Top 5 Boston Trolley Tours: Trolley Rides in Boston to Book in 2023

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Are you planning a trip to Boston, Massachusetts? Exploring Boston isn’t too hard to do with the city’s great walkability and fantastic public transportation system, but if you’re looking to maximize your Boston trip – and transportation – check out Boston trolley tours!

Why should you sign up for a Boston trolley tour? Well, not only are the trolley tours in Boston an excellent way to get around and learn a bit about some of Boston’s most popular attractions, but they’re just plain fun! You get to see famous sights like the Boston Freedom Trail, and tour guides are able to provide a little extra information you might not otherwise have access to. It’s a great way to see a lot in a short time, especially if you’re only in Boston for a few days!

Different trolley tour companies offer different routes with an emphasis on varying historical sights and attractions in the city, so be sure to shop around a bit to see which one will work best for you. 

Combine your Boston trolley tour with a Go Boston Card or a Boston CityPASS (read the difference between them here) to make your Boston trolley tour even more practical and valuable!

We’ve outlined the most popular Boston trolley tours below so you can choose the best option for you and your crew. There are also food tours, boat tours, and ghost tours to check out during your Boston visit, too. Have fun seeing the sights in Boston!

Don’t have time to read the whole post? These are our top recommendations:

🚎 Most Highly Rated Boston Trolley Tour: Old Town Trolley Tours Hop-On, Hop-Off

🚎 Most Unique Boston Trolley Tour: Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour

🚎 Most Popular Trolley Tour for Families: Boston Duck Tours

Boston Trolley Tours

An orange and green tour bus is seen parked on a city street under cloudy skies and is one of the most popular Boston trolley tours.
Editorial credit: m_sovinskii /; one of the most popular Boston Trolley Tours!

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with 14 Stops

The Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour by Old Town Trolley Tours is one of the most popular ways to cover a lot of ground during your visit to Boston, and here’s why: not only do you get the inside scoop from your knowledgeable tour guide as you make your way around some of Boston’s most famous attractions, but you can hop off at any stop and get out and explore as long as you’d like, then hop back on during the next tour.

Even better, your tickets for Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour are good for two consecutive days, so you have plenty of time to take advantage of this awesome deal! If you decide to take the tour “straight through,” it’s only about an hour and forty-five minutes long.

The route for this Boston tour by trolley goes from the New England Aquarium to the Boston Tea Party Museum, seeing notable Boston sights like the historic Faneuil Hall, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, and many more.

You even get discounted admission to certain sites with purchase of this trolley tour in Boston!

This Boston trolley tour operates rain or shine, year round, but does cancel if weather is too extreme. The trolley is considered “open air,” but is heated in the colder months.

PS Check out their Boston Summer Nights Tour to enjoy the beautiful sunset and the sights!

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Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

This is one of Boston’s most frequently booked trolley tours, especially near Halloween, and it is one that is very quick to sell out! This tour is rated PG-13 and children under the age of 6 are not allowed, but guardians can decide for themselves if their older kids are able to handle a ride aboard the Trolley of the Doomed!

The Boston Ghosts and Gravestones tour picks up and drops off at 200 Atlantic Avenue, and along the way, you’ll learn about some of the most infamous people to ever come out of the city, including notorious characters like the Boston Strangler!

You’ll also visit spooky spots around Boston, like two famous 17th century burying grounds and hear tales of those who rest – or cannot rest – there! This tour takes about two hours to complete and it is a rain or shine experience… this could be the perfect Boston thing to do on a dark and stormy night!

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A popular trolley tour in Boston is seen with several tourists on board on a city street
Editorial credit: 2p2play /; trolley tours in Boston are a unique way to see the city sights.

Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour with Harbor Cruise Option

This Hop-On Hop-Off Boston Trolley Tour option is different than the one above in a couple of ways, the most significant being that it includes nine stops rather than the fourteen featured above. 

This trolley tour includes notable Boston sights like the New England Aquarium, North End, Boston Public Garden, and more, and takes about two hours to complete, but the thing that people enjoy the most about this particular tour is the harbor cruise option!

The harbor tour option must be selected during ticket purchase, but people rave about the harbor cruise tour operators’ great tour guide skills and the opportunity to see some of Boston’s best waterfront sights.  

This hop-on hop-off trolley tour in Boston runs from mid April to mid November, seven days a week with varying hours. Do pay close attention to the ticket redemption point instructions when you purchase, as some say that it isn’t clear that a physical ticket must be picked up before you can board the trolley – no hopping on this one mid tour!

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A group of people wait in line to board one of the best Boston trolley tours
Editorial credit: 2p2play /; Boston trolley tours are extra convenient because parking in town is never easy!

Boston Shore Excursion: Boston Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour

Named one of the best hop-on hop-off trolley tours in the world by Forbes, the Boston Shore Excursion Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour is a popular way for people to pair their cruises with a narrated trolley tour in Boston! 

Stops include areas in historic Beacon Hill and the famous Cheers bar by the beautiful Boston Public Garden, and you’ll have the opportunity to see some of Boston’s most famous historical sights along the Boston Freedom Trail. 

You’ll also see local points of interest like Symphony Hall and the Boston Public Library. This tour runs on specific dates between March and December, but there is something to consider: people report that it can be tricky to find space on the trolleys, and they might feel as if hopping off isn’t worth risking not being able to hop back on! You can mitigate this some by choosing to arrive early.

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A yellow amphibious duck tour trolley in Boston is seen on land in the city.
Editorial credit: 2p2play /; this Boston tour by trolley is always a big hit for families.

Boston Duck Tour

Okay, while this isn’t a traditional Boston trolley, we couldn’t resist and it’s pretty trolley-like while it’s on land! One of the most popular tours in Boston, across the board, the Boston Duck Tours are approximately eighty minutes long and take you around some of Boston’s most popular attractions, including Boston Common, Bunker Hill, Quincy Market, and more, then it’s a quick hop, skip, and a splash into the water portion of this tour.

Not only is this a great tour on land, but seeing some of Boston’s most notable sights from Charles River is a unique and one of a kind opportunity, so we couldn’t help but add it to this list of Boston tours!

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Trolley rides in Boston offer such a cool way to get out and see the city, especially if you choose one of the hop off tours! Whatever of these trolley tours you choose, you’re sure to learn some new and interesting information and collect some great stories to tell when you get back home!

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