Directions from North Station to Back Bay Area in Boston

by Jack
(Portland, Oregon)

Entrance to North Station / TD Garden

Entrance to North Station / TD Garden

Entrance to North Station / TD Garden Bruins mural on TD Garden side wall Back Bay Victorian brownstones in Boston

Question: How would I get from the North Station to the Back Bay neighborhood?

Susan's response: You're in luck - you can take the Green Line of Boston's subway directly from North Station to Back Bay - no need to change lines.

The Green Line has a number of stations in Back Bay, so you would need to look at a subway map in order to figure out which one is best, based on where you're going.

Here's the tricky thing that you need to know (Boston's subway, or "T" as it's called locally, always has something tricky that's a must-know): starting at Copley Station in Back Bay's Copley Square, the Green Line begins to separate into 4 branches: B, C, D, E - that's right, no A. If you're going beyond Copley Square, you need to figure out which branch to take.

So for the sake of an example, let's say you want to go to the Arlington or Copley stop. You can take any branch - B, C, D, or E - doesn't matter.

But if you're going any Green Line station beyond Copley such as Hynes or Symphony, you need to know the branch, and make SURE you get on the right trolley (um, yes, the Green Line consists of trolleys, not trains) at North Station.

If you're not used to Boston's subway, you may be a little surprised by how old and slightly chaotic the major stations, such as North Station, are. Just take your time, and make sure you see the letter you need on the front of the trolley.

Keep in mind that you can also walk from North Station to Back Bay in not much more than 15 minutes, although depending on what part of Back Bay you're going to, there will be some additional time to get there. The distance is just over a mile to the eastern end of Back Bay bordering the Public Garden.

Based on my own experiences walking from North Station to Back Bay, I recommend turning right onto Causeway (the street in front of North Station) as you exit North Station. It quickly becomes Staniford; at Cambridge Street, turn right and go all the way to Charles Street (only on the left - on the right you'll see the Liberty Hotel and Charles Street Station. Walk down the 6 or so blocks of Charles Street to where it dead-ends at the Public Garden, and turn right (or better yet, cut through the Public Garden). Once you come to and cross Arlington Street, you're in Back Bay. When the weather is good, it's a great walk with lots of interesting things along the way. When the weather is bad...well, it's exercise.


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