Boston City Guide:
Neighborhoods & Things to Do


Boston is famous for Cheers, Fenway Park and the Boston Marathon. But there’s much more to this city that makes it one of the best places to live in the country. Boston is a city of innovation, so much so in fact that it was ranked #5 in the world of innovative cities. It is also one of the healthiest cities in the nation, ranking in the top 10. And while you get the hustle and bustle of city life in Boston, you’ll also have access to an abundance of green spaces, like the 15-acre Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the Boston Common. If this sounds like the city for you, make sure to check out our Boston city guide to find an apartment in your favorite part of the city.

Boston city highlights

Ready to move to Boston but aren’t sure which neighborhood to choose? Consider some of your favorite activities or some of the attractions and events Boston has to offer. Then, use our Boston city guide to help you find an apartment in a neighborhood that is closest to those attractions. Here are just a few to consider.

  • Catch a Game: Bostonians take sports very seriously. This city is home to the famed Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and New England Patriots. As a resident of the city, you’ll get to visit Fenway Park, the Green Monster, so named for the 37-foot left field wall that is a popular target for batters, which is also why it’s called “hitter’s park.”
  • Walk the Freedom Trail: The Freedom Trail is a three-mile route that takes you to 16 historic sites in the city. The trail is easy to follow – just follow the red bricks in the sidewalks and the footprints at crossing areas. You’ll get to see where Paul Revere is buried and see Boston’s oldest cemetery. The trail ends at the Bunker Hill Monument, an awe-inspiring 220-foot granite landmark.
  • New England Aquarium: Located in Central Boston, the New England Aquarium is one of the premier destinations for visitors and residents alike. You can watch whales and visit a variety of sea animal exhibits. You’ll also learn how you can get involved and help support ocean and sea life conservation efforts.
  • USS Constitution and Bunker Hill (Boston National History Park): This is the oldest ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy. Navy personnel still command the ship, which is open to visitors. You’re allowed to go below deck where you’ll learn about the construction of the ship as well as the action she saw while out at sea. The museum provides even more historical context. Through the interactive exhibits, you’ll learn more about the USS Constitution and a World War II destroyer called the Cassin Young.
  • Harvard Square and Harvard Art Museums: This is the oldest higher learning institution in the U.S. It was founded in 1636. Visitors get to enjoy walking tours of the campus where you’ll learn about the history of the school. The art museums showcase art from the early Renaissance, Expressionists from Europe, Chinese bronzes, Indian Art, Greco-Roman sculptures and Japanese prints.

Boston city guide to the best neighborhoods for renters

Choosing the right neighborhood is just as important as choosing the right apartment. Use our Boston city guide to help you find the rental of your dreams in some of the most popular neighborhoods in and around the city.

Fenway-Kenmore

While most people think of Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox when they hear of the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, what they don’t know is that this is one of the academic hubs of Boston. Nearly a dozen of the 100 universities in Boston can be found in this neighborhood. You’ll also find multiple entertainment venues, museums and art galleries to help feed the mind and soul. This area is buzzing with energy from the students and young professionals. It has amazing restaurants and is perfect for anyone who craves an active nightlife.

South End

Another popular Boston neighborhood is South End. It has a vibrant LGBT+ community and consists of a diverse community of families and young professionals. Victorian brownstone buildings line the streets, as do some of the finest restaurants in Boston. There’s also a flourishing art community – so, if you are a creator or simply appreciate the creativity of others, you’ll feel right at home here. Craving some green space? You won’t be disappointed in South End. There are nearly 30 parks in the area, perfect for working out, spending time with family and friends and taking time to stop and smell the roses.

Back Bay

One of the more affluent neighborhoods in Boston is Back Bay. It’s home to iconic landmarks such as the Prudential Center, Boston Public Library and Copley Square. There are numerous bars and restaurants where you can spend your evenings and/or weekends having the time of your life with friends. The Prudential Center is home to several well-known brands, including Anne Taylor and ALDO. If you love to shop, this is the neighborhood for you! You might also enjoy the mix of modern and Victorian buildings throughout the area.

