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Boston Freedom Trail in a Day | Guide + Map

If you’re heading to Boston, there’s a good chance the Freedom Trail is on your itinerary. As it should be! The Freedom Trail is a great way to explore Boston and see some of the city’s oldest and most historic sites. If you’re looking for some help planning your day around the Freedom Trail, this guide is for you!

In this post, we’ll outline a complete day on the Freedom Trail. We’ll start with an intro to the Freedom Trail, as well as some tips and a detailed map. Then we’ll explore each individual stop, including a touch of history and exactly what to expect from the experience.

This one-day Freedom Trail itinerary includes more than just the official stops, too. We’ve peppered in some other great stops along the way to build out a perfect day in Boston. Let’s get started!

What is the Freedom Trail?

The Freedom Trail refers to a collection of 16 historical sites around Boston, which are all connected by a physical brick trail on the ground. The sites range in scope and significance, but primarily focus on the American Revolution era.

The official Freedom Trail sites are as follows:

  1. Boston Common
  2. Massachusetts State House
  3. Park Street Church
  4. Granary Burying Ground
  5. King’s Chapel
  6. Boston Latin School & Ben Franklin Statue
  7. Old Corner Bookstore
  8. Old South Meeting House
  9. Old State House
  10. Boston Massacre Site
  11. Faneuil Hall
  12. Paul Revere House
  13. Old North Church
  14. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
  15. USS Constitution
  16. Bunker Hill Monument

The Freedom Trail is 2.5 miles long, but the sites are not evenly distributed along the trail. Most of the sites are pretty close together along the first mile of the trail. The last four stops, from Old North Church to Bunker Hill, comprise the final 1.5 miles of the trail.

It’s free to walk the Freedom Trail, but some sites have entry fees to go inside. If you paid for admission for all of the ticketed attractions on the Freedom Trail, it would cost $34-$39 per adult.

General Tips for the Freedom Trail

  • Start early. There are a lot group tours of the Freedom Trail. Many of the sites are small anyway, and these groups can really jam things up. Many of the tours start around 9, so I’d suggest starting around 8:30 to keep in front of them.
  • Download the National Park Service App. The NPS app has an audio guide for the Freedom Trail. There’s also a text option if you prefer to read instead of listen. It’s a great way to learn a bit of history about each place on the trail, as well as some other sites along the way. The app is tricky to navigate though, so I’d suggest getting used to it before you go.
  • Check the hours for each site. Not all of the buildings are open to go inside everyday. For example, the Massachusetts State House is only open on weekdays and Park Street Church is only open on Sundays. This means you might want to plan to do the Freedom Trail on a specific day based on what you want to see.
  • If you want to see it all, split the Freedom Trail over two days. You can do the full Freedom Trail in a day, but it’s a lot. You’ll get so much more out of the last two sites if you do them on a different day.
  • Plan for the weather. The Freedom Trail requires a lot of walking outside. The weather can play a huge role in making that extremely pleasant or extremely unpleasant. Our visit in late July was very hot. I expect a winter visit would be equally uncomfortable. Whatever season you travel in, dress for that weather, paying extra attention to weather appropriate and comfortable shoes.
  • Skip the tour. You can get a ton of great information about the Freedom Trail on the NPS app in text and audio form. Tour groups tend to be slow and crowded at the smaller sites. Walking the Freedom Trail on your own gives you more flexibility to see and do what you want, at your own pace.

Boston Freedom Trail Walking Map

To help guide you on this historic walking tour through Boston, we’ve put together a map with every stop we mention in this itinerary.

This map doesn’t include an actual walking route between the sites. Why? Because you won’t need one! The Freedom Trail is marked by a brick trail on the ground that will guide you the entire way. You literally can follow the (red) brick road.

Color Key

  • Red: Official Freedom Trail stops recommended in this itinerary
  • Orange: Official Freedom Trail stops we’d suggest saving for another day
  • Blue: Unofficial stops that are worth a visit

A few tips for using this map.

  • To view the map in Google Maps, click the expand icon on the top right corner.
  • Click the star icon to save the map to your Google account for later.
  • To access the map next time, open Google Maps > click the Saved tab > click Maps.

