Boston Amtrak stations: Which station is best?

Boston South Station interior

Boston uniquely has three Amtrak stations. One is in downtown Boston, one is in the North End and the other is in Back Bay. They are within two miles of each other, so all stations offer easy access to Boston transportation, attractions and businesses. To determine which Boston station is best to use, see recommendations and tips below.

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South Station

South Station is a major transportation hub in downtown Boston near the Financial District, Chinatown, the Seaport District and the Waterfront. Open since 1899, it is the most historic station in the city. Acela, Northeast Regional and Lake Shore Limited Amtrak trains stop here.



  • It’s a large station, so allow extra time for walking to and from the train platforms.
  • The station sometimes shelters homeless people overnight during cold weather.
  • Only one hotel is within a 5-minute walk from the station (InterContinental Boston).

Back Bay Station

In the Back Bay neighborhood, the Back Bay Station offers access to Acela, Northeast Regional and Lake Shore Limited trains, commuter trains and the orange subway line. The modern station opened in 1987, replacing several stations that were built in earlier decades.



  • No Amtrak lounge.
  • It’s the station furthest away from Boston Logan Airport.
  • Pollution from train exhaust is an issue at the Back Bay Station, but air quality improvements are in progress. If you have asthma or other lung issues, use South Station instead.

North Station

Boston’s North Station is next to the Charles River and the North End and West End neighborhoods. Only one Amtrak route stops here — the Downeaster. Trains on this route travel through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.



  • No Amtrak lounge.
  • The bathrooms are usually dirty.
  • Limited food options inside the station (but many options nearby).
  • The station is busy during weekday rush hour and sporting events.

More Information

Top photo credit: Kenneth C. Zirkel (South Station interior)

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