Here, you'll find two of America's most prestigious and important universities, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The three-mile Freedom Trail leads you past - and into - 16 of the city's principal historic monuments and sites.
In good weather, you'll find street performers and buskers putting on shows in the square around the market, and along with the numerous food stalls, there are also shops selling jewelry, clothing, gifts, and souvenirs.
The adjoining Faneuil Hall Marketplace includes three long halls (Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market), dating from the early 19th century, now occupied by a lively assortment of shops, restaurants, and exhibitions.
The Museum of Afro-American History operates the African Meeting House, the country's oldest (1806) church built by and for Black Americans and now restored to its 1854 appearance.
The 1834 Abiel Smith School was the first public grammar school for African American children. Fogg Art Museum concentrates on Italian early-Renaissance art, the Busch-Reisinger on Expressionist art of central and northern Europe, with Bauhaus objects and paintings by Kandinsky and Klee. Sackler Museum has one of the world's best collections of Chinese jade, as well as Chinese bronzes, Japanese prints, Indian art, and Greco-Roman antiquities, especially vases and sculptures.
The Nichols House Museum, a Federal-style home by Boston architect Charles Bulfinch, shows how Beacon Hill's upper class residents lived and is filled with collections of 16th- to 19th-century furnishings and decorative arts.
At the western foot of Beacon Hill, Charles Street is lined with boutiques and shops that have traditionally catered to the neighborhood and are popular with visitors as well.