Intro to Boston

Welcome to Boston! If you're coming in from out of town or from another country, this page should help you with some basics around town. Sorta rudimentary right now, but we'll get to it a bit at a time. Let us know if we should add anything here.

Public Transport. The train is called the "T" and costs about $1.75 to ride (prices will be going up soon) if you have a "Charlie Card". Getting this card is highly recommended.

Free or cheap things to do in Boston. Enjoy yourself without spending much; do these things.

Get a bicycle. Seriously, this is probably the best way to get around town. No waiting for trains or getting stuck in traffic. This is great in the summer, fall & spring. Some people ride all year around, even in the winter. It isn't as bad as it looks. In fact, moving around on a bike in the winter beats trudging through snow or waiting for the train or bus on a blustery evening. Dress warmly, wear thick ski gloves and get a face mask.

Shopping. Try the mall at Copley Place, the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall, Newbury St, Harvard Square, Central Square, etc.

Grocery Shopping. Trader Joe's is probably the best in terms of quality + price. Shaws/Star Market isn't bad. Haymarket (Fri & Sat, 6am-6pm) is an old-world style open-air market and a lot of fun to go browse in, and ridiculously, ridiculously cheap. Fair warning: fruits and veggies won't last as long as their supermarket brethren.

Buying furniture, etc. Good places: Economy Hardware (Boston & Cambridge), IKEA (out in the 'burbs). Many of you are students or young professionals who want quick, used, cheap furniture and other things. You want to buy things quickly and set up your home so that you can get rolling with your job or school. Two good resources for this are (cheap and free things) and (free things only). In fact, there's no need to wait. You can get started procuring things for your home by contacting posters on both the sites and set up pickup or delivery times for when you'll be in Boston. People routinely give away tables, chairs, desks, lamps, computer monitors, computers, bicycles, mattresses & sofas (not recommended; too many bedbugs!)

Do not pick up any furniture, especially soft furnishings off the street -- bedbug infestations in the city have been rising. While many people throw out perfectly serviceable items (tables, chairs, TVs, sofas, mattresses, microwaves, etc.) around September 1 as they're moving out, there is a high risk of getting a bedbug infestation. Simply put, you don't know where the item has been, the previous owners, or how long it has been out on the street. Please don't bring it in.