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Boston Neighborhoods

As the economic and cultