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Home> Destinations> America> Boston> Overview


Updated: 2014-08-12 / (bostonusa.com)





City Introduction

As the capital of Massachusetts, Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts and in New England, which is the 21st largest city in USA in terms of population (in 2008). Located in the northeastern of the United States along the Atlantic coast, the city founded in 1630, is one of America's oldest and most cultural value cities. Boston is not only a place where some of the important events occurred during the American Revolution, but also a major shipping port and manufacturing center years back. Today, in addition to the center of higher education and health care, Boston is a city where its population receive the highest level of education in America. Its economy is based on scientific research, finance and technology - especially biotechnology, and it is considered a global city or a cosmopolitan city.

The city is located in the center of the Greater Boston metropolitan area, and the metropolitan area includes the whole Suffolk County, Cambridge, Quincy, Newton, Somerville, Malden, Revere, and Chelsea as well as some small town and the suburbs far away from Boston, and even a portion of New Hampshire.

On January 8, 2015, the United States Olympic Committee announced that Boston will represent the United States to bid for the hosting of the 2024 Summer Olympics.





History and Culture

As a city, Boston was built on September 7, 1630. In the Mid-19th century, the city's industrial manufacturing greatly exceeded the proportion of international trade. Until the early 1900s, Boston had been one of the American largest manufacturing center, famous for apparel manufacturing and leather production industry. In the 1970s, Boston restored its prosperity and promoted the development of mutual funds after more than 30 years of economic downturn. Boston enjoys a good reputation for its outstanding medical care, where Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center take a leading position in the United States. Harvard, MIT, Boston College and other universities have attracted a good many students to come to Boston for further study. In the 21st century, Boston has become a center of intellectual, technological and political ideas.





Natural Environment

The downtown area and the neighboring areas are mainly composed of low-rise brick or stone buildings, and there are many federal architecture-style old buildings, of which some are mixed together with modern high-rise buildings, especially in the financial district, Government Center, the South Boston Waterfront area and Back Bay. They are the seat of the Boston Public Library, Christian Science Church, Copley Square, Newbury Street, and many other prominent landmarks, as well as New England's 2 tallest buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Near the John Hancock Tower there are Berkeley Building (Old John Hancock Building) and striking meteorological tower. The residential areas are composed of single-family residential villas and post and panel structure multi-family townhouses, which are dotted with some smaller commercial streets.






The weather in New England is always unpredictable, and it’s extremely cold in winter, but warm and humid in summer. The duration from late May to late September each year is the peak tourist season in Boston. During this period there is a pleasant climate with the highest temperature of only 20 Celsius degrees, and most of the attractions in Boston are open to visitors. Early summer and late summer is the most comfortable season, with moderate temperature and dry air. In late June and early August of each year, Boston will become very hot and humid, where all taxis, buses and subways and other transportation facilities will be equipped with air conditioners. Boston is the most beautiful in mid-October each year, with crisp air and blue sky.





Useful Information


If you stay in the United States for less than 15 days, it’s advised to use the domestic phone cards, with international roaming services opened. US-based communications services companies also sell telephone cards, including telephone, SMS and Internet traffic. T-Mobile offers Prepaid Phone services, and the monthly package includes limited SMS and calls within the United States, and is priced at USD 50 - 80, depending on different traffics contained within the package.


Boston city is covered with 3G network signal, and free Wi-Fi is available at some shopping malls and restaurants. The most likely place to find a Wi-Fi, is at Starbucks on the streets and Dunkin'Donuts on the streets. The parks located in the downtown of Boston are all covered with free Wi-Fi.

Post Office

Postcards can be bought at most souvenir shops, of which some also offer stamps and delivery services. Postcards and ordinary letter to be sent to China will cost USD 1.15, and take about 10-15 days to reach the destination. In addition, some companies also provide express delivery services, including UPS (United Parcel Service), FedEx (FedEx Corporation), and in some areas you can also find inexpensive Chinese courier.

Information of Embassy and Consulate

Since there is no Chinese consulate in Boston, so you have to handle any related business matters by going to the nearest New York consulate. If you passport is lost or stolen while traveling, you need to apply for a travel permit by going to the New York consulate.