Without any further ado, let’s get started!

Coffee & Breakfast at Tatte Bakery & Cafe

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Coffee Shop
  • Hours: Daily, 7/8 AM till 4/8 PM depending on location and day
  • How long to stay: 45 minutes
  • Tip: Get your food and coffee to go and make it a picnic at Boston Common.

It’s going to be a long day, so be sure to start with coffee and breakfast. One of our favorite breakfast spots in Boston is Tatte Bakery & Cafe (pronounced like latte). It’s a Boston staple, and they have several locations in the city and throughout Massachusetts. Their locations on the south side of Boston Common (here) or at One Boston Place (here) are the most convenient for the Freedom Trail.

We loved that you can grab a coffee and pastries to go or you can sit down and enjoy a full breakfast. We chose the latter and it was perfect. The halloumi breakfast sandwich was 10/10 and the pancakes lasted us three days! (We dropped the leftovers in our hotel fridge before heading out on the trail.)

Boston Common

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Park
  • What to do there: Stop by the visitor center at the official start of the Freedom Trail
  • Hours: The park is open daily from 6:30 AM – 11 PM, but the visitor center is only open from 8:30 AM – 4:45 PM.
  • How long to stay: 30 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: If you have little ones, be sure to visit the Tadpole Playground. There isn’t a ton of kid-specific stuff to do on the trail, so this is a good one to take advantage of. There’s also a carousel just across the pond.

Dating back to 1634, Boston Common is the oldest city park in the US. There’s a pond in the middle, which becomes a skating rink in the winter months. In addition to 50 acres of green space, there are a few sculptures and statues, a lovely fountain, and a playground and carousel for kids.

The Boston Common Visitors Center is located on the south side of the park near the intersection of Tremont St and West St. The visitor center is small, but has a few guide books and souvenirs available for purchase.

Most importantly, the Freedom Trail officially starts in front of the visitor center in Boston Common. The brick trail goes through a small portion of the park. If you haven’t otherwise spent time in Boston Common, you might want to take a larger lap around the park.

Massachusetts State House

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Building
  • What to do there: Self-guided or guided tours are available during open hours, otherwise you can just see the building from the outside.
  • Tickets: All tours are free. You must reserve guided tours in advance by calling 617-727-3676. For self-guided tours, stop by the Tours and Information Desk on the second floor for a map.
  • Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:45 AM – 5 PM
  • How long to stay: 1 hour for a tour (self-guided or guided) or 10 minutes to see the outside
  • Bathrooms: Yes

The Massachusetts State House was completed in 1798 on land once owned by John Hancock. Today, the state house is an active government building where the governor, state legislature, and other officials have offices.

On weekdays, certain parts of the state house are open to the public for free guided or self-guided tours. Some of the most popular things to see inside are the Hall of Flags and the library on the second floor. Since we were visiting on a weekend, we didn’t have the chance to go inside. Check out this post for a guide to the best things to see inside the Massachusetts State House.

If the inside is closed or you’re just not interested in going inside, you can simply stop to view the building from the outside. The front of the building is right across Beacon Street from Boston Common. Its most stunning attribute is the 23k dome, which was gilded in 1997 with a price tag of $1.5 million.

Park Street Church

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Church
  • What to do there: On most days, you can just view the church from the outside. You can see the inside of the church on Sundays when services are not in session.
  • Tickets: Admission is free and no reservations are required. Worshipers are also welcome to attend service.
  • Hours: The church is only open on Sundays. Church services are held at 8:30 AM, 11 AM and 4 PM, and visitors can see the church outside of those times.
  • How long to stay: 15 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Try to have something you cover your shoulders if you plan to go inside. They don’t enforce a dress code, but shoulders covered is a good rule of thumb in churches.

If you’ve spent any time walking around Boston before now, you’ve probably walked past this church or heard its bells chime. The church has stood on this corner since 1829, and it remains an active church today.

Though you can view the inside of this church during certain times on Sundays, most of its beauty is on the outside. You can view the church from the east end of Boston Common and along nearby Tremont Street. The inside is nice, but it has seen quite a few renovations over the years so it doesn’t hit as particularly historical.

This church will likely be a quick stop on the trail.

