Boston Nightlife • A Complete Guide

Welcome to Boston’s premier nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Boston. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

A small introduction to Boston, Massachusetts


Boston located in the commonwealth of Massachusetts is the capital and the most important city in the region. It is one of the oldest cities in the United States of America and it was part of various significant historic moments in the history of United States and the history of the world.

The city has a great population diversity, it is home to several renowned world class institutions, tech companies, financial institutions and start-ups. In fact, Boston is considered to be the innovation capital of the world with more than two thousand registered start-ups operating from the city. This great diversity in the population has given a rich culture to Boston, a culture which is welcoming to anyone who wants to embrace it.

To keep the population entertained and to help them unwind after a busy day or week the city of Boston has various entertainment options such as pubs, bars, night clubs, discotheques, restaurants and so on. These are spread across the city and operate on all days.

Boston Nightlife
Boston Nightlife

There are events that are held through the year in this beautiful city and these events are of various types from historical events to seasonal events to events that signify a modern-day phenomenon. Visiting the city during one of these events would be a good way to experience the rich culture and heritage of the city and also have fun like the locals here do.

One word of caution though, unlike the other major cities of the world the nightlife in this city ends pretty early. Wondering how early? Don’t worry by early we mean 2:00am. The city does take its work seriously. In this article we would be seeing more in detail about the nightlife of the magnificent city along with the places that one needs to visit and things to keep in mind while visiting these places.

The Nightlife in Boston

House of Blues Boston
Dropkick Murphys rocking the crowds at House of Blues Boston

Though Boston is a history lovers dream, the city provides plenty of options for anyone who is looking for something more than just the history. The city is blessed with some lush green fresh open green parks, magnificent skyline and a ton of outdoor activities to do. So, one can just take a walk across the city while enjoying the cold breeze and the skyline or just soak in some sun light while sitting in any of the parks. While all these activities could be done during the day there are equally exciting fun activities to do in the night as well. The night life scene in Boston is very live and happening. One can choose from the wide range of available options depending on their mood and what they are looking for. The city is home to some world class pubs, sports bars, live music bars, discotheques amongst many other attractions. The culture of the place is welcoming so one can easily mix with the locals and party like a local when in Boston. Though the night entertainment runs longer during the weekends don’t be disappointed if it closes around 2:00am during the weekdays.

Best locations of Boston for Nightlife

Boston nightlife can get quite heavy on your pockets. So, one needs to choose a location or a particular place depending on what he/she is looking for. Whether it is the dive in pubs or the friendly bottles only dance bars the city has got it all. And the city has places to drink, dance and party spread out quite well. One can choose which area they want to enjoy the nightlife depending on what they are looking for. Here Is the list of best places in Boston where one can experience night life.

Quincy Market

Quincy Market
Quincy Market

This is one of the most touristy areas of boston and also home to some world class bars and pubs. Expect this place to be costly due to the thriving tourist crowds through the year. Most places have a cover charge of at least 10$. Stay away if you are looking for a non-touristy place.

Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall
Faneuil Hall

It is another touristy area of boston. The place has some great pubs and bars that one can choose from. Even this place is considered to be heavy on the pockets. Word of caution avoid if you are looking for a non-touristy place.

North end

North end
North end

primarily known for its restaurant scene, but this place also has some great bars to compliment these restaurants. It is located near the Faneuil hall area which makes it even more attractive since one can get the best of both the places here.

Downtown/ Financial District

Downtown/ Financial District
Downtown/ Financial District

has some fancy pubs and bars. Most of them are high end and has great posh crowd through the week. The places can get quite so avoid if you are looking for a noisy, loud night club. Ideal for a good intimate date.

Boylston/Newbury

Boylston/Newbury
Boylston/Newbury

has a plenty of options for everyone to choose from. One can get to these areas and can quite literally get lost in the number of bars and pubs that this place has got to offer. You will find a lot of locals in the areas who visit the pubs post a long day at work.

Harvard Square

Harvard Square
Harvard Square

is the place to be if you are looking to rub your shoulders with some ivy leagues. The place is relatively pocket friendly and has a good young student population. These are few of the most prominent areas where one can experience nightlife in boston. Apart from these there are other areas which are not as prominent but still can be visited for their nightlife, they are:

  • Cambridge
  • Middlesex
  • South end
  • Allston brighten area
  • Alley

All these places have got something for everyone to choose from. So, head out, grab a drink and get ready to party hard. The weather in boston can get quiet hot during the summer and there are plenty of beaches in and around boston where one can go and get some cool sea breeze and relax. Here are some of the best beaches of boston:

Castle Island

Castle Island
Castle Island

has the pleasure bay beach which is an ideal location for a family picnic. The beach is easily accessible by road or by the metro. Don’t miss out on the spectacular sunsets that this place has got to offer.

Revere beach

Revere beach
Revere beach

located on the north of boston is a two-mile-long beach. Oldest public beach in the United States and can get crowded during the weekends.

Carson beach

Carson beach
Carson beach

located near the fort independence is a good visit for both individuals and families. The beach has lot of fun activities like beach volleyball and a lot of food vendors to cater to your taste buds.

Plum Island

Plum Island
Plum Island

is an hour drive from boston and is ideal for a days’ vacation. One of the most serene and peaceful beaches of boston away from all the bustle and bustle of the city.

Savin Hill beach

Savin Hill beach
Savin Hill beach

has a lot of options for entertainment like baseball fields, volleyball fields and so on. One can get a magnificent view of the city’s skyline from the shores of this beach. These beaches offer loads of activities along with just taking a dip in the water and would be highly recommended for anyone who is looking to get some quiet time away from the bustling city life.

Best Bars of Boston

To some outsiders, Boston is still thought of as a no-frills, old-school drinking town. Yet the city’s bar scene has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Once a city populated mostly with hotel bars and Irish pubs, Boston is now brimming with drinking spots of every size and description, from cavernous beer bars to artisanal cocktail lounges. And while our dive bar scene might be waning, there are still plenty of bare-boned watering holes to be found. Consider visiting the best bars in Boston before or after dining at one of the best restaurants in Boston—not that you need an excuse.

Drink

Drink Bar
Drink Bar

Drink is an underground bar and it has been firmly planted at the top of local and national cocktail enthusiasts’ must-see lists for its personal approach to mixology. The place has no menu or drink lists, and all bottles are kept out of view. Master bartenders who are experts in this field listen to each guest’s preferences and then craft artistic cocktails from their stock of premium spirits, fresh mixers, and house-made accoutrements. This place is a must visit when in Boston. It is located on the seaport district of Boston.

Eastern Standard

Eastern Standard
Eastern Standard

Like the name suggests, if you want to get a flavour of the east and set some really hugh standards then the place you need to be in is Eastern Standard. The bar program here remains committed to a higher level of mixology, from using the best spirits from across the globe to freshly-squeezed fruit juices. This place has made common to find Red Sox fans drinking Sazerac instead of beers, and many a Fenway event-goer stops in for a composed entree rather than a quick bite. It’s a great anytime option, especially if drinks are involved. If the warm and inviting interior gets too packed and noisy, try to retreat to the sidewalk patio for a calmer and more relaxed setting. This place is located on the Fenway region of Boston.

Café Artscience

Café Artscience
Café Artscience

Science mixed with art is a great combination and what better place to experience that than the café art science located in the Kendall square of Boston. The place has a daring cocktail program. Past examples of the staff’s wizardry include a clarified piña colada and futuristic Rob Roy that involves a sensory cloud made from ArtScience’s famed Le Whaf. Many drinks feature outrageous garnishes, both edible and non, and rare is the cocktail that isn’t a feast for multiple senses.

