Pubs, boats, and Bunker Hill peer at Downtown from the banks of Boston's oldest neighborhood.

Monuments signify areas steeped in history, and Charlestown boasts more than one. Ascend Bunker Hill Monument’s 294 steps, imagine sailing the high seas aboard “Old Ironsides,” or ask about “The Town’s” infamous mobster past, and you’ll begin to scratch the surface of Boston’s rich history. Despite its fabled altercations, Charlestown has emerged as a destination known for its dive bars serving cool attitude and historic restaurants serving hot chowder with a side of nostalgia.

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On the Map

Charlestown is bordered by Cambridge, Somerville, Chelsea, North End, Everett, and West End

Logan International Airport: 11 minutes on the T or 15 minutes by car
Boston Common: 10 minutes on the T
Harvard Square: 15 minutes on the T
Downtown Boston: 9 minutes on the T

  • Public transit is Possible
  • Having a car is Possible

Classic Boston Character Across the Charles

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As Boston's oldest neighborhood, Charlestown boasts a storied past.

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Often referred to as "The Town," the neighborhood's historic reputation attracts families and visitors to explore its numerous monuments, pastoral street scenes, and Irish upbringing.

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During the 1860s, an influx of Irish immigrants saw that Charlestown grew into a stronghold for Erin go Bragh culture.

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Charlestown's Irish roots have only deepened.

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Its many pubs and taverns evidence their presence.

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Take in a view of the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge from your pub stool and ponder Boston's "Big Dig."

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Its suspension cables cut geometric lines through Charlestown's views of Downtown Boston.

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Charlestown: A Monumental Neighborhood

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Charlestown's claim to fame as Boston's oldest neighborhood results in another reason to brag.

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The neighborhood's longevity has garnered it multiple cultural attractions and monuments.

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Red Coat contrarian Colonel William Prescott's statue peers at colonial descendants from the foot of the Bunker Hill Monument.

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Standing 221 feet tall, the Bunker Hill Monument's granite form marks the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution.

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Oddly enough, the Bunker Hill Monument actually stands atop a hill of a different name, Breed's Hill.

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Museums complement Charlestown's monuments. Some are on land.

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Some float upon the ocean.

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The USS Constitution was launched in 1797, and the affectionately termed "Old Ironsides" hasn't left the sea since. The ship remains the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat.

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She's now open to visitors to promote citizens' understanding of the Navy's role during war and peace. She also marks the end of Boston's Freedom Trail.

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The USS Cassin Young anchors across the docks from "Old Ironsides." The ship serves as a WWII memorial.


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

Brian Samuels

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Brian Samuels is a Boston-based lifestyle photographer and writer. He is also the creator of A Thought For Food, a blog of recipes and personal anecdotes pertaining to cooking. His work has been featured in Edible Boston, the Improper Bostonian, the Boston Globe, Saveur and the Huffington Post. This Airbnb project has allowed him to explore and discover more of Boston.