First settled in 1630 by English Puritans, Cambridge developed as an agricultural town and was not really convenient to Boston until bridges were built over the Charles River in 1793 and 1809. The latter of these opened up East Cambridge for industrial development led by furniture and glass factories. A major influx of penniless Irish immigrants fleeing the potato blight in 1845 increased the Irish population to 22 per cent in the next ten years. Toward the end of that century they were followed by immigrants from Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Germany. French Canadians and Russian Jews also came at this time. A small African American population had been growing from colonial times, attracted by the integrated schools.
The result today is a highly diverse population augmented and further diversified by brilliant men and women drawn to Cambridge over the years by Harvard, Radcliffe and M.I.T., and, in recent years, by the local high technology companies. "Cantabrigians" (from the city's Latin name, Cantabrigia) are regarded as progressive and tolerant. Decline of the industrial base in the early 1900s led Cambridge to become an intellectual center. Universities are the major employers, but cutting edge companies in information technology and biotechnology such as Akamai Technologies, Genzyme, Biogen Idec, and Novartis are located adjacent to the MIT campus in the Kendall Square area.
Cambridge now advertises itself as "a city where counter-culture still lives, classic culture thrives, and multicultural is a way of life." "Boston's Left Bank: A little funkier, a little spunkier and definitely spicier than Boston."
- Cambridge Office for Tourism, 4 Brattle St. (Harvard Sq.), ☎ . , M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Volunteers staff the Visitor Information Booth, located just outside the main Harvard Square T-stop, and are available to distribute maps and brochures and to answer questions.
- Logan International Airport,, Boston. This is the closest option and is serviced by the MBTA public transportation. The Silver Line, a special bus route come every ten minutes during the day, and every 15 minutes early morning and late evening. For $2 (Charlie Ticket) or $1.75 (Charlie Card), it takes you directly to South Station (20 minutes travel time), where there is a free connection to the Red Line, which goes to Cambridge. Free shuttles also provide service to the Blue Line Airport station; one may take the Blue Line in from the airport to the Green Line (transfer at Government Center), the Green Line to the Red Line (transfer at Park Street), and the Red Line to whatever stop in Cambridge is closest. A taxi to Cambridge will cost you about $28–35, including tolls and tip, and take about 15–20 minutes, depending on traffic.
or (about one hour away):
- Manchester - Boston Regional Airport, , in Manchester, New Hampshire.
- T. F. Green Airport,, Warwick, Rhode Island.
Mass Bay Transportation Authority - MBTA or "the T", :
- Subway: The Red Line stops from Kendall/MIT station to Alewife station (except Davis Square, in Somerville) are in Cambridge.  The Green Line has a terminus at Lechmere station, near Lechmere Square in East Cambridge. 
- Commuter rail: The Fitchburg line has a stop at Porter Square. This line serves the northwestern suburbs and ends in Boston's North Station, where you can connect to other northbound commuter rail lines. 
Interstate 90 to Exit 18, or Interstate 93 to Exit 27, "Storrow Drive" to Monsignor O'Brien Highway (Rt. 28) to Cambridge.
Route 2 comes into Cambridge from Interstate 95 to the northwest.
Cambridge has a great many one-way streets and most streets and roads are not on a grid system. Drivers unfamiliar with the area are well advised to have a GPS device as one wrong turn can easily result in getting lost.
By public transportation
Public transportation is provided by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority ("MBTA"), which serves the entire Boston Metro area (including Cambridge.) The local subway system is called the "T" and can take you to most points of interest. The T's Red Line  has Cambridge stations in Kendall Square, Central Square, Harvard Square, and Porter Square. The Green Line has one station in Cambridge: Lechmere.
Directions are often marked "inbound" and "outbound", with reference to downtown Boston, where all four lines converge at four stops: State (Blue and Orange), Park Street (Red and Green), Government Center (Blue and Green), and Downtown Crossing (Orange and Red).
The MBTA does not operate 24-hour service. Service begins for the day after 5:30AM and ends before 12:15AM on week-days. Week-end schedules are slightly different and do not open until 6:30AM on Sundays. Transport still runs for a short time after this — stated times are "first train leaves the station" or "last train leaves the station" — and thus, to complete the route, will actually be in service for as much as an hour longer or an hour before, but it is imperative to find out when last service is scheduled to the stations you need, and allot time for early or late arrivals.
