Nuts-and-bolts information to plan your trip, plus a checklist of essentials to include when you pack and a list of links to local media

Planning

Entry Requirements: International travelers from 27 countries may enter the U.S. without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program; however, you must have a machine-readable passport. Visitors from other countries must obtain a visa from an American embassy or consulate abroad. For more information, visit travel.state.gov.

Security: Boston is a tourist city, and thieves make the most of jostling crowds; carry your valuables securely.

Time: Boston is on U.S. eastern standard time.

Money: The currency of Boston is the U.S. dollar. For current conversion rates, go to OANDA Currency Converter: www.oanda.com/convert/classic.

Phone Calls: The area code for Boston is 617. For calls from within the United States, dial 1 617 the seven-digit phone number. Phone calls from outside the United States require 001 617 the seven-digit phone number.

When to Go: With cold winters and warm, humid summers, the best time to go to Boston is in the fall, September and October, or the spring, April through June.

Getting There: Boston’s Logan International Airport is the hub of the Hub. For information about the airport and the airlines servicing Logan, go to http://www.massport.com/logan-airport/Pages/Default.aspx.

Getting Around: A car is nothing more than a distraction. The nation’s oldest subway line is the Green Line on Boston’s subway system, known locally as the “T.” The “T” is safe, convenient, and cheap. The MBTA also runs buses, light rail, and boats. For more information, check out the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority website, www.mbta.com.

Checklist

Walking Shoes: Boston has its share of cobblestone streets and uneven pavement. Your feet will not be happy in floppy sandals. Wear study shoes year round, and pack a pair of waterproof boots November through March.

Umbrella: New England weather changes quickly, especially in summer, and can leave you drenched and uncomfortable. An umbrella and/or hooded rain jacket can save an outing and an outfit.

Camera: Boston is full of nooks and crannies, hidden surprises that are perfect for picture taking no matter what the weather.

A Good City Map: Boston was built on a series of hills that have been flattened and bays that have been filled; it’s little wonder that many streets are narrow and crooked, unmarked, or change names.

Web Links

Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

The repository of all the information needed to plan a trip to Boston. www.bostonusa.com

WalkBoston

Pedestrian advocacy group offering itineraries for walking in Boston; also runs guided walks in Boston. www.walkboston.org

Where to Eat Boston

Totally plugged into Boston’s dining scene; great suggestions on the hip and trendy as well as the Boston classics; also publishes Where to Drink Boston. www.wheretoeatboston.com

Boston.com

The Boston Globe’s online listing of all things Boston. www.boston.com

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

Schedules, ticket and fare information, track closings and delays, bus and train routes. www.mbta.com

Not for Tourists

View the free PDF version of their print guide for Boston; also weekly postings of new reviews and updated information. www.notfortourists.com/cityMain.aspx?city=BO

The Phantom Gourmet

Book and online database of restaurants reviewed by The Phantom Gourmet (who pays his own bill and reviews anonymously). www.phantomgourmet.com

EDGE Boston

Comprehensive portal to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in Boston; includes breaking news, features, and reviews of gay-owned and -friendly Boston establishments. www.edgeboston.com

Local Media

The Boston Globe

Boston’s preeminent daily paper, owned by the New York Times Company.

Boston Magazine

Smart, glossy monthly magazine covers events, issues, and style for the Boston area.

The Improper Bostonian

As its name implies, the less-reverent side of life in Boston; also includes reviews and style advice, as well as Boston-focused features and columns.

The Weekly Dig

Aimed squarely at the college student through young professional crowd, the Dig covers all the news, events, and reviews needed to be cool.

The Boston Phoenix

Free alternative paper features news, blogs (on the Phoenix’s web site), and reviews written with a touch of local humor and a dash of sophistication.

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