Boston's nightlife is vast and varied, offering a host of different alternatives to all you night owls. The bar and club scene continues to flourish with new hotspots being added all the time. And when you consider the fact that Boston is the biggest university city on the planet, it's easy to see why. Many of the city's watering holes are concentrated in Cambridge where both Harvard and MIT are located but you will find an excellent selection of places throughout the city so don't confine yourself to the student haunts.
There are a couple of downsides to the city's nightlife. Most bars are shut as early as 1.00am with just a handful remaining open until 2.00am. Clubs are also shut by 2.00am. And under no circumstances will those of you who are under 21 procure a drink. Official ID in the form of a driver's license or passport is essential and while some bars and clubs will admit those who are under 21 on specific nights, you still will not be served alcohol.
For those of you who prefer to steer clear of the pub, there are plenty of alternatives. Spectator sports are huge in Boston. In summer check out the Boston Red Sox baseball team at Fenway Park or in winter cheer on the Boston Celtics playing basketball, the New England Patriots on the football field or the Boston Bruins pitting their skills on the ice. Or you could always brush up on the arts and enjoy the wonderful sounds of the Boston Symphony Orchestra or catch a show in the Theatre District.
Finally, for up to the minute information on what exactly is going on after sundown in the city try to get your hands on the Calendar section of the Boston Globe or Stuff@Night in the Boston Phoenix both of which come out on Thursday or the Scene section in the Friday edition of the Boston Herald.
1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge, Boston, USA
Hosting bands from around the US, this intimate club close to Harvard Square is where to go for live music.
Open nightly from 7.30pm-1am.
84 Beacon Street, Boston, USA
Despite the theme song for the show, they probably won’t know your name but this is the very pub which inspired the hit TV show Cheers. Yet once you get inside, you may feel a little lost as only the exterior was used, the show itself was filmed in Los Angeles. But at least you can say you were there – if anybody actually cares.
130 Brighton Avenue, Allston, Boston, USA
With 500 bottled microbrews and over 110 beers on tap, variety is one thing which is certainly not lacking in this particular watering hole. As well as the beers, the food on offer is also superb and is served daily until 1.00am. Ribs, steaks, wings, nachos and a Super Sunday Sunrise Brunch ensure this places award-winning status.
1 Boylston Place, Boston, USA
This New Orleans themed establishment is where it’s at every weekend. With both live music and DJs to keep you entertained as well as its four bars and two lounges, its easy to lose yourself among the hordes in here. Expect to pay an entrance fee of between $5 and $8 – worth every cent.
13 Landsdowne Street, Boston, USA
One of the many nightspots on the renowned Lansdowne strip, this is certainly a venue with a difference. With two different levels playing two completely different types of music and tackiness in abundance, lose any inhibitions you have before you pay your entry fee at the door. Only then can you truly enjoy the experience.
1270 Boylston Street, Boston, USA
This Latin themed watering hole features live salsa music from Wednesday to Saturday so if you think you’ve got what it takes be there at 9.30pm to strut your stuff. If you feel like brushing up beforehand, however, check out the free lessons from 8.45 on Tuesdays. And to cool down make your way to the roof deck overlooking the entire city – weather permitting of course.
160 State Street, Boston, USA
One of the best loved Irish bars in Boston (and there’s quite a few of them), the Black Rose is renowned for its food, drink and live Irish music which resonates throughout the pub’s two floors on a nightly basis. Uber tacky but great fun and if you’re partial to a full Irish breakfast, get your ass down there at 9.00am on Saturday or Sunday.
25 West Street, Boston, USA
While cocktail and wine bars are not too difficult to locate in Boston, affordable ones are a little thinner on the ground. And this is where Fajitas & ‘Ritas steps up nicely to fill the void. With excellent Tex Mex cuisine and margaritas in every flavour you can think of – by the pitcher of course – this place is definitely worth a visit.
186 Harvard Avenue, Boston, USA
The ultimate chill out haunt, the Wonder Bar offers live jazz nightly and at with no cover charge it would be a shame not to check it out now wouldn’t it? Also serves some really good grub until midnight with lots of people going for dinner and staying on at their table to check out the tunes.
Quincy Market, Boston, USA
The oldest comedy club in the city, this place has been packing both them in for almost 25 years. There's nightly shows at 8.00pm with extra shows on Friday and Saturday at 10.15pm. Ccover charge is usually under $15 during the week but can be as high as $40 depending on how big the act is.
50 Dalton Street, Back Bay, Boston, USA
Something of a Boston institution, Bukowski's Tavern epitomises the phrase 'drinking hole'. An eclectic mix of Bostonians fill this small bar on a nightly basis who come to sample one of the 99 types of beer on offer and steer clear of some of the stereotypically Irish bars that are peppered throughout the city.
Open daily from 12 noon-2am.