MBTA employees can offer information on scheduling, but are not always available at all stations. Communication between stations is complex and while significant changes will be announced, often T employees themselves are not informed of delays or minor changes. Bus stations that are not also subway stations are unstaffed.
As of July 2009, subway fare is $2 and includes transfers between all four subway lines (Red, Green, Orange and Blue) and bus fare varies between $1.50 and $5 and also includes transfers. Fares are paid via a stored value ticket available in vending machines at subway stations. Fare is discounted if using the freely available reusable plastic pass, which can be obtained at Harvard Square station, 7-11 convenience stores or Star supermarkets.
Information on fares, routes, delays and schedule changes is available at the MBTA's web site.
- Parking at the Alewife station on the Red line is ample and costs $8 per 24 hour period.
- MBTA Commuter Rail (color-coded purple) leaves from Porter Square, serving one of the twelve commuter rail lines. This should not be confused with
- Amtrak, the US national rail service, which departs from South Station, Back Bay Station, and North Station, all of which are in Boston.
A taxi trip of a mile or less costs $5, excluding tip. Most of the major tourist areas will be a $10–25 fare. A trip to Logan Airport can cost up to $55, including tip, tolls and any waiting time. Flat rates are set for trips to Logan Airport from each hotel in Cambridge, which include all but luggage handling and gratuity.
Taxis are abundant in Harvard Square and Central Square, with many being queued up waiting for fares. The places that they will queue are designated as cab stands by street signs. Taxis are less abundant in Porter Square and rare near Alewife and Lechmere.
It is possible to signal a taxi from the sidewalk by waving an arm or a hand — a taxi cruising for fares is watching the crowds for this — and have it stop for you; however, taxi drivers from towns and cities other than Cambridge are heavily penalised if they accept passengers flagging them down on the street. This rule is not always rigorously followed, but taxi drivers from Boston, Brookline, Somerville and other towns will be wary of street pick-ups.
Taxis are regulated by the Cambridge Licence Commission, which sets fares and handles complaints.
The two primary taxi companies in Cambridge are:
- Brattle Taxi, ☎ .
- Checker Cab, ☎ .
Cambridge is perhaps the most bicycle-friendly city in the Greater Boston area and probably has the most people who use bikes to commute and just to get around. While there are few bike routes, most major streets have bike lanes, and many minor streets do too. Car drivers tend to be aware of bike riders and generally respect bike riders' right of way. All of these features make Cambridge the safest place to ride a bike in Greater Boston.
Lock your bike when you park it! Bike thieves are skilled and quick. Be sure to lock your front wheel in addition to your frame, and your back wheel too if it is a quick-release.
- Broadway Bicycle School, 351 Broadway, ☎ . You can get your bike fixed, fix it yourself, or be taught how to repair it.
- Cambridge Bicycle, 259 Massachusetts Ave, ☎ .
- Hubway, toll-free: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A bike sharing service that offers use of 1,300 bikes from 140 kiosks around Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. Visitors can purchase a 24-hour ($6) or 72-hour ($12) pass with a credit or debit card; both offer unlimited trips under 30 minutes (longer trips incur expensive extra charges).
- African American Heritage Trail. Twenty historic plaques across the city honor notable African Americans who were abolitionists, authors, educators, and office holders in Cambridge from 1840 to 1940.
- Mount Auburn Cemetery. Yes, it's a cemetery. It just happens to be the first landscaped cemetery and in fact the first large-scale designed landscape in the U.S. The tower provides visitors with a breathtaking panoramic view of the cities of Boston and Cambridge, as well as the surrounding countryside to the north. The fact that it's the final resting place of some of the area's most influential figures (Sumner, Gardner, Eddy, and Longfellow) cements its status as a National Historic Landmark.
- MIT Museum, 265 Mass Ave (Central Sq), ☎ . Has a huge collection of holography, a hall of hacks (practical physical jokes that get placed around the institute -- like the police car that once graced the top of the great dome is in the hall of hacks), plus rotating exhibits. Great hands-on exhibits for kids, including moving sculptures and a shadow room.
- Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street, ☎ . Drawing from the University's vast natural history collections, the HMNH displays the famous Blaschka 'Glass Flowers' collection, dinosaurs (the world's only mounted 42-ft. long Kronosaurus), minerals, meteorites, gemstones (a 1,642 lb. amethyst geode), and hundreds of 'stuffed' animals and birds. Fun for the whole family. It's an 8 minute walk across the historic Harvard Yard from Harvard Square (Red Line MBTA). Lectures & educational programs for all ages.
- Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave. One of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology, it houses one of the most comprehensive records of human cultural history in the Western Hemisphere.
- Busch-Reisinger Museum, 32 Quincy Street, ☎ . Devoted to promoting the informed enjoyment and critical understanding of the arts of Central and Northern Europe, with a special emphasis on the German-speaking countries.
- The Fogg Art Museum, 32 Quincy Street, ☎ . Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, with particular strengths in Italian early Renaissance, British pre-Raphaelite, and nineteenth-century French art.
- Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 32 Quincy Street, ☎ . Superb collections of ancient, Islamic, Asian, and later Indian art.
- Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, ☎ . 344 Broadway.
- Washington Elm, Cambridge Common at Mason St. On July 3, 1775, Washington officially took command of the Continental Army at ceremonies beneath the tree, which stood at the edge of the training grounds used by the troops. A small bronze plaque marks the spot. The history of the Washington Elm is included in the "Harvard Book" , the electronic history of Harvard and its surroundings.
- Longfellow National Historic Site, 105 Brattle St, ☎ . Washington made his headquarters here during the siege of Boston from July 1775 through April 1776. From 1837 until 1882, it was the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow while he taught at Harvard. The site's collections deal mainly with Longfellow, but there are some Washington letters as well.
- Double Decker Bus Company, ☎ . CambridgeSide Galleria. Yep, a piece of London in old Bean town.
- Charles Riverboat Tours, ☎ . CambridgeSide Galleria. Sightseeing tours on the Charles and Boston Harbor.
- Fresh Pond Golf Course, 691 Huron Av, ☎ . Public. Apr-Dec. 9 holes.
- Walk/Ride along the Charles River:. Cambridge has paved pathways for walking, biking, and skating along the Charles river. A pleasant walk would start at Kendall Square T-Stop (head towards the river and then head west) for about 2 miles until Kennedy Street. You will enjoy views of the river (sailing, rowing), and Boston skyline. At Kennedy street you may turn right and end up in Harvard Square.
- The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, ☎ . The Brattle shows the best in classic, cutting-edge, foreign, and art-house films. The Brattle Theatre has been operated by the non-profit Brattle Film Foundation since 2001.
- The American Repertory Theatre and The Zero Arrow Theatre, www.amrep.org, named one of the top 5 regional theatres in the U.S. by Time in 2003. Also shows student productions.
- Tree Lighting
- West Indian Carnival
- Head of the Charles Regatta
- Oktoberfest in Harvard Square
Many visitors to Cambridge are there to see its two major universities, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, either as tourists or as prospective students. Both universities have extensive information for visiting prospects. As this typically varies with type of student (graduate, undergraduate) and program of study (for graduate students), prospectives are best advised to visit the school websites that interest them.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ . At MIT's main entrance. Tours leave weekdays at 10:45AM and 2:45PM.
- Harvard Events and Information Center, ☎ , fax: +1 617 495-0905. Holyoke Center Arcade, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue. Student-led free tours of campus originate from here. It also has interactive computer displays, a print library, a video room, and you can pick up flyers for all of the free lectures, films, and classes at University museums, such as the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Harvard Art Museum.
Harvard Yard, located right by the Harvard stop on the Red Line subway, is the center of Harvard College and a favorite of tourists, who can often be seen taking pictures of each other at the statue of John Harvard, located in front of Massachusetts Hall.
In the shadows of these two giants are other fine schools.
- The Garment District. Home to $1.50/pound clothes where you can sift through piles of randomness. The other parts of the store include a vintage/mid-end designer consignment store and women's shoes in man's sizes.
- Oona's, 1210 Mass Ave, ☎ . Decent selection of vintage clothing for men and women. Accessories selection is very good.
