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Top 10 Things to do in Salem for Tourists

Get to know the top 10 things to do in Salem with our easy guide. Experience the Witch Trials, and discover the mystery of Salem.

Manuel M.

December 18, 2023

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Welcome to Salem, Massachusetts, a city steeped in history, mystery, and enchantment. It doesn’t matter whether you’re fascinated with the famous witch trials or the rich maritime heritage. Salem has something for everyone. In this quick guide, we’ll explore the top 10 things to do in Salem. You’ll read about the best attractions to go to and the top places to visit!

Things to Do in Salem, MA: Best Tourist Attractions

In this first part, we’ll dive into the top attractions to visit in Salem, like the Witch Trials Memorial, the Peabody Essex Museum, and much more. Add these touristic hotspots to your travel itinerary to immerse yourself into the entire Salem experience and make the most out of your travels.

1. Salem Witch Trials Memorial

Located downtown, this poignant memorial honors the victims of the witch trials. Pay your respects and reflect on this dark chapter in American history. You’ll find the names of those how were accused, how and when they were executed. You can easily reach it on foot, and keep in mind that hours differ depending on the day of the week.

  • Where: 24 Liberty St
  • Time: 7am–6pm*
  • Cost: Free
Benches of the Salem Witch Trials Memorial
Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Source: onceuponawheat

2. Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum is a must-visit attraction if you’re in Salem, especially for art and culture enthusiasts. You’ll find all types of artistic exhibitions and events that will capture your imagination and marvel. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Salem’s historic architecture. Tickets range from $20 to $25, and it’s conveniently situated in the city center.

  • Where: East India Square, 161 Essex Street
  • Time: Thr – Mon 10 am-5 pm
  • Cost: Free – $20*

3. Salem Trolley Tour

Going on one of the narrated trolley tours to explore Salem is one of the top things to do. Learn about the city’s history, haunted hotspots, and iconic landmarks. Tickets for the Salem Trolley Tour are only available in person on the day of the tour, and it’s an ideal way to get an overview of the city.

  • Where 2 New Liberty Street
  • Time 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Cost Free – $22
Go on a Historic Tour on the Salem Trolley
Salem Trolley Tour. Source: Tripadvisor

4. Visit Fort Sewall

Discover the wartime history of Salem through Fort Sewall one of the hotspots to see in Salem. Established back in 1644, this fort was set up as a defensive post against the French. You can go, visit the once used bunkers and prisons, and take a spectacular picture of the harbor to post online.

  • Where 188 Washington Street Marblehead
  • Time Anytime
  • Cost Free

5. Ledger Restaurant & Bar

Outside the entire witch and historic attractions, getting to know the local gastronomy is something to experience in Salem. You can take a night to go out and have some private time as a couple with an elegant and delicious dinner. If you’re looking for something more casual, you can definitely drop by for a Sunday brunch and take time to let it all out. You can check their menu and wines list on their official website.

  • Where 125 Washington St.
  • Time
    • Mondays & Tuesdays Closed
    • Wednesday & Thursday | 5pm-9pm dinner
    • Friday & Saturday | 5pm-10pm dinner
    • Sunday | 10am-2pm brunch, 4:30pm-8:30pm dinner
  • Cost $$
Ledger Restaurant & Bar tables and central bar
Savor a delicious dinner at the Ledger Restaurant & Bar. Source: ledgersalem

Best Things to See in Salem MA for Tourists

With so much to see in Salem, you’ll have to plan your trip carefully and ahead of time. Here we want to provide you with an easy guide to some of the best site-seeing in this historic city. Even if this is just a weekend trip, it’ll definitely make your life easier.

6. The House of the Seven Gables

Step into Nathaniel Hawthorne’s world by visiting The House of the Seven Gables. Tour this historic mansion and its beautiful gardens, capturing the essence of 17th-century life. Additionally, there are plenty of events during the year that you can take advantage of. Enjoy activities ranging from yoga up to tours such as the Passage of the Past Audio Tour and Hawthorne’s Shadow Tour.

  • Where 115 Derby St
  • Time Fri–Mon 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.
  • Cost Free – $25

7. Witch House

Explore the only structure in Salem directly tied to the witch trials – the Witch House. Discover the history of Judge Jonathan Corwin and the accusations that shook the town. This is a self-guided tour where you’ll read about the history of the house and the pivotal part it played in the trials as the center of operations in the Witch Hunt. Remember to pack a camera with you or your phone to Salem to take pictures of all these historic sites. You can arrive by car or by train.

  • Where 310 1/2 Essex St.
  • Time Thr – Sun 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
  • Cost $5 – $9
The Witch House in Salem
The infamous Witch House in Salem. Source: Tripadvisor

8. Old Burying Point Cemetery

Wander through the Old Burying Point Cemetery, Salem’s oldest burial ground. Uncover centuries-old gravestones and learn about the notable figures laid to rest here. Judge John Hathorne, Simon Bradstreet, Reverend John Higginson, Bartholomew Gedney are just some of those who are currently resting in this historic cemetery.

  • Where: 19 1/2 Washington Square North,
  • Time Anytime
  • Cost Free

9. Haunted Happenings

Enjoy the Halloween celebration in October with the Haunted Happenings festival in Salem, MA. Participate in the different parades, events and tours surrounding this time of year. Add this stop if you’re on a road trip throughout the US as a great way to experience the month of October and the mystery of Salem. Takes pictures and videos for everyone back home to see!

  • Where Salem, Massachusetts
  • Time October 1–October 31
  • Cost $$
The Haunted Happenings Festival in Salem
The Haunted Happenings Festival in Salem. Source: hauntedhappenings

10. Crow Haven Corner

If you’re looking to dive deeper into Salems connection with witchcraft and magic, the Crow Haven Corner is the place for you. As the oldest witch shop in Salem, Crow Haven Corner has become a haven for those intrigued by the supernatural and the enchanting world of witchcraft. They offer various services and products such as:

  1. Personalized Services: Includes psychic readings, spell-casting, and spiritual counseling.
  2. Unique Merchandise: Magical items, from spell kits and herbs to crystals and talismans.
  3. Witchcraft Workshops: They frequently host workshops and classes on various aspects of witchcraft, providing an opportunity for both beginners and experienced practitioners to expand their knowledge and skills.
  • Where 125 Essex St
  • Time Fri & Sat 10:30am–9:00pm, Sun – Thr. 11:00am- 8:00pm,
  • Winter Hours 11:00am – 7:00 pm
  • Cost $$

General Tips for Tourists in Salem, MA

Before you explore Salem, make sure you’re well-prepared. With all the different activities and events for you to enjoy in this city, there are some things you must keep in mind.

  • Dress comfortably and for the weather
  • Drink water and stay hydrated
  • Make your reservations beforehand
  • Buy your tickets before you leave
  • Get a data connection for your maps app

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Salem worth seeing?

Absolutely! Salem’s unique blend of history, culture, and charm makes it a must-visit destination, especially for those interested in a dark period of time involving witches.

How do I spend a weekend in Salem, MA?

Spend your weekend exploring historical sites, visiting museums, and taking in the vibrant atmosphere of Salem’s streets.

Is 1 day in Salem enough?

While a day allows for a taste of Salem’s highlights, consider extending your stay to fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich offerings.

How can I get an internet connection as a tourist in Salem, MA?

Stay connected easily by using Holafly eSIM United States. Check our eSIM options for hassle-free internet connection during your Salem adventure.