Cambridge

Equal parts academic, artistic, prim, and mischievous, Cambridge is worth the ride across the river.

Just across the Charles River from the city of Boston, Cambridge commands a cult following all its own. This scholastic city combines working-class perseverance with high-class entertainment and university class schedules. From the quiet residential streets in its western edge to the hip squares and happening courtyards along its numerous college campuses, this constantly evolving area will continue to attract thinkers, dreamers, families, and professionals for semesters to come.

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On the Map

Cambridge is bordered by West End, Harvard Square, Fenway/Kenmore, Charlestown, Watertown, Somerville, Allston-Brighton, and Brookline

Logan International Airport: 18 minutes on the T or 20 minutes by car
Harvard Square: 1 minute on the T
Downtown Boston: 14 minutes on the T
Boston Common: 16 minutes on the T

The Many Sides of Cambridge

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A studious area with a quirky twist, this city-across-the-river's residents range from young scholars and young professionals to everyday families and generations-old keepers of Cambridge.

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Bound by the banks of the Charles River, Cambridge's four corners each have their own appeal. For quiet convenience, rest easy in West Cambridge.

WestCambridge Skurchak

Its bucolic street scenes lend themselves to early risers and early bedtimes.

WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak

Residential and refined, West Cambridge's tight-knit community gathers at its parks and playgrounds.

WestCambridge Skurchak

They meet and greet at West Cambridge's boutique markets.

WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak

They peruse the newest New England antiques.

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They post messages on their local bookstore's corkboard.

WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak

Cross the compass and Cambridge transforms from sleepy in its West side to eclectic in its East side.

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The city's East side's once-industrial roots are still visible. Looming spaces have long since renovated into community attractions like The Charles Hayden Planetarium and The Children's Museum.

EastCambridge Tam
EastCambridge Tam

Students and strollers enjoy The Esplanade.

EastCambridge Tam

They promenade past wall-sized murals.

EastCambridge Tam
EastCambridge Tam

The CambridgeSide Galleria attracts shoppers and diners to its H & Ms and Cheesecake Factories.

EastCambridge Tam

Vestiges of the East's warehouse-ridden past speckle its streets.

EastCambridge Tam
EastCambridge Tam
EastCambridge Tam

Many of its manufacturing buildings renovated into retail spaces, research labs, professors' offices, and student housing for nearby MIT scholars.

EastCambridge Tam
Cambridge Noble
EastCambridge Tam

The farther north you travel towards Somerville, the more no-nonsense Cambridge becomes.

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Pragmatic and polite, North Cambridge keeps tidy porches and punctual schedules.

NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak

North Cambridge's no-frills attitude increasingly attracts the wandering eyes of artists seeking lower rents.

NorthCambridge Skurchak

The area's everyday demeanor and plainspoken appeal hint at something uniquely Americana.

NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak

North Cambridge knows the significance of simplicity.

NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak

The area embraces the prismatic attitudes of its Cambridge counterparts and adds color of its own.

NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak
NorthCambridge Skurchak

Seeing the many faces of Cambridge or riding across the Charles River to Boston is simple from North Cambridge.

NorthCambridge Skurchak

Board the T at Porter Square.

Pixel
The neighborhood is safe and residential. A short walk from the best restaurants and schools in the Boston-area!"

A City Centered On Its Squares

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Travel north on Mass Ave or take the Red Line T towards Alewife and you'll pass through a series of squares that characterize Cambridge. Kendall Square is comprised of high-rise apartment complexes, refurbished industrial buildings, and biotech labs that serve the staff and students of MIT.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

Your next stop brings you to Central Square, one of the city's edgiest squares for entertainment. Music clubs like the Middle East host live bands above ground and underground, dusty record shops sell vintage vinyl, and bars like The Cantab have open-mic nights for spoken-word poetry performances.

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Take the T one stop further and find yourself in Harvard Square, a square that serves its university students as much as its visitors and professional residents.

HarvardSquare Tam
HarvardSquare Tam

A mix of intimate, boutique shops share Harvard Square with big-name chains and corporate retailers. Ascend the stairs from the Harvard Square T station and the scene will look much as it did years ago–buskers and protesters often gather in the square's main hub.