- Urban Outfitters, 11 JFK Street. Another location of this hip chain store, but stop into the bargain basement. Prices on t-shirts, pants, and shoes start at $5.
- Cambridge has about two dozen book stores. They include:
- Raven Books. 52B JFK Street. Incredible selection of used scholarly books, including philosophy, gender studies, cultural studies, and art. Clean, well-organized independent shop run by very helpful people.
- Revolution Books, 1156 Massachusetts Ave, ☎ . Ready for the revolution? Marxist, Leninist, and other Communist literature on sale here. Tiny space. Be ready to chat with whoever is working.
- Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Avenue. Independent shop, nice and cozy, has a wide selection, and has interesting staff recommendations glued to the book stalls. Used and remaindered books are located downstairs.
- The Harvard Coop. Official bookstore for Harvard which boasts a huge selection (four stories) of academic and general books. Run by Barnes and Noble. Located at 1400 Massachusetts Avenue, right across from the main exit of the Red Line Harvard Square T stop.
- Porter Square Books. Independent book store in the Porter Square Shopping Mall, and also the home of Cafe Zing.
- Schoenhof's Foreign Books. 76 A Mount Auburn Street, near Harvard Square. M-Wed & Fri-Sat 10AM-6PM, Thu 10AM-8PM. The largest foreign bookstore in North America. The selection mostly consists of books in romance languages, though there are some books from other languages as well.
- Abodeon, 1731 Massachusetts Avenue. Between Harvard and Porter squares, features an incredible and unique assortment of Danish design, Finnish glassware, vintage American kitsch, and contemporary furniture.
- CambridgeSide Galleria, ☎ . Edwin Land Blvd.(Lechmere T stop or free shuttle from Kendall). M-Sa 10AM-9:30PM, Su 11AM-7PM. From Abercrombie to Yankee Candle, a thorough mall experience.
- Leavitt & Peirce, 1316 Massachusetts Avenue, ☎ . An amazing array of cigars, chess, and game sets. A small selection of "old fashioned" razors and jewelry is also available.
- Museum Shop, Harvard Museum of Natural History. Minerals, geodes, jewelry, natural history books, toys, games, men's ties. A great choice for the unusual.
- Planet Records (Planet), 144 Mt Auburn St Cambridge, MA 02138 Neighborhood: Harvard Square (In early 2012, the store moved a few blocks west to 144 Mt. Auburn St), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Mon-Thu 11AM-8PM Fri-Sat 10AM-9PM Sun 12PM-7PM. Neighborhood: Harvard Square. Local used vinyl and CD shop that has been around for almost 30 years and is a landmark in Harvard Square. A great selection of music, movies, and more. $$.
With a dizzying array of options, and slightly less stringent liquor laws, Cambridge is every bit as much a dining destination as Boston. Many restaurants cluster around Harvard and Central Squares. If you're willing to stray a bit beyond the subway stops (and you should be), you'll quickly discover many less-travelled neighborhood gems.
- Anna's Taqueria, 84 Massachusetts Av. (MIT). 7AM-Midnight when school is in session, otherwise to 11PM. Fast Mexican food, much better than Taco Bell. People seem divided on Anna's-- some love it, some hate it. Locations in Porter Square, Davis Square, and Brookline as well.
- Basta Pasta, 319 Western Av. (Central Sq.), ☎ . Gourmet Italian food, at fast food prices. The owner, Altin, used to work in high-end Italian restaurants, but decided to strike it on his own. By appearances it ain't much (formica booths, no table service), but the food is spectacular. Fresh homemade pasta daily. The major drawback is they have no liquor license, and since the Cambridge constabulary eats there nightly, won't let you bring your own.
- Beauty's Pizza, 228 Broadway (Kendall Sq.), ☎ . Mo-Th 11AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 11AM-12AM, Su 5PM-10PM. Utility pizza, oven-baked subs, and standard salads. Take-out and delivery.
- Café Pamplona, 12 Bow St at Arrow St. (Harvard Sq.), ☎ . Mo-Sa 11AM-1AM Su 2PM-1AM (summers Noon-1AM). Spanish style cafe serving teas, strong coffee, desserts, and Spanish main courses supplemented by grilled Cuban sandwiches. Has both an outdoor patio and an indoor seating.
