Visiting or living in Boston can get expensive fast - but fortunately, a variety of deals, discounts, sightseeing passes, and coupons can save you big money on almost every part of your vacation - hotels, tours, attractions, harbor and river cruises, museums, sightseeing, and even day trips. 

If you're a resident, the savings can be even bigger.

How big? 

Visitors can typically save around 10%-50%.  Use enough deals, coupons, and discounts, and you can slash the cost of your Boston vacation. 

Boston and Boston-area residents can save even more on tickets for museum, parks, and zoos - depending on the venue, all the way up to 100% - in other words, free - for as many as four tickets.

Why pay more?

Here's what you'll find in our roundup of how to save BIG in Boston:

Top photo: View of the Boston skyline across the Charles River, (c) Boston Discovery Guide

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Discount (& Free!!!) Passes to Cultural Attractions for Boston & Boston-Area Residents

(If you don't live in Boston but want to find out how to save when you visit, skip this section and go straight to the next one.)

If you do live in Boston, one of the surrounding towns that belong to the Minuteman Library Network such as Somerville, Arlington, or Lexington, or other nearby cities such as Cambridge, Everett, Brookline, or Chelsea AND you have a library card, you can get discounted tickets and passes to local museums, the Boston Harbor Islands, and maybe even the zoo. 

Although availability, rules, and costs vary by location and venue, you can usually save around 50% - or more.  Boston Public Library card holders can actually get free tickets to several top attractions.

Here's how it works.

If you have a physical Boston Public Library card, look for free ticket details here.  Be sure to closely read all the requirements for picking up your tickets and in some cases, making a reservation, as they vary by attraction.

The generous range of choices includes everything from the Museum of Fine Arts to the Mass Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary and about 50 state Massachusetts parks. 

Free attractions include the Museum of Science (up to 4 tickets), the New England Aquarium (up to 4 tickets), Revolutionary Spaces (ie, the Freedom Trail's Old State House and Old South Meeting House, up to 2 tickets), plus a couple of other top venues.

If you live in one of the nearby towns served by the Minuteman Library Network, the best way to find out what's available is to go to the website for your town library and search for "museum passes."  So if you live in Arlington, for example, search on "Arlington Public Library museum passes."

Options and costs vary somewhat by town, but typical discount pass choices include the Boston Harbor Islands, Children's Museum, Discovery Museum, ICA Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Peabody Essex Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, deCordava Sculpture Park, Franklin Park Zoo, Stone Zoo, and Harvard Museums of Science & Culture.

How much can you save?  Usually about 50% off the regular ticket price.

If you live in other cities and towns near Boston that are not in Boston or the Minuteman network, do a similar type of search.  For example, search on "Cambridge Public Library museum passes." 

Each city and town offers a slightly unique selection, but you'll find some great deals and big savings!

Pro tip:  These tickets book up very quickly, so be flexible about dates and try to book far in advance of when you want to go. 

Boston Discount Passes for Attractions, Museums, & Cruises - Savings for Everyone

Discount passes give you a great option for saving on admission to museums, attractions, cruises, and sightseeing.  

Once you buy a discount card, it gives you free admission for a specified number of days.  Depending on which card you get and how much you use it, you can save almost 50% or more. 

Two different types are available in Boston, so choose the one that fits your needs best.

Save BIG with Go Boston discount card
CityPASS Boston discount card at

Go City Boston All-Inclusive Pass

Go City's Boston All-Inclusive Pass gives you free admission to 40+ top Boston attractions, tours, museums, day trips, and cruises.  

If you're interested in at least 3-4 of the attractions, cruises, tours, and other experiences included with the card, getting the card is almost a no-brainer.

You buy the card for a certain number of days (1, 2, 3, 5, or 7), save up to 55% and use the card for as many attractions as you'd like during the card's valid period.

Find out more about Go City's Boston All-Inclusive Pass

Boston CityPass Discount Card

Boston CityPASS gives you entrance to 4 top attractions over a 9-day period while letting you save up to 45% of the regular admission cost - almost half off. 

You'll save money with Boston CityPASS even if you go to only 3 of the attractions.  But you'll probably want to go to all 4 because these truly are top Boston attractions. 

Find out more about Boston CityPASS

Another Excellent Option - Tickets through Get Your Guide

If you only have time for only one or two attractions or activities, check out Get Your Guide's selection of attractions, cruises, tours, and experiences. 

You can book your tickets online in advance so that you don't waste time standing in line (look for skip-the-line tickets).  Get Your Guide always shows discounted prices when they're available.

Here's an example of what Get Your Guide offers:

Save Up to 50% & More with Groupon:  Sports, Cruises, Tours, Fun Experiences, Attractions

Groupon offers savings of up to 50% or more on sports, tours, cruises, shows, attractions, and fun experiences (paint night or sushi-making class, anyone?). 

Groupon deals are ALWAYS worth checking, because you'll find discounts on activities you won't see anywhere else. 

And if you're still firming up your plans for your Boston trip, their website will give you some fantastic ideas about how to spend your time here.

Here's a quick preview of what Groupon offers - but click on this link to see much more.

How to Save on Boston Hotels: Discounts, Deals, & Last Minute Savings

How to find Boston Hotel dealsSample Today Deals listing from

It's no secret that Boston hotel rates rank among the highest in North America, especially from April through early November - so finding hotel discounts and deals can save you significant dollars. 

The good news is that whether you're looking for last-minute reservations or booking in advance, deals and discounts are always out there, even though finding them isn't always easy.  Here's where to start:


You've probably read hotel reviews and checked rates on TripAdvisor- but did you know you can also use this popular website to find the great hotel deals?

The fastest way to do this is to go straight to their Boston, Massachusetts Deals.

They'll show you all the Boston hotel deals and discounts offered by leading hotels for specific dates - so if you know what your travel dates are, this is the best place to look.  To find the cheapest deals, click on Sort by and choose Price (low to high).

The second way to find deals on TripAdvisor is check their Last Minute Hotels.  Last Minute Hotels are only available for certain dates - so check this page if your travel dates are flexible.

The easiest way to find what's on offer through is to use their booking map to see short-term apartment rentals as well as hotels, B&Bs, and inns.  Enter your dates to check what's available when you'll be here:

More about how to save on Boston hotels

Boston insider tip:  Sometimes events cause rates to soar on certain days.   If your schedule is flexible, enter different dates to see if that makes a difference.

Want More Hotel Savings Information?

Find more about ways to save on hotels on our Boston Hotel Deals page

More Articles about How to Save on Boston Attractions, Cruises, Tours, Sports, Concerts, Events, & More

Fun Ways to See Boston

Need a Boston Hotel or Apartment?

Use this handy map from to find the perfect place to stay.  Just enter your dates to find what's available, see the best rates, and make your reservations.