Just as there are many ways to travel around Boston once you check in, there are also many ways to arrive. Depending on how long your journey is, the easiest way might be to fly. Boston’s Logan Airport is a major international transportation center, handling hundreds of flights every day. With the cost of gas increasing and the availability of more low-cost air options, flying to Boston is a convenient way to travel.

Once you get to Logan, getting to your hotel should be easy. Taxi stands are by the arrivals level at each terminal, managed by airport personnel.  Service is prompt most hours, unless several large flights have arrived at the same time.  There are several shared-ride shuttles - which are not affiliated with the nationwide companies.  Then there is Boston's cheap, convenient and famous "T".  (See below.)

Airports

Even as "The Big Dig" was transforming Boston, all those take-off and landing fees were transforming Boston's Logan International Airport.  While the road network and linkage are much smoother and more efficient, all drivers are encouraged to watch the signs carefully.  This is definitely not your father's Logan Airport -- even for those who have come through it in the last five, two or even one year.

Logan Airport has four major terminals connected by new people-mover-equipped "bridge tunnels" which criss-cross the central parking garage.  Most people prefer the free blue airport buses that circle the airport at the arrivals level.  Some also take passengers to the "T"'s Blue Line Airport station.  At that point, "T" fare is required to the rest of the city.  Be sure to look on the front or side of the bus to see if it also goes to the "T".  Also be careful not to board one of the satellite parking or employee parking lot buses, which look similar.

All off-airport services pick up at the arrivals level, and drop off at the departure level.  All rental car shuttles are on the arrivals level.  Travelers arriving at Logan have several options for getting to most of the suburbs, including taxi and shared-ride shuttles. " Logan Express" is operated by the Massachusetts Port Authority, which also operates the airport. Its scheduled express motorcoach service goes to single destinations in the suburbs: north to Woburn, west to Framingham, or south to Braintree, where there are also parking lots. Logan Express to the northeast (Peabody) was suspended in May 2006.  Temporary replacement service to Peabody was picked up by Bonanza bus lines, stopping at the Logan Express locations.  Buses depart from all terminals every 30 minutes.  There is also regular airport bus service to destinations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.  For information on options, go here.

Driving, there are three main ways to/from Logan:  Northeast on the original Route 1A for getting to the northeast and the North Shore.  Go west through the original parallel Sumner and Callaghan Tunnels to and from downtown and to reach northbound I-93.  And there is the new Ted Williams Tunnel for getting to the Southeast Expressway, the South Shore, Cape Cod and other points south (I-93 south to Route 3 and I-95).  Use the Ted Williams also to get to I-90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) and to the Seaport District and the southern end of downtown.  Driving away from the airport, the tunnels are tollways.  And beyond Boston, the Mass Pike is a tollway.

While Logan International Airport (BOS) is the largest and most well-known of the local airports, other (often lower cost options) include T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Providence, Rhode Island, and Manchester Airport (MHT), in Manchester, New Hampshire. Each is about an hour from BOS by car, but neither has public transportation all the way on one vehicle.

Trains and Buses

If you are coming from the East Coast, you can take an Amtrak train to South Station or Back Bay Station from most major cities and towns that are south of Boston.  North Station serves points north.  However, fares tend to be on the expensive side, and Amtrak is notorious for delays and inefficiency.  Bear in mind, 3-day advance purchase on the Web will yield Amtrak discount fares that you will never see at the walk-up window.  Unfortunately, the political will for the "Big Dig", Boston's monumental highway submersion project, didn’t include extending the railroad through Boston -- e.g., there isn’t a straight shot from New York to Portland.

Several long-haul bus lines offer service to Boston. Of course, the closer you live to Boston, the easier it is to find a convenient option. The Hampton Jitney serves Long Island and Greyhound and Peter Pan serve the East Coast and beyond. Most buses drop you off at South Station, where you can catch the Red Line and Silver Line "T", or some commuter trains. At the higher end, a recent start-up, LimoLiner, operates vans between Boston and NY downtowns with airplane-type seats, internet connections and attendants.  With Boston's huge student population, trains and buses can be crowded, especially during holidays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, so try to reserve a seat ahead of time.

For more info and links to major bus carriers, go here.

The "T"

The cheapest way into town, except for a friend picking you up, is Boston's subway and trolley system, the "T" (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority).  The "T" shares North, South and Back Bay Stations - where the trains and commuter rail depart - as well as serving Logan Airport.  It also shares the major bus depot at South Station.  Here, "shares" means "all indoors". 

If you have a smartphone, you can monitor arrival times and delays with several apps and mobile sites. Nextbus has real time data for buses. OpenMBTA is an app that shows data for subway, bus, and commuter rail lines. 

Car Service

You can book your a private car service door to door to destinations in Boston Metro Area. At Boston Limousine, you can get a flat rates for all MA towns and airports from Boston.