- Mary Chung's, 464 Massachusetts Av. (Central Sq.), ☎ . Closed Tuesdays. Super-yummy Chinese food, including Dim Sum 11:30AM-3PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Signature dishes are Dun Dun Noodles and Suan La Chow Show. A major hangout for MIT geeks, and thus the first restaurant with a Usenet newsgroup, alt.fan.mary-chungs. Don't forget the pot stickers. Cash only.
- Cinderella's, 901 Main St. (Central Sq.), ☎ . Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. Pizza, subs, and good "American" Italian cooking. Pizza slices aren't on the published menu, but are available for a scant $1.25 and only $.25/topping. Entrees $5-10.
- Christophers, 1920 Massachusetts Av. (Porter Sq.), ☎ . A great place if you need both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. They are very vegetarian friendly, but also have good burgers and beer, and some more yuppie-ish options.
- Flour Bakery, 190 Massachusetts Ave (Between Kendall Sq. and Central Sq.), ☎ . M-Fri 7AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 9AM-5PM. A delicious sandwich, coffee, and desserts shop constantly rated in Boston magazine in the "Boston's Best" rankings that also has its own nationally-available cookbook. Locations also in Boston.
- Grendel's Den, 89 Winthrop St (Harvard Sq.), ☎ . M-Sa 12PM-1AM, Su 4PM-1AM. Serving basic American bar food, this dark and crowded Harvard tavern would be unremarkable, if it weren't for their incredible happy hour special and the quirky staff. From 5PM-7:30PM everything on the menu is half price with a beverage purchase of $3 or more. Skip the burgers... If you can get a table. Non-happy hour entrees $5-12.
- Izzy’s Restaurant & Sub Shop, 169 Harvard St.. This Puerto Rican restaurant serves great food at an affordable price for all.
- Lizzy's Homemade Ice Cream, 29 Church St, ☎ . noon-10:30. Home-style ice cream.
- Ma Magoo’s Pizza & Sub Shop, Fresh Pond 6 Concord Lane. This menu offers a delicious array of affordable and quick food. They are very popular for their Chicken Finger Honey Mustard Sub
- The Middle East, 472/480 Massachusetts Av. (Central Sq.), ☎ . Su-W 11AM-12AM, Th-Sa 11AM-1AM. This legendary Cambridge institution consists of an art gallery, 4 live music venues, 4 full bars, and no less than 3 dining areas (including the upscale Zuzu, below). Sample a large variety of Lebanese dishes served in a vibrant, artsy setting. The "Corner" dining area (enter at 480) features live music every night, often free, with belly dancing on Su and W. Extensive vegetarian menu. $4-12.
- Moody's Falafel Palace, 25 Central Sq., ☎ . 11AM-12AM weekdays, 11AM-3AM weekends. Located in a tiny "castle", this inexpensive Middle-Eastern restaurant serves up delicious shawarma, kebab, and their namesake falafel. Sandwiches $3-5, platters $5-7.
- Picante Mexican Grill, 735 Massachusetts Av. (Central Sq), ☎ . Good and healthy Mexican food, a step above fast food. Fresh salsa bar, daily specials.
- Pinocchio's Pizza, 74 Winthrop St. (Harvard Sq.), ☎ , fax: +1 617 661-6188. Well-known for Sicilian pizza. Also known for steak and cheese subs. Has colorful mural of Pinocchio and other fables on walls of dining area. Located on a small street between Harvard Yard and JFK Park, just off JFK Street.
- The Porter Exchange, 1815 Massachusetts Av. (Porter Sq.). M-Sa 12PM-9PM, Su 12PM-8PM.. The food court of this indoor shopping area is the closest thing to Tokyo in Boston. A half dozen stalls compete to serve up delicious and cheap portions of tempura, udon, sushi, ramen and bulgogi without any frills. Finish your unagi-don (eel over rice) with a scoop of ginger mochi ice cream. $3-7.
- Royal East, 782-792 Main St. (around the block from the MIT Museum),), ☎ . Hong Kong–style Chinese food. Recommended: hot & sour wonton soup (think steamed dumplings and sauce as a soup), General Gau's Chicken, and Beef Hot Pot (beef with ginger and scalions–not on the menu).
