City Shopping

City Shopping: Boston

Boston offers a variety of excellent shopping areas in easy-to-reach central locations. 

Because so many Boston locals live, work, and shop right in the center of the city, we have plenty of top shopping venues within easy walking distance of other visitor attractions.

You can explore luxury designer boutiques, large department stores, home furnishing emporiums, consignment shops, big shopping malls, antiques, art galleries, and concept stores close to other visitor attractions.

Interested in discount shopping?  Two excellent outlet malls are only a 5-minute subway ride or luxury bus trip away.

And just a few miles outside the city, you’ll find excellent suburban malls, each with its unique mix of stores, restaurants, and entertainment.

Luxury & Designer Shopping in Back Bay

Display outside a Newbury Street boutique in Boston's Back Bay

Let’s say you have only one day – or maybe just a couple of hours – for a Boston shopping spree.

Head straight to Back Bay, where you can splurge in two luxury shopping plazas and and check out all the trendy designers along Newbury Street.

Or, skip the swanky shops and stretch your dollars at the discount and consignment shops tucked between all the pricey boutiques along Boylston and Newbury Streets.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Quincy Market is a favorite Boston shopping area

With more than 100 stores, unique artisan pushcarts, and four restored historic buildings, shopping at Faneuil Marketplace (also called Quincy Market) ranks high as a favorite Boston shopping destination.

You’ll find national brands plus unique local shops.  Hungry?  Several top local restaurants, plus 40+ stalls in the Quincy Market Colonnade Food Hall serve up seafood, ethnic, and other specialties.  And right around the corner is Haymarket, Boston’s historic open air market in Historic Downtown Boston.




Boston’s Best City & Suburban Shopping Malls

Boston shopping at Prudential Center mall

Boston boasts many diverse shopping malls and plazas right in the central city – perfect for icy January, steamy July, and anytime when you don’t want to brave the outdoor elements.

City malls offer a wide range of choices: luxury designers to outlet shopping.

Find upscale city malls at Copley Place and Prudential Center.

Discover even more malls just outside the city – Cambridgeside Galleria and Burlington Mall.

Further away, explore the Natick Collection mega-mall, the largest shopping mall in New England.

More about Boston shopping malls

Discount & Outlet Shopping near Boston – 2 Great Choices!

Sales at Assembly Row in Boston

Did you know that Boston has two major outlet shopping centers near the city?

Wrentham Village features 170 outlets including many high end and luxury brands at deep discounts, while Assembly Row offers a mix of outlet shopping, fine dining, and entertainment.

Find out about how to get to Wrentham Village Outlets by bus from Boston

Find out more about how Wrentham Village and Assembly Row Outlets compare.

Haymarket & Boston Public Market

Haymarket, Boston's historic open air market, offers some of the cheapest produce prices in the city

Vendors have clustered around Haymarket,Boston’s oldest open air market, for at least 300 years.  Today, this is where you’ll find the cheapest produce in the city on market days.   Come on Fridays and Saturdays when the market is open from dawn to dusk to find bargains – or just to visit this historic part of the city and perhaps visit the nearby historic pubs and restaurants.  More about Haymarket

For a wider range of good things to consume on the spot, such as apple cider donuts and George Howell’s specialty coffee, walk over to adjacent Boston Public Market (between Hanover and Blackstone Streets), where vendors sell everything from fresh fish to artisan cheeses, with an emphasis on organic and local products.

6 Special Spots for Holiday Shopping in Boston

Polcari's Coffee in Boston's North End

Holiday shopping in Boston is easy and fun because the city has many places where you can find special one-of-a-kind gifts.

Our recommendations focus on six unique shopping areas:  Charles Street on Beacon Hill, Salem Street in the North End, Prudential Center and Newbury Street in Back Bay, Downtown Crossing, and Harvard Square across the river in Cambridge.

We tell you about each area’s specialties – antiques, art, clothing, rare books and maps, concept stores, food, jewelry – and where to find them.  More . . .

For a different kind of holiday shopping experience, don’t miss Boston’s pop-up Winter Holiday Market in City Hall Plaza, complete with an ice skating rink and fun places to eat and drink.  More . . .

Art Galleries – For Browsing & Buying

Boston shopping includes lots of opportunities for buying art

Thriving art communities plus plenty of art schools and museums make Boston an excellent place to discover, explore, and even shop for art of all kinds.

Here are guides to where you can find find top art galleries:
– Guide to Boston’s art galleries – Where to buy art in Boston, from emerging to internationally famous artists
– Newbury Street art galleries – 30+ galleries in an 8-block stretch make this THE place in Boston to go gallery-hopping

Art Markets & Art Walks

Art at SoWa in Boston's South End

Every Sunday from early May through October, Boston’s biggest artisan crafts and design market, SoWa Open Market (shown in photo) attracts crowds of shoppers to its sea of white tents at Ink Block, 375 Harrison Ave, where food trucks, next-door SoWa Vintage Market, and SoWa Farmer’s Market round out the offerings.

Twice each year, Boston’s large art communities in the South End and Fort Point neighborhoods open their studios and galleries for day-long art walks.  This is your chance to view a wide variety of Boston’s best art, talk to the artists, and perhaps acquire a piece you can’t resist.

South End events take place in May and September.  Find dates and details for SoWa Art Walk on the May Events Calendar and for the South End Open Studios on the September Events Calendar.  You can also visit South End art studios and galleries during SoWa First Fridays, held on the first Friday of each month.

Fort Point Open Studios occur in May and October.

Where to Shop in Cambridge

Shopping in Harvard Square in Cambridge MA

Across the Charles River from Boston is Cambridge, home to more shopping areas.

In East Cambridge near MIT, the 3 floors of CambridgeSide Galleria include Best Buy, Macy’s, and 120 other stores.

Harvard Square, filled with many unique clothing, gift, jewelry, and book stores, attracts more than just students.  For some of the best indie boutiques, explore the area along Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard Square and Porter Square.