall for lunch around noon. This will give you 4-5 hours to explore the second half of the Freedom Trail, which includes the most walking, and return to any sites you’d like to enter that you breezed past during the tour. 
  • Walk backwards—If you’re going on a self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston, I’d actually recommend starting at Bunker Hill and walking backwards. This way, you can conquer most of the walking earlier in the day, and you’ll avoid most of the crowds, too. 
  • Get the best value—If you’re looking to save money on your Freedom Trail experience but still learn lots of history, I’d recommend purchasing the following: a guided tour, admission to the Old South Meeting House, and admission to Paul Revere’s House. 
  • Avoid this spot—There is a historic pub called the Green Dragon Tavern near Faneuil Hall that was a popular gathering place for the Sons of Liberty. Although the historical appeal of this place is really fascinating, I can’t stress enough how much I do not recommend stopping here. It takes a lot for me to recommend against going to a place, but the service and my experience here was so awful here that I feel compelled to warn you against going. 

Where to Stay for Close Access to the Freedom Trail in Boston

Check out these hotels for close access to the Freedom Trail in Boston!

  • The Godfrey Hotel Boston: This beautiful hotel with spacious rooms is just a short walk away from the Boston Common and other sights along the Freedom Trail in Boston.
  • Boston Omni Parker House: Fun fact, this hotel was where the Boston Cream Pie originated! Also, it’s across the street from King’s Chapel, Park Street Church, the Granary Burying Ground, and other notable sites on the Freedom Trail in Boston.
  • Courtyard Boston Downtown/North Station: If you’d like to be close to the North Washington Bridge for close access to the USS Conditution and Bunker Hill, this is a great spot to stay, complete with gorgeous city views!

Have Fun on the Freedom Trail in Boston

Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston can seem overwhelming without all the right information. I hope this guide helps you navigate the Freedom Trail in Boston, so you can learn lots, have fun, and walk in the footsteps of history!

Travel by Brit

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.

  • I am off to Boston with work in January (COVID permitting) and I was only thinking this morning “I need to find a blog posts about Boston as I know nothing about it”. Well, thanks, I now have a whole sightseeing tour sorted thanks to this! Great article!

  • This looks like such a fun way to dive into history. I would love to take my kids to have a bit of an educational trip. And it sounds like I’d love Boston Common, because I love Hyde Park!

  • I hadn’t heard of the Freedom Trail in Boston until I read your blog. It seems to be a great way to discover great buildings and learn about American history. I would love to visit it one day.

  • Walking the Freedom Trail was one of my very favorite thing to do in Boston also! You did a great job of summarizing the experience here. Sorry about the rotten experience at the Green Dragon – we really enjoyed ourselves at the Bell in Hand right across the street from there.

    • Thank you so much, Ada! It’s such a great way to experience the city. And haha, it’s okay, you live, and you learn, right? I’ll have to try Bell in Hand next time I’m there. Thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  • Boston is on my short list of places to visit in the US. Thank you for this very informative guide. I especially appreciated that you shared the time that each stop will take – so helpful!

  • I can see why it could take you a whole day to walk the Freedom Trail – there is so much to see. An epic guide that you have created.

  • What an awesome overview of the highlights along the Freedom Trail in Boston. I’ve never been to Boston, but I’m saving this for when I finally make it to the city! The Old South Meeting House looks incredible, and I’d love to do the tour.

  • We took a self-guided tour of The Freedom Trail in Boston a couple of years ago and loved it (even though it was pouring almost the entire time). I would love to go on a guided tour next time – love your fun facts…many I didn’t know. And appreciate the hotel recommendations.

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