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Not to be confused with Cambridge, England.

Cambridge is a city in Massachusetts, across the Charles River from Boston. It is renowned as the home of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both widely considered to be among the best universities in the world. The city's population was 118,000 in 2020; the fourth largest in the state.


Tourists, new residents and students may see Cambridge as part of Boston, but in fact, it is a separate city with many neighborhoods (called “squares”).

It is closely connected with nearby Somerville – you may hear the phrase "Camberville" used by locals – although each has its own distinct personality.


Early October foliage begins to change color in Harvard Yard

The first European settlers were English Puritans in 1630. 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 percent 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. Harvard University, the oldest university in the United States, and one of the most prestigious universities in the world, was founded during the colonial era in 1636.

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 MIT, and later 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, Google, 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."

Visitor information[edit]

  • 1 Cambridge Office for Tourism, 4 Brattle St (T: Harvard), +1 617 441-2884. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 9AM-1PM. This non-profit Visitor Information Booth is just outside the main Harvard Square T-stop. Volunteer staff are available to distribute maps and brochures, and to answer questions you might have. Free.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Logan International Airport (BOS IATA), Boston. This is the closest option and is served 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):

By train[edit]

Popping up into the hustle and bustle from Central Square station

Amtrak train service is available to nearby Boston from many east coast cities as well as Chicago and upstate New York.

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.

By car[edit]

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 bus[edit]

The MBTA has local regional bus service. For intercity buses, see Boston.

Get around[edit]

Map of Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By public transportation[edit]

See also: Boston#By public transit

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 weekdays. Weekend 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.

Subway fare is $2.40 and includes transfers between all four subway lines (Red, Green, Orange and Blue) and bus fare varies between $1.70 (local bus) and $5.25 (outer express bus; none in Cambridge) and also includes transfers. Fares are paid via a stored value ticket (called a CharlieTicket) available in vending machines at subway stations. Fare is $2.40 subway, if using the freely available reusable plastic pass (the CharlieCard), 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, departs from South Station, Back Bay Station, and North Station, all of which are in Boston.

By taxi[edit]

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 License Commission, which sets fares and handles complaints.

The two primary taxi companies in Cambridge are:

By bicycle[edit]

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.


  • African American Heritage Trail, +1 617 349-4683. 24 hours daily. Twenty historic plaques across the city honor notable African Americans who were abolitionists, authors, educators, and office holders in Cambridge from 1840 to 1940. Free.
  • 1 Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, 344 Broadway (T: Central), +1 617 349-4380. M 8:30AM-8PM, Tu-Th 8:30AM-5PM, F 8:30AM-noon. Free.
  • 2 Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (Longfellow National Historic Site), 105 Brattle St, +1 617 876-4491. 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. Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (Q474665) on Wikidata Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site on Wikipedia
  • 3 Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., +1 617 547-7105. 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. Free. Mount Auburn Cemetery (Q1950363) on Wikidata Mount Auburn Cemetery on Wikipedia
  • 4 Washington Elm (Cambridge Common at Mason St). 24 hours daily. On July 3, 1775, George Washington officially took command of the Continental Army at ceremonies taking place beneath this Elm tree, which stood at the edge of the training grounds used by the troops. While this tale may be a myth, clearly the tree has remained a symbol of patriotism in Cambridge for generations. The tree finally succumbed to old age and disease in 1923, and today a small bronze plaque marks this historical spot. Free. Washington Elm (Q7971850) on Wikidata Washington Elm on Wikipedia
  • 5 List Visual Arts Center, 20 Ames St (Building E15, Atrium level), +1 617 253-4680, . Free. List Visual Arts Center (Q6559283) on Wikidata List Visual Arts Center on Wikipedia
John Harvard Statue. Make sure to rub his foot for good luck!
  • 6 Harvard Yard. The center and oldest part of the Harvard campus. An enclosed grassy yard including picturesque buildings dating as far back as 1720. The freshman undergraduate dorms are located in Harvard Yard, which means that a long list of famous intellectual and political figures have lived here. Near the center is a statue of John Harvard, for whom the university is named. Tour guides will tell you that students rub the statue's left foot for good luck before exams, and the foot is indeed rubbed shiny. But in reality, most of the rubbing is probably done by tourists rather than students. Harvard Yard (Q2838342) on Wikidata Harvard Yard on Wikipedia
  • 7 Harvard Lampoon building. Home of the Harvard Lampoon, a student humor publication. The west end of the building, fittingly, resembles a cartoonish face wearing a spiked helmet. The building was finished in 1909. Harvard Lampoon Building (Q5676473) on Wikidata Harvard Lampoon Building on Wikipedia
  • 8 MIT Great Dome. A monumental dome with an oculus at its center, similar to the Pantheon in Rome. Located in MIT Building 10 (most MIT buildings are referred to by numbers rather than names, as befits the university's technical orientation).
  • 9 Stata Center. Likely the most striking building on MIT's campus, built in 2004 in a very modern architectural form. Contains a small branch of the MIT Museum (see below). Stata Center (Q3312712) on Wikidata Stata Center on Wikipedia
  • 10 Harvard Bridge. The bridge connecting Cambridge to Boston across the Charles river. Located at the edge of MIT, not Harvard University. It's well known in the nerdy folklore of MIT: the distance across the bridge is marked in "smoots" (1 smoot = 5 ft (1.5 m) 7 in (180 mm)) after Oliver Smoot, an MIT student who allowed himself to be laid end-to-end to measure the distance across the bridge, as part of a fraternity prank. Harvard Bridge (Q1587840) on Wikidata Harvard Bridge on Wikipedia