Granary Burying Ground

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Cemetery
  • What to do there: Take a short walk through the grounds to see gravestones of several famous figures
  • Tickets: Admission is free and no reservations are required.
  • Hours: Daily, 9 AM – 4 PM
  • How long to stay: 15 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Large tour groups can be an issue here. In many cases, they’ll take up the whole pathway as their guide explains something. Politely scoot past them or this stop will take you a lot longer than it needs to.

This burying ground is located beside Park Street Church. Here you’ll find the graves of famous revolutionary heroes, including Paul Revere, John Hancock and victims of the Boston Massacre. I found this to be the most interesting cemetery on the trail.

Often times, there will be a volunteer standing near the entrance with a map and guide to the grounds. (You can also download a copy here.) I’d recommend borrowing the map so you can easily find the important graves. The guide is free to borrow, but he accepts tips in cash or pay apps. We Venmo’d him $5, but it’s totally optional and not awkward.

King’s Chapel

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Church
  • What to do there: Self-guided or guided tours are available during open hours, otherwise you can just see the building from the outside
  • Tickets: $5 for entrance and self guided tour, $8 for express crypt tour, $10 for Bell and Bones and Art and Architecture Tours. You can view the tour schedule and book tickets here.
  • Hours: Exact hours vary by season, but typically select weekdays and Saturdays from roughly 10 AM – 5 PM. Confirm current hours here.
  • How long to stay: 5 minutes if you’re not going in or doing a tour / 15 minutes for self-guided tour / 30 minutes to 1 hour for guided tours
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Review guided tour schedules in advance and plan accordingly if you’re interested in that.

The King’s Chapel congregation was established in 1686 as the first Anglican church in New England and the first non-puritan church in Boston. King’s Chapel remains an active church today, with services on Sundays at 9 AM and 11 AM.

The building that stands today was built in 1754, and replaced the original wooden church that previously stood on the same lot. (Fun fact! They actually built the stone church around the wooden church, then took apart the wooden church inside and removed it out the windows.)

From the outside, King’s Chapel is a Georgian style stone church with a series of columns in front. The inside is of the same style with a pretty simple interior. You can see pictures of the inside and outside here. There is a small burying ground outside, which was the first in Boston.

We were visiting on a Sunday morning, so the church was closed to the public. If we were visiting on a different day, I would have probably paid the $5 to see the inside or done one of the shorter tours if it worked out with our schedule.

Boston Latin School Site & Ben Franklin Statue

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Monument
  • What to do there: Photos & reflection. (Nothing to go inside or “do”)
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: NA
  • How long to stay: 5 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: There are seats and tables around the statue, so this can be a good spot for a break.

This stop includes two monuments that are located just a few feet apart. Both monuments were erected to commemorate the first location of the Boston Latin School. The history behind these sites is much more impressive than the sites themselves.

The Boston Latin School was founded in 1635 and is still an operating school to this day. It’s the oldest public school in America, and was the first to offer an education to all boys regardless of wealth or status. (A Latin Girls School was later founded in 1877s, but Girls were not admitted to Boston Latin School until 1972.)

Today, there is a mosaic monument and statue of Ben Franklin located at the site of the original school, just behind King’s Church. The original school building only existed here for a few years (1745 to 1812) and has been replaced several times. The school is currently located in the Fenway neighborhood.

Why the Ben Franklin statue? It’s an interesting choice, honestly. He was one of five signers of the Declaration of Independence who attended Boston Latin, but Ben Franklin was the only one of them who didn’t graduate. (The internet says that he dropped out because his family couldn’t afford tuition, but everything I’ve read says the school was free. If anyone can clarify this, I’d love to know more!)

Anyway, the Boston Latin School is an important school in history, but this particular stop on the Freedom Trail doesn’t actually show you any of that school. The two monuments are mostly just a walk-by and photo op.

Old Corner Book Store

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Building
  • What to do there: View the building from outside. (There is no book store here anymore.)
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: NA
  • How long to stay: 5 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Don’t eat at the Chipotle, but maybe pop in to see some of the historical structure.

The building that sits on the corner of Washington Street and School Street was built in 1718. When it opened, there was a pharmacy on the first floor and residential space above. The building was then home to a variety of book stores and publishing companies between 1832-1997.

