Where To Stay in Boston [5 BEST Neighborhoods!]

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Boston is one of the coolest cities in the United States. It’s rich in history, fringed with diverse architecture, and brimming with an artistic spirit. It’s definitely a place to splurge on delicious food and groovy nightlife!

Due to its awesome-ness, Boston certainly isn’t a cheap destination.

That’s why we’ve put our heads together to compile this guide to help you decide where to stay in Boston and spend your hard-earned dollars on enjoying the perk of the city.

Written by our travel experts, we break down Boston by neighborhood to help you plan the best possible vacation.

Whether you’re coming to Boston for the culture, the food, or the baseball – you’ll be able to find a hotel that’s perfect for you. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Boston.

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Boston

Where to stay in Boston the first time – Back Bay
Where to stay in Boston on a budget – Brookline
Best area to stay in Boston for nightlife – Downtown
Coolest place to stay in Boston – South End
Best neighborhood in Boston for families – Seaport District

Where to Stay in Boston

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Boston.

Best Budget Hotel in Boston – Hotel 140

Hotel 140

Hotel 140 is the best budget hotel in Boston

In the middle of Back Bay, this 3-star hotel provides comfortable air-conditioned rooms fitted with private bathrooms, a refrigerator and all the key amenities. There is a gym and terrace on-site for guests to use. 24/7 staff are available. Breakfast is included to start your day!

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Boston – The Verb Hotel

The Verb Hotel

The Verb Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Boston

A rare find, this award-winning hotel comes with a lovely swimming pool and sundeck for summer guests to enjoy. Modern and bright, the rooms are kitted out with modern art and cool furnishings. Guests can relax with a drink in the comfortable lounge bar. Opt to include daily breakfast.

Not sure where to say? We’ve put together a list of Boston’s best hotels!

Best Luxury Hotel in Boston – Taj Boston

Taj Boston

Taj Boston is the best luxury hotel in Boston

This 5-star hotel provides elegant accommodation in Boston and is within walking distance of Arlington Railway Station. The rooms are cosy and wholly luxurious for a good night’s sleep. The hotel provides valet parking, a coffee bar, child-minding services and there is a gym for guests to use.

 

Boston Neighborhood Guide

Boston

Boston

Capital of Massachusetts, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. You’ll find this port city resting on the Shawmut Peninsula. Depending on which part of town you’re in, you’ll be able to roam the port or enjoy access to the Charles River to get sweepingly romantic views across the water.

Boston’s streets are lined with Victorian-era terraces and hundreds of green parks. Sleek skyscrapers rub shoulders with Gothic churches and hip contemporary art spaces.

A city of intellectuals, Boston is home to students of its prestigious universities and colleges – wave at Harvard across the river! Boston is abundant in start-up companies and emerging artists which gives the city a dynamic sense of character. The city is rich in Revolutionary War history and its residents are true sports fanatics, you’ll see by the sports bars!

Back Bay is the most central part of Boston, from where you can access its most famous landmarks and explore on foot. Neighboring Downtown is home to iconic streets of Boston as well as Chinatown and has a thriving nightlife.

The suburb of Brookline is where you’ll find accommodation at a fraction of the cost of central Boston, whilst still finding plenty of entertainment and attractions to explore. Arty South End is the coolest place in town to stay.

The Seaport District is a chic neighborhood that has really developed over the past few years. The hotels are perfect for families and there are some great museums in the area.

Boston’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in:

Let’s plunge right into Boston’s top neighborhoods to help you decide where to stay in Boston!

Neighborhood #1 - Back Bay

(Where to stay in Boston the first time)

Back Bay

Back Bay is our pick for where to stay in Boston the first time

Back Bay is the backbone of Boston. This central neighborhood is perched along the Charles River, offering explores to take a stroll along Storrow Drive to take in the scenes.

This neighborhood is home to and within walking distance of wider Boston’s most famous landmarks and is also where you’ll find a vast range of shopping options, delicious restaurants and cool bars. Overall, it’s perfect for first-time tourists to rest their heads!

The residential architecture in this neck of the woods is delightful to wander around, and hotels tend to be small guest houses in converted terraces.

