If you like traveling to major cities of the world, chances are you are like me and enjoy taking photos of the skylines of these cities. I mean, it’s the tall buildings that make the city and something about seeing all these buildings together just makes for a beautiful photograph and memory of your trip.
One of my favorite things about flying into Boston is how close the airport is to downtown, it’s just across the harbor. With so many other airports located quite a few miles away from the Downtown area, it’s so impressive how close the skyline is when you are landing at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Maybe you are lucky and will have a window seat on the correct side of the plane and be able to get a great photo from the plane while landing. If you are striving for this photo, I highly recommend flying in at night, the skyline at night is breathtaking!
The skyline in Boston can really be split into two skylines, one being Downtown and the other being the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.
Downtown Boston Skyline:
From the water – Probably the best place for a great photo of the Downtown Boston Skyline is from the water. Whether you are just taking a harbor cruise, taking the boat to Salem or Provincetown or taking a boat to one of the Boston Harbor Islands, one of the highlights of your boat trip will most definitely be the view of the city as the boat moves away from the dock, further and further into the harbor.
For the best views of the city, make sure your boat leaves from either Long Wharf near the Boston Aquarium or Rowes Wharf behind the Boston Harbor Hotel. Luckily these two locations are where most boats that head into the harbor leave from.
From land: The best place to photograph the Downtown Boston skyline from land would be Fan Pier. Located in the Seaport District, this area used to be fairly empty with nothing more than large abandoned parking lots. About 15 years ago, the whole Seaport area started to transform into what it is today, one of the most popular and busy areas of the city. New office buildings, hotels, restaurants and shops now bring locals and toursits alike into the Seaport.
Fan Pier was transformed into a beautiful park with a pedestrian walkway along the water, places to sit end enjoy the view and a beautiful viewing terrace. In my opinion the view from Fan Pier is the most beautiful view in the entire city. I spend alot of time relaxing here taking in the view.
Nearby Fan Pier, is the Boston Children’s Museum. In front of the Museum is a boardwalk along the Fort Point Channel where you can see another view of the Downtown Boston skyline. What makes this view special is be able to photograph the Boston Tea Party ship with the Boston skyline in the background. It’s a great example of a common sight in the city of Boston, new and old together.
Boston’s Back Bay Skyline:
The skyline view of Boston’s Back Bay may not include quite as many buildings as the Downtown Boston skyline, but it is equally as beautiful and makes for a great photograph.
From Cambridge: The best place to photograph this skyline is from the other side of the Charles River in Cambridge. There is just no better view than the Charles River with the skyline in the background. If you walk down Massachusetts Ave towards the Charles River, you will come to a big bridge. This bridge has many names: Harvard Bridge, MIT Bridge and Mass Ave Bridge. You can walk across the bridge to Cambridge and will be a short distance down the street from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus.
There is a long walkway along the Charles River and no matter which direction you walk you will be able to get some great photos of the skyline from different angles. In my opinion, if you turn right when you get over the bridge and walk a little ways down you will see boats docked in the water, this is the best view of the skyline. What is more iconic than the skyline, the Charles River and boats docked in the river?
If you turn left you can get a different viewpoint of the skyline. This viewpoint is beautiful as you get that feeling of how the skyline looks as you are approaching it. The angle of the buildings will be different from this location.
There is a fairly new path, only a couple of years old, right near the river at this section that is a great place to stop and take some photos.
From the Longfellow Bridge: When you turn right if you continue walking about 1.3 miles you will end up coming to the Longfellow Bridge. This bridge is a great place to get a different angle of the skyline. You can walk across this bridge to the Boston side. When you get to the Boston side, you can walk back to the Mass Ave Bridge or take the subway as there is a stop right at the end of the bridge. In fact if you were to take the subway outbound from here into Cambridge, the train goes over the bridge for the perfect view.
From the Boston Common and Public Garden: Another popular partial view of the skyline is from the Boston Common and Public Garden. You might recognize the Public Garden view from seeing it in tv shows like Cheers. Check out my post on the Boston Public Garden to learn more about this beautiful park. In the Boston Common there is a small hill which takes you up to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, this is a perfect place to get a photo of the skyline.
These are my favorite places to see the skyline, there are also numerous other vantage points including Piers Park in East Boston, the top of the Prudential Tower, from Castle Island, from the JFK Library and from Spectacle Island.
I hope this has given you some ideas on great places to get that perfect photograph of the Boston skyline.