  • 13 Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St (T: Harvard), +1 617 495-9400. 10AM-5PM daily. This collection of museums includes three once separate entities. The Fogg Museum, known for western art from the Middle Ages to the present, with particular strengths in Italian early Renaissance, British pre-Raphaelite, and 19th-century French art. The Busch-Reisinger Museum, which is 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. Finally, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum holds a superb collection of ancient, Islamic, Asian, and later Indian art. $15, seniors $13, students $10, under 18 free. Harvard Art Museums (Q3783572) on Wikidata Harvard Art Museums on Wikipedia
Beetles on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
  • 14 Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St (T: Harvard), +1 617 495-3045. 9AM-5PM daily. 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 (13 m) long Kronosaurus), minerals, meteorites, gemstones (a 1,642 lb (745 kg) 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. $12, student/senior $10, under 18 $8. Harvard Museum of Natural History (Q2001855) on Wikidata Harvard Museum of Natural History on Wikipedia
  • 15 MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 253-5927. Sep-Jun: 10AM-5PM daily; Jul-Aug: 10AM-6PM daily. Has a huge collection of holography, rotating exhibits, and showcases some of the best "hacks" performed by students. Hacks at MIT are practical physical jokes taking place around the institute. For example: installing a somewhat functioning police car (complete with instructions for how to remove it) atop the great dome. This museum is great for kids and many exhibits are hands-on, including moving sculptures and a shadow room. Adults $10, youth/students/seniors $5, children under 5 free. Free admission last Sunday of the month Sep-Jun. MIT Museum (Q6716306) on Wikidata MIT Museum on Wikipedia
  • 16 Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 496-1027. 9AM-5PM daily. 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. $12, students/seniors $10, under 18 $8. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Q1249027) on Wikidata Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology on Wikipedia
  • 17 Putnam Gallery (The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments), 1 Oxford St (T: Harvard), +1 617 495-2779. Su-F 11AM-4PM. Representing a broad range of scientific studies, this museum holds over 20,000 unique instruments dating from 1400 to present day. Free. Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (Q22022153) on Wikidata Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments on Wikipedia
  • 18 Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (formerly Semitic Museum), 6 Divinity Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 495-4631, . Su-F 11AM-4PM. See a collection of over 40,000 artifacts from the Near East across multiple ancient civilizations. Free. Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (Q2918448) on Wikidata Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East on Wikipedia