The Hawthorne

The Hawthorne
The Hawthorne

Located in the Fenway locality of Boston, this swanky lounge is spread over several subterranean rooms in the Hotel Commonwealth. It can be difficult to find a free space on one of the many couches, but the impressive cocktails and variety of small plates are worth the wait. Drink options run the gamut from inventive mixed drinks to a well-curated assortment beers and wines. Make sure you have a booking well in advance if you want to be seated or if you don’t mind standing then head there right now.

The Gallows

The Gallows
The Gallows

Situated near the spot where public hangings were performed in colonial times, The Gallows plays up its macabre location with an ominous black crow sign above the door. The bar area has an unassuming vibe, and the inventive cocktail list highlights original concoctions, including liquor infusions like apple bourbon and lavender vodka. One of the South End’s best beer lists also wins kudos.

The Baldwin Bar

The Baldwin Bar
The Baldwin Bar

One of Boston’s most exciting mixologists is based out in Woburn. Ran Duan took over the drink menu at his parents’ suburban Chinese restaurant and turned it into an outré bar program that draws cocktail connoisseurs from all over. Innovative presentation, lip smacking flavours and prompt service make this place a must visit. Duan even won an award at the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition for his Father’s Advice (rum, amaro, vermouth, sherry, creme de banana). This place needs to be high on your list if you love the cocktails. These are some of the best bars in Boston and they provide something for everyone. Your next trip to Boston would be incomplete without visiting one of the above bars. Boston could rightly be called as the cocktail capital of the world. And be ready to empty your pockets here because the nightlife here does not come cheap.

Best Bar Restaurants of Boston

You’ve watched all the major historically significant places during the day, you have taken a big scroll in the lush green parks of the city and you have also seen the skyline of the magnificent city or you have just had a long tiring day. What next? Sometimes after a long tiring day after work or even just sightseeing you might need to grab some good food for your tummy and grab a few drinks for your soul. And what better place to go than a bar restaurants which provides good food along with some great drinks. Isn’t that a great combination? Boston has some great bar restaurants of different themes in almost all the regions of the city and here are our top picks:

Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar
Brick and Mortar

The bacon wrapped dates and deep-fried house made pickles are a must try here. This place could be a little difficult to find. But trust me, its worth a find because the drink and food here is mouth-watering. It has a giant horse shoe shaped bar with ample seating. Brick and mortar is a place where they do prepare everything right from the basic and bring it to your table fresh out of the kitchen. This place is a must try. This place is located in the central square part of the city.

Wink and Nod

Wink and Nod
Wink and Nod

For its seasonal cocktail menu, this South End subterranean pseudo-speakeasy tweaks classic options by using house-made cordials, juices and infusions. Those looking to impress can splurge on one of the “black card” cocktails; packed with pricey ingredients, these run up to $100 each. Members of the Scotch Club spend their Tuesday evenings sampling top-shelf bottles with the beverage director, while a rotating pop-up restaurant churns out bold bites. This is one of the best places to grab a drink and eat some food in the southern part of the city.

JJ Foley’s

JJ Foley’s
JJ Foley’s

JJ Foley’s is a low key, dim lit bar near the downtown area of the city. It is a hot favourite amongst the locals for a after work drink, bringing in a cross-section of patrons – everyone from weary suit-clad businessmen to tattooed bike messengers. The place is also thronged by celebrities from time to time, you might just get lucky. The place is reasonably priced and is a must visit for anyone willing to know the culture and mingle with a few locals.

Doyle’s Café

Doyle’s Café
Doyle’s Café

Imagine a Irish pub that has been popular, now imagine an Irish pub which has been popular for centuries then you get Doyle’s café. This place has been part of the city’s history and journey throughout. The ceilings are lofty, the rooms capacious, and the murals—high on the walls, portraying scenes from colonial Massachusetts—are gorgeous. The generous portions of comfort food and wide selection of ales and scotches are a bonus.

Brendan Behan

Brendan Behan
Brendan Behan

Named after the Irish playwright, Behan’s is not a fancy place—it’s small and dimly lit, with no food on offer—but that’s part of its charm. The lived-in environs host an eclectic mix of patrons, who come to Jamaica Plain to catch up with friends or enjoy a solitary pint. Locals love it because they are allowed to bring their own food, usually ordered from the various take-out joints that dot Centre Street. This unique place is located in the Jamaican plain.

