I was in Boston on a weekend during a business trip and I decided I wanted to go into the city. The friendly DEs on trip advisor recommended the freedom trail. It was a great suggestion. I started at Boston Commons at 10:00 and made my way along the entire trail over the course of 6 hours (including stopping for lunch and dinner and doing two tours).
I was told not to pay for the guided tour and I would tell anyone that can read to also follow this advice. I much preferred doing it on my own schedule so that I could spend time looking at what I wanted to see. I stood near a couple of the tour guides in the graveyards and they really didnt say anything that wasnt written on the plaquards that are literally everywhere, so I tried to stay away from them. In fact, some of the guides were obnoxious and yelling and shouting about the different areas. The tours were walked around in huge groups like cattle and I doubt that the people could really see everything they stopped at. I was trying to stay away from them as much as possible.
You dont necessarily have to do the entire freedom trail to get the flavor of the history. I particularly enjoyed The Old North Church, Paul Revere's house and the USS constitution - so if you want to shave some time off you can.
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