The BIDA contra dance
  • 1 The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, +1 617 876-6837. 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. Brattle Theatre (Q4958116) on Wikidata Brattle Theatre on Wikipedia
  • 2 Charles River Canoe & Kayak, 15 Broad Canal Way (T: Kendall), +1 617 965-5110. 8AM-10PM. The best way to do this is to rent a boat and paddle upstream to Allston from Kendall Square. Vice-versa is great too, the river has no current to fight against. It'll take less than 2 hours and is amazing. $15-20 per hour, $40-60 per day.
  • 3 Charles Riverboat Company (CambridgeSide), 100 Cambridgeside Pl (T: Lechmere), +1 617 621-3001. May-Oct 10AM-7PM daily. Sightseeing, sunset, and architectural tours on the Charles River and Boston Harbor. $10-28.
  • 4 The Comedy Studio (Hong Kong), 1238 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 661-6507. Th-Su 8PM. All shows begin at 8PM $10-15.
  • 5 Fresh Pond Golf Course, 691 Huron Ave, +1 617 349-6282. Apr-Dec sunrise-sunset. Public course. Nine holes: $24-27, cart $20, private lesson $50.
  • 6 Landmark Kendall Square (One Kendall Square), 355 Binney St (T: Kendall), +1 617 621-1202. This great theater has all the newest Hollywood blockbusters, plus all the arty flicks you never knew you wanted to see. Big garage next door, so parking here isn't as big an issue. Landmark Kendall Square Cinema (Q42712400) on Wikidata
  • 7 The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St (Inman Square). Afternoons and evenings. A performance space, art gallery and community space for anything from yoga, to jazz jam nights, to lectures and workshops. Usually no cover.
  • 8 Lynch Family Skatepark (T: Community College), +1 617 300-8172. Dawn-9PM. Shred your face off in this concrete paradise designed for you to bust out your sweetest ollies and kick-flips. Established in 2016. Free.
  • 9 Red Fox Escapes, 614 Massachusetts Ave (1 min walk from Red Line: Central Station), +1 617 417-8748, . They have 2 games: The Heist (you get to steal a diamond) and The UBoat (WWII submarine themed). $34 per person.
  • 10 BIDA contra dance, Masonic Temple, 1950 Massachusetts Ave, . Sundays 7PM-10:30PM. Try out an energetic social folk dance native to the region, whose ease of learning makes it a welcoming option for travelers. Live traditional fiddle music. $5-$15 (sliding scale).


Courtney Barnett plays her first US tour at The SInclair in 2014
  • 11 The Cantab Lounge, 738 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 354-2685. M-W 8AM-1AM, Th-Sa 8AM-2AM, Su noon-1AM. 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.
  • 12 The Middle East, 472/480 Massachusetts Av. (T: Central), +1 617 864-3278. Su-W 11AM-midnight, 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. The Middle East (Q7751278) on Wikidata The Middle East (nightclub) on Wikipedia
  • 13 The Phoenix Landing, 512 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 576-6260. M-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 10AM-1AM. The Phoenix Landing really depends on what time you get there. It could be a subdued local pub trivia night, a fan packed sports bar, or even a full on dance party.
  • 14 Plough and Stars, 912 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 576-0032. M-W 11:30AM-1AM, Th F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 10AM-2AM, Su 10AM-1AM. Another sorta Marxist bar down from People's with excellent live music.
  • 15 The Sinclair, 52 Church St (T: Harvard), +1 617 547-5200. M-W 5PM-1AM, Th F 5PM-2AM, Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-1AM. Affiliated with Great Scott in Allston.
  • 16 Zuzu, 474 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 864-3278. Su-Th 5PM-1AM, F Sa 5PM-2AM. This is also a middle-eastern tapas joint, which serves pretty good food at reasonable prices.



The Great Dome at MIT's Killian Court during a nor'easter

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.

  • 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Building 10, room 100), 77 Massachusetts Ave (T: Kendall), +1 617 253-4795. Information sessions and tours M-F 10AM & 2:30PM. The MIT Office of Admissions requests that prospective students make tour reservations beforehand. At 10AM and 2:30PM information sessions take place, and after the presentation a student-led campus tour will get underway. Free. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Q49108) on Wikidata Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Wikipedia
  • 5 Harvard Events and Information Center (Smith Campus Center), 30 Dunster St (T: Harvard), +1 617 495-1573, fax: +1 617 495-0905. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. 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. Free. Harvard University (Q13371) on Wikidata Harvard University on Wikipedia

Harvard Yard, located right by the Harvard stop on the Red Line subway, is the center of Harvard College (the university's undergraduate arm) 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.