Back Bar

Back Bar
Back Bar

Located in the Somerville part of the city. This hidden bar is best found by looking for the disoriented would-be patrons wandering the parking lot between neighbours Bronwyn and the Independent. Once you find yourself inside, you’ll be treated to outstanding service and meticulously crafted cocktails while seated at low-key wooden block tables.

Bully Boy Tasting Room

Bully Boy Tasting Room
Bully Boy Tasting Room

Bully boy tasting room is city’s first modern craft distillery and has already changed the city’s drinking scene, as bartenders around town regularly incorporate its handcrafted spirits into their own cocktail programs. A trek out to the distillery’s tasting room is a must for any area cocktail lover. The intimate bar area features velvet booth seating and a collection of Prohibition-era spirit bottles, and there’s a large window overlooking the gorgeous copper pot still. Each cocktail showcases Bully Boy’s spirits with fresh juices and small-batch syrups and bitters. It is located in the Roxbury region of Boston. The eating dinner scene in a bar restaurant in Boston would likely mean eating some deep-fried food or some toasts. But these days the bar restaurants serve a huge diversity of cuisines from across the globe with some equally great cocktails. No one would mistake these spots for proper sit-down restaurants, but if one drink turned into a few, it’d be easy to make a meal out of their excellent dishes. These are the best bars for scoring a standout meal.

Major Events happening in Boston

Each year Boston is host to many special events – there’s truly something for everyone, whether you are a sports enthusiast, patriotic reveller, history buff, or a gastronomic foodie. There’s no better way to usher in the New Year than doing so with First Night/First Day – a Boston tradition for over 40 years! The party begins with the People’s Procession with ice sculptures, light displays, arts and musical performances, fireworks, and the “Copley Countdown” light show and pyrotechnics in Copley Square. The fun continues on January 1 with special family events from 11am – 2pm. Now imagine if a place celebrates new year like this how about the other events through the year? Here is a comprehensive list of the major events happening in Boston through the year: January:

  • New Year’s Day Celebration
  • L street Brownies swim

February:

  • Truck day
  • Boston science fiction film festival
  • Patrick’s Day

March:April:

  • Boston Marathon
  • Patriot’s Day Parade
  • Greek independence parade

May:

  • Walk for hunger
  • Haitian Parade

June:

  • June Day Parade-AHAC Change of Command Ceremonies
  • Dorchester Parade
  • Boston gay pride day
  • Bunker hill parade

July:

  • The united states Independence Day parade
  • Boston pops fireworks spectacular
  • Puerto Rican Parade
  • Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon

August:

September:October:

  • Columbus Day Parade
  • Arlington International film festival
  • Head of the Charles Regatta
  • Build Boston

November:December:

  • Christmas Flea market
  • First Night

Make sure to visit a few of these fests whenever you are in Boston during any of the above months. These fests will provide a tourist an opportunity to experience the culture, vibe and the energy of Boston in its true sense and also mingle with the local population. And most of these fests are organized at a specific location of the city so if you are planning to visit these fests make sure to book your hotels accordingly in the locations. And these fests are full of music, dance, drama, food, drinks and fiesta off course, Boston at its best.