Address: 520 12th Avenue, New York, NY 10036 (see the map)

Opening Time: 9:00-12:00, 13:00-14:30 from Monday to Friday, except legal holidays;

Tel: +1-212-868-2078

Website: http://newyork.china-consulate.org/chn/





Visa Information

Key factors of visa:

The visa officers mainly investigate applicants in three aspects:

1. Whether you are suspected for delayed stay or no return;

2. Whether you have the ability to independently go to the United States, including economic capacity and language skills;

3. Whether you have any appropriate reason or purpose to go to the United States;

These three aspects are reflected as follows:

A. Are there some exit records for you to visit any other developed countries than the United States? Such countries or regions as Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada; the visa officer think that you are coming back from these countries, and then you shall come back from the United States, so there is a very small probability of retention.

B. How about individual assets and cash flow? For example: what about personal savings, whether there is any house or car to prove personal assets. The visa officer holds that rich people are less likely to stay there, and sufficient assets can prove that you have the financial resources to go to the United States.

C. Do you have a steady job? The visa officer believes that people with a stable job are less likely to illegal live there or got to work abroad.

D. Do you have a marriage and family, for example: you are already married with children, and the parents are still alive, you have some brothers and sisters as well as relatives. Such a family background will generate the best information.

E. Do you have independent language skills to visit the United States?





Currency Exchange

At Boston Airport, there are currency exchange points provided by Travelex, and in the urban areas you can find the counter of Currency Exchange International (CXI) on the second floor of Copley Place for currency exchange, and some places labeled with "Travelex" and "CXI" can provide currency exchange services. However, it’s still advised to conduct currency exchange at home so as to reduce handling fees and unnecessary trouble.


UnionPay cards only with Master and Visa logos can be accepted for payment by card in Boston, but the account allowed to use foreign exchange must be verified. Shops generally accept Visa and MasterCard, and the vast majority of merchants also accept American Express, but some do not accept Discover.

Credit Card

Americans are accustomed to using credit cards more than cash payment, and almost all of the shopping malls and supermarkets accept payment by credit card.


Tip is not necessarily included in the bill. Traditionally, dining at restaurant or taking a taxi, you may pay 15-20% of the amount as a tip. If there is some luggage at the back of a taxi, the tip is also payable. You can pay a hotel porter the tip of USD 1-2 per case, and give the room cleaning staff the tip of 1-2 dollars a day or 5-10 dollars a week. For barbers and beauticians, you also give them the tip, but there is no need to pay the tip to the salespeople and laundromat staff.






Jewish-Christian religion represents the mainstream religious faith of American society, whose upholders account for about 88% of the total population.





Tourism Service Number

First aid telephone number: 911

Police-calling Number: 911

Fire Number: 911






1. 1. When you find pigeons, ducks, squirrels and other small animals at the various parks in Boston, don’t catch them or randomly feed them.

2. Boston law prohibits smoking in public places, including at the parks and hotel rooms.

3. It’s noted that you should pay attention to the speaking volume in public places, especially within such closed areas as the subway, so as not to disturb others.

4. When using an escalator, you should understand one step is usually for only one person, and stand to the right side to leave the left side for urgent people.

5. When coming into or going out of building or a room in the United States, you’d better hold the door for a while for the people behind.

6. In USA the legal drinking age is 21 years old, and the legal smoking age is 18 years old; please comply with the relevant laws.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

January 5th is Martin Luther King Day, and a commemorative ceremony will be held at City Hall.

Between later January and early February: Chinese Spring Festival, there are dragon dances and Chinese firecrackers to celebrate the festival at ChinaTown.

In mid-March, New England Flower Show, lasts for a week. March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, and some activities are carried out in honor of a Catholic saint of Ireland.

In late April, Easter Jesus; there are grand religious and church activities.

In mid-May, NEWBURY Street Art Festival famous for numerous galleries and trendy shops, and there are exhibitions of paintings of various styles.

On the evening of July 4: the music and fireworks show of National Day is held at the Charles River.

In August, the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival; there are some celebrations and a banquet dinner at ChinaTown.

In September, many communities have their own autumn gatherings, with the contents including dining, dances, exhibitions and retail works of art.

In October, Columbus Day; there are some celebrations.

In November: US Veterans Day; there are some celebrations.

In December: the Boston "Tea Party" Museum will hold historical celebrations. On December 31, "First Night of New Year", grand cultural celebration activities will be carried out, including 50 performance items.


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