Symphony Hall
Symphony Hall
4.5

Top ways to experience Symphony Hall and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Fenway / Kenmore
The Curse of the Bambino may have ended years ago, but loyal Red Sox fans will continue to infiltrate this home to historic Fenway Park, where you can find victory banners, people yelling in stereotypical Boston accents, and lots of sports bars. Located within Kenmore Square, the old gas station Citgo sign is another Boston skyline classic seen throughout the city. In addition to a hectic and diehard sports mentality, this neighborhood is also home to some of Boston’s many universities. Move from Boston University territory to that of Northeastern, and spend time at the famous Museum of Fine Arts. For more culture, check out the smaller but equally beautiful Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Continue off the beaten path and check out the green space in the Back Bay Fens, a pretty community garden. This diverse neighborhood has a mix of universities, sports, culture, and more residential green space.
How to get there
  • Symphony • 1 min walk
  • Northeastern University • 6 min walk
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles129 reviews
Excellent
86
Very good
35
Average
4
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Susan C
Santa Clarita, CA73 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Saw the Boston Pops - beautiful hall, fun night, great show. Surprisingly thought the sound was just OK but we’re a bit spoiled with the LA Phil and Disney Concert Hall. A fun night!
Written June 4, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NHMom67
Concord, NH604 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Family
We attended Film Night with John Williams on Saturday, June 7, 2014. We took the T to Mass Avenue and then walked the short distance to Symphony Hall.

The performance was fantastic. The sound quality in Symphony Hall is great, but our seats were not. We were in the second balcony on the right in row A, seats 37, 38, and 39. We could only see John Williams from the waist up and the left side of the orchestra, nothing of the right side. We spent most of the night leaning forward, as did the rest of the folks in our row. However, leaning forward did not greatly improve our view.

This was our first visit. I wish I had known about the seating in advance, as I got these tickets for my DD12 who is a trumpet musician. It was disappointing we couldn't see any of the brass section.

If we go again, I'd get definitely get tickets for either directly across from the stage or for the floor.
Written June 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ltrayers
Washington DC, DC35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Friends
The sound is lovely in this hall and the ambiance is beautiful.

Symphony Hall is smaller than I thought it would be, and this was a good thing. It has an intimate feel.

Seating
On the one hand, some seating is a bit awkward, but no matter where you sit, the music will sound lovely.

Balcony Seats
I sat in the first row of the first balcony just left of center. These were great seats. I admit that it is a bit far from the stage, but for an orchestra performance this is just fine. In fact, most seats are just fine for an orchestra performance. Balcony seats are on a steep slope, so people in front of you will not block your view. Be careful when sitting in the side balconies, towards the front is good... and so is toward the back (were it curves); the middle area, however, can be a bit uncomfortable because the seats do not face the stage and you have to turn your head to see the stage. The second balcony is very high, but the sound is still very good, you just can't see the stage as well.

Orchestra seating
The Orchestra area is rather flat. If your too close to the front, you strain your neck looking up at the stage. If you are too far back, you may not have a good view over the people in front of you.

If you are going to see a specific performer, pay the extra to get a good seat. If you are just going to hear an orchestra, do not worry, purchase what you can afford and enjoy the music. No matter what, the sound will be wonderful.

Food and Drink
This venue has a great layout that allows you to get dinner before the show and there are 2 bar areas with seating to get a drink before the show and during intermission. Pops performances also serve food and drink in the orchestra seating area.

Location
It is very easy to get to this venue. There is a T stop on the green line just outside the hall. it is also walking distance to the Prudential Center and Boylston Street to get dinner before or after the show.
Written December 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary B
19 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2018 • Family
Took my grandson to the symphony. Very beautiful hall, great seats (with a Phoenix Library Cultural Pass)good sound but seats are not very comfortable.All in all it was a great experience!
Written December 11, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cara C
Boston, MA4,140 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Solo
If you haven’t seen the Boston Pops perform... what are you waiting for?! Symphony Hall is beautiful, but wow- the Pops take the cake! 2nd balcony seats near the stage are amazing. There’s really not a bad seat in the house though.
Written October 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

robcurtross
New York City, NY13,615 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Couples
We heard Handel's Messiah in a superb performance and it was an amazing experience. Some voices of the chorus could be made out individually.

A lady from NYC living in Boston prefers the sound in Carnegie Hall but this sound was ethereal.

They claim one of the top three sounds in the world and the best in the US. I am with th Bostonians.
Written November 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LeeDiMc
Las Vegas, NV289 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
Last night we attended the Boston Pops as they live orchestrated Home Alone (while we watched the movie on the big screen). What a wonderful holiday treat! The music was beautiful performed and perfectly timed to he movie. The refreshments (including Prosecco and truffles for mom and dad and hot chocolates and cookies for our 11-year-old) were pricey, but delicious. Our only complaint was that we were seated so close to the screen we got a bit of a crick in our neck from looking up (and we paid for premium seating). They really should have started seating further back or discounted the close-up seats.
Written December 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BostonBeanTowner
Boston, MA52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Couples
The program offers something for everyone. This means you may have a modern piece on the program, when you are there to see something from the Classical era, but it helps to broaden your horizons. One word of warning on the seating -seats along the front rows of the balconies are oriented straight ahead, so while you may hear very well, to see the stage from anywhere but the first 20 or so seats at the front ends of the two wings of the balcony, you are turning your head at an increasing angle. In addition, patrons next to you may lean or slide forward to improve their view, and you'll be looking at the back of someone's head all night. Perhaps when the next renovation is done they'll try to adapt the seating to be more conducive to viewing.
Written July 2, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jeffrey k
Needham, MA546 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
even if you have attended orchestral music concerts in the past elsewhere, if you are in Boston and have the opportunity, do attend a performance at Symphony Hall. This has some of the best acoustics in the world, and it remains a comfortable and special place to hear music.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

on_the_go_98765
Tucson20,615 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
The tour admission is fair: $12 per person for a 60-90 minute tour (no complaints). The tours can be lead daily providing (and there is always that "provisio" or caveat) that you have contacted them no less than 3 weeks prior to make these tour arrangements. A 10-person minimum is needed to conduct a tour. Sigh.

Maybe you are lucky and maybe you are not. Maybe you will need to be satisfied with the exterior beauty suggestive of what could-have-been (but sadly, is not). But we can always dream and remember and plan for the future!

The Symphony Hall was built in 1900 and, as of 1999, has been named as a United States Historic Landmark. It is one of the three top concert halls in the entire world. Seating accommodates 2,625 attendees (give or take).

It sits adjacent to the monumental (and seemingly never ending) Christian Science Plaza construction project.
Written October 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Symphony Hall - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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