Back Bay

Back Bay is Boston’s front-runner when it comes to shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Thanks to one of Boston’s most ambitious urban design projects, Back Bay is filled with high-rises rather than high tides. Once the city created land out of its previously soggy marsh, Victorian brownstones and elegant churches quickly took root. Back Bay continues to attract attention for its famed high-end shopping, ritzy hotels and upscale restaurants, and world-renowned architecture—all promising that this highly-sought after neighborhood’s popularity continues to rise, even if its water levels don’t.

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On the Map

Back Bay is bordered by Theater District, Chinatown, Beacon Hill, Downtown, South End, Fenway/Kenmore, and Roxbury

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

Logan International Airport: 30 minutes on the T or 15 minutes by car
Downtown Boston: 5 minutes on the T
Harvard Square: 20 minutes on the T
Boston Common: Walkable

Sophisticated Living Along the Charles River

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Back Bay's urbane sensibilities remain unrivaled.

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From The Esplanade that edges the Charles River to the Brownstones that line its refined streets, Boston's Back Bay rises above the rest when it comes to sought-after sophistication.

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Even Back Bay's Copper oxidizes elegantly.

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The neighborhood ages with grace, and the elemental weathering of its Copper-coated facades lends Back Bay its stately appearance.

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While some consider the looming CITGO sign a blemish among Back Bay's Brownstone skyline, others consider it integral to the neighborhood's visual landscape. Some even suggest it should be adopted as a world-heritage site.

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Although the fate of the CITGO sign remains unknown, residents of Back Bay find plenty to agree on when it comes to their urban landscape. The neighborhood celebrates public greenery.

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Commonwealth Avenue's central median doubles as a public park and culminates in verdant fervor at Boston's Public Gardens.

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As you disembark from the banks of the Charles, the city's urban aesthetic becomes palpable.

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Back Bay's buildings get taller.

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Buoyed by the regality of its Brownstones and the serenity of its surroundings, Back Bay never feels overwhelming.

Pixel
Less than five minute walk to Copley Square and the Boston Common, and close to the South End, Fenway Park and many historic sites. Many incredible restaurants, bars, music venues, and theater options are minutes away by foot."

Recreation On the Charles

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Back Bay's backyard is Boston's favorite riverside promenade, The Esplanade (sounds like, Espla-nod).

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Bridges criss cross ponds and inlets, and benches and bike paths are standard fare.

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Boston's biggest outdoor concert and movie venue, The Hatch Shell, entices all sorts of aficionados to the river's edge. Summer festivals and city-sponsored events often center on this beloved open-air attraction.

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Some even have reserved balcony seats.

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Relax on the river.

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Dangle your feet just like you did when you were a kid.

Pixel
Very Artsy, vibrant area. This is not South Boston, but The South End is steps to Back Bay, Theater district, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Copley Square, Fenway area and Newbury Street. The neighborhood is safe, friendly, and perfect to use as a base for Boston travel."

The Quintessential Elegance of Copley Square

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Emblematic of Back Bay's elegance, Copley Square is refined on all four sides. Boston's Public Library faces the entrance to Trinity Church, one of the American Institute of Architects' favorite buildings.

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Behind Trinity Church's Romanesque old-world stylings rises another architectural achievement, Hancock Tower.

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Blending contemporary influences with time-honored churches requires structural integrity and respect.

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The reflective windows of Hancock Tower allow for Copley Square's antiquated buildings to shine amongst its modernism.

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Pixel
Perfect jumping off point for everyday exploration of Boston. Great restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries are nearby."

Kellye

Visited in 2013

Boutique Shopping In Back Bay

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Boston's diverse mix of residents converge on Newbury Street, one of the city's favorite destinations for boutique shopping, casual people-watching, and urban promenading.

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On Newbury Street, stores occupy the bottom-floors of the neighborhood's iconic Brownstones.

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When you're looking for familiar indoor shopping, take a brief walk to The Prudential Center.

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This cleanly-styled mall boasts over 75 high-end retailers. Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, Lacoste, Club Monaco, Sephora?

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Find them all at The Pru.

Pixel
...if you are planning to explore Boston dining experience and eat out most of the time, you are golden."

Dining In Boston's Back Bay

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Weather-permitting, a seat on a patio is Back Bay's preferred dining destination.

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Whether lunching, brunching, or evening snacking, Back Bay's mix of cafes, steakhouses, tapas bars, and trendy lounges leave patrons with a good taste in their mouths.

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Beginning your evening in the Back Bay is always a good place to start.

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Pixel
We were able to walk both to Boston U and up to the north section of town for the historic sights and great Italian food."

Teresa

Visited in 2013

Nighttime In Back Bay

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As the light fades over Back Bay's Brownstones, Newbury Street and Boylston Street begin to hop with nighttime energy.

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Happy hours are common among Boylston Street bars, so get there early and get ready to stay late.

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We promise there will be plenty of entertainment.

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Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Kenn Tam is a Canadian photographer living and working in New York City's Manhattan, that specializes in portraits and street photography. And yes, he was that high school year book guy with a 50mm lens for a face.

Kenn Tam

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