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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Boston

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Boston.
Below are the main dates for these festivities:

January 1 : New Year's day (national)

January 18 : Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (national)

A federal holiday in the United States, celebrating the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. In recent years, it has increasingly been seen as a day of service, when Americans are encouraged to volunteer to help others less fortunate than themselves. In Boston, exhibitions, gospel concerts, and debates take place at the Museum of African-American History.

Late January-Early February : Chinese New Year (national)

Chinese New Year is celebrated annually in Chinatown with a parade and fireworks.

The weekend before or after 17 March : Saint Patrick's Day Parade (local)

Colourful floats line the parade route through South Boston, home to one of the largest Irish communities in the United States. Between 600,000 and a million people attend, as Saint Patrick is the city's Patron Saint. A very festive atmosphere!

Third Monday of April : Patriot's Day (local)

The Patriot's Day holiday in Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin commemorates the first battle of the American Revolution with re-enactments and performances.

Third Monday of April : Boston Marathon (local)

The world's oldest marathon attracts more than 25,000 runners. The 42-kilometre route starts west of Boston in Hopkinton and finishes in front of the Boston Public Library.

July 4 : Halloween (national)

A federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Celebrated with parades, military marches and fireworks.

October 31 : Thanksgiving (national)

During this national holiday, for many Americans the most important of the year, most Bostonians share a traditional meal with friends and family.

Fourth Thursday of November : Thanksgiving (national)

Originally a Christian religious observance, for many years Thanksgiving has been a secular holiday in the United States, celebrated by Americans of all faiths. Families come together to prepare and enjoy a large feast at home. The meal typically includes roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce as well as various side dishes and ends with an assortment of pies (pumpkin, pecan, apple).

December 25 : Christmas (national)

December 31 : First Night Boston (local)

On New Year's Eve, the streets of Boston host concerts, dance performances, street food and art displays.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Boston

Despite its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Boston has a temperate continental climate, marked by a large temperature range. Winters are cold and dry (between 0°C/32°F and -10°C/14°F on average), especially from November to March, and snowfall is frequent. Spring is short, followed by a hot and humid summer in July and August. September temperatures are more bearable (20°C/68°F and above).

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January –6/21,2 3/37,4 90/3,5 Not the best period to go
February –5/23 4/39,2 83/3,7 Not the best period to go
March –1/30,2 7/44,6 96/3,8 Not the best period to go
April 4/39,2 13/55,4 88/3,5 Not the best period to go
May 10/50 20/68 78/3,1 Not the best period to go
June 15/59 25/77 80/3,1 Good period to go Good period to go
July 18/64,4 28/82,4 83/3,3 Good period to go Good period to go
August 18/64,4 27/80,6 90/3,5 Good period to go Good period to go
September 14/57,2 23/73,4 80/3,1 Good period to go Good period to go
October 9/48,2 18/64,4 83/3,2 Good period to go Good period to go
November 3/37,4 10/50 90/3,5 Not the best period to go
December –3/26,6 5/41 85/3,3 Not the best period to go
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Boston-Logan International Airport

Boston-Logan International Airport is located in East Boston, roughly five kilometres from the city centre.

  • 4 terminals
    • TA
    • TB
    • TC
    • TE (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Boston and back:
  • By car:
    • Accessible via the Massachusetts Turnpike East, the I-93, or the I-95 to Route 1 South. About 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
    • The airport has four car parks. The central car park is within walking distance from all terminals. B and E terminals each have a parking lot. Economy parking is serviced by free shuttle buses to and from all terminals. Prices range from USD 7 for 1 hour to up to USD 26 for 24 hours.
    • Car rental companies are grouped in the Rental Car Center on the other side of the I-90.
  • Bus:
    • The free Silver Line connects the airport with South Station, which is on the Red Line of the subway.
  • Subway:
    • The Blue Line runs from the airport and connects to the Orange and Green lines. To get to Airport Station, take the complimentary shuttles #22 (TA and TB), #33 (TC and TE), and #55 (all terminals), leaving every 5-6 minutes. A subway ticket costs USD 2.75.
  • Water Taxis & Shuttles:
    • The Boston Water Taxi (BWT) goes from the airport to Long Wharf in downtown Boston, and costs USD 10. Massport's complimentary shuttle bus #66 serves all terminals (every 15 minutes) from Logan Dock.
  • Taxi:
    • Taxi fares from the airport cost between USD 25 and USD 45 and about 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
  • Services:
    • Bars and restaurants, souvenirs shops, banks, children's playground, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) in the airport.
    • Website: www.massport.com
    • Telephone: +1 800 235 6426

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GETTING AROUND Boston

Boston has a great subway, bus, and water taxi service, but it is also easy to get around on foot.

Car

If your stay does not exceed three months, a French driving license obtained at least one year prior to rental is enough to drive in Boston. For longer stays, you must pass the driving license of your state of residence. It is very difficult to park in the centre and the parking lots are expensive (about USD 40 for 24 hours). Use public transport. The city is easily covered on foot.

Bus / Tramway

With nearly 170 lines, Boston and its surrounding areas are well served by buses, which run between 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. Schedules and length of service nevertheless vary. Bus info is available on the MBTA website www.mbta.com.

Bus stops are not clearly indicated, which can make it difficult to use for visitors. A ticket costs USD 2.00. With a CharlieCard, tickets are USD 1.70 only.

Day and week passes (USD 12 and 21.25) can be purchased at subway stations. Children under 11 travel free when accompanied by an adult.

Subway

The ‘T' is the oldest subway system in the United States. Its four lines (Red, Blue, Green, and Orange) service the city centre and all of Greater Boston, including Cambridge. Daily from 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (approximately).

Tickets and prices are the same as for buses.

Water Taxis

Boston's water taxis provide rapid, efficient, and pleasurable transit service on the waterfront and to the airport. Several companies operate this service, including MBTA. A ticket costs around USD 12.

Taxis

Boston counts numerous taxi companies, all pretty expensive. You can identify the official taxi cabs by their roof sign. A short trip inside city limits costs between USD 10 and 20 if traffic is light.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Boston, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Two Copley Place, Suite 105, Boston, MA 02116
  • Telephone: +1 617 536 4100
  • Website: www.bostonusa.com

Visitor Information Desk

The visitor information desks provide a wealth of information on Boston and its whereabouts. Listed below are the main addresses:

Visitor Information Desk

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: 10 Park Plaza #4510 Boston, MA 02116
  • Telephone: +1 617 973 8500
  • Website: www.visitmass.fr

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Boston counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccination

No vaccination is required to enter the United States. However, a diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccination before departure is recommended.

AIR FRANCE VACCINATION CENTRE

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

  • Address: 38, quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    • online (click here)
    • call the centre at +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

Food safety recommendations

There are no food safety risks in Boston.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Boston.

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Administrative procedures

Entry requirements for the United States

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens or nationals of various countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, whether for tourism or business.

For further information, see the Visitor Visa page on the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Boston, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Good to know

+1
+ phone number
-5 : 00
of time difference with
Luanda
Start of daylight saving time: second Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: first Sunday in October

Generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Generally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.
110 Volts 60 Hz

Tipping

In Boston as in the rest of the United States, a service charge is not included in the bill and tips form a major portion of income for waiting staff. Prices on restaurant menus are indicated before taxes and tips. You are therefore expected to leave a tip (generally between 15 and 20 percent of the bill). Tipping less than 15 percent (or leaving no tip at all) means that you are very dissatisfied with the service.

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