Best Nightclubs of Boston

The Boston dance club scene blends the high energy you’d expect from a nightclub with the refined elegance of an upscale lounge. One can dance the night away at the best dance clubs in the city of Boston. Speckled through the city, you’ll find dance clubs that will fit your mood. From the theatre district and its selection of popular spots that often have long lines from early in the evening until closing, to those near Fenway that draw a crowd as varied as the music played inside. DJ’s spinning tunes at the venue to get the party going with a mix of old school rap, hip-hop, and Latin music that draws a beautiful crowd of fun loving twenty somethings through its doors. While the Dj’d at Tunnel play the best: House, Dance, and Top Forty. And the mix of live music and DJ’s at the House of Blues ensures there is always something to get you on the dance floor. Those seeking electronic dance will fall in love with the tunes at Underbar on Saturday nights when it takes over the speakers and blasts throughout the space. allowing fans to dance to the music they love. Here is a list of best nightclubs in Boston and details about them:

Rumor

Rumor
Rumor

Rumor is one of Boston’s hottest nightclubs. Set in the bustling Theatre District, it is known to be the home to some of the best dance spots in the city, Rumor is a beautiful space that fills with beautiful and energetic people through the week. International in nature, Rumor brings a global feel to this local spot allowing you to enjoy drinks and dancing under their stylish roof. Known for their state of the art sound system, tight security and impeccable service, this place has taken over the Boston nightlife to a higher level. Enjoy special events or just a night out with friends getting wild on the dance floor at this high energy place.

UnderBar

UnderBar
UnderBar

Underbar nightclub and lounge has been a forerunner in the club scene since it’s opening in the year 2004. Internationally known as one of the top club destinations around the globe, Underbar has a reputation that can’t be beaten easily. You’ll find Underbar packed, especially on Saturdays when the Electronic Dance Music community comes out to enjoy all that this club has to offer. You’ll find a solid selection of international DJ’s playing at Underbar. Their sound system was created exclusively for the club by Angel Moraes who is known as the father of one of the best sound systems in North America, located in Montreal. That gives Underbar bragging rights as they can say that their sound is the best in Boston. Get ready for some loud music which can reach the skies and dance the night off in this one of a kind location.

Cure Lounge

Cure Lounge
Cure Lounge

History buffs who like to explore historical architecture and also grab a drink in the process need to visit this place. Cure Lounge was designed to draw from the history and mood of the building it occupies. But even if you are not a history buff don’t worry the place has got something for everyone. In its original form, Cure was the ladies lounge and orchestra area of the theatre. A uniquely beautiful space it has been designed with an eye to detail to provide an, “understated elegance evocative of the period”. The outcome is a, “Victorian type Chic space that brings in glamour. You’ll find the dramatic shapes and patterns juxtaposed with a subtle colour scheme. Cure created their space to bring movement between time and fantasy. Allowing you to shed your persona and enter as whomever you want to be on the dance floor.

Bijou Nightclub and Lounge

Bijou Nightclub and Lounge
Bijou Nightclub and Lounge

Bijou’s distinct floors offer a versatile landscape for a variety needs that will make your night at this dance club one you won’t soon forget. Enjoy some time in the Onyx Lounge. The brainchild of DJs and club vets, Onyx lounge elevates luxury nightlife. Offering an amazing sound system and high class service, this is an ultra VIP experience. With three flushed bars placing patrons at the center of the action. Or spend your night partying at the Gold Lounge. This polished lounge setting gives guests an intimate atmosphere and allows space to kick back and take in the scene, including the in the plush banquets and the luxurious center bar. The Gold Lounge transforms throughout the evening: early in the night, you’ll find a low key bar scene. As the night wears on, crowds pour in and the music blasts inviting you to the dance floor.

Tunnel

Tunnel
Tunnel

As if the W Hotel needed to get any cooler. Tunnel, one of the hottest nightclubs in Boston, has brought an even cooler crowd through their doors. You’ll find jetsetters mingling with young professionals all looking to have a good time and dance. From spirits available to make anyone feel like a high roller with table service to ultra posh lounge areas setup fro both people watching and canoodling in corners, you’ll find yourself flush at Tunnel. The top notch DJ’s are always spinning the best of House, Dance, and Top Forty. To enter, use the discreet entrance on Stuart St., marked by frosted windows. Take the mirrored private elevator or modern staircase below ground to the “Tunnel”. Be among those looking to see and be seen while getting their groove on and sipping their solid selection of specialty cocktails including the popular signature drink “the tunnel”.