- Toscanini's, 899 Main St. (near MIT,). M-Fr 8AM-11PM, Sa-Su 9AM-11PM. An extremely popular ice cream shop in the Boston area, rated as "best ice cream in the world" by the New York Times and also has been highly rated by Gourmet magazine. Popular flavors include burnt caramel, salted saffron, and B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, brownie).
- Veggie Planet, 47 Palmer St. (Harvard Sq, Inside Club Passim off Church Street), ☎ . 11:30AM-10:30PM daily, brunch Su 11AM-3PM. Didi Emmons, author of Vegetarian Planet, is a co-owner and was the first head chef. Completely vegetarian and mostly organic, with plenty of vegan options (they'll substitute tofu "ricotta" for other cheeses) and do not serve soft drinks to further the more organic appetite. Yummy veggie combinations served over whole-wheat pizza dough, brown, or coconut rice. Lunch about $6, dinner $10.
- The Asgard, 350 Massachusetts Ave, ☎ . Central Sq. Tasty blend of Irish/American/Mexican food with large selection of beer and Martinis.
- Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, 1246 Massachusetts Av (Harvard Sq.), ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-9PM. A Harvard Square landmark, Bartley's serves practically any kind of hamburger you can imagine, most named after individuals. A favorite - The Ted Kennedy - "a plump, liberal amount of burger with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, cole slaw and french fries." Owners/Menu leans right to the dismay of many customers. $10-15.
- Emma's, 40 Hampshire St (Kendall Sq.), ☎ . Tu-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. This cozy little pizzeria stands out for two reasons: Unique and sometimes bizarre topping combinations (like the house-smoked bacon pizza with roasted gold potatoes, cilantro and dried cranberries) will make you rethink what makes a pie. And, more importantly, the pizza here is actually good -- the crust is thin and crispy, the sauce is flavorful, and the cheeses are fresh and melt just right -- quite a feat considering what typically passes for pizza in the Boston area. $8-15/$11-18 (small/large pie).
- Gallery Cafe, 40 Edwin Land Blvd (In the Royal Sonesta Hotel), ☎ . M-Th 6AM-11PM Friday 6AM-12AM Sat 6:30AM-12AM Sun 6:30AM-11PM.
- Midwest Grill, 1124 Cambridge Street, ☎ . Su-Sa 11AM-11PM. Brazilian churrascaria, affectionately called a "meat faucet." Waiters bring skewers of meat (beef, pork, bacon-wrapped chicken, lamb, sausages) and garlic bread around the dining room and slice desired portions at your table until you tell them to stop. Salads are available buffet-style, and are included in the price. Drinks are extra, but their caipirinha (Brazil's national cocktail) is well worth it. Lunch/Dinner - $13/20 (all you can eat) plus drinks.
- S&S Restaurant, Inman Square 1334 Cambridge Street, ☎ . Everything is on this menu from deli to delicious entrees. Prices are reasonable. Restaurant hours are M-W 7AM-10PM, Th-F 7AM-11PM, Sat 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM and breakfast is served all day long. S&S wings are quite popular.
- Zuzu, 474 Massachusetts Av (Central Sq), ☎ . X237. 5:30PM-11PM nightly. This is a middle-eastern Tapas joint, which serves pretty good food at reasonable prices.
- Bambara, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd (In the Hotel Marlowe near the Cambridgeside Galleria), ☎ . Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM.
- fire + ice grill + bar, 50 Church St., ☎ . a buffet styled restaurant where the food is cooked on a massive grill right before your eyes
- Harvest, 44 Brattle St (Harvard Sq.), ☎ . M-Th 12PM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; F-Sa 12PM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11PM; Su 11:30-2:30, 5:30PM-10PM. Regional contemporary American cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. A wonderful outside dining terrace and one of the best Sunday brunches (prix fixe, $33) in Greater Boston. Lunch $20-30, dinner $40-60.
- Oleana, 134 Hampshire St (Inman Sq.), ☎ . Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Oleana's inspired and exquisite offerings span the Mediterranean from Spain to Turkey and Armenia to North Africa, yet everything comes together superbly. Vegetarian prix fixe ($38) includes 5 mezze and dessert. Omnivorous entrees $21-25. Or come just for dessert to sample their exceptional baked Alaska with coconut ice cream & passion fruit caramel, $10.
