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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:

Third Monday of January : Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (national)

This national holiday honours the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., a major figure in the African-American struggle for civil rights. In Boston, exhibitions, gospel concerts, and debates take place at the Museum of African-American History.

End of January, beginning of 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. Don't forget to wear something green!

Third Monday of April : Patriot's Day & the Boston Marathon (local)

The Patriot's Day holiday in Massachusetts, Maine, and Wisconsin commemorates the first battle of the American Revolution with re-enactments and performances. It's also the day of the world's oldest marathon, which 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.

4 July : Independence Day (national)

Boston marks the anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence with outdoor performances, concerts, and firework displays.

31 October : Halloween (national)

Halloween is very popular in Boston. From around 6:00 p.m. on, children and adults dress up and go trick or treating.

Fourth Thursday of November : 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.

31 December : First Night Boston (local)

On New Year's Eve, the streets of Boston host concerts, dance performances, and art displays. Street food is a big component, also.

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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 and -10°C 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 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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INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN BOSTON

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

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

Travelling between the airport and Boston:
  • By car:
    • Accessible via the Massachusetts Turnpike East, the I-93, or the I-95 to Route 1 South. Allow 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 3 USD for 30 minutes to up to 29 USD 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.
  • Subway:
    • The Blue Line runs from the airport and connects to the Orange Line and the Green Line. To get to Airport Station, take the complimentary shuttles #22 (TA and TB), #33 (TC and TE), and #55 (all terminals), which come every 5-6 minutes. A subway ticket costs 2 USD.
  • Water Taxis & Shuttles:
    • The Boston Water Taxi (BWT) goes from the airport to Long Wharf in downtown Boston, and costs 12 USD. Massport's complimentary shuttle bus #66 serves all terminals (every 15 minutes) from Logan Dock.
  • Taxi:
    • Taxis cost between 25 USD and 45 USD and take about 20 minutes to reach the city centre.
  • Services:
    • Bars and restaurants (Burger King, Starbucks, Green Express, etc.), souvenirs and luxury shops (Kiehl's, Montblanc, Hugo Boss…), banks, children's playground, free Wi-Fi.
    • 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 with at least a year before expiration is enough to drive in Boston. If you don't have a valid license, 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 40 USD 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 cause visitors' some difficulty.

A ticket costs $2.10. A CharlieCard (a rechargeable magnetic card that works throughout the MBTA network) only costs $1.60.

Day and week passes (12 and 19 USD) 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 10-12 USD.

Taxis

Boston has seven authorized taxi companies. The meter rate is higher than in most major US cities. A short trip inside city limits costs between 10 and 20 USD if traffic is light.

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Boston, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

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

Visitor Information Desk

  • Adress: Shops at Prudential Center Court of the Prudential Center 800 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02199
  • Telephone: +1 617 236 3100
  • Website: www.bostonusa.com

Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

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

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in the United States of America is the dollar ($).

1 € = 1,18 $

1 $ = 0,85 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Boston has an excellent medical infrastructure, but the cost of health care is high, as it in the rest of the United States. Buying insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation is highly recommended. Consult your doctor before departure and bring enough prescription drugs to last your stay: foreign prescriptions will not be of any use in Boston.

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:

Food safety recommendations

There are no particular food safety risks in Boston.

Water

Boston tap water is potable.

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Administrative procedures

Entry requirements for the United States.

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens or nationals of the following countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, whether for tourism or business: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.

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

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Good to know

00 + 1 + 617 + 7-digit number
011 + 33 + number + 9-digit number without 0
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
13 March
6 November

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.
120 Volts 60 Hz

And what about tiping?

Tipping is customary in US restaurants, bars, and taxis. The usual amount is 15% of the total.