There is something romantic about the sound of a jingling harness and iron-shod hooves on asphalt, harkening back to a different time. While any city environment may seem impersonal at times, it's no wonder horse drawn carriage rides have maintained their appeal in Boston. Hansom cabs —horse-drawn carriages with two wheels — became popular during the Victorian era, clattering over cobblestones while navigating the misty streets of Boston. The cabs were a symbol of an economic boom and are to this day an iconic image of the late 1800's. The invention of the automobile and other forms of transport made the hansom cab obsolete but you can still enjoy a ride through Boston thanks to a couple of options.
If you're looking to take a spur of the moment carriage ride, independent operators keep horses and carriages at the eastern end of Quincy Market towards State Street in Faneuil Hall, as well as downtown near the New England Aquarium at Boston's historic waterfront. The cabs are only permitted to use certain streets and routes, so you can't really use them like a taxi. Plan on spending about $30.00 for 15 minutes, $60.00 for half an hour, and $100.00 for an hour.
If you'd rather plan ahead, both Boston Bridal Carriage Company and Elegant Touch Carriage Company provide horse and carriage rides and packages in and around historic Faneuil Hall throughout the year.