clock menu more-arrow no yes

Charlestown in two hours: What to see when you don't have all day

View as Map

Charlestown is one of the oldest parts of Boston (a city it joined only in 1874before that, stretching back to the 17th century, it was its own municipality). Consequently, it's got a whole mess of history within its environs. Plus, parts of it are just gorgeous. How to take it all in when you don't have all day or when you have other plans (like touring the North End or Beacon Hill, say)?

This is how! The Curbed Boston Two-Hour Guide to Charlestown takes visitors to the neighborhood's essential spots. These must-see sites are all close enough together geographically to make them doable in 120 minutes, tops.

Read More

1. U.S.S. Constitution

Copy Link
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 426-1812
Visit Website
The Navy's oldest commissioned ship, "Old Ironsides" is currently being reclad. Visitors can still board it as well as check out the neighboring museum dedicated to the heavy frigate first launched in 1797.

2. Bunker Hill Monument

Copy Link
31 Monument Sq
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 242-5641
Visit Website
The 221-foot obelisk was dedicated and opened in 1843 to commemorate the June 1775 battle of the same name, the first major fight of the Revolutionary War. The colonists technically lost, but the British sustained so many casualties that Bunker Hill proved a wake-up call: This American affair would be no mere uprising. Visitors can climb all the way to the tip-top for some nice Charlestown views and then recover on the sloping law afterward.

3. Charlestown Navy Yard

Copy Link
1st Ave.
Charlestown, MA 02129
The yard dates from 1800 and was a working part of the Navy until 1974. A vast part of it is now a national park, including the part encompassing the U.S.S. Constitution and its museum. It also provides some stellar views of downtown Boston and Eastie.

4. The Battle Of Bunker Hill Museum

Copy Link
Monument Square
Charlestown, MA
The museum across the street from the monument not only tells the revolutionary past of the neighborhood, including the story of the famous battle, but more recent history as well. Plus, there's public restrooms!

5. St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

Copy Link
55 Warren St
Charlestown, MA 02129
Patrick Keely, basically the starchitect of Catholic churches in America in the 19th century, designed this building in the late 1880s. Of particular interest is the hammer-beam oak ceiling.

6. Warren Tavern

Copy Link
2 Pleasant St
Boston, MA 02129
(617) 241-8142
Visit Website
The oldest bar in Massachusetts dates from 1780, and was a favorite of Paul Revere. George Washington stopped by, too, when he was in town. Might as well end the tour here, eh?

1. U.S.S. Constitution

Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA 02129
The Navy's oldest commissioned ship, "Old Ironsides" is currently being reclad. Visitors can still board it as well as check out the neighboring museum dedicated to the heavy frigate first launched in 1797.
Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston, MA 02129

2. Bunker Hill Monument

31 Monument Sq, Boston, MA 02129
The 221-foot obelisk was dedicated and opened in 1843 to commemorate the June 1775 battle of the same name, the first major fight of the Revolutionary War. The colonists technically lost, but the British sustained so many casualties that Bunker Hill proved a wake-up call: This American affair would be no mere uprising. Visitors can climb all the way to the tip-top for some nice Charlestown views and then recover on the sloping law afterward.
31 Monument Sq
Boston, MA 02129

3. Charlestown Navy Yard

1st Ave., Charlestown, MA 02129
The yard dates from 1800 and was a working part of the Navy until 1974. A vast part of it is now a national park, including the part encompassing the U.S.S. Constitution and its museum. It also provides some stellar views of downtown Boston and Eastie.
1st Ave.
Charlestown, MA 02129

4. The Battle Of Bunker Hill Museum

Monument Square, Charlestown, MA
The museum across the street from the monument not only tells the revolutionary past of the neighborhood, including the story of the famous battle, but more recent history as well. Plus, there's public restrooms!
Monument Square
Charlestown, MA

5. St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

55 Warren St, Charlestown, MA 02129
Patrick Keely, basically the starchitect of Catholic churches in America in the 19th century, designed this building in the late 1880s. Of particular interest is the hammer-beam oak ceiling.
55 Warren St
Charlestown, MA 02129

6. Warren Tavern

2 Pleasant St, Boston, MA 02129
The oldest bar in Massachusetts dates from 1780, and was a favorite of Paul Revere. George Washington stopped by, too, when he was in town. Might as well end the tour here, eh?
2 Pleasant St
Boston, MA 02129