The Estate

The Estate
The Estate

One of Boston’s best bars is a perfect place to see and be seen. Make your way into the Estate and you may find your picture in a magazine. With multiple levels, and rooms, Dj’s spin tunes that connect the crowds. Dance the night away while rubbing elbows with celebrities, as the Estate draws quite the crowd. Bars are scattered throughout the Estate allowing you to refill from any spot on the dance floor. When the dance floor becomes too much you can wander the the lounge like rooms where you can sip your drink in relative peace. Be ready to make new friends because people come here with an agenda.

Royale

Royale
Royale

Royale is a Boston mega club. At Royale classic beauty and modern elegance mix to create a unique nightlife experience. The grand staircase and beautiful balcony bring elements of style to a club scene that is typically small, dark, and typically lacking in interior style. The beautiful people within like to dance so be ready to do so with your drink in hand because once you are on the dance floor you won’t want to come off. Add to that a friendly staff who can accommodate your every need when planned (and for a price), they aim to make your evening at Royale the best night of your life. It is located on the downtown region of Boston. These are some of the best nightclubs located in the city of Boston. If you are in a mood to grab a few drinks and dance the night off, then you should certainly head to one of these destinations. One can see the energy of Boston in these places.

What time does nightlife peak in Boston?

The city of Boston is bustling with energy and activities through the day. The city being the hub for various industries in the world witnesses some of the busiest pathways, metros and underground subways in the world. There are tons of activities going on through the day that one can be part of. These activities start early in the morning till the sun sets in the city. Most of these events are in the magnificent parks that the city is famous for. These parks offer freshness and calm to any visitor. But, once the sun sets and the city is engulfed in artificial lights that is when the other side of Boston, the night life face of Boston comes alive. Though most of the pubs, bars, bar restaurants are open through the day, they offer special settings or events for the evenings. These events could include a live music performance or an instrument show. These are held mainly in the evenings. Wait, if partying hard is what you are looking for then you got to reach the venue in the early hours of the evening since the line outside the places get quite long later. The parties peak around midnight, they witness maximum crowds around this time with the best line-ups of the evening. So, it would always be a good idea to visit one of the bars where you can grab some food and a few drinks in the early evenings and then head to these party places during the midnight. That way one can experience the best of both the world that the city has to offer. Put those dancing shoes on, loosen your clothes and get ready to dance your way off in Boston. The night life ends pretty early compared to the other cities of the world generally 2:00am is the time where most of the places begin to shut down.

Conclusion

The city of Boston located on the east coast of the United States of America is one of the biggest metropolitan cities in the world. The city is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and is home to a number of prestigious educational institutes. It is also the financial and economic capital of the state of Massachusetts. The place is known as the innovation capital of the world with over 2000 start ups thriving in the region. The city of Boston is blessed with abundant lush green parks where one can soak in some sun light and breath some fresh air, some pristine beaches to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, magnificent sky scrapers and efficient public transport system. In a nutshell it has got it all. Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall, North end, Downtown, Financial District, Boylston, Newbury and Harvard square are some of the most happening places for experiencing night life of this ever vibrant and energetic city. The city has a dense population and receives millions of tourists every year. This has given rise to numerous restaurants, pubs, bars, bar restaurants, discothèques and nightclubs to entertain the crowds. Does not matter if you just want to grab a drink or grab some food along with your drink or dance the night off Boston has got you covered. There are events happening through the year in the city of Boston and one can visit the city to witness any of these events. These events are mostly related to history, arts, seasons or modern-day events. But, be assured all these events are celebrated with a lot of fanfare and charm. One can visit the city during these events to experience the charm and the vibrance of the city. The nightlife in this city unlike other cities starts early in the evening and peaks around midnight and ends around 2:00am in the night. Most of these places get very crowded during the weekend so make sure to grab those tickets early and get to the venue. Overall, Boston is a city that offers a variety of fun activities that one can choose from, and one must visit this city at least once in their lifetime. And be assured that the energy and the charm of this city will take you by storm!

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