Shopping in Boston allows you the chance to create a perfect excursion. 

Boston offers a variety of excellent shopping areas in easy-to-reach central locations. Many of the best spots to shop in Boston are within walking distance of other tourist attractions, such as the boutique-lined Newbury Street or Faneuil Marketplace (a.k.a. Quincy Market) on the Freedom Trail. 

Here, you can find luxury designer clothing boutiques, large department stores, home furnishing emporiums, affordable consignment shops, big shopping malls, antiques, art galleries, and concept stores. Two outlet malls are only a 5-minute subway ride or luxury bus trip away for those looking for discount shopping. You’ll find excellent suburban malls with unique stores, restaurants, and entertainment just a few miles outside the city.

You can explore the small shops that add personality to the shopping scene and fill your bags with items from big box stores. If you’re looking for couture lines like Chanel and Burberry, you can find them or get a steal at a second-hand store or an outlet mall. For a unique experience, check out Beacon Hill, where you’ll find something new, different, and interesting, or go to Newbury Street, where high-end fashion and hip, trendy shops are nestled in the brownstones. 

If you head indoors, take advantage of the temperature controlled environments of the malls in Boston, like the Prudential Center and Copley Place, or the well-stocked malls in the suburbs. For the best bargains, head less than an hour outside the city to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets.

The Best Places for Shopping in Boston


1. Faneuil Hall Marketplace

shopping in boston faneuil hall marketplace

Faneuil Marketplace, also known as Quincy Market, is a popular shopping destination in Boston. It has over 100 stores, unique artisan pushcarts, and four restored historic buildings. You can find both national brands and local shops. 

For those looking for a bite to eat, there are many local restaurants and 40+ stalls in the Quincy Market Colonnade Food Hall that serve a variety of seafood, ethnic, and other specialties. Additionally, Haymarket, Boston’s historic open-air market, is located in Historic Downtown Boston and just around the corner from Faneuil Marketplace.

2. Beacon Hill

shopping in boston beacon hill

Beacon Hill is a small yet vibrant neighborhood located in downtown Boston. It is approximately one-half mile square and is an ideal destination for those seeking to enjoy shopping and sightseeing. The main street, Charles Street, is home to many small boutiques, specialty stores, and antique shops that offer unique items that cannot be found anywhere else. The shop proprietors strive to provide excellent customer service and ensure each customer is happy with their purchase.

Beacon Hill is a popular shopping destination due to its charm. It is highly recommended for those seeking something special, as the neighborhood is home to many independent retailers and small boutiques. Whether looking for a unique keepsake or something to remember their trip by, Beacon Hill will surely have something for everyone.


3. Assembly Row

shopping in boston assembly row

If you’re looking for the best discount shopping in Boston, you have two great options. Assembly Row Outlets and Wrentham Village Premium Outlets offer impressive savings of up to 70% off discounted prices. However, each offers a different mix of stores and shopping experiences, and they are located on opposite sides of the city, roughly 40 miles apart.

To help you decide between the two, read Boston Discovery Guide’s comparison of stores and brands, deals and sales, food and entertainment, and transportation convenience. This will help you find which mall offers the best value for your time and money. No matter which you choose, you will surely enjoy a great shopping experience full of bargains and discounts.


4. Harvard Square

shopping in boston harvard square

Harvard Square is a unique experience that engages all the senses. You can hear the music of street performers as you pass, see the history of Harvard University come alive as you step through the gates, smell the mouth-watering food cooking in the nearby restaurants, taste the delicious cuisine, and touch the unique goods sold in the many specialty stores. The four-square-mile area offers an eclectic mix of mainstream and funky finds that will satisfy even the most discerning shopper. Smaller shop owners are often present to provide a personal touch when you browse their shelves.

Harvard Square is a recommended destination for the best shopping because of the unique finds that can’t be found anywhere. Here you’ll find items that will delight and surprise you.


