Cambridge, MA

Finding Apartments for Rent in Cambridge, MA

The city of Cambridge has the distinctly unique privilege of being Massachusetts's historical, cultural, and innovation epicenter, making it the hottest living destination in the entire state. Entrepeneurs, artists, and innovators of all sizes congregate in Cambridge, and their influence transforms the city into a work of art.

Begin your immersion into Cambridge culture by checking out this comprehensive guide of everything and anything you need to know about this colorful city.

Top Neighborhoods in Cambridge, MA

Don't be dubbed a "square" by not knowing that Cambridge's nickname is "The City of Squares." The city is divided up into thirteen different neighborhood districts, and many of them are punctuated by a famous cultural or business "square."

Of its many neighborhoods, the most popular are Harvard Square, Cambridgeport, and Inman Square. Harvard Square is considered the "heart" of Cambridge and features a bustling populace and an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants. Cambridgeport is a riverside neighborhood that's considered home for many artists and students. Inman Square upholds a reputation for a great diversity of ethnic dining options.

North Cambridge features the most affordable housing in the city, and is a popular place for young families to live. Cambridgeport, in addition to offering wonderful river access, features an excellent slice of the city's arts scene. The smallest of Cambridge's residential neighborhoods is Strawberry Hill, and its distance from the city's more populous squares ensures a peace and quiet found nowhere else in the city.

Cultural Attractions in Cambridge, MA

The city's beating heart is its artistic community; it's blood are their creatives juices that paint, decorate, and adorn every part of Cambridge. You can't walk a few steps with bumping into an impressive mural or sculpture, as shown by the city's public art map here.

A series of art galleries litter the city's streets, featuring artwork from far away and local artists alike. Highlights include the quirky Out of the Blue Gallery and the classic Mobilia Gallery. Those seeking performance should no doubt check out the American Repertory Theatre (ART), the city's crown jewel of the theatre scene.

Shopping in Cambridge, MA

Representative of its diverse population, Cambridge's retail experience oozes as much style as it does variety.

Prefer clothes shopping? Cambridge has you covered with their one-of-a-kind Garment District. Not an actual "district," the store not only features heaping mountains of unique clothing, but they also feature an epic event called "By the Pound." Every morning (except Fridays) the store releases one or more 850 lb bale of mixed clothing for people to pore through. The cost? $1.50 per pound of clothes!

Those uninterested in clothes should check out Nomad, a multi-cultural "flea market" type store, Black Ink, an eclectic mix of home office supplies and decor, and Anime Zakka, an exuberant store that boasts exciting items from Japanese pop culture.

Dining in Cambridge, MA

Whether you're looking for kitschy cafés, quaint bakeries, or powerhouse restaurants, Cambridge is guaranteed to leave you with your mouth watering.

Recommended cafés, of Cambridge's many, include the 1369 Café, which features an expansive tea selection, and the Voltage Coffee and Art, a place that's equal parts café and art gallery. Feel free to explore Cambridge's other cafés by picking a direction and walking fifteen feet.

Culinary capstones of Cambridge include the Hungry Mother, a restaurant dedicated to sophisticated southern cuisine, the Hi-Rise Bakery, an overwhelming feast for sight, taste, and smell, the Summer Shack, one of Massachusetts's premier seafood restaurants, and Puritan and Company, a gourmet restaurant with unforgettable french dishes.

Nightlife in Cambridge, MA

When the sun sets and you've finished exploring the dining and shopping scenes of the city, check out Cambridge's bustling nightlife.

If you're inclined towards ending the night in a dancing frenzy, check out The Enormous Room or the Havana Club. The former promises out-of-control dance parties featuring techno, hip-hop, and house music from Massachusetts's wildest DJs. The latter encourages patrons to have a stab at salsa dancing. The Havana Club evokes a fun, thrilling atmosphere for those who take their ballroom dancing skills seriously.

If you enjoy the time-tested art of sitting, Cambridge has a number of varied bars to try out, including Daedalus, the Hong Kong, and Grendel's Den, all featuring different atmospheres and drinks that are absolutely must-sees.

If you're interested in a hearty belly laugh, consider checking out The Comedy Studio, Cambridge's best entertainment and comedy venue.

Transportation Options in Cambridge, MA

The premier method of transportation in Cambridge and to adjacent areas is through the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) subway and bus systems. Residents of Boston and Cambridge should pick up a Charlie Card, a card that users can put money on to use public transportation.

In prices ranging from $2 and up, Charlie Card holders may use any bus from Boston's enormous fleet of public buses or make use of their expansive subway "T" system. The price paid per ride does not vary based distance traveled.

Cambridge houses several T stops, including Kendall Square, Harvard Square, Porter Square, and more. Taxis are also popular in the city. Fortunately, Cambridge is also easily traversed by foot, so paid transportation is not always necessary.

Cambridge's startling diversity and community makes it a superb place for anyone to live in.