Today, you will not find any books. Today, you will find the world’s worst Chipotle. (I’ve eaten at a lot of Chipotles, and this is in fact the worst.) You can view the historical building from across the street, but this will likely be another quick stop and photo op.

To beef up this stop, you can visit the Old Corner Christmas Store for some souvenir and holiday shopping in the adjacent building. You can also go inside the Chipotle to see some of the historical walls and beams, which is by far the best thing about this Chipotle.

Lunch at Clover Food Lab

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Restaurant
  • Hours: Monday through Saturday 7 AM – 8 PM, Sundays 8 AM – 4 PM
  • How long to stay: 30 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: Order online when you’re at the Ben Franklin Statue so it’ll be ready when you get there.

After the Old Corner Book Store, it’s a great time to break for lunch. There are a handful of good options for quick-service dining nearby, including Banh Mi Ok, Luke’s Lobster and Clover Food Lab.

We opted for Clover Food Lab, which is a vegetarian restaurant with a rotating seasonal menu. The food was good and interesting, plus the service was quick. They had high chairs and a peanut butter and banana sandwich that our toddler devoured, so that’s always a win.

If you started early and/or are moving quickly, you might not be ready for lunch. The next best lunch option is going to be Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which is probably another hour after this stop.

Old South Meeting House

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Museum
  • What to do there: Go inside the building for a small museum exhibit
  • Tickets: There is a combo ticket for the Old South Meeting House and Old State House, which you can buy from the ticket booth at either building. General Admission is $15 and a guided tour is available for $22.
  • Hours: Daily, 10 AM – 5 PM. Tours times may vary, but were at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3 PM during our visit.
  • How long to stay: 20 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: There are no drinks allowed inside, but you can leave your drink on a small table near the entrance.

The Old South Meeting House has a long and storied history in Boston. For over a hundred years, particularly during the time of the American Revolution, people met here to debate and discuss laws, community happenings, and religion. Most famously, a group of people met here to discuss taxes on tea by the British. Immediately after, the Boston Tea Party happened.

The Old South Meeting House was converted to a museum in 1877. Inside, you can learn more about the building, its history, and some of the famous meetings that took place here.

I ended up going inside, but my husband and toddler stayed outside to play. It was cool to see the inside of the building, but the interiors are not original. The museum exhibit was interesting and did a good job of providing context and understanding as to why this building was important.

I read all of the exhibits in full, snapped a few photos, used the clean bathroom downstairs, and was out the door in just over 15 minutes. I wouldn’t say it’s a “must-do,” but since there aren’t a lot of museums on the trail, I think it was worth the money.

Old State House

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Museum
  • What to do there: Go inside the building for a small museum exhibit
  • Tickets: There is a combo ticket for the Old South Meeting House and Old State House, which you can buy from the ticket booth at either building. General Admission is $15 and a guided tour is available $22.
  • Hours: Daily, 10 AM – 5 PM
  • How long to stay: 20 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: There is a gift shop inside the building that is free to enter without admission.

Built in 1713, the Old State House in Boston is one of the longest standing public buildings in the US. Originally built as a government building, it was an important location throughout the American Revolution. The Declaration of Independence was first read in Boston from the balcony of this building. The building was converted into a museum in the late 1800s.

The Old State House museum has a few different exhibits, including some replica historical rooms, original artifacts, and lots of easy-to-follow information about the history of the building and Boston. During my visit, there was a special exhibit on rebellions throughout history (including up to the 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol), which was really well done.

This museum is broader in size and scope than the Old South Meeting house. I also found it to be more interesting. I’d definitely say this one is worth a visit, and since it’s a combo ticket, you might as well do both.

Boston Massacre Site

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Monument
  • What to do there: Take a photo & relfect
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: NA
  • How long to stay: 5 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No

The Boston Massacre took place right outside of the Old State House in 1770. A cobble stone ring now stands on the ground at the site in memorial to the 5 people who died that day.

This is an important and impactful event that doesn’t take up proportional time on the Freedom Trail. With some reflection and a photo, this will likely be a quick stop.