5. Copley Plaza 

shopping in boston copley plaza

Copley Place is located in the fashionable Back Bay area of Boston. This luxurious two-story indoor shopping “mall” features extra wide walkways, marble columns, gorgeous floors, and a rotunda. Copley Place is bursting with high-end stores and quality merchandise, giving shoppers plenty of options. Guests can enjoy unique shopping experiences at Neiman Marcus, Tiffany & Co., Barney’s New York, and Tory Burch. 

The mall also offers an escape from shopping with restaurants and two hotels. It is conveniently connected to the Prudential Center by a glass-encased bridge, making it easy to hop between malls. Copley Place Mall is a great spot for personal shopping and finding gifts for that special person. With its luxury atmosphere, complimentary personal shopper, and variety of high-end retailers, it is no surprise that Copley Place Mall is recommended for the best shopping in Boston.


6. South Shore Plaza

shopping in boston south shore plaza

The South Shore Plaza is less than 20 minutes south of downtown Boston and offers a wonderful climate-controlled shopping experience. This multi-level mall has something for everyone, with plenty of restaurants, department stores, specialized shops, and common retailers. Whether looking for fashion, food, or home goods, you can find what you want. Free parking is also available, so you won’t have to worry about freeing up your arms when you need to unload your purchases. With so much to offer, you may find yourself staying longer than expected.

The South Shore Plaza is highly recommended for the best shopping experience. With two floors of fashion, you can find the perfect look for any occasion. Plus, the free parking makes carrying your shopping bags a breeze.


7. Shops at Prudential Center 

shopping in boston prudential center

The Prudential Center, located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, is an indoor shopping mall with 75+ upscale stores, boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment. Its immense glass skylights and domes make it a picturesque destination for shoppers. Being close to Newbury Street and Copley Place adds to its appeal. 

One of the reasons to visit Prudential Center is Eataly, the Italian marketplace which offers a range of restaurants, bistros, bars, and take-away dinners. It also stocks high-quality imported specialty pasta and other items from Italy. 

Apart from Eataly, Prudential Center has several other attractions. Here are five compelling reasons to visit the mall: 

  • Shopping: Prudential Center offers designer labels and luxury goods. 
  • Dining: With its variety of restaurants, bistros, and bars, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. 
  • Entertainment: There are plenty of entertainment options available. 
  • Family activities: Prudential Center hosts some of the city’s most popular activities. 
  • Sightseeing: With its immense glass skylights and domes, the mall is a picturesque destination for visitors.


8. Wrentham Village Premium Outlets

shopping in boston wrentham village premium outlets

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets was designed with bargain hunters in mind. Located less than an hour from Boston, this premium outlet center is home to 170 high-end retail outlets, offering reduced pricing on their premium goods. Whether you’re looking for a Tory Burch clutch or a Brooks Brothers suit, Wrentham Village Premium Outlets is worth the drive to find the perfect item. You can also find clothing and accessories for the entire family and items to outfit your home. Moreover, all clothing purchases at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets are tax-free, making it an even better deal.

The Wrentham Village Outlets is widely recommended for the best shopping experience, especially for bargain hunters. With so many high-end stores offering deep discounts, it’s no surprise that this outlet center has such a great reputation.


9. Newbury Street shopping

shopping in boston newbury street

Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is one of the most renowned shopping districts in the world. You can find various designer shops such as Marc Jacobs, Chanel, and Ralph Lauren, trendy boutiques like Pink, and well-known national retailers like Rag & Bone. The street is also home to various local stores, such as Betsy Janney, L’Elite, and Soodee.

Stretching eight blocks between the Public Garden and Massachusetts Avenue, the street is lined with grand Victorian mansions and modern buildings. Visitors can also find luxury hotels, guest houses, hair salons and spas, and some of the city’s trendiest restaurants.

The shopping opportunities don’t end on Newbury Street. Nearby streets like Boylston Street, Prudential Center, and Copley Place offer a full range of international boutiques like Gucci and Saint Laurent, national brands like Neiman Marcus, unique local shops, mid-range and big-box retailers, department stores, and even discounters. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it in this area.


