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Known as one of Boston’s trendiest areas for shopping and dining, Back Bay is also home to some of Boston’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Boston Public Library, Hancock Tower, and the Back Bay Architectural District. This section of Boston is largely anchored by the Prudential Center, whose Skywalk Observatory is one of the best vantage points for soaking in views of the city.

The local academic community includes the prestigious Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory, and the Boston Architectural College. Back Bay’s location along the Charles River allows for a considerable amount of waterfront property, and the Charles River Esplanade is a popular greenspace for walkers, runners, and cyclists.

Boston Public Gardens and Boston Common are practically right next door, giving residents easy access to the city’s most famous parks. Filled with beautifully-preserved Victorian brownstone homes and plush modern high-rise condos, Back Bay is among the priciest neighborhoods in Boston, although many relatively affordable options are available here as well.


Rent Trends

As of October 2017, the average apartment rent in Boston, MA is $2,520 for a studio, $3,356 for one bedroom, $5,098 for two bedrooms, and $7,683 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Boston has increased by 3.7% in the past year.

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97 Walk Score® Walker's Paradise
98 Transit Score® Rider's Paradise
88 Bike Score® Very Bikeable



Overflowing with designer stores and Boston boutiques, Back Bay is a luxury shopper's dream. Most stores in the neighborhood appear in the Copley Place shopping mall and along Newbury Street. At Copley Place, tourists and locals frequent high-end stores such as Tory Burch, Burberry and Jimmy Choo. On Newbury Street, stop into Cartier to add to your jewelry collection, or stop in for a new bag at Chanel.

When you need the perfect pair of jeans, go straight to Riccardi on Newbury between Clarendon Street and Dartmouth Street. There, the ultra-fashionable and knowledgeable staff will assist you in finding the high-end denim that best suits your frame, and they won't hesitate to steer you away from an unflattering purchase. You'll also find personalized service at John Fluevog, a shoe store that specializes in high-quality, artistic shoes. The friendly staff make personal recommendations based on your style and initial choices.

In addition to grocery store mainstays such as Trader Joe's and Shaw's, Back Bay also houses several specialty food stores. Boston Olive Oil Company on Newbury Street sells luxury extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from small artisan establishments. Spend an hour at the oil and vinegar tasting bar to find the perfect blend for your palate. For fresh produce and handmade pastries, stop by the farmer's markets at the Prudential Center and Copley Square.


The cost of living in Back Bay ranks higher than most Boston neighborhoods, second only to Beacon Hill. Although groceries and entertainment match the Boston average, housing costs push the cost of living index through the roof. A one-bedroom apartment rents for approximately $3,300 per month, nearly $1,000 more than the Boston average.


Whether you are heading to dinner or across the city, Back Bay provides a variety of transportation options. Many residents opt to walk, taking advantage of the neighborhood's compact size and well-maintained sidewalks. With a bike score of 88, Back Bay also provides safe and convenient riding options. Cyclists usually opt to ride along the paths next to the Charles River and on Commonwealth Avenue Mall.

Public transportation links in Back Bay line the southern boundary of the neighborhood along Boylston Street. The Green Line picks up passengers at the Hynes Convention Center, Copley and Arlington stops. Eight different bus lines also lie within walking distance of Boylston Street. Hailing a cab from the street is possible during the day, but becomes more difficult after work and on weekend evenings. Uber also offers a full range of services in Back Bay.

If you choose to drive, public parking garages cluster around the Back Bay commercial areas. Expect to pay at least $30 for a 24-hour period. Get out of the area in minutes using the Massachusetts Turnpike on-ramps at the western end of the neighborhood.


Residential and commercial buildings occupy most of the space in Back Bay, but residents enjoy access to several nearby parks. Escape the chaos of the city at the Charles River Reservation IV, which parallels the neighborhood on the northwestern side. Popular with runners and bikers, the park offers miles of trails and lovely views of the Charles River. Residents flock to the Hatch Memorial Shell at the northeastern end of the park to participate in annual fun runs, listen to classical concerts and participate in community dance events.

Nearby, the Public Garden provides a network of paved paths and acres of meticulously groomed gardens. Take a swan boat ride on the pond in the center of the garden or enjoy a picnic on the expansive lawns. Parks in the area are free and kid-friendly, but do not offer much in the way of playground equipment. Bring your dog through the Public Garden on a leash to the off-leash area in the Boston Common. This territory rotates between five different areas, so look out for the signs.