- Restaurant dante, 40 Edwin Land Blvd (In the Royal Sonesta Hotel), ☎ . M-Th 6:30AM-10PM Fri 6:30AM-11PM Sa 7AM-11PM Su 7AM-9:30PM.
- Craigie on Main, Main St, Cambridge (Central Sq.).
- Bukowski Tavern, 1281 Cambridge St (Inman Sq.), ☎ . They have a menu of beers with pages and pages of choices from around the world.
- Cambridge Brewing Company (aka CBC), ☎ . 1 Kendall Square. This place brews some of the best beer around Cambridge. They have a wide variety of choice and it changes depending on the season. This place is very popular among MIT community members and tech companies close by.
- Lord Hobo, 92 Hampshire St., ☎ . A wide selection of interesting independent draught (pints in the $5-7 range) and bottled beers, wine and upscale bar food (entrees in the $10-20 range). Opened recently, hence hip and clean.
- Miracle of Science, 321 Massachusetts Ave (Central Sq.), ☎ . Popular with MIT grads and professors and local tech company programmer types.
- Muddy Charles Pub, Walker Memorial @ MIT. If you could pass for an MIT grad student, this on-campus pub features cheap beer and a watering hole that helped inspire countless ideas, prizes and inventions. Find brilliant scientists, designers, engineers and one or two Nobel laureates.
- People's Republik, 876 Massachusetts Av (Central Sq.), ☎ . Decorated with Communist propaganda posters, this bar is quintessential Cambridge. Cash only but with an ATM in the back. Darts in both back corners
- Plough and Stars, 912 Massachusetts Ave (Central Sq.). Another sorta Marxist bar down from People's with excellent live music.
- The Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave (Central Sq.). A Cambridge staple since the early days of the American folk music revival. Small, old-school feel with live music 7 nights a week, focusing heavily on American roots music. The Cantab hosts a folk music open mic on Monday nights and jams other nights, as well as small- to medium-sized acts every night. A must for those interested in the Boston folk music scene.
- Meadhall, 4 Cambridge Center, ☎ . Phenomenal array of taps (somewhere around 100) that skew towards Belgians and IPAs. Sometimes has issues with keeping draft lists updated, but with that many taps, you can probably find a backup plan. Food is tasty but extremely overpriced for what it is. Go for the beer.
One budget option is to peruse craigslist.org Boston for temporary listings for people who are gone for a week or a month and trying to rent out their apartment. In the summer, you might find a bedroom for $200–300/week, which is a lot cheaper than a hotel.
Bed and breakfasts
- A Bed & Breakfast in Cambridge, 1657 Cambridge St, ☎ , toll-free: . Located just two blocks away from Harvard Yard, this b&b is noted for its simplicity and attention to detail. Rooms are decorated in a charming colonial style and the room rates are reasonable. 5% of all proceeds go to the Cambridge Action Fund, a nonprofit that helps the Cambridge homeless.
- A Friendly Inn at Harvard, 1673 Cambridge St, ☎ , fax: +1 617 547-0202. Victorian House with 20-some guest rooms, private bathrooms, high speed wi-fi and parking, breakfast, front desk 24/7.
- A Cambridge House Inn at Porter, 2218 Massachusetts Ave, ☎ , fax: +1 617 868-2848. 35-room B&B inn offers both Victorian and contemporary style rooms, for daily or weekly stay.
- Antrim House Bed and Breakfast, 16 Antrim Street, ☎ , fax: +1 617 491-4055, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Family run guesthouse that offers a garden studio fit for two people only. Innkeeper is also a Reiki master, so be sure to ask her for a demonstration.
- Harding House Bed and Breakfast, 288 Harvard St, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1 617 497-0953. This 1860's Victorian house is a refreshing alternative to chain style hotels. Offers 14 private rooms complete with full ensuites and kitchens. Weekly and monthly rates available.
- Irving House Bed and Breakfast, 24 Irving St, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1 617 576-2814. Friendly staff ensure that your stay at the guesthouses here are comfortable and amiable. A full continental breakfast is provided each morning, as well as 24 reception and high speed internet access.
