Frequently Asked Questions
How much time does it take to see the Freedom Trail?
The Freedom Trail is a collection of 16 distinct, official historic sites in downtown Boston and Charlestown, so there is a lot to see! How much time it takes to see the whole Trail depends largely on how much time one has to dedicate to each site. Please see the sample itineraries webpage for examples of different ways to experience the Trail.
Do I have to visit the sites “in order”? Does the Trail start and stop at the same location?
No. The Freedom Trail route is based upon geographical location and is not in chronological order. The Freedom Trail is a physical red line embedded into city sidewalks that assist Trail goers to find their way to each historic site. The Trail is linear and does not loop back to one location.
Are walking tours the only way to experience the Freedom Trail?
No, the Foundation’s 90-minute walking tours are not the only way to visit the Freedom Trail! Walking tours are meant to supplement visits to the Trail, not replace visitation into the historic sites. Many historic sites have docents and exhibits that provide in-depth information about the history of Boston. Trail goers may use a map, brochure, guidebook, audio guide, smartphone app, or kid’s guide to walk the Freedom Trail at one’s own pace. Please see the resources webpage for more information.
Does it cost money to experience the Freedom Trail?
One does not have to pay to visit the Freedom Trail, however select historic sites have admission fees as do Foundation-led tours, and one may purchase maps, guidebooks, audio guides, apps, etc. to help guide the way. Please see the historic sites webpages for more information on admission to the sites.
What is today’s public tours schedule?
Please visit the purchase tickets calendar for an updated schedule.
What is the public tours schedule months from now?
Please check the purchase tickets calendar closer to the time of experiencing the Freedom Trail. The purchase tickets calendar applies to the current month and any upcoming new tours.
How do I buy walking tour tickets?
Purchase tickets online! Online tickets must be printed; mobile tickets are currently not accepted. Tickets may also be purchased at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center (139 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02108).
Do public tours sell out?
No, the Foundation’s public tours do not sell out when tickets are purchased at the Boston Common Visitor Information Center. Online tickets do sell out and may only be used for the date and time selected.
Do you take reservations for public walking tours?
No, there are no reservations offered for public walking tours, however one may purchase tickets online ahead of time. For groups, the Foundation allows a maximum of 10 attendees to join any one public tour. Larger groups may be required to split up into smaller groups of 10 or less to participate in public tours, which are offered at different times. Groups over 10 people are encouraged to schedule a group tour with the Foundation.
How do I make group tours reservations, including private family, school and corporate tours?
Group tours reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Inquiries for group tours should be made at least one month in advance by calling (617) 357-8300 (press “0”). The Foundation will honor reservations closer to the date of the tentative tour, based upon availability.
Is the Freedom Trail wheelchair-accessible?
Yes, the Freedom Trail and the Foundation’s walking tours are wheelchair accessible. Please see the access webpage for more information.
Are dogs allowed on the Freedom Trail?
Yes, dogs are allowed on the Freedom Trail as it is a path on city sidewalks and in public spaces such as Boston Common, Bunker Hill Monument grounds, and Charlestown Navy Yard. Dogs are not permitted in the historic burying grounds or the historic sites’ buildings. Please call historic sites directly to inquire about service animals.
Where can I park to start the Freedom Trail or go on a tour? What about taking public transportation?
The Boston Common Parking Garage, located at 0 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02116, is recommended in order to start the Freedom Trail from Boston Common. Parking is not validated. The Freedom Trail is accessible by the MBTA (public transit) Green, Red, Orange, and Blue lines. Please see the directions and parking webpage for more information.
What should I expect on a public walking tour?
Foundation-led public walking tours are conducted by 18th-century costumed guides. Most public walking tours are 90 minutes, unless otherwise noted, and are equal to or less than 1 mile in length. Tour goers will be on their feet for the duration of the tour, therefore wearing comfortable shoes is recommended. Guides will cover the history of the sites featured on the specific tours; tours do not go inside buildings (due to time constraints and logistics). It is highly recommended – a “must do” – to visit inside the Freedom Trail historic sites’ buildings before or after tours! Arrive 10 to 15 minutes prior to the tours start time as tours depart promptly! Allow time to check in with the guide to present the printed online tickets and/or purchase tickets. If one is late to the public tour, the guide may have already left the departure location.
Are tours cancelled for weather?
The Foundation’s guides are true New Englanders and will conduct tours year-round in almost any kind of weather. Tour goers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes, and prepare for seasonal weather. Check the weather forecast and temperature range before experiencing the Freedom Trail for what to expect. Barring severe and state of emergency weather, tours are held in rain, snow, or shine.
What events are happening on the Freedom Trail?
Please see the Freedom Trail calendar for events and tours, as well as the historic sites’ events, programs, and worship services. One may also visit the historic sites websites for additional calendar information.