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If you want to leave the T tracks to traverse a square dominated by locals, head east to Inman Square. Coffee shops, taverns, cafes, and Portuguese and Brazilian restaurants pervade this Cambridge favorite.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

To get there, hop on the MBTA #69 Bus Line or get some exercise while you take the 15 minute walk from Central Square's T station.

Cambridge Noble

Brazilian and Portugese influences give the storefronts and restaurants a vibrant flair. Many contend that Inman Square remains the city's most overlooked square.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

With its cadre of bright storefronts, cheeky cafes, and bikeable boulevards, we recommend you treat yourself.

Cambridge Noble

Make the trek to Inman Square. Listen to some jazz at Ryles while you're at it.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

Return to the T or catch the bus to Cambridge's last square of the tour.

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Porter Square straddles the border between Cambridge and Somerville. It boasts considerably less frills and considerably more convenience than the squares that come before it.

SomervillePorterSquare Tam
SomervillePorterSquare Tam
SomervillePorterSquare Tam

Porter Square's shopping centers, gyms, grocery stores, and restaurants boast everything you need.

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It feels less funky than its Cambridge counterparts, but its no-nonsense style provides welcome respite from the high-energy of the city's university-centric squares.

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Pixel
The location is very good, too. It's not quite in the center of the Boston universe, but it's an easy enough walk to the Red Line, and between Inman Square and Central Square you have just about anything you'd need shops-wise for your daily needs."

Eric

Visited in 2013

Cheeky Boutiques and Casual Cafe Culture

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Some characteristics stick with Cambridge no matter which corner of the city you're in.

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WestCambridge Skurchak
Cambridge Noble

Its boutiques, vintage shops, and cafes effortlessly blend classy with sassy.

Cambridge Noble

Seats always seem to be warm at Cambridge's independent coffee shops.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

Wherever you go in Cambridge, you're apt to see an academic.

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WestCambridge Skurchak
WestCambridge Skurchak

University Town

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Harvard University makes its home in Cambridge.

Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble
Cambridge Noble

The university's pristine buildings and campus courtyards imbue Cambridge with a sense of scholastic serenity.

Cambridge Noble
HarvardSquare Tam
HarvardSquare Tam

Students infuse Harvard's surrounding areas and squares with youthful vibrancy.

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From the College Years to Post Grad: Nightlife In Cambridge

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House parties and parties of 12 at the local bar are equally common in Cambridge.

Cambridge Noble MRelease
Cambridge Noble MRelease

Fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, artists, musicians, young entrepreneurs, and seasoned professionals each have a niche in Cambridge.

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Some nights don't center on bars and booze.

EastCambridge Tam
EastCambridge Tam

Some nights are spent studying.

EastCambridge Tam

Some are spent exercising.

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Some are spent keeping in touch.

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No matter the time, Cambridge keeps its cool.

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When the time comes, you'll have a way home.

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Your ride awaits.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Kenn Tam is a Canadian photographer living and working in New York City's Manhattan, that specializes in portraits and street photography. And yes, he was that high school year book guy with a 50mm lens for a face.

Kenn Tam

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Katie is a Boston-based photographer who has shot in such disparate places as wintry Vermont ski lodges, the bone-dry Arizona desert, restaurants in NYC and various European locales. Her years in the photo world have finely tuned her eye to the small details of life. Shooting for Airbnb was a fun adventure that helped her further appreciate beautiful Boston.

Katie Noble

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Brian Samuels is a Boston-based lifestyle photographer and writer. He is also the creator of A Thought For Food, a blog of recipes and personal anecdotes pertaining to cooking. His work has been featured in Edible Boston, the Improper Bostonian, the Boston Globe, Saveur and the Huffington Post. This Airbnb project has allowed him to explore and discover more of Boston.

Brian Samuels

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Linda is a freelance photographer who focuses on editorial, event and portrait work. She loves Boston and she loves her camera. Working on the Airbnb project allowed her to get to know her city and its people even better. They did not disappoint.

Linda Skurchak

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