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Brahmins of Boston Walking Tour

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Duration: 3 hours
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  • Learn Boston′s history from an expert archeologist and historian
  • Find out how an elite group of Bostonians shaped history
  • See aspects of Boston that other visitors miss
  • The perfect tour for history buffs
  • Exclusive tour with plenty of personal attention

Learn the story of the “Brahmin Class” in Boston and how they shaped history on this captivating walking tour with a tour guide.

At the dawn of the 19th century, descendants of the original Puritan settlers of Boston began to adopt a more enlightened, cosmopolitan, and progressive set of social and political mores. Taking their name from the elite upper caste of India, the "brahmins" of Boston presided over several decades of economic and social upheaval, which saw the birth of Unitarianism and the rise of fervent Abolitionism leading, eventually, to the Civil War.

During this three-hour walking seminar, you will discover look at how this group of Bostonians redefined their city and set the tone for the rest of America during this period.

This small group tour has a maximum of six participants so you will have plenty of chance to interact with your expert guide.


For your Brahmins of Boston Walking Tour, you should make your way to Bruegger's Bagel Bakery at 7 School Street, located at the corner of School and Washington Streets, just across from the Old South Meeting House, where your tour guide will be waiting under the front awning.

With your expert guide, you will set off on a fascinating journey of discovery to learn about the elite “Brahmins of Boston” and their influence on the development not only of their city but of the American nation.

The term “Brahmin” refers to an upper class in the caste system in India. In Boston it has been applied to the old families of Puritan origin who became highly influential in the development of arts, culture, science, politics, trade, and academia.

The walk begins at the Old South Meeting House , one of the oldest churches in Boston and the place where the Boston Tea Party was planned. Here you will get your bearings with a brief overview of some of the social and political developments in Boston at the turn of the 19th century.

During the walk you’ll find out how Boston under the Brahmins gained much more of an international outlook through immigration, trade, and intellectual curiosity. Your leader will introduce this theme at the Irish Famine memorial in front of the Old South Meeting House and continue with a visit to the Boston Atheneum, the city's most prestigious membership library that is graced with Italian sculpture, French maps, and evidence of the Brahmins’ great love affair with the Grand European tour.

The walk then takes you into the heart of Beacon Hill where you will discuss the architectural and urban planning context of this beguiling neighborhood, and visit such key landmarks as the Boston Common and State House. You will stop by the African Meeting House and Shaw Memorial to discuss the central role that Abolitionism played in Boston at this time and the effect of the Civil War on the city. We will also look closely at Jewish history in Boston and stop by the Vilna Shul/Boston Center for Jewish Heritage.

After meandering through this neighborhood and visiting several other historic homes, you wind up in the Boston Common, the central landscape of Boston and a perfect place to conclude the discussion of this city, its inhabitants, and their crucial role in American history.

Please note
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.

Admission fees are not included in this tour. All entrance fees to sites must be paid directly on the day of the tour.

Admission to African American Meeting House (approx US$5)
Admission to Old South Meeting House (approx US$6)
Admission to Otis House (approx US$8)

Not all of the sites mentioned in this description are open every day. The State House is closed on weekends; Vilna Shul on Saturdays; and the African American Museum is closed Sundays.
  • English-speaking archeologist and historian guide
  • Admission to African American Meeting House (approx US$5)
  • Admission to Old South Meeting House (approx US$6)
  • Admission to Otis House (approx US$8)
What happens after I book?
  • A booking voucher will be sent to you by email
  • Print all pages of the voucher
  • Present the voucher at the tour start point or attraction entrance
Activity schedule
When does it run?
2013: Monday, Friday and Saturday
2014: Friday
3 hours
Start time
Meeting point
Your tour guide will be waiting under the awning in front of Bruegger's Bagel Bakery at 7 School Street, located at the corner of School and Washington Streets, just across from the Old South Meeting House
Please reach the meeting point 15 minutes earlier.
Ending point
The tour ends in the vicinity of Boston Common.
Sale price
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Additional information
The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have.
Dos & Don'ts
Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for walking. Remember to bring a camera!

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No cancellation fees

On most bookings

We will never charge you any administrative fees for cancellations. For most tours and activities, there is no penalty for bookings cancelled a week in advance.

See the cancellation policy for this product