10. Natick Mall

shopping in boston natick mall

The Natick Mall is the largest in the area, boasting over two hundred retail stores. Anchored by high-end retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, plus affordable stores like JC Penney, Sears, and Macy’s, shoppers can access all of their favorite chains. The Natick Mall also offers a few smaller merchants providing quality goods.

The indoor architecture of the Natick Mall has been completely renovated, creating a calm and enjoyable atmosphere. With over 7,000 parking spaces, including valet and premium parking, visitors can easily find a spot close to the stores. This makes it easy to transport purchases back to the car.

The Natick Mall is the go-to destination for locals who want to shop in one place. With a wide range of upscale stores, the Natick Mall is highly recommended for those who want the best shopping experience.


11. Haymarket & Boston Public Market

shopping in boston public market

For at least 300 years, vendors have clustered around Haymarket, Boston’s oldest open-air market. On Fridays and Saturdays, the market is open from dawn to dusk, offering the cheapest produce in the city. It is also great to visit and explore the city’s history, with nearby historic pubs and restaurants. 

The adjacent Boston Public Market is the place to go for a wider range of goods. Visitors can find various products between Hanover and Blackstone Streets, ranging from fresh fish to artisan cheeses. In addition, many of the products focus on organic and local items, such as apple cider donuts and George Howell’s specialty coffee.


12. CambridgeSide

shopping in boston cambridgeside

CambridgeSide is a hip, contemporary indoor mall located a block from the Museum of Science. Easily accessible by MBTA, it is a popular destination for Boston area locals looking to do some indoor shopping. With a variety of stores such as Ann Taylor, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Best Buy, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and J Crew, there is something for everyone. 

The mall also offers a range of dining options, with a food court and several sit-down restaurants. Paid parking is available in the indoor garage for those who drive. CambridgeSide hosts many events throughout the year, making it an exciting and enjoyable shopping experience.

Shopping in Boston FAQ


What is the famous shopping street in Boston?

Back Bay’s Newbury Street is renowned as its trendiest shopping destination in Boston. No matter the weather, its sidewalks are always crowded with shoppers from all around the world. Despite being the most renowned shopping area, Boston has many other great places to shop.

Is Boston good for shopping?

Yes, Boston is a great city for shopping. Many malls and plazas are in the city center, making it convenient to shop regardless of the weather. These malls provide many options, from luxury designers to outlet stores.

What to wear shopping in Boston?

When shopping in Boston, it is best to dress conservatively. Packaging attire appropriate for business is recommended to fit in with the locals. Neutral colors, such as black, navy, tan, cream, taupe, and gray, are best suited for blending in with the locals.

What is the most expensive shopping street in Boston?

Newbury Street is an iconic shopping destination in Boston, renowned as the “East Coast Rodeo Drive.” It is a luxury shopping paradise, inviting visitors to stroll through its tree-lined streets and explore the historic buildings that house high-end boutiques, designer shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Those who visit will find themselves surrounded by beautiful scenery and unparalleled shopping experiences.

Shopping in Boston Tips 

Shopping in Boston can be a great way to save money since the Massachusetts sales tax on retail sales of tangible items is only 6.25%. Some items, such as food to be prepared at home, prescription drugs, and clothing under $175, are exempt from this tax. The City of Boston does not levy any additional sales tax on top of the state sales tax.

When returning a purchase, most stores in the Boston area will give you a refund or store credit if you return the item with your receipt within a specified period. Usually, if you pay with a credit card, the merchant will give you a credit refund, not cash. Knowing the store’s return policy beforehand is important, as most stores will not allow returns or exchanges on sale items.

Regarding payment, most larger stores in Boston accept major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. However, some smaller stores, restaurants, and other businesses may only accept Visa and MasterCard, and a select few will only accept cash. If a store only takes cash, they usually have a sign saying “Cash Only.” This is particularly common in Chinatown, Haymarket, and the North End.