Boston Travel Guide for Chinese Visitors

Boston Travel Guide for Chinese Visitors

One of the oldest settlements in the United States, Boston is rich with history. It was the backdrop for some of the most famous events of the American Revolution, such as the Boston Tea Party and the Boston massacre. 

Because of its historical landmarks, numerous events, and research centers of excellence, Boston attracts millions of tourists every year, many of which come from China: Faneuil Hall alone is visited by 20 million people yearly.

Chinese citizens can enjoy a great number of activities. Some festivals and celebrations in Boston are known across the USA, including the local Chinese New Year (Boston’s Chinatown is the third-largest in the country.) Seeing all the city’s landmarks would take weeks on its own, and there is plenty to do at night thanks to the city’s buzzing theater and dining scene. 

In this guide, Chinese travelers will find all they need to know before visiting Boston, including:

  • How to get from China to Boston
  • What documents Chinese citizens need to enter Boston
  • Boston safety advice for international tourists
  • What to visit in Boston
  • The price of a holiday in Boston

Boston Airport: How to Get to Boston from China

The best way to travel from China to Boston is by plane. There are several direct flights that connect main Chinese cities like the capital Beijing and Shanghai with Boston.

These flights land at Boston Logan International Airport in East Boston. The variety of options for passengers to choose from to get to the city center earned BOS the reputation of “easiest airport to get to” in 2007. Here are some of these options:

  • Cars
  • Taxis
  • The MBTA Blue and Silver lines
  • Regional bus services
  • Shared ride vans
  • Ferries
  • Limousines
  • The Logan Express (an in-house airport shuttle service created for remote parks and rides)

The best time to visit Boston

There is something to do in Boston all year round, but it can get quite cold during the winter. January is the coldest month with the average temperature being 37°F (2.7°C.) Spring and Fall (April/May and October/November) are, according to many, the best time to travel to Boston because of the beautiful colors in local parks and the gentle temperatures.

Please keep in mind that Boston is home to some of the country’s top educational institutions. As a consequence, hotel and flight prices can rise noticeably in May and September. Booking well in advance can make a difference on the trip’s budget.

What Documents Do Chinese Citizens Need to Visit Boston?

Those who do not hold a passport issued by the United States need a valid visa or travel permit in order to enter the country and visit cities like Boston. The vast majority of Chinese citizens are required to obtain a visa.

The type of American visa needed will depend on the traveler’s specific circumstances, for example, the time they wish to spend in the U.S. and the reason(s) for their trip. Most people apply for a B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa, these are the types that cover business, tourist, family, and medical trips.

Once the visa has been issued, Chinese travelers should keep in mind that they must enroll with the EVUS system before they can cross the border in Boston or elsewhere in the USA. The EVUS enrollment is not a visa but a necessary step that must be taken in order to visit the United States. It can be completed online in a matter of minutes.

Immigration checks at the airport in Boston

As explained above, most Chinese passengers arriving from China will land at Boston Logan International Airport. Here, they must go through document and immigration checks before they can leave the airport and start exploring the city.

The immigration officers will ask travelers to show their passports and visa confirmation. Passengers will then move on to the baggage claim area. International visitors are advised to check the American customs regulations before packing their belongings to travel.

Going through immigration at BOS Airport is quite straightforward. Once a passenger’s documents have been checked, they may be asked a few questions about their trip and itinerary. It is advisable to keep calm and collaborate with the local authorities.

Is Boston Safe for Travelers?

Boston is considered a safe city for foreign visitors and for female solo travelers. It is a large city and as such, the risk of petty crimes does exist. 

Some neighborhoods are best avoided, especially at night, and common sense should be followed at all times. This means:

  • Avoiding poor-lit areas at night
  • Avoiding flashing expensive items like jewelry and cameras
  • Keeping one’s belongings close, especially in busy locations like malls and tourist attractions

Is Boston Expensive for Tourists?

Boston is considered one of the most expensive cities to live in the country. This is due to its high salaries and quality of life, and the gentrification process that some areas have gone through in recent years. 

Although Boston is not the cheapest destination in America, it can still be affordable for tourists. Here is a breakdown of the cost of a trip to Boston, excluding airfares:

  • Accommodation for 2 people in a double room typically costs around $300
  • The cost of food can vary greatly. However, most tourists report spending about $30 per day on meals in Boston
  • A subway daily pass costs $9. Taxi rides are significantly more expensive
  • Usually, adult tourists must pay an entry ticket to access the city’s museums and entertainment activities. These sum up to about $20 per day per person

Things to Do in Boston: What to Visit

Boston is a city where old meets new, universities look like museums, and locals enjoy being active outdoors. That means that there is something to do in Boston for everyone, it just depends on one’s preferences.

Keep reading to explore some of Boston’s most famous landmarks and activities.

The Museum of Fine Arts and other notable collections

Boston is home to some famous cultural institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, whose collections include paintings and artefacts from Ancient Egypt to current times.

Kids will love a trip to the Museum of Science and the Aquarium while history aficionados will enjoy the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum and the USS Constitution Museum.

“The Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall is the most famous meeting place in Boston. Founded in 1742, the Hall was originally built to host town meetings and it was the backdrop for famous speeches and political events.

Now, visitors can explore 3 large marketplaces in Faneuil Hall, enjoy a stroll on its cobblestone streets and watch live performances.

The heart of the city: Boston Common and Public Garden

Loved by locals and tourists alike, the Boston Common and Public Garden are 2 parks separated by Charles Street. They were designed by the same architect behind Central Park in New York and are the ideal spot for a picnic, a run, or simply relaxing with friends.

Visitors cannot miss a swan boat tour, a classic local attraction. 

What is the Freedom Trail?

The Freedom Trail is a popular route in Boston measuring 2.5 miles (about 4 km) that touches on 16 sites of significance for the American Revolutionary War. It starts at the Boston Common and runs until the USS Constitution and Bunker Hill.

The amount of time it takes to walk the Freedom Trail depends on how long one decides to spend on each landmark. There are several guided walks available. It is advisable to check whether entrance to the sites is included before booking a tour.

Sites on the Freedom Trail include:

  • Places where protests were held
  • The state capitol building 
  • Burial grounds
  • Churches and chapels
  • Statues and monuments
  • Schools
  • Meeting venues

It is possible to walk the Trail in either direction.

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