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Boston

Aerial view on Boston

Practical Info about Boston

Getting around the city

Boston's transport network consists of the country's oldest subway system, buses, trolley buses, ferries around the harbour and the commuter rail. For getting around the Boston-Cambridge area the subway is the best as it is easy to use, fast and safe. It serves most of the city and on the whole visitors will have little use for the bus network, which is cheaper but more confusing for newcomers. Both operate from 5am to 12:30am, but a 'Night Owl' bus service has been introduced to provide transport along main bus routes and parallel to subway lines on Friday and Saturday nights until 2:30am. Taxis are plentiful but expensive, although water taxis are popular as a novel way to explore the city. Licensed cabs are best found at cabstands (usually near hotels) or can be reserved by phone; they are metered and provide receipts. Boston is a motorist's nightmare and there is no need to rent a car while in the city, unless planning excursions.

Time

GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Electricity

120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.

Currency

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Communication

The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, including all urban areas, however unless you have a tri-band phone it is likely your cellular phone from home will not work in the United States. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Martin Luther King Day 20 Jan 19 Jan
Presidents Day 17 Feb 16 Feb
Memorial Day 26 May 25 May
Independence Day 4 Jul 4 Jul
Labour Day 1 Sep 7 Sep
Columbus Day 13 Oct 12 Oct
Veterans Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Thanksgiving Day 27 Nov 26 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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Boston has a continental climate with very changeable weather patterns including wide temperature swings in a matter of days, and unseasonal snowfalls. Summers are usually sunny, hot and humid, with the temperature in July averaging 82°F (28°C). Winters, by contrast, are bitterly cold, windy, wet and snowy. Boston averages 42 inches (108cm) of snowfall annually, much of it deposited in northeasterly storms. The best time to travel to Boston is in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is warm and pleasant. Autumn is particularly lovely as New England's trees wear their colourful fall foliage.

Boston Logan International Airport

www.massport.com

Getting to the city

The Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority provides regular bus service, on the Silver Line, and a faster subway connection, on the Blue Line, to and from the city centre, costing $2.50. Massport's free water transportation bus connects from all airport terminals to the Logan dock where private water taxis and public commuter boats are available to multiple destinations in the Boston Harbour. Most water taxis operate from 7am to 7pm, with some after-hours services available.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside all terminals and a taxi from Logan International Airport to downtown Boston takes between 20 minutes and an hour, depending on traffic, and costs $25 to $45. Some companies offer shared vans that provide door-to-door services.

Transfer between terminals

A free shuttle bus services the five terminals.

Facilities

There are ATMs in all terminals, a bank in Terminal D, and bureaux de change in Terminals B, C and D. Other facilities include restaurants and bars, shops, duty-free shopping, business facilities, children's entertainment, tourist information and hotel reservations.

Parking

Parking at Boston Logan starts at $3 for the first half hour, $6 for an hour, $11 for two hours and $2 per hour thereafter, up to $18 per day. Weekly rates are charged at $108. The three parking lots closer to the terminal are more expensive if you stay more than a couple of hours, and all lots are serviced by a free shuttle to the terminals.

Internet

Boston Logan International Airport has free wifi.