Great Places to Photograph the Boston Skyline

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.

Downtown Boston Skyline

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.

View of the Downtown Boston Skyline from the water

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.

Downtown Skyline View from Boston Children’s Museum

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?

Skyline view approaching the Mass Ave bridge

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.


48 thoughts on “Great Places to Photograph the Boston Skyline

  1. GORGEOUS post! I love that you gave different options from basically land, sea or sky! LOOOVED the night time shot from the pier!

    (Also, reaching Salem by boat? Is… it… an island? super confused American right now) LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! Salem isn’t an island but it’s also on the coast so they have a boat from Boston, I think it’s their way to prevent tourist from renting a car in the city but giving them.a way to get to Salem since they know so many people want to visit Salem as well. It only runs from late spring thru halloween.


  2. Love my city!!! These are all great suggestions! Piers Park in Eastie is probably my favorite, but I always love touching back down in Boston at Logan because of all the beautiful views, too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Coughlin Park in Winthrop is an excellent spot & sometimes the air traffic flies directly overhead adding another layer to a fine skyline.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous photoshoot!! Thanks for sharing the tips. We have been planning to visit Boston lately. Your post will be very handy when we can visit this amazing place. I absolutely loved the view from spectacle island and the view from Fan pier at night.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah what an incredible skyline! It was urban photography and cityscapes that first got me into photography originally! I love the geometric shapes of urban settings! The Boston skyline looks stunning! I especially love the view from the water! I’ll be sure to try out these spots if I get a chance to visit! Thanks for the great guide!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Boston, such a great city. Last time I was there I took the ferry to Salem and have to admit it was amazing to see the city from the water. I will definitely do that again, I got some great pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photos. It’s funny you should mention Boston. My husband and I were just talking about where is the U.S we wanted to go next and decided it was Boston It’s so beautiful and there’s so much history. As soon as we can fly safely we’ll be there. Good tips on the boat trips. I’ll hang on to this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. All of these photos are beautiful. I especially love the photos with the water. It makes me want to plan a trip to Boston. I have not been anywhere in the NE yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So many gorgeous vantage points to see the skyline! I think my favorite might be from Fan Pier. That is a spot I need to visit next time. Also love the ones from Cambridge capturing the boats too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this article! I was supposed to go to Boston last year. I will definitely refer to all of your recommendations when I can go. I love the idea of seeing it from the water and the park, those were my favourites.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Such a beautiful city and your photographs here show it off superbly. I especially love the ones from the water. I have only visited Boston briefly and don’t think I fully appreciated it now that I see your pictures. Need to return and book a boat trip!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Some of the Boston Harbor Islands have primitive camping during the summer months & the scenery including the skyline is spectacular!!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Great variety of options here to watch the skyline. Would love to see it from the air at night, that would be special. But any of the views across the water or the park are gorgeous too.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Boston really has a stunning skyline. How could you not want to capture a great photo as you fly into the city when the airport is so close! I really love the views from the public gardens and also the night-light views from the Fan Pier.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I too am a crazy photographer hunting city skylines. All the skyline captures of Boston are impressive. Great tips on the locations from where these skylines can be captured. Loved the one from JFK Library the most.

    Liked by 1 person

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