Sam Adams Tap Room

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Bar / Restaurant
  • What to do there: Grab a drink on the rooftop
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: Daily, 11:30 AM – 9/10 PM
  • How long to stay: 1 hour
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: They do serve food here, but try to hold off. There are some better food options coming very soon!

I promised some off-the-trail stops, and were finally starting to get to those on the back half of this itinerary. The Sam Adams Tap Room is a perfect stop for the middle of the Freedom Trail. If you’ve timed things right, you’ll probably get here in the early afternoon. Even on weekends, it’s usually not too busy this early in the day.

For anyone who drinks beer, an ice cold Sam Adams is obligatory on a trip to Boston, and the Sam Adams Tap Room is one of the best places to get one. (They even have a non-alcoholic version on tap!) The tap room in huge, with a few floors of indoor seating and an open-air rooftop that overlooks Faneuil Hall.

The tap room is family friendly during the day, and it’s actually really great for kids. We had a great time enjoying the views and a round of drinks on the rooftop. (My 3-year-old highly recommends the IBC Root Beer.) After 8 PM, you have to be 21+ to enter the tap room.

I do want to note that this the tap room and not the brewery. Sam Adams does have a bewery in Boston with tours, but it’s a bit of a hike from downtown Boston.

Faneuil Hall

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Building (visitor center, shops & historical meeting hall)
  • What to do there: You can visit three different floors inside the hall. The main floor has the National Park Service Visitor Center and shops, the Great Hall is on the second floor, and the bathrooms and tour group meeting points are on the lower level.
  • Tickets: Free to enter, no tickets required.
  • Hours: Daily, 11 AM – 5 PM (Great Hall closes at 4 PM)
  • How long to stay: 30 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: Be sure to go upstairs to the Great Hall to learn more about the history of the building and see the historic meeting room.

Faneuil Hall has been used as a meeting hall since it was built in 1742. To this day, the hall is still used as a meeting place for city events like graduations and swearing in new citizens.

If you didn’t know better, you could almost completely write off Faneuil Hall as a store. Immediately when you walk inside, you’ll find a variety of souvenir shops selling overpriced clothing and designer candy. (Which yeah, we bought, it’s fine.) But there’s more!

Go up to the second floor to see the Great Hall. It was renovated in 1806, and that’s pretty much the same interior that you’ll see inside today. It’s easy to miss this upper floor (we did!), but if you want to get a feel for the historical significance of the place you’ll want to check it out.

There’s also a National Park Service information booth on the main floor. The Rangers here can give you information about the Freedom Trail sites and answer just about any question you might have.

We cooled off in the AC for bit, visited the clean bathrooms in the basement, and got a candy necklace for the road. I picked up a onesie for my friend, but the sweatshirt I wanted was a bit too expensive to justify. Overall, a good easy stop.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace / Quincy Market

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Food Hall & Market
  • What to do there: Eat, shop, street entertainment
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday, 10 AM – 7 PM / Friday & Saturday, 10 AM – 9 PM / Sunday, 11 AM – 6 PM
  • How long to stay: 30 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: If you plan to eat lunch here, be sure to get there early or just accept that lines will be long.

According to most accounts, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Quincy Marketplace are two names for the same thing. If anything, it seems likes Quincy Market specifically refers to the food hall portion, while Faneuil Hall Marketplace includes the broader shopping and entertainment space. Everyone can agree that this area is different than “Faneuil Hall” which specifically refers to the historical meeting place next door.

Let’s start with the food hall. It’s a densely packed market that is filled with restaurants of all varieties. You can get Boston classics like lobstah rolls and clam chowda, but also sushi, hot dogs, desserts galore, and tons more. The food hall gets “wicked” crowded though, so expect to wait if you want to eat there during peak mealtimes. There’s space to eat inside and outside.

If you’re not eating, take a walk around the outside of the market. Here you’ll find street performers, food carts, and shops to pop in and out of. Even without eating, it’s still good for about 30 minutes of fun.

Optional Stopping Point

We’d suggest seeing a few more things on the Freedom Trail, but this is a perfectly fine ending point, too. You could easily spend the rest of your afternoon enjoying the marketplace. You’d have your pick of bars and restaurants to keep you busy well into the evening.