Restaurants in Back Bay give residents the opportunity to enjoy foods from all over the globe. Catering to the tastes of discerning locals, establishments in the area lean toward the pricey end of the spectrum. Most eateries are located south of Commonwealth Avenue.

Adventurous Back Bay diners make a beeline for Asta, which offers fixed-price tasting menus in three-, five-, and eight-course options. Menus change regularly to take advantage of seasonal ingredients, and residents look forward to dishes such as beef with shishito peppers and anchovy vinaigrette, and bass head terrine. Boston Magazine praises Chef Alex Crabb's innovative presentation and use of unusual native ingredients.

For a more affordable dining experience, check out the Salty Pig. Sip a Pimm's Cup 10 cocktail while you build your own charcuterie board to snack on before you dive into a broccoli rabe pizza. On a warm day, sit outside at Beantown Pho & Grill to enjoy Cha Gio rolls and a hearty bowl of Pho Ga.

Work off your dinner at Storyville, one of Back Bay's most popular dance clubs. Beers are inexpensive by Boston standards, and the different theme rooms play everything from Top 40 to reggae. Join the locals at Bukowski Tavern, a dive bar with an impressive draught list. Sip a River Walk Unveiled while you indulge in the White Trash poutine tater tots, and don't forget to bring cash -- Bukowski's doesn't accept cards. For live music, stop by the Red Room at Cafe 939, a 200-person venue that hosts local groups playing everything from hip-hop to bluegrass.


As its name suggests, Back Bay was once a tidal bay. More than 5,000 years ago, Native American tribes used the Back Bay area to build fish-weirs to trap fish as they moved through the tidal waters. In 1814, the city built a dam over the tidal flats where Beacon Street is today. The architect Arthur Gilman, who laid out the Back Bay neighborhood, designed the area to be an upscale residential area — a far cry from its original use as a milling zone. Over the years, the neighborhood has been home to a number of luminaries such as John Singer Sargent and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Back Bay was one of the United States' first cultural centers and continues to hold an important place in the city's arts scene. The Gibson House Museum on Beacon Street showcases perfectly preserved items from the 1800s and early 1900s. On Boylston Street, the historic Old South Church and Boston Public Library draw visitors from around the world. The neighboring theater district provides residents with performances that range from Shakespeare to contemporary musicals. The neighborhood also holds numerous annual events, including the Boston Book Festival and the Back Bay Block Party.


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Avalon at Prudential Center
780 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199
1 / 43
4 hrs
$2,715 - 5,490 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
30 Dalton
30 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02115
1 / 34
59 min
$3,825 - 12,600 1-3 Bed Available Now
Garrison Square
32-32 Garrison St, Boston, MA 02116
1 / 136
1 day
$4,299 - 9,150 1-3 Bed Available Now
The Greenhouse Apartments
150 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
1 / 33
1 day
$2,600 - 5,500 1-3 Bed Available 11/01/17
The Arlington
100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116
1 / 39
1 day
$3,400 - 4,140 Studio - 1 Bed Available Now
One Back Bay
135 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116
1 / 43
1 day
$3,095 - 6,270 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
Clarendon Residences
140 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116
1 hr
$2,200 - 2,400 Studio Available Now
AVA Back Bay
790 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199
4 hrs
$2,815 - 7,900 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
Avalon Exeter
77 Exeter St, Boston, MA 02116
4 hrs
$2,870 - 10,200 Studio - 3 Bed Available Now
The Colonnade Residences
118 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116
1 day
$4,600 - 7,500 1-2 Bed Available Now
Avalon at Prudential Center
2 wks
Church Park Apartments
221 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115
$2,975 - 4,665 Studio - 2 Bed Available Now
1 hr
499 Beacon St Unit 8
Boston, MA 02215
$2,200 Condo for Rent Available Now
2 hrs
351 Marlborough St
Boston, MA 02115
$3,900 2 Bed Available Now
2 hrs
109 Beacon St Unit 2
Boston, MA 02116
$4,100 Condo for Rent Available 12/01/17
3 hrs
23 Cortes St
Boston, MA 02116
$4,500 3 Bed Available Now
72 Exeter St
Boston, MA 02116
$7,095 2 Bed Available Now

Apartments for Rent in Back Bay, Boston, MA

Known as one of Boston’s trendiest areas for shopping and dining, Back Bay is also home to some of Boston’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Boston Public Library, Hancock Tower, and the Back Bay Architectural District. This section of Boston is largely anchored by the Prudential Center, whose Skywalk Observatory is one of the best vantage points for soaking in views of the city.

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