Boston Old State House
The Old State House presided over two key American Revolution events: the 1770 Boston Massacre and the public reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Having served various functions since then, the house now welcomes visitors keen to explore its revolutionary-themed collections. Attractions include tea from the Boston Tea Party, historical furnishings and art, costumed revolutionary characters, and in-house guided tours.
As a top sight on Boston’s Freedom Trail, the Old State House appears on almost all city tours. View it on a panoramic, trolley car, pedicab, or ‘duck’ tour; explore its exhibits on a Freedom Trail guided walk; buy a Boston sightseeing pass that includes entry; or prebook admission online to visit independently. The building is also a stop on many day trips from New York and other cities.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Old State House attracts history buffs of all ages.
Allow 30 minutes to an hour to explore inside and out.
The historic building is not wheelchair-accessible. Strollers must be checked in at the baggage area.
The Old State House gift shop is accessible without entering the museum itself.
How to Get There
The Old State House stands in downtown Boston, at the intersection of State and Washington streets. Take Boston’s subway to the State Street station—situated beneath the building—or, if you’re driving, follow signs to the Government Center, Faneuil Hall, and the Financial District. Several parking garages are available nearby.
When to Get There
The Old State House is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm. Every March, the house marks the events surrounding the 1770 Boston Massacre with storytelling, Q and As, and costumed reenactments. If you’re in Boston at the time, it’s worth checking out the commemorations.
Must-Sees at the Old State House
After exploring inside the Old State House, see the commemorative stones under its balcony. They mark the area of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, when British sentries faced a taunting crowd of locals and fired at them, killing five and stoking the colonists’ sentiment against the British in the lead-up to the American Revolution. Then, look up at the balcony, from which America’s Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on July 18, 1776.
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