The Boston Common is America’s first city park, and home of many famous sites in the city of Boston. Established in 1634, the Common has been used for everything from raising cattle and training militia, to hanging witches during the infamous witch trials. Even back then, the common was perfectly positioned in the middle of the city, so many events that required a large open space were held here. Many people consider it to be most beautiful during Boston’s lovely fall, when tourists and artists alike can be seen walking through the beautiful paths and various attractions the Common has to offer. Of these, the frog pond, children’s park, gazebo, skating rink, carousel, and fountains are the most frequented, and they can all be seen on the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour.
Boston’s small size makes the Common close to nearly all of the residents living in the city limits, which is probably why it is so heavily utilized in movies and film. Both the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour and the private TV and Movie Bus tour begin in the Common. You can see it used in everyone’s favorite Irish mob hit, The Departed. When Martin Scorsese was filming back in 2005, he wanted the Common to represent a meeting ground for many of the characters. One of the first scenes shows a rowdy football match between the Boston Police Department and the Boston Fire Department, a scene based on a real-life rivalry between the groups. Additionally, the Common is right across the street from Colin’s (Matt Damon) house. This was specifically used for its proximity to the Massachusetts State House, easily recognizable by its authentic gold dome. Scorsese renovated the top floor of the Suffolk University Law School building to achieve this upper-class apartment feel.
The Common is considered to be the transition from the Downtown area of the city to the Beacon Hill neighborhood. Both Suffolk University and Emerson College are located on Tremont street, which borders the park. At any given time of year (yes, even in Boston’s infamous snow storms) you can see students from these schools hanging out in any of the sections of the park. The Common is also close to the city’s small Theater District, which is closest to the Green Line stop Boylston. Even given its small size, it features 2 T-Stations. The much larger and more crowded station, Park Street, is closer to northeast corner of the park. This stations connects Boston’s most popular lines, the Red and Green tracks. The station can be seen in The Town, starring Ben Affleck and Rebecca Hall. The two have a very intimate conversation about the crime Rebecca Hall’s character was involved in at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Tremont street.
If you are visiting the Common, be sure to stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about the history of America’s oldest city park and purchase tickets for the Boston Movie Mile Walking Tour. This is the meeting spot of the mile! Additionally, no trip to the Common is complete without a visit to the Boston Public Garden, another park right across Charles street.
* In an effort to stay current, we are constantly updating our tours with new locations and cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site. If you have a particular interest in locations from a specific TV show or movie, please let your tour guide know and we will do our best to accommodate your request.