Boston under the moon
Boston under the moon © Pear Biter

As one of the oldest settlements in the USA and the largest city in New England, Boston has a wealth of history and culture to offer. Despite the city's serious academic and historical pedigree, a huge student population ensures a youthful vibrancy that adds a totally different dimension to Boston's bygone charm.

Cambridge lies across the Charles River and is the largest college town in the world, synonymous with Harvard University and founded in 1638. The neat, ivy-covered brick buildings of the university grounds, the labyrinth of twisting streets in the city centre, and the old architecture means Boston is best explored by foot.

Referring to itself as the 'Walking City', it's remarkably compact and centres on the country's oldest public park, Boston Common. The Information Centre in Boston Common is the starting point for two walking tours, two of the city's main attractions. The Freedom Trail explores the city's revolutionary past and the birth of the modern American Republic, while the Black Heritage Trail highlights Boston's place in black American history and its role in anti-slavery.

Boston is an easy blend of historic charm and modern convenience, with a busy street life and beautiful architecture, green parks and gardens, skyscrapers and modern freeways, museums, galleries, and colonial churches. The city is home to the first public library, the first public school, and the first subway system in the US. It's the site of the Boston Tea Party that started the Revolutionary War and is the location of the Cheers bar, made famous by the popular TV sitcom.