Top things to do in Back Bay:

  • Browse the books at Trident Booksellers & Cafe then cozy up with a coffee
  • Dine al fresco and people watch at Stephanie’s On Newbury
  • Admire the stained-glass windows of Trinity Church and Church of the Covenant
  • Get a 360° view of Boston (and beyond!) from the Skywalk Observatory
  • Appreciate the Renaissance-style architecture of the Boston Public Library
  • Go boutique shop hopping along Newbury Street
  • Pair your martini with a small plate at fancy Bar 10
  • Crane your neck to clock one of Boston’s tallest skyscrapers, John Hancock Tower
  • Check out the three-story, stained-glass globe at the Mary Baker Eddy Library
  • Track down the Khalil Gibran Plaque, in honour of the Lebanese poet
  • Hang out with locals at the Bukowski Tavern
  • Relax by the peaceful Reflection Pool – very atmospheric under the night sky
  • Take a tour of acoustical marvel the Boston Symphony Hall

Where to Stay in Back Bay

Best Budget Hotel in Back Bay Midtown Hotel Boston

Midtown Hotel Boston

Midtown Hotel Boston is the best budget hotel in Back Bay

A relic from the Swingin’ Sixties, the Midtown Hotel Boston opened in 1962 and retains a sense of its charming heritage in its decor and its cozy rooms. It offers a hair salon, a beauty centre, bar, fitness centre and an outdoor pool with a sun terrace. Ideal for sightseeing!

Editor’s Recommendation: Break up your time in Boston by taking a scenic day trip!

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Back Bay The Copley House

The Copley House

The Copley House is the best mid-range hotel in Back Bay

Apartments at this chic Back Bay townhouse come with an in-room dining area, a kitchenette and a refrigerator so guests have the option to cook. They all have heating, a private bathroom, wireless internet access and necessary amenities. A short walk takes you to nearby attractions and local nightlife.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Back Bay – The Eliot Suite Hotel

The Eliot Suite Hotel

The Eliot Suite Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Back Bay

This 5-star, award-winning hotel offers rooms at an exceptionally high, luxurious standard with close attention to every detail. Each room has a minibar, and the bathrooms come with spacious showers and soft bathrobes. There is a gym and bar on-site. Staff can arrange a childminding service.

Insider tip – Use our expert guide to see when the best time to visit Boston is!

Neighborhood #2 - Brookline

(Where to stay in Boston on a budget)

Brookline

Brookline is our pick for where to stay in Boston on a budget

Brookline is a large neighborhood that begins at Boston University on the side of the Charles River and stretches inland. Part of Greater Boston, it’s a small town in its own right. Being slightly further afield, you’ll see a drop in accommodation prices so Brookline is ideal for travelers on a budget.

Brookline is very well-connected to central Boston. There’s lots going on in the area itself – especially around Coolidge Corner and Corey Hill – with heaps of culture to soak up. Brookline is very multi-cultural which you’ll see reflected in the variety of restaurants, and it’s home to many sports bars!

Top things to do in Brookline:

  • Explore the New England Institute of Art
  • Take a tour of the birthplace of J. F. Kennedy at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site
  • Catch an indie flick at the Coolidge Corner Theatre which has been open since 1933
  • Have breakfast as late as you like at artsy eatery Zaftigs Delicatessen
  • Relax over a pastry, coffee and game of chess at Knight Moves Cafe
  • Explore the Boston University Fenway Campus
  • Go for a morning sprint around Higginson Circle
  • Browse the art collection at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (themed on a 15th-century Venetian palace)
  • Eat at one of the many international restaurants you’ll find here
  • Inhale the roses at the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden
  • See who’s playing at Baseball Tavern or Tony C’s Sports Bar & Grill
  • Go for the strike at Lucky Strike Social Boston – bowling alley and nightclub!

Where to Stay in Brookline

Best Budget Hotel in Brookline – Coolidge Corner Guest House

Coolidge Corner Guest House

Coolidge Corner Guest House is the best budget hotel in Brookline

Located in central Brookline this lovely hotel is decorated with an extremely cozy, slightly eccentric style – you’ll feel right at home. Rooms include free Wi-Fi, and the hotel has a library and a gorgeous terrace for guests to enjoy. Guests share a bathroom. There is a daily breakfast available.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Brookline Longwood Inn

Longwood Inn

Longwood Inn is the best mid-range hotel in Brookline

The rooms at the inn feature a private bathroom, a bathtub and wireless internet access. They offer ironing facilities, heating and a telephone. Guests can soak up the outdoors on the terrace or have a drink at the bar. Guests are also welcome to relax in the inn’s beautiful garden.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Brookline – Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Brookline

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Brookline

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston/Brookline is the best luxury hotel in Brookline

Rooms at this 4-star hotel are contemporary, functional and comfortable – equipped with all the amenities you need for a good stay. Some have a kitchenette which is ideal for families or those who wish to prepare their own food. The hotel has an indoor swimming pool and fitness suite.

