Boston hop-on hop-off trolley tours . . . you'll see them everywhere around the city's top attractions and historic neighborhoods.

Part transportation and part sightseeing, the colorful trolleys offer you lots of fun while giving you the easiest way to tour Boston at your own pace.

Want to Explore Boston on a Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley?

The on-board tour guides will entertain you with lots of stories about famous sites and local characters as you drive around the city's fabled historic areas.  If you've taken similar tours in other cities where you've had only recorded audio commentary, you'll appreciate having a

See interesting places you want to explore along the way? 

Just hop off - and then hop back on again once you're ready.  You can do this as often as you like while your trolley pass is valid - typically for one or two days.

If you're visiting Boston for the first time, there's no better way to get acquainted with our city and all it offers. 

And if you've been here before, you know there's nothing more fun than getting around the city on these comfortable trolleys.

Get your Hop On Hop Off Trolley tickets:

"I LOVE Boston's hop-on/hop-off trolley tours - and when you're visiting Boston in the rain with your 5-year-old and 13-year-old, the trolley takes you everywhere you want to go AND provides plenty of entertainment for all ages.  MUCH easier than the taking subway - and a lot more fun!"

        Montreal, Canada

Top photo:  Hop on hop off trolley going past Boston Common, (c) Boston Discovery Guide

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What to Expect on Hop-On Hop-Off Trolleys

Old Town Trolley in Boston's North End
Old Town Trolley in Boston's North End

Two companies - Old Town Trolley Tours and City View Trolleys - offer hop-on hop-off tours in Boston. You'll get a similar sightseeing experience from both of them, but with some key differences.

To be clear, only the Old Town Trolley Tour company uses the old-style trolleys.  The Boston Sightseeing Bus Tour, as its name suggests, offers tours on double-decker open-top buses. 

You'll get a similar sightseeing experience from both of them, but with some key differences.


  • You can get off and on the trolleys as many times as you please.
  • Both trolleys cover a core historic route including Freedom Trail sites in Downtown Boston, Copley Square in Back Bay, and top attractions in Seaport/South Boston Waterfront. However, Old Town Trolleys go to a couple of additional areas - more about that in the next section.
  • Because the trolleys' routes go through the oldest, most historical parts of Boston, you'll see many (like around 100) famous and well-known attractions.
  • Tour guides:  Both Old Town Trolleys and City View Trolleys have live tour guides (rather than audio recordings) on board who inform and entertain you with descriptions about the famous and historic sites you'll see, the neighborhoods you travel through, and bits of Boston history.  This commentary is one of the highlights of the tour.
  • Although the Old Town Trolleys appear to be somewhat higher off the ground than the City View Trolleys, both offer seating at a sufficiently high level to give you to have a great view.
  • Both companies operate during a similar time period (9am-9:30am to 4pm-5pm), based on the season, and pick up/drop off at each stop at intervals of 10-30 minutes, depending on the season and traffic conditions. 


  • Availability:  Old Town trolleys offer tours all year, whereas City View trolleys provide service only from April - November
  • Specialty Tours:  Although as far as we're aware, the Old Town trolley company doesn't host specialty tours itself, it provides its trolleys to a couple of specialty tour groups that use the trolleys for the super-popular Ghosts & Gravestones and the highly-rated Summer Nights Sunset tours.  You'll need to get separate tickets for these tours, but they're a great way to tour Boston in the early evening hours or at night.  The Ghosts and Gravestones tours always sell out during much of October, so be sure to book in advance.
  • Routes:  Although both Old Town and City View trolleys cover roughly the same core historical route (Boston Common and nearby areas, North End, West End, Charlestown, Beacon Hill), Old Town also goes through parts of Back Bay, Fenway, and the South Station area.  You should keep in mind that routes may change a bit without notice, especially during holidays, big event periods, and anything else that can cause congestion in our narrow city streets.  Because the Old Town trolleys cover a somewhat wider territory, they also pass by some additional famous places.
  • Stops:  Old Town makes a total of 14 different stops.  In contrast, City View Trolley Tours makes only 9 stops.  Since Boston is quite compact, most of the stops are fairly close together.  However, if you're touring with a stroller or toddlers, you may appreciate the closer stops.
  • Trolley design:  The Old Town Trolleys are semi-enclosed with a roof overhead whereas some of the Boston Sightseeing tour trolleys have open tops.
  • Length of narrated tour: About the same (1.5, 1.75 hours) for both tours
  • Cost:  Although Old Town tickets and City View Trolleys usually offer similar rates, sometimes they'll knock off a couple of dollars that will make one or the other cheaper at a given moment.  Bottom line:  Both tours offer excellent value so choose the best fit for you based on what you want to see and where you want to go.
  • Discounts & Savings on Boston Trolley Tours:  You will usually find the best prices, promos, and deals (such as 2 days for the price of one, or free admission to other top attractions such as the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum or a Boston Harbor cruise when you buy your tickets online.

Look for Tickets, Promos, & Deals for Boston's Hop-On Hop-Off Trolleys:

What to Bring on Your Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Old Town Trolley in Boston's Beacon Hill
Old Town Trolley in Boston's Beacon Hill

No need to worry about bringing a map, because your trolley driver will give you one.  In addition to showing all the stops, you'll also see lots of other attractions to explore around each stop. 

However, there are several items that will make your day or two on the trolleys more comfortable:

  • Sunscreen - Boston sun can be strong, and there's lots to explore on foot near each stop.
  • Water bottle - Especially if you're visiting in the summer, stay hydrated!
  • Umbrella - Boston weather can change faster than you'd expect - so you think there's any chance of rain, be prepared!  (Of course, if you do get caught in a sudden shower without an umbrella, you can stay on the trolley in comfort until the rain stops.)
  • Comfortable shoes for walking - Many interesting attractions, including several of the Freedom Trail sites such as the historic graveyards, are 2-3 blocks from where the trolleys can stop as Boston's narrow winding streets in the older historic areas don't allow them to get closer. 

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