14 Neighborhoods in Cambridge, MA

  • Cambridge Highlands

    Located 2 miles from Harvard Square and 7 miles from downtown Boston, Cambridge Highlands gives residents a little slice of suburbia next door to the fun and funky parts of Cambridge. Safe streets and strong schools attract families here, while good public transit makes for easy commutes. Well-kept public parks surround the area, including the scenic grounds of Fresh Pond. Though the neighborhood tends to be quiet, nightlife and restaurants are plentiful in nearby Porter and Davis Squares, along with the cultural offerings of Harvard Square further south. From its early industrial history as a turnpike and rail depot, the area retains a distinctive street layout that lacks interior connections, and commercial-industrial buildings fill much of the eastern section, with most residential streets lying to the west.

  • Cambridgeport

    Cambridgeport sits about three miles west of downtown Boston, with Massachusetts Avenue running through the neighborhood and acting as a main thoroughfare into the big city. Large Victorian homes line the streets in this white-collar area populated primarily by those of Irish and Asian descent. Cambridgeport is the home of MIT, one of the top universities in the world.

  • East Cambridge

    Located west of downtown Boston and across the Charles River Basin, East Cambridge houses one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the area. Broadway and Main streets form the southern border, the Charles River Basin most of the eastern border, and the Fitchburg and Grand Junction railroad tracks the northern and western borders. This neighborhood attracts commuters who work in downtown Boston and want to live close to work without living in the city and Harvard University students who want to live close, but not too close, to campus.

  • Harvard Square

    One of the most iconic locations in Boston has to be Harvard Square, a place where people have gathered since 1630. Harvard Square borders Harvard Yard, the historic heart of Harvard University. Harvard Yard is the oldest section of the campus and is enclosed by 27 gates. Harvard Yard was built in 1718.

  • Inman Square

    From the inventive flavors at Christina's Ice Cream to the beer wheel at the Bukowski Tavern, Inman Square excels at cultivating beloved businesses and innovative spaces. Situated one mile east of Harvard Square and within walking distance of Central and Kendall Squares, the area abuts prime Cambridge real estate. Many Bostonites overlook this neighborhood due to its lack of public rail service, but the semi-secluded location keeps apartment rents lower than neighboring areas, and locals appreciate the multiple bus lines serving the neighborhood.

  • Kendall Square

    Kendall Square is known for being a growing and developing community of office buildings, towering apartments, shopping centers, and restaurants that span a 10-acre area — and it’s only 15 minutes west of downtown Boston, across the Charles River Basin, with a 2.5-acre square situated at the intersection of Main Street, Broadway, Wadsworth, and Third Street. Lush landscaping and world-class design help give the area its signature look.

  • Larchwood

    Larchwood, an escape from the bustling and booming city life of Boston, fits quietly into the historic city of Cambridge. Dotted with mature oaks, maples, and a distant cityscape, families and singles alike succumb to its charms.

  • Mid-Cambridge

    Encompassing historic Harvard Square, Central Square and Inman Square, this central swath of Cambridge bustles with street life, creative spirit and an intellectual atmosphere. Though mid-Cambridge has big-city energy, the scaled-down architecture and side streets of Colonial-era homes tempers the pace of life, making it feel more like a big town than a metropolis. The neighborhood attracts young professionals and couples who thrive in this eclectic energy and can afford the area's high rents. Though living expenses run high, the area pays residents back with excellent public transportation, arts and culture, and walkable streets filled with restaurants and shops.

  • Neighborhood Nine

    Just north of Harvard Square and five miles from downtown Boston, Neighborhood Nine is a quiet, mild-mannered section of Cambridge with tree-lined streets and historic single-family homes. The area borders both Harvard Square and Porter Square, making for a peaceful, almost suburban neighborhood that's right next door to the big city, with the theaters and restaurants of Harvard Square within walking distance, along with the bars and funky boutiques of Porter.

  • North Cambridge

    Also known as Neighborhood 11, North Cambridge has busy commercial centers, vibrant cultural communities, and is home to Harvard University. North Cambridge sits below West Somerville and to the northwest of Somerville. Its boundaries include the Fitchburg Line railroad tracks to the south, US Route 3 and Massachusetts Route 16 to the west and northwest and Orchard and Elm Streets to the east and northeast. Harvard students who need to live close to school but want a bit of distance from campus life find North Cambridge an attractive option.

  • Riverside

    With a western border that hugs the shore of the Charles River, Cambridge's Riverside neighborhood fits "the Coast" nickname. This quiet tourist-grade district exudes a college-town vibe and provides a variety of rental housing. You can't beat the location — Harvard and MIT sit just minutes away by foot, or hop in your car or take the Red Line for a 20-minute trip to downtown Boston.

  • Strawberry Hill

    Settled in a suburban community of Cambridge north of Boston and the Charles River, Strawberry Hill provides residents with a charming, quiet area ideal residents who want a view of green, open space.

  • Wellington-Harrington

    Situated between Inman and Kendall Squares, this residential area nestles along the border between funky Cambridge culture and innovative business and technology. Here, historic brick apartment buildings share the block with classic triple deckers, making for a small yet dense neighborhood vibe.

  • West Cambridge

    West Cambridge is just two miles from the center of Cambridge and seven miles from downtown Boston. Large, historical homes sit along the tree-lined streets, providing a mix of multi-family and single-family homes. The MBTA runs several bus lines to the area, giving commuters connections to the red line Harvard Square Station that takes them to other parts of the city.