Do you have an open schedule? Figure out the best things to do in Boston before you visit!

Neighborhood #3 - Downtown

(Best area to stay in Boston for nightlife)

Downtown

Downtown is our pick for the best area to stay in Boston for nightlife

Downtown Boston snakes around the peninsula. It is perhaps the most iconic neighbourhood in Boston. There’s lots of heritage and culture to explore and soak up during the day, and it’s a fun district to explore on foot. Hop on the subway to zip around the sights!

Downtown is where you’ll find stellar nightlife – you’ll find sports bars, craft beer hangouts, classy cocktail joints and late-night dance clubs to let your hair down. Fuel up at one of the neighbourhood’s steakhouses or hit Chinatown first!

Top things to do in Downtown:

  • Follow the Freedom Trail, a four-kilometre path which takes you to 16 historical spots, including the  Boston Massacre Site, Faneuil Hall and Paul Revere’s House
  • Explore the delightful Boston Public Garden and Rose Kennedy Greenway
  • Wander around the Boston Harbor
  • Take a tour or catch a show at the Boston Opera House
  • Laugh your socks off at one of Orpheum Theatre’s comedy nights
  • Eat dim sum and drink Chinese tea at Chinatown – don’t miss the gate marking the entrance!
  • Have the best steak in town at Smith & Wollensky
  • Dance at the oh so trendy Tunnel nightclub
  • Spend the night at Bijou – a nightclub set in a theater from 1882
  • Have a draft beer and sing karaoke at Coogan’s
  • Hop aboard the floating museum of Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
  • Catch the game at SideBar
  • Visit the New England Aquarium
  • Rummage around Haymarket, Boston’s oldest outdoor market
  • Party along with duelling piano shows at Howl at the Moon Boston

Where to Stay in Downtown

Best Budget Hotel in Downtown – Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Boston TD Garden

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Boston TD Garden

Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Boston TD Garden is the best budget hotel in Downtown

This stylish, recently refurbished 3-star hotel is in the heart of Downtown Boston and features contemporary rooms that are equipped with all the essentials to ensure a comfortable stay. The front desk operates 24/7 and the friendly staff can recommend places to visit and provide other tourist information.

Don’t have much time? Take a look at these great hotels in Downtown Boston to save you doing all the searching yourself.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Downtown Boston Omni Parker House Hotel

Boston Omni Parker House Hotel

Boston Omni Parker House Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Downtown

You can’t miss this grand hotel at the corner of School Street! Rooms and interiors are lavish and comfortable. The hotel has a coffee bar, meeting rooms and 24-hour room service. Staff are available 24/7 and can assist with booking tours and tickets. Moments away from local nightlife.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown The Bostonian Boston

The Bostonian Boston

The Bostonian Boston is the best luxury hotel in Downtown

This luxury hotel has 201 rooms and has been recently refurbished. Rooms are a delight and bathrooms are equipped with homely necessities such as bathrobes and slippers. The hotel also provides babysitting services and a reception that operates 24/7. An American breakfast is served daily in the breakfast room.

 

Neighborhood #4 - South End

(Coolest place to stay in Boston)

South End

South End is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Boston

South End is a darling warren of terraced Victorian residences, upscale restaurants, chic cafes and a thriving LGBT community. The tree-lined streets are sprinkled with around 30 small, green parks giving the area an air of affluent yet Bohemian spirit.

South End boasts exquisite art institutions. There’s a cluster of galleries in the east end of South End which makes this area infinitely cool.

Bordering both Downtown and Back Bay, South End attracts a diverse crowd of young students, families, young professionals and artists. It’s a dream for foodies with its eclectic range of eateries.

Top things to do in South End:

  • Donate a few hours (or days!) browsing the SoWa Art + Design District in east South End
  • Tour the Cathedral of the Holy Cross
  • Explore the Harriet Tubman Square and memorial to the political activist
  • Buy high-end, eco-minded produce and wine from Whole Foods Market to furnish your guest house…
  • …then make a stop at Formaggio Kitchen for some cheese!
  • See the original vintage poster collection at the International Poster Gallery
  • Explore the swarms of international restaurants! Have Greek at Kava Neo-Taverna, Banyan for Korean, head to Orinoco for Latin cuisine or fuse South East Asian dishes at Shore Leave
  • Go gastro at Beehive, as Jazz croons in the background – perfect for a chilled afternoon or for your evening hang out
  • Spend an evening at Wally’s Cafe, home of live music and open mike opportunities!
  • Have a classic cocktail with a twist at the swanky bar The Brahmin

