How to get to Boston by train
|Trips per day
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Boston is one of the oldest cities in the country, but it is kept young and fresh with the help of over 150,000 students who flock to the city’s prestigious universities every year. Beantown’s many sights and activities celebrate American history, prolific sports teams, and New England seafood. So let's spill the tea (into the harbor, if you will):
Boston's Freedom Trail is the best way to see the city on foot and visit some of the most iconic landmarks of the American Revolution: from Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution to the Old North Church and Faneuil Hall. The Freedom Trail officially begins in Boston Common, the oldest public park in the U.S. and a beautiful spot for walking, picnicking, or ice skating in the winter. Foodies will love tasting the Italian cuisine in the North End and the modern eateries of South End, while sports fans can tour Fenway Park, and art lovers can explore the expansive Museum of Fine Arts.
From Boston, travelers can easily get to the beachy summer destination of Cape Cod, or surrounding states like New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island. With four main train stations and several bus stops in the city, as well as Boston Logan Airport (which, by the way, has some excellent airport food), Boston is a central hub for travel throughout New England and beyond.
South Station is the largest and busiest train station in Boston, and a major transportation hub for the greater New England area. South Station's 13 tracks are used by Amtrak, Acela, the MBTA commuter rail, and the MBTA subway system (a.k.a. the "T") with connections to the Boston Logan International Airport. You can also access intercity bus service in the adjacent South Station Bus Terminal. South Station's historic train terminal opened in 1899 right in downtown Boston, and is close to many points of interest like the Boston Common, the Freedom Trail, and the hip Seaport district. At the terminal, you'll find free WiFi, luggage storage, a 24-hour information booth, and 14 dining options, including that New England favorite, Dunkin'.
Popular train stations in Boston:
Back Bay Station - 145 Dartmouth St
What train companies travel to Boston, Massachusetts?
Located in Massachusetts, Boston is accessible by train from 307 other cities. You can choose from 1132 daily scheduled trips when you search for trains to Boston on Wanderu. Amtrak usually has the most trains on any given day.
Train companies serving Boston
|1d 4h 48m
|Amtrak Northeast Regional
|Amtrak Lake Shore Limited
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey.
The Northeast Regional is Amtrak’s passenger rail service that runs between Boston, MA and Virginia Beach, VA, connecting over 50 cities in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. While the line’s downtown-to-downtown train service makes traveling between the biggest cities in the Northeast convenient and hassle-free, the train’s amenities make the journey comfortable and relaxing as well. Amtrak passengers can enjoy large seats with extra legroom and power outlets, as well as free WiFi and clean bathrooms. The Northeast Regional is the busiest and most popular among all Amtrak routes.
The Acela is Amtrak’s flagship high-speed rail service. Connecting 15 cities along the Northeast Corridor of the United States, the Acela is Amtrak’s fastest running passenger train, developing a speed of up to 82.2 mph. Acela trains are equipped with free high-speed internet, power outlets and extra comfortable seats. In addition, all Acela passengers have access to the line’s signature Corridor Café where they can unwind and enjoy a freshly prepared meal with a glass of wine. As it is Amtrak’s most premium service, the average Acela train ticket often costs more than other lines' offerings.
The Amtrak Downeaster provides passenger rail service in New England along the northeastern seaboard. The line is especially popular in the summer months for coastal getaways, and in the fall to see the incredible foliage along the train route. Choose between Coach Class or Business Class, the latter offering more comfortable seating, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, and a more flexible ticket cancellation policy. All passengers are treated to free onboard WiFi and access to the cafe car to buy a snack or coffee.
Which train carrier has the best service to Boston?
Based on customers travel reviews, travelers who booked on Wanderu rave about traveling to Boston by train with Amtrak Downeaster giving them a 4.6 rating out of 5.
Travelers also mentioned that Amtrak Downeaster had the most comfortable train service to Boston taking into account the seats and amenities that Amtrak Downeaster offers. They rate Amtrak Downeaster a 4.6 out of 5 when it comes to just how relaxing and enjoyable their experience was onboard.
If you are looking to arrive to Boston punctually, travelers suggest that Amtrak Acela has the best on time performance on their train schedules to Boston, rating them a 4.7 based on their on time arrivals.
Frequently Asked Questions
The busiest train station in Boston is Back Bay Station - 145 Dartmouth St. There are several other active stations in addition to this main station. The most popular train stations in Boston are:
- Back Bay Station - 145 Dartmouth St
- South Station
- North Station
A great area to stay in Boston is the Back Bay neighborhood, which is easily accessible from Back Bay Station — one of the most popular train stations in Boston. Back Bay is centrally located, with museums, restaurants, cafés and shopping all nearby.
Downtown Boston is another ideal place to book your accommodations, especially if you’re interested in historic sites like the Freedom Trail. It’s also an easy walk to the Seaport, which has excellent night life. Downtown is perfect for travelers arriving into South Station, a beautiful Amtrak station with a giant atrium.
Travelers on a budget may consider staying in Somerville, which is adjacent to Cambridge, just north of Boston. The attractions in Somerville are a little more sprawled than in some other areas, but you can find some amazing food, and public transportation makes it easy to jump over to Cambridge or back down into Boston.
The best way to get around Boston is by taking the “T,” short for MBTA, which stands for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The T includes subway, bus, trolley and ferry services in the Greater Boston area.
Visitors can buy a 1-day pass for $12.75 or a 7-day pass for $22.50. Within that window of time, passengers are allotted unlimited travel on the subway, local buses, the Silver Line express bus service, the Commuter Rail Zone 1A, and the Charlestown Ferry. Alternatively, you can purchase one-time rides a la carte, with a one-way T-ride costing $2.75.
Boston is a great place to take a deep-dive into U.S. history. Prime attractions include the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library, the charming Beacon Hill neighborhood, the Freedom Trail, and more.
Also popular are Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox), the Boston Public Garden, the Mapparium at Northeastern University, and any number of Boston brewery tours. Foodies may also consider stopping by Eataly Boston for delicious Italian groceries and restaurants.
The Back Bay, South End and North End neighborhoods are especially notable for having great food. Back Bay restaurants can be expensive, but some excellent lower-price options include The Salty Pig, Luke’s Lobster, the Pour House and The Friendly Toast (which also has a restaurant in Cambridge, near MIT).
In South End, try Gaslight or The Gallows, both popular options with reasonable prices.
The North End is Boston’s Little Italy, so you’ll find excellent Italian restaurants like Giacomo’s and Carmelina’s. Neptune Oyster, though not an Italian restaurant, is also in North End and has a legendary lobster roll. (Lobster rolls are notoriously spendy, however, so if that’s on your bucket list be prepared to pay quite a bit.)
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With just a quick search on Wanderu, you can compare coach and train schedules and prices from hundreds of travel companies in one convenient place to find the trip that works best for you. Wanderu’s simple checkout process makes it easy to book cheap coach and train tickets hassle-free and with no additional fees. Most importantly, as Wanderu is an official partner of all leading bus and train companies, we always have the best coach and train deals out there.