Harvard Square

Independent shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues shape this central Cambridge neighborhood.

Similar to its across-the-river counterpart, Harvard Square celebrates independence. Locally owned bookstores, theatres, and music venues invigorate the square’s vibrant atmosphere. This neighborhood’s inexhaustible energy is due in part to a steady stream of university students from nearby campuses, as well as to its central location and convenient public transportation options. Hang out until the bars close inside Harvard Square’s bustling core, or enjoy the neighborhood’s tranquil scenery along its dignified side streets.

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On the Map

Harvard Square is within Cambridge and bordered by Somerville and Allston-Brighton

Logan International Airport: 30 minutes on the T
Boston Common: 20 minutes on the T
Downtown Boston: 15 minutes on the T
Harvard Square: You made it!

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Difficult

A Central Hangout Next Door to Harvard's Campus

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As the historic center of Cambridge and the historic heart of Harvard University, Harvard Square commands celebrity status.

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Don't be fooled by the name. Harvard Square is actually a triangular neighborhood.

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Adjacent to Harvard Yard and named for the university it surrounds, Harvard Square's bookstores, boutiques, newspaper stands, and T station serve students and commuters.

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Young scholars and academic families flock to the neighborhood to soak up the centuries-old wisdom that seeps from the university's corridors.

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Shopping In Harvard Square

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Harvard Square blends sassy boutiques with big-box shopping.

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Its intimate shops portray a penchant for vintage aesthetics.

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The Look of the Square

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Despite its name, many of the Square's buildings are anything but rectilinear.

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Sharp angles and thatched rooftops characterize the look of Harvard Square.

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Old stone and red brick play their part, too.

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Getting To The Square

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Harvard Square is well-connected to Cambridge and Boston. Buses, taxis, and the Red Line all stop at the Square.

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Nightlife Next to a College Campus

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College kids run the nightlife scene of the Square.

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Late nights are apt to happen in Harvard Square.

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Late-night eats.

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Late-night drinks.

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Late-night dancing.

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When the time has come to turn in, taxis are readily available.

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You don't even have to flag one down.

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Cab stands are common in Harvard Square.


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

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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.