Stroll through Harvard square, the prime shopping district in Cambridge.
  • 1 Armageddon Shop, 12 Eliot St (T: Harvard), +1 617 492-1235. M-Sa noon-8PM, Su noon-6PM. Started in Providence, this is the second location of this niche shop for punk and metal records. Browse music, flyers for upcoming shows, and all the assorted paraphernalia.
  • 2 CambridgeSide, 100 Cambridgeside Pl (T: Lechmere), +1 617 621-8666. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-7PM. From American Eagle to TJ Maxx, a thorough mall experience. Come for the fluorescent lighting, stay for the recycled air. 120 stores with low, low prices on all consumer electronics and also tube socks. The mall runs a free shuttle here from Kendall station. See website for coupons. CambridgeSide (Q5025335) on Wikidata CambridgeSide on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Garage, 36 JFK St (T: Harvard). M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM. Actually a garage once upon a time, today the Garage is a mini-mall in the heart of Harvard Square. A bit run down, it's got all the things a young person could want. Music at Newbury Comics, a few rotating clothing stores, body piercing, tattoos, jewelry shops, and last but not least: pizza. There is also a public restroom in the basement, but consider it for emergency use only.
  • 4 The Garment District, 200 Broadway (T: Kendall), +1 617 876-5230. Su-F 11AM-8PM, Sa 9AM-8PM. Home to $2/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. Garment District (Q5523547) on Wikidata Garment District (clothing retailer) on Wikipedia
  • 5 Leavitt & Peirce, 1316 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 547-0576. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su noon-6PM. An amazing array of cigars, chess, and game sets. A small selection of "old fashioned" razors and jewelry is also available. In business since 1883, it's no exaggeration to say this shop is a fixture of Harvard Square.
  • 6 Oona's, 1210 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 491-2654. 11AM-6PM daily. Decent selection of vintage clothing for men and women. Accessories selection is very good.
  • 7 Planet Records, 144 Mt Auburn St (T: Harvard), +1 617 492-0693, . M-Th 11AM-8PM, F Sa 10AM-9PM, Su noon-7PM. 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.


  • 8 Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, +1 800-542-READ (7323). 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. Harvard Book Store (Q5676292) on Wikidata Harvard Book Store on Wikipedia
  • 9 The Harvard Coop, 1400 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 499-2000. Official bookstore for Harvard which boasts a huge selection (four stories) of academic and general books. Run by Barnes and Noble. Harvard/MIT Cooperative Society (Q5676244) on Wikidata Harvard/MIT Cooperative Society on Wikipedia
  • 10 MIT Press Bookstore, 314 Main St (T: Central), +1 617 253-5249. M-F 10AM-6PM. Some books here are somewhat academic in nature; however, many are written to appeal to a wider audience, and there is a dedicated children's section. Don't skip it! You can find some really fantastic literature here relating to technology, the future, and how humans will adapt to it all. The MIT Coop is also at Kendall station.
  • 11 Porter Square Books, 25 White St (T: Porter), +1 617 491-2220. M-F 7AM-9PM, Sa Su 8AM-7PM. Independent book store in the Porter Square Shopping Mall, and also the home of Cafe Zing.
  • 12 Raven Books, 23 Church St (T: Harvard), +1 617 441-6999. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-8PM. Incredible selection of used scholarly books, including philosophy, gender studies, cultural studies, and art. Clean, well-organized independent shop run by very helpful people.
  • 13 Grolier Poetry Book Shop, 6 Plympton St, +1 617-547-4648. W-F and 1st Sa of each month: 11AM-7PM. A one-room bookshop focused entirely on poetry. It regularly hosts poetry readings, check website for schedule and signup. Grolier Poetry Bookshop (Q5610145) on Wikidata Grolier Poetry Bookshop on Wikipedia


This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Under $15
Mid-range $15 - $40
Splurge Over $40

With a dizzying array of options, and slightly less stringent liquor laws, Cambridge is every bit as much a dining destination as Boston. Sometimes more so. Many restaurants cluster around Harvard and Central Squares, and finding standbys like Anna's Taqueria and Clover Food Lab is a piece of cake. 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. Consider this simply a brief overview of current trends and old standbys. By all means follow your instincts, just don't make any rash decisions due to an empty stomach!