Where to Stay in South End

Best Budget Hotel in South End – 652 Massachusetts Avenue By Short Term Rentals Boston

652 Massachusetts Avenue By Short Term Rentals Boston

652 Massachusetts Avenue By Short Term Rentals Boston is the best budget hotel in South End

The property has 2 apartments, both of which are filled with a variety of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Guests can cook for themselves in the fully equipped kitchen, and enjoy having the luxury of living quarters. The property is close to Worcester Square Bus Station, perfect for exploring.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in South End Staypineapple South End

Staypineapple South End

Staypineapple South End is the best mid-range hotel in South End

This cozy and inviting hotel features a 24/7 reception, a concierge and wireless internet. There is private parking nearby for guests travelling with a car. All rooms are air conditioned and include a coffee maker, slippers and a private bathroom. They all have a flat-screen TV for downtime.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in South End Aisling Boston

Aisling Boston

Aisling Boston is the best luxury hotel in South End

This charming guest house gets a thumbs up for decor, comfort, safety and staff – everything in fact. Guests are welcome to retire in the comfort of their room or relax in the shared lounge or terrace. A tasty breakfast is prepared daily to prepare guests for a day of sightseeing!

 

Neighborhood #5 - Seaport District

(Best neighborhood in Boston for families)

Seaport District

Seaport District is our pick for the best neighborhood in Boston for families

Also known as the South Boston Waterfront, the Seaport District is stretch of land on Boston’s waterfront which is an extension of wider South Boston.

The area is very central and it’s easy to explore Back Bay, Downtown and other parts of Boston using the subway and public bus.

Seaport is lined with top quality hotels that welcome families. There are upscale restaurants and plenty of bars to appreciate views of the water, and plenty of interesting attractions. It’s one of the hottest neighborhoods in town!

Top things to do in Seaport District:

  • Explore the Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Tour and taste the beers of the Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
  • Take the kids to educational yet fun Boston Children’s Museum, aimed at children aged 11 and under
  • Have morning coffee and sumptuous pastries at Broadway’s Pastry & Coffee Shop
  • Catch a concert at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion
  • Potter around the small parks that litter Seaport – don’t miss Fan Pier Park where you’ll find the Harborwalk Playground and can follow Harborwalk along the riverside
  • Test your shoulder strength by bouldering at Rock Spot Climbing
  • Laugh the night away at Laugh Boston comedy club
  • Tuck into the freshest seafood at The Barking Crab and Yankee Lobster
  • Enjoy early morning or later afternoon walks along the Seaport Boulevard with an ice cream 
  • Get out on the water by taking a cruise with Boston Custom Tours
  • See what’s on at the Lawn on D during your stay. During summer the space hosts concerts and entertainment

Where to Stay in Seaport District

Best Budget Hotel in Seaport District – YOTEL Boston

YOTEL Boston

YOTEL Boston is the best budget hotel in Seaport District

YOTEL provided comfortable accommodation and is a brief walk from Courthouse Bus Station. Rooms are furnished will all that guests will need for their stay, and staff are available 24/7. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi and there is a gym on-site for those wishing to keep fit.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Seaport District Aloft Boston Seaport District

Aloft Boston Seaport District

Aloft Boston Seaport District is the best mid-range hotel in Seaport District

This niftily designed hotel is bright, funky and fresh. It will bring to cheer to the whole family’s face! The hotel also includes a brilliant swimming pool and soaring views of the waterfront, from its Seaport District location. There’s a bar on-site to relax in after exploring the city.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Seaport District Seaport Boston Hotel

Seaport Boston Hotel

Seaport Boston Hotel is the best luxury hotel in Seaport District

Guests can soak up the soaring views on the terrace and enjoy a drink from the bar. The hotel features an indoor pool and a fitness centre for guests to enjoy. Guests can enjoy free bicycle hire and staff are able to help guests make the most of their stay.

 

Final thoughts on where to stay in Boston

Boston is a city that caters for every taste. Lush parks nestle among glitzy skyscrapers and buildings draped in character and heritage. Delicious food awaits you on every corner, and the nightlife is infinitely cool.

To recap our travel guide, South End is our top choice for where to stay in Boston. This beguiling neighborhood is the coolest hang out in the city with its arty attractions, friendly, diverse community and an endless pit of international eateries.

Our top pick for the best hotel overall in Boston is the Staypineapple South End thanks to its great location in South End and cozy-cool décor. You seriously won’t find a better place to stay in Boston!

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About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!