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
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.