Some of the Suan La Chow Show on offer at Mary Chung's
  • 1 Pinocchio's Pizza, 74 Winthrop St (T: Harvard), +1 617 876-4897. M-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 1PM-midnight. Well-known longtime spot 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. Slices are a few bucks, subs from $6.
  • 2 Aleppo Palace, 25 Central Square (T: Central), +1 617 945-7449. M-Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-7PM. Located in a tiny "castle", this inexpensive Middle-Eastern restaurant serves up delicious shawarma, kebab, and their namesake falafel. Sandwiches $5-9, platters $7-10.
  • 3 Basta Pasta, 319 Western Ave (T: Central), +1 617 576-6672. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 3PM-10PM. 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. $8-12.
  • 4 Veggie Galaxy, 450 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 497-1513. Su-Th 9AM-10PM, F Sa 9AM-11PM. Veggie Galaxy cuisine focuses on a fresh and modern take on the classic American diner, serving breakfast all day, additional options during lunch and dinner, and offering bold and bright versions of traditional diner fare. Veggie Galaxy is a from-scratch vegetarian diner where everything can be made vegan if it isn't originally, and most things can be made gluten-free. $8-14. Veggie Galaxy (Q7918382) on Wikidata Veggie Galaxy on Wikipedia
  • 5 Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, 1246 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 354-6559. T-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." Don't miss the raspberry lime ricky here! Owners/Menu leans right to the dismay of many customers. $10-15.
  • 6 Yume Wo Katare, 1923 Massachusetts Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 714-4008. Tu-Sa noon-2PM; 5PM-10PM. A fulfilling experience in several ways. Those finishing a bowl of ramen here (including the broth) should receive a "perfect!" and a hearty cheer from the crowd. Noodle finishers get a "good job!", while those whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs will get an "almost!". Don't feel bad, there's always next time. You'll also be invited to tell your dreams to fellow patrons; just anything that's on your mind, like if you want to visit France or give up sugar and so on. $12-14. Cash only, tax included. Yume Wo Katare (Q76169736) on Wikidata Yume Wo Katare on Wikipedia
  • 7 S&S Restaurant, 1334 Cambridge St (Inman Square), +1 617 354-0777. M-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-11PM, Sa 8AM-11PM, Su 8AM-10PM. Everything is delicious on this menu from deli case to freshly prepared entrees. Prices are reasonable and breakfast is served all day long. The S&S wings are quite popular. Breakfast $8-12, dinner $10-18.
  • 8 Christophers, 1920 Massachusetts Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 876-9180. M-W 11:30AM-1AM, Th F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 10:30AM-2AM, Su 10:30AM-1AM. 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. Starters $5-10, burgers $8-12.

Ice cream[edit]

  • 9 Christina's Homemade Ice Cream, 1255 Cambridge St (Inman Square), +1 617 492-7021. Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F Sa 11:30AM-11PM.
  • 10 Honeycomb Creamery, 1702 Massachusetts Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 714-3983. M-W 10AM-10PM, Th-Su 10AM-11PM.
  • 11 Lizzy's Homemade Ice Cream, 29 Church St (T: Harvard), +1 617 354-2911. Noon-10PM daily. Home-style ice cream.
  • 12 Toscanini's, 899 Main St (T: Central). M-F 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). New location at 159 First Street in Cambridge, old location re-opening in June Toscanini's (Q7827577) on Wikidata Toscanini's on Wikipedia


  • 13 Alive & Kicking Lobsters, 269 Putnam Ave (T: Central), +1 617 876-0451. M-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Lobster roll $17.
  • 14 Cafe Sushi, 1105 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 492-0434. M-Sa noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; Su 5:30PM-10PM. Starters $6-9, mains $16-20.
  • 15 Waypoint, 1030 Massachusetts Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 864-2300. M-Sa 5:30PM-1AM; Su 10AM-2:30PM, 5PM-1AM. $16-24+.
  • 16 Muqueca, 1008 Cambridge St (Inman Square), +1 617 354-3296. T-Sa 11AM-10:30PM, Su noon-9:30PM. Serves Brazilian food cooked in clay pots. Don't miss the fried plantains and the muqueca itself. Starters $8-12, mains $14-28.
  • 17 Giulia, 1682 Massachusetts Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 441-2800. M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Starters $12-18, mains $18-29+.
  • 18 Oleana, 134 Hampshire St (Inman Square), +1 617 661-0505. 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. Mezze will run you anywhere from $3-14, while omnivorous entrees are $26-28. Or come just for dessert to sample their exceptional baked Alaska with coconut ice cream & passion fruit caramel, $15.