Financial District

Located in Downtown Boston near Government Center is the Financial District. The area consists of landmark buildings including the complexes for Exchange Place and International Place, Custom House Tower and Post Office Square. The neighborhood is a historic treasure trove housing some of the city’s oldest landmarks, such as the Old South Meeting House where colonists met to discuss what would eventually result in the Boston Tea Party. Of course, there are also a number of modern skyscraper-type buildings where you can shop, eat or work.

North End

The North End neighborhood is ideal for hipsters, creatives and foodies. You’ll find dozens of eateries serving homemade dishes, like fresh pasta, baked bread and handcrafted cannoli. And let’s not forget about the authentic cappuccinos. The Italian history here is rich, as is the colonial history. It is, after all, the oldest residential neighborhood in Boston and is where you’ll find Paul Revere’s house, as well as other Colonial-style homes and landmarks. The neighborhood is full of energy during the summertime festivals where you can feast on amazing food, hear great live music and celebrate the history of the area.

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Boston. It’s also one of the most expensive. But if you can afford it, why not move to this iconic neighborhood? The cobblestone streets and brick buildings give the neighborhood an air of history and dignity. That doesn’t make it a stuffy neighborhood, though. It’s an upscale neighborhood with mansions and antique shops. Young professionals love living in the area because it has a high walkability score. Not only can you get around the neighborhood easily, but you can also take a stroll to the Financial District for work or shopping.

Fenway-Kenmore-Audubon Circle-Longwood

This neighborhood is the ninth most walkable neighborhood in Boston. It also boasts world-class transit and a high bike score, too. Instead of wasting money on gas to do your shopping, you can easily walk from your apartment to your favorite stores and restaurants. The neighborhood is great for families, too, with public schools in the area earning a very-good-to-excellent score. The area is made up of single-family homes, as well as condos, townhouses and apartments, so there’s something for every aesthetic and budget.

Commonwealth

Commonwealth Avenue has earned a lot of recognition in 2021. Quite a few businesses in the area have earned “favorite” status, including Lord & Taylor clothing store, Harmony Dental Care, Armando’s Pizza and Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women. Commonwealth is an upper-middle class neighborhood with higher rental prices than over 85% of Boston. The nightlife is one of the perks of the neighborhood with plenty of restaurants, bars and other hangouts that residents enjoy.

East Boston

The East Boston neighborhood started out as home to a large population of Italian immigrants and families. In the mid-20th century, more Latino families moved into the area. It’s beautifully diverse and is popular amongst young professionals. Residents who live in the area appreciate that most East Boston apartments for rent come at relatively reasonable prices. (If you want something on the pricier side, though, developers have been building several luxury condo and apartment buildings in the neighborhood.) Plus, the neighborhood is in close proximity to Downtown Boston, making it easy to commute to work, shops and restaurants.

Jamaica Plain

Years ago, Jamaica Plain was a resort destination for Bostonians to travel to during the summer months. Now, it’s one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. You’ll find unique shops and plenty of fabulous restaurants. The walkability and bike scores are high, so you’ll have no problem getting from your Jamaica Plain apartment to a restaurant, shop or a National Historic Landmark like the Arnold Arboretum. If you are a fan of green spaces, you’ll love Jamaica Pond, a great place to go for an evening stroll or jog for some exercise.

Waterfront

Boston Harbor has played an important role in the history and development of the city. Visitors from all around flock to the harbor each year, particularly during the warmer months. They enjoy the Boston HarborWalk, a public walkway that runs along the water’s edge and connects to a variety of Boston neighborhoods. Along the HarborWalk you’ll find galleries, indie artists, green spaces, cafes and restaurants – as well as amazing views. And you don’t need to be a tourist to enjoy some of the aquatic experiences, such as harbor cruises, whale watching and more.


Recent Articles

There are more options than being a Duck in Oregon.

Your dollar will go a long way in this state.

See what it really costs to live in a few key cities in California versus the rest of the country.