Another thing to add on here is Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, which is right across the street. It’s a lovely park with a carousel and playground for kids. You can also pop over to Long Warf to see the waterfront, and maybe even continue with a walk along the Haborwalk.

Paul Revere House

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Museum
  • What to do there: You can go inside the home, which has been converted to a small museum
  • Tickets: Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at the entrance.
  • Hours: Exact hours vary by season, but typically the house is open daily from 10 AM – 4:15/5:15 PM. During the winter (Jan, Feb, Mar), the house is closed on Mondays. Confirm current hours here.
  • How long to stay: 30 minutes (plus time in line during busy periods)
  • Bathrooms: Yes
  • Tip: They only accept credit cards on charges over $10. If you’re visiting solo, be sure to bring cash for your $6 entry ticket.

Paul Revere is a revolutionary hero who is most famous for his night ride to alert the colonists that the British were coming. His house still stands — the oldest structure in downtown Boston — and has been converted to a museum.

Inside Paul Revere’s home, you can learn about Paul Revere and the house’s history. Specifically you’ll see how the houses was preserved through different eras. Most people really enjoy this museum.

We personally didn’t make it inside the Paul Revere House. By the time we got there around 2 PM, the line was out the door. It was hot and sunny, and we couldn’t wait with our no-nap toddler. This is definitely something to note if you’re interested in going inside the house.

Mike’s Pastry

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Bakery
  • What to do there: Pick up some baked goods for takeaway
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM
  • How long to stay: Up to 30 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Bring cash! They don’t accept credit cards.

A visit to the Paul Revere House brings you Boston’s famous North End. This Italian neighborhood is dense with some of the best restaurants and bakeries in the city. The most famous of which, is (probably) Mike’s Pastry. You can tell because the line is almost always out the door.

Mike’s Pastry has been a neighborhood institution since the 1940s. It’s famous for its cannoli, which they serve up in 19 different flavors! They also have a full pastry case full of goodies which makes it impossible to decide. I liked the cannoli (I opted for the pistachio variety), but I loved the Boston Creme cake. There’s no seating in the store, so you’ll have to eat your goodies along the window bar or take them with you.

For every person who tells you that you must go to Mike’s Pastry, there will be someone else who tells you it’s “overrated.” I went to Mike’s Pastry and loved it, and I can assure you that the line goes quickly. However, I do believe that several other bakeries in the area are just as good. Bova’s Bakery and Modern Pastry are two other bakeries that get recommended a lot.

I honestly don’t care which bakery you go to, but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to come to the North End and not try at least one.

Paul Revere Statue

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: No
  • Site type: Statue & Park
  • What to do there: Sit and relax or just pass through
  • Tickets: NA
  • Hours: NA
  • How long to stay: 15 minutes
  • Bathrooms: No
  • Tip: Eat your cannoli here.

The park area around the Paul Revere Statue should be called the Unofficial Dining Room of Mike’s Pastry. The bakery doesn’t have any seating, so plenty of people take their cannoli to eat in the park nearby. There are benches and it’s mostly shaded.

Even without any cake to eat, it’s still worth stopping by this statue. It’s a cool statue of Paul Revere on a horse with Old North Church in the background.

Old North Church

  • Official Freedom Trail stop: Yes
  • Site type: Church
  • What to do there: Go inside the church
  • Tickets: General Admission, $5 / GA + Audio Guide, $8 / Guided Tour, $10
  • Hours: Exact hours vary by season. Typically, the church is open Monday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday 11:30 AM – 5 PM.
  • How long to stay: 20 minutes
  • Bathrooms: Yes (near the ticket booth, not inside the church)
  • Tip: Do the scavenger hunt, even if you aren’t visiting with kids.

Old North Church is famous for marking the start of Paul Revere’s ride. Two lanterns were hung in the church’s steeple, which alerted Paul Revere that the British troops were approaching. He then rode to Lexington to alert colonial troops.

The church was built in 1723, making it the oldest standing church in Boston. It’s still an active church today, where they hold service every Sunday. (You can also get married there, which looks delightful!)

Entry to the church requires a ticket, which you can purchase from a ticket booth nearby. When you buy your ticket, be sure to ask for the scavenger hunt. (There’s no extra charge for it.) It’s great for kids, but it’s available to anyone.