  • 19 Les Sablons, 2 Bennett St (T: Harvard), +1 617 268-6800. Su-Th 5PM-10PM, F Sa 5PM-11PM. Starters $14-20, mains $30-40.
  • 20 Harvest, 44 Brattle St (T: Harvard), +1 617 868-2255. M-Th noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; F Sa noon-2:30PM, 5:30-11PM; Su 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10PM. 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.
  • 21 Pagu, 310 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 945-9290. M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Bites $7-14, Four course menu $60, cocktails $10-12.
  • 22 The Table (Season to Taste), 2447 Massachusetts Ave (T: Davis), +1 617 871-9468. Tu-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. Three courses and dessert for $70.
  • 23 Puritan & Company, 1166 Cambridge St (T: Central), +1 617 615-6195. M-Th 5:30PM-11PM; F Sa 5:30PM-midnight; Su 10:30AM-2PM, 5:30-10PM. Six course seasonal $75, a la carte $12-36.
  • 24 Craigie on Main, 853 Main St (T: Central), +1 617 497-5511. Tu-Su 5:30PM-midnight. Five-course prix fixe $85.


Head downstairs and into the Den
  • 1 A4cade (Roxy's Central), 292 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 714-3960. M-F 5AM-1AM, Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-midnight. Beer, grilled cheese, and arcade games, what more could you ask for? Oh yeah, there's pinball too.
  • 2 Charlie's Kitchen, 10 Eliot St (T: Harvard), +1 617 492-9646. Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. In business since 1951, Charlie's is considered one of the last remaining businesses from the Harvard Square of old, before the big box chains moved in. It may be a dive, but it's an eco-friendly one; and boasts a great jukebox and three season patio to boot. Charlie's Kitchen (Q14715437) on Wikidata Charlie's Kitchen on Wikipedia
  • 3 Grendel's Den, 89 Winthrop St (T: Harvard), +1 617 491-1160. M-Sa noon-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 5-7:30PM 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. Grendel's Den (Q5607449) on Wikidata Grendel's Den on Wikipedia
  • 4 Lord Hobo, 92 Hampshire St (T: Kendall), +1 617 250-8454. M-F 4PM-1AM, Sa Su 11AM-2AM. A wide selection of interesting independent draught (pints in the $5-8 range) and bottled beers, wine and upscale bar food (entrees in the $10-20 range).
  • 5 Miracle of Science, 321 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 868-2866. 11AM-1AM daily. Popular with MIT grads, professors, and local tech company programmer types. Order off a slightly skewed periodic table of elements.


  • 6 Cambridge Brewing Company (CBC), 1 Kendall Square (T: Kendall), +1 617 494-1994. Tu-Th 11:30-midnight, F Sa M 11:30AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM. 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.
  • 7 Lamplighter Brewing, 284 Broadway (T: Central), +1 617 945-0450. Tu-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 11AM-10PM. Get ready to wait in line! Once you cross the threshold, sample some of these sought after craft beers that are the talk of the town. Brewers will often use Brettanomyces in their brews which produces a "funkier" flavor. They don't go overboard with it, but still, it's not everyone's cup of tea.


  • 8 1369 Coffeehouse, 1369 Cambridge St (Inman Square), +1 617 576-1369. M-F 7AM-10PM, Sa Su 8AM-10PM. Coffee shop and arthouse combined. You'll probably visit the one in Central square, however.
  • 9 Flour Bakery, 190 Massachusetts Ave (T: Central), +1 617 225-2525. M-F 6:30AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-6PM, Su 8AM-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. Another location at the end of Albany Street, one in Harvard, and several more in Boston.
  • 10 Petsi Pies, 31 Putnam Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 499-0801. M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa Su 8AM-6PM. Fantastic local bakery and coffee shop. One other location north of the square near Porter.


This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under $200
Mid-range $200 - $300
Splurge Over $300

One budget option is to peruse 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 will be a lot cheaper than a hotel.


