Logo   Boat, Train, Bus & Car to Salem MA
MBTA Commuter Rail trains and buses take you from Boston to Salem every 20 to 30 minutes, but it's more fun to take the fast Salem Ferry at least one way.


Many people travel to Salem (map) by car, but its easier and more fun to go by boat or train. (On Halloween it's partularly important not to take your car. More...)


The most fun, most scenic way to travel between Salem and Boston is on the Salem Ferry, a high-speed catamaran that zooms between Salem and Boston in 45 minutes.

Buy your ticket in Boston at the New England Aquarium Whale Watch ticket booth on Central Wharf (map), and in Salem at the Blaney Street ferry terminal (map).

Reservations are not required.

The ferry departs both cities at least six times daily, on the odd hours from Boston (9, 11, 1, 3, 5, etc) from Boston, and on the even hours from Salem, with extra trips in summer and on weekends. The one-way adult fare is $10 to $12; a four-ticket Family Pack costs $29, one-way. Check the Salem Ferry website for more.


MBTA Commuter Rail trains on the Newburyport/ Rockportline run from Boston's North Station to Salem, Beverly, Gloucester, and Rockport.

The trip to Salem's Downtown Depot, the town's train and bus station, takes about 30 minutes. Trains run about every 20 minutes during rush hours, every half-hour during the day, every hour at night and on weekends. Here's the timetable...


Salem is served by MBTA Bus 450 (Haymarket Station—Salem Depot), which leaves from the Government Center parking garage next to Boston's Haymarket subway station (Green Line or Orange Line).

Buses leave Haymarket every 30 minutes during rush hours, every hour during the day Monday through Saturday, every 90 minutes on Sunday. Here's the schedule...

Bus 459 (Downtown Crossing—Salem Depot) connects Boston's prime shopping district with Salem Depot. It departs Boston from the corner of Otis Street and Summer Street (map). Here's the schedule...

Under good traffic conditions, the bus trips take just over an hour and end at the Salem Downtown Depot (MBTA Commuter Rail station), about 10 minutes' walk from Salem Common and most Salem attractions.


The fastest way from Boston to Salem is the least direct: take I-93 north to I-95 north, then MA Route 128 east, and take the exit marked for MA Route 114 and Salem (map).

A more direct route, via US 1, is not usually faster.

The most direct route, via MA Route 1A, is slowest because it passes through many towns (and many traffic signals) along the way. MA Route 1A North becomes Lafayette Street in Salem.

Note that routes and highway signs on the North Shore can be confusing. Routes are filled with turns, and signs are inconspicuous or missing. You may have to stop and ask the way at least once.


From Salem (map) to:

Boston: 17 miles (27.5 km) SW

Gloucester: 16 miles (26 km) NE

Marblehead: 4 miles (6.5 km) SE

Rockport: 22 miles (35.5 km) NE

What to See & Do in Salem

Halloween in Salem

Tourist Information

Salem Hotels


About Salem


Boston Transportation




Friendship, Salem Maritime Historic Site, Salem MA

Above, too bad you can't sail to Salem on the Friendship (Salem Maritime National Historic Site).

Below, Salem Willows Park & beach.

Salem Willows Park, Salem MA