Most Unique Live Entertainment Venues in Boston

Boston Skyline

In addition to its many historic attractions, Boston offers residents and visitors a number of coffeehouses, restaurants and nightlife options. The city features a wide assortment of microbrew pubs, casual lounges and sports bars. Countless well-known actors, comedians and musicians have honed their skills in the city’s theaters and nightclubs. These include Matt Damon, Denis Leary, Aerosmith and the New Kids on the Block. When visiting the Cradle of Liberty, be sure to include one or more of these unique entertainment venues in your itinerary.

Symphony Hall in Boston

Symphony Hall

Regarded as one of the top concert halls in the world, Symphony Hall opened in 1900. Located in the Back Bay, it was the first auditorium designed to enhance the auditory quality of the musicians. The building is regarded as one of the top three acoustic concert halls in the world. The venue is home to the Boston Pops Orchestra and the world-renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the nation’s Big Five ensembles.

Boston Opera House

Opened in 1928 as a movie theater, the Boston Opera House was renovated in the early 2000s to host opera performances and touring Broadway-style productions like “The Lion King.” Located in the Theater District, the venue hosts the Boston Ballet Company, which stages an annual holiday production of the “Nutcracker” among their many performances. The Opera House is also the setting for numerous pop concerts throughout the year.

The Orpheum

Built in 1852, the Orpheum is one of the oldest theaters in the country. In addition to movies and vaudeville acts, this grand dame has hosted the New England Conservatory, the Boston Symphony and the Boston Ballet. Also situated in the Theater District, the Orpheum is now primarily a live-concert venue. Headline acts, including Kelly Clarkson and the Rolling Stones, have performed at the Orpheum.

Paradise Rock Club

The legendary Paradise Rock Club has helped launch the careers of numerous headline acts, including U2, which chose the venue for its U.S. debut. Other well-known acts appearing at the club include Billy Joel, Norah Jones and Coldplay as well as Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas. Situated near the Boston University campus, the club is a popular venue for top local area bands and hosts small music festivals throughout the year. Opening in 1977, the club continues to be a fixture on Boston’s rock-and-roll scene that attracts established acts as well as up-and-coming performers.

Wilbur Theatre

A top destination for musicians and comedians, the century-old white and gold Wilbur Theatre is home to the Comedy Connection. The historic stage located in the Theater District helped launch the careers of Jay Leno, Paula Poundstone and Norm McDonald. It hosts a variety of comedic and musical acts, including Joel McHale, Amy Schumer and Jimmy Fallon.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

During our daily museum tours, and 18th Century Host will lead you through an interactive colonial town meeting, onto one of our ships to “dump the tea”, and through the museum experience as you discover what happened during the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution!

Tavern Nights

Step back in time to Colonial America during Tavern Nights at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Grab a mug of ale and join the Sons and Daughters of Liberty as they sing, dance and debate the cause of freedom in the spirited atmosphere of an 18th-century tavern. Sample rustic fare, play authentic games and lift a glass in celebration as actors dressed in period attire bring the story of the Boston Tea Party to life. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is located in the Fort Point Channel neighborhood.

Hatch Shell

Hatch Shell at the Charles River Esplanade is the setting for the annual Boston Pops July 4 concert and fireworks extravaganza that is broadcast nationwide. In addition to a variety of free concerts, the band shell situated in the Back Bay neighborhood is also used for outdoor movies during warmer months. Stroll along the scenic Charles River, spread a blanket on the lawn and enjoy a picnic while listening to great music or watching a movie.

Bleacher Bar

One of the coolest sports bars in the city, the Bleacher Bar is located beneath Fenway Park’s centerfield grandstand. With a window overlooking the playing field, it is a wonderful venue to watch a ballgame. In addition to enjoying home games, baseball fans can watch out-of-town games on the bar’s television screens.

Top of the Hub

Situated 52 stories above the city, the Top of the Hub offers bird’s-eye-views of the Back Bay, Boston Harbor and the surrounding landscape. This lounge-in-the-sky atop the Prudential Center near Copley Place features award-winning fare, signature cocktails and smooth jazz combos. Bands play nightly from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m.

Faneuil Hall Bosotn

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Faneuil Hall Marketplace includes a number of sports bars, Irish pubs and other popular late-night establishments. This historic downtown landmark also hosts a bar and restaurant built to resemble the pub and upstairs eatery seen on the hit television show “Cheers.” The décor includes Sam’s Red Sox jacket. To see the original Cheers bar, formerly known as the Bull and Finch where the exterior shots were filmed, head over to Beacon Street near Boston Common. The settings will summon humorous scenes featuring the colorful characters at the bar “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.”

Beantown Pub

The Beantown Pub is located on Tremont Street near the Freedom Trail. You can enjoy a cold Samuel Adams microbrew as you look across the street to the Granary Burying Ground where the namesake Founding Father is buried. The cemetery also contains the grave of Paul Revere, John Hancock and Mother Goose. Foodies can eat standard pub food and watch sporting events on the bar’s television screens.

Warren Tavern

Located in the Charlestown neighborhood near Bunker Hill, the Warren Tavern is the oldest pub in Massachusetts. Paul Revere, George Washington and other early American leaders ate and drank here. In addition to drinks and food, the tavern sponsors a variety of intimate live musical performances and other events.

Know Before You Go

Although “last call” is typically 2 a.m., the “T” subway and most bus routes stop running around 1 a.m., so make alternative transportation arrangements if necessary. In addition to the major local newspapers, there are several websites and free neighborhood weeklies that list various venues and showtimes. Discount tickets are often available.