  • 1 A Friendly Inn at Harvard Square, 1673 Cambridge St (T: Harvard), +1 617 547-7851, 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. From $100, $90 in winter.
  • 2 A Cambridge House Inn, 2218 Massachusetts Ave (T: Davis), +1 617 491-6300, fax: +1 617 868-2848. 35-room B&B inn offers both Victorian and contemporary style rooms, for daily or weekly stay. Parking included on first come, first serve basis. From $130.
  • 3 Irving House at Harvard, 24 Irving St (T: Harvard), +1 617 547-4600, fax: +1 617 576-2814, . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Friendly staff ensure that your stay at the guesthouses here are comfortable and amiable. Breakfast, afternoon snacks, and off street parking included in the rates, as well as 24 reception and high speed internet access. From $65.


  • 4 Courtyard Boston Cambridge, 777 Memorial Dr (T: Central), +1 617 492-7777. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. From $200.
  • 5 Boston Marriott Cambridge, 50 Broadway (T: Kendall), +1 617 494-6600. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. 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. From $230.
  • 6 Residence Inn by Marriott Boston Cambridge, 120 Broadway (T: Kendall), +1 617 349-0700. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. From $250.
  • 7 Mary Prentiss Inn, 6 Prentiss St (T: Porter), +1 617 661-2929. Historic Greek revival style hotel with 20 furnished rooms serving made-to-order breakfast every morning. From $260.
  • 8 Freepoint Hotel, 220 Alewife Brook Pkwy (T: Alewife), +1 617 491-8000. New in 2017 with a cool restaurant/bar on the ground floor. From $280.


  • 9 Kendall Hotel, 350 Main St (T: Kendall), +1 617 577-1300, toll-free: +1-866 566-1300. An old firehouse turned into a cozy hotel. From $300.
  • 10 Royal Sonesta Boston, 40 Edwin Land Blvd (T: Lechmere), +1 617 806-4200. From $300.
  • 11 Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT, 20 Sydney St (T: Central), +1 617 577-0200. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT is 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. From $320.
  • 12 The Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St (T: Harvard), +1 617 864-1200. From $360.
  • 13 Hyatt Regency Cambridge, 575 Memorial Dr (T: Central), +1 617 492-1234. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Stay in the ziggurat overlooking the Charles! From $420.

Stay safe[edit]

The official Cambridge graffiti wall in a Central Square alley

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. Massachusetts does not honor firearms licenses from other states.

For more information, visit the Cambridge Police Department online.


  • 10 Main Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 449 Broadway (T: Harvard), +1 617 349-4040. M-Th 9AM-9PM, F Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. Renovated in 2009, the library melds the original 1880s Romanesque revival structure with a striking glass building atop a spacious lawn. Free wifi throughout. Parking available underground. Free. Cambridge Public Library (Q5025501) on Wikidata Cambridge Public Library on Wikipedia
  • 11 Boudreau Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 245 Concord Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 349-4017. M W F 10AM-6PM, Tu 10AM-8PM. Free.
  • 12 Central Square Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 45 Pearl St (T: Central), +1 617 349-4010. M W F 10AM-6PM, Tu Th 10AM-9PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. Free.
  • 13 Collins Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 64 Aberdeen Ave (T: Harvard), +1 617 349-4021. M Tu F 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM. Free.
  • 14 O'Connell Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 48 Sixth St (T: Lechmere), +1 617 349-4019. M-W 10AM-8PM, Th F 10AM-6PM. Free.
  • 15 O'Neill Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 70 Rindge Ave (T: Porter), +1 617 349-4023. M W 10AM-8PM, Th F 10AM-6PM. Free.
  • 16 Valente Branch (Cambridge Public Library), 826 Cambridge St (T: Lechmere), +1 617 349-4015. Closed for renovations. Free.


Houses of worship[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Cambridge
LowellArlington  N  S  Becomes
ConcordArlington/Belmont  W  E  BostonEND
Becomes  N  S  BostonPlymouth
NewtonWatertown  W  E  SomervilleMedford
LawrenceSomerville  N  S  BostonWareham
FitchburgBelmont  NW  SE  BostonEND
END  N  S  North EndDowntown Boston
North CambridgeSomerville  N  S  Beacon HillDowntown Boston

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