- Lotus Place at Harvard, 208 Prospect Street, ☎ , fax: +1 617 663-6284, e-mail: email@example.com. The location and price is unbeatable. The rooms are large and comfortable, and it's less than a 10 minute walk to Harvard Yard. $120-200.
- Kendall Hotel, 350 Main St, ☎ , toll-free: . An old firehouse turned into a cozy hotel.
- Mary Prentiss Inn, 6 Prentiss St, ☎ . Historic hotel with 20 furnished rooms serving made-to-order breakfast every morning.
- Residence Inn Boston Cambridge, 6 Cambridge Center (in Kendall Square), ☎ .
- Boston Marriott Cambridge, Two Cambridge Center, 50 Broadway, ☎ . The Marriott Cambridge Hotel is located across the Charles River from downtown Boston and is ideally positioned in Kendall Square near popular Boston area attractions.
- Doubletree Hotel at MIT, 20 Sidney St, ☎ . The Doubletree Hotel is no doubt influenced by the high technology around it and is one of the most state of the art hotels in the country. It features a distinctive, technology-influenced décor, as well as high speed internet access and a well equipped business centre.
- Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT, 20 Sydney Street (University Park at MIT), ☎ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT is located along the Charles River on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Guest rooms include a collection of standard and suite accommodations with city or garden terrace views.
- Royal Sonesta Boston, 40 Edwin Land Blvd.. A luxury 4-Diamond hotel on the Cambridge side of the Charles River offering city views, upscale accommodations, and fine dining. Also located across the street from the Cambridgeside Galleria mall and around the corner from the Museum of Science. During summer months, offers free shuttles around Cambridge and to Prudential Center and Quincy Market, free river cruises, free ice cream and free bike rentals.
Cambridge is generally very safe, though it is a city and the standard precautions should be observed. The neighborhood of East Cambridge, which is near the Charlestown border and on the Charles River, usually has the city's highest crime rate (of course, this observation is relative to the Cambridge's low crime rate overall).
As a rule, most crime in Cambridge that might affect a traveller is property crime. Parked vehicles with electronic equipment visible — laptops, mobile phones, GPS units, iPods, and the like — are the most likely to be targeted.
Pepper spray is considered a weapon in Massachusetts, and is sold only by licensed dealers to persons who have obtained a firearms identification card. Out-of-state visitors should be advised that Massachusetts does not honor firearms licenses from other states.
For more information, go to the Cambridge Police Department's website .
Greater Boston uses 10-digit dialing. This means you need to include the area code whenever you are making a call. The standard area code is 617, but some phone numbers, especially cell phones, use the new 857 overlay.
Houses of worship
- First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, 3 Church St (Harvard Square).
- Temple Beth Shalom of Cambridge, 8 Tremont Street.
- Islamic Society of Boston, 204 Prospect Street.
- Pentecostal Tabernacle, 77 Columbia Street.
- St John’s The Evangelist Roman Catholic, 2254 Massachusetts Avenue.
- Greater Boston Vineyard Christian Fellowship, 170 Rindge Avenue.
- St Paul AME Church, 85 Bishop Richard Allen Drive.
- Cambridge Community Fellowship Church, 234 Franklin Street.
- The Society of St. John The Evangelist: A Monastic Community of the Episcopal Church, 980 Memorial Drive.
- Friends Meeting at Cambridge, 5 Longfellow Park.
- Cambridge Zen Center, 199 Auburn Street.
- Faith Lutheran Church, 311 Broadway.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Church, 2 Longfellow Park.
- United Kingdom, One Broadway, Cambridge, ☎ , fax: +1 617 621-0220.
- Boston is just across the Charles River from Cambridge. Historical Lexington and Concord are nearby. Many other New England destinations are an easy car ride away.
|Routes through Cambridge|
|Lowell ← Arlington ←||N S||→ Becomes|
|Concord ← Arlington/Belmont ←||W E||→ Boston → END|
|Becomes ←||N S||→ Boston → Plymouth|
|Downtown Boston ← North End ←||InB OutB||→ END|
|END ←||OutB InB||→ Beacon Hill → Downtown Boston|