The scavenger hunt guides you through the church and gives you some interesting facts along the way. Basically, you look for little paw prints on the pews, which will give you the answer to each question. At the end you get a small prize. (Spoiler alert: it’s a sticker.)

Old North Church was one of my favorite stops on the Freedom Trail. It’s a lovely church and the scavenger hunt made it really fun for my 3-year-old. I wouldn’t say it’s a “must-do,” but I definitely think it was worth the $5.

Wrapping Up the Freedom Trail

After Old North Church, there are three final stops on the Freedom Trail. That doesn’t sound like much, but these three sites require an extra 1.5 miles of walking. It’s not just a long walk between the sites, it’s a long, boring and sunny walk (read: unbearably hot in the summer). There was construction on the bridge during our visit, so the walk was even worse. Like many other others, I will make a case to skip these sites or do them on a different day.

The next site on the trail is Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. This is also in the North End and it’s not too far from Old North Church, so if you wanted to tack this one on before calling it a day, you could. However, there are no particularly famous graves in the burying ground. I mean no disrespect to the people buried there, but from a tourist perspective it is not particularly compelling.

Instead, I’d wrap your day with dinner and drinks in the North End. Most of the restaurants can be found along Hanover Street and Salem Street. We didn’t personally dine in this area, so we’ll refer you to this North End food guide. (Instead, we ended up ordering room service at our hotel because we were tapped.)

How to see the Final Freedom Trail Sites

The last two sites are the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill. These two sites are great, they just don’t belong on the same Freedom Trail one-day itinerary. Here’s why.

The USS Constitution and the whole Naval Yard is really cool! There’s a great (air conditioned) visitor center with a gift shop and a few exhibits. Then you can board the Colonial era USS Constitution and the more modern USS Cassin Young. There’s also a ticketed museum you can visit to learn even more.

Unfortunately, by the time you get here after a full day on the Freedom Trail, you’re bound to be exhausted and won’t be able to appreciate or enjoy it.

Then there’s the Bunker Hill monument. This is a fine monument, but it’s not something you need to walk 1.5 miles just to look at. It is worth walking to, though, if you want to go up to the top of the monument. However, entry to the top closes at 4:30 PM, and it’s pretty hard to get there by then after a full day on the trail.

If you want to see these last few sites on the Freedom Trail, I’d suggest doing them on a different day and in reverse order. Start at Bunker Hill when it opens at 10 AM. (Note: It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays.) Then walk to the Naval Yard for the USS Constitution. These two things could easily keep you busy well into the afternoon. You could then end your day by walking over to the North End for dinner.

1-Day Freedom Trail Itinerary at a Glance

  • Coffee & Breakfast at Taste Bakery & Cafe (Prices vary / 45 minutes)
  • Boston Common (Free / 30 minutes)
  • Massachusetts State House (Free / 1 hour if going inside, 10 minutes if not / Inside closed on weekends)
  • Park Street Church (Free / 15 minutes / Only open Sundays)
  • The Granary Burying Ground (Free / 15 minutes)
  • King’s Chapel (Free to $10 / 15 minutes to 1 hour if you’re going inside, 5 minutes if not / Check seasonal hours)
  • Boston Latin School Site & Ben Franklin Statue (Free / 5 minutes)
  • Old Corner Book Store (Free / 5 minutes)
  • Lunch at Clover Food Lab (30 minutes)
  • Old South Meeting House ($15 Combo ticket / 20 minutes)
  • Old State House ($15 Combo ticket / 20 minutes)
  • Boston Massacre Site (Free / 5 minutes)
  • Sam Adams Tap Room (1 hour)
  • Faneuil Hall (Free / 30 minutes)
  • Faneuil Hall Marketplace (30 minutes)
  • Paul Revere House ($6 / 30 minutes / Closed winter Mondays)
  • Mike’s Pastry (30 minutes)
  • Paul Revere Statue (Free / 15 minutes)
  • Old North Church ($5-$8 / 20 minutes)

Looking for more things to do in Boston?

Be sure to check out our Boston Weekend Itinerary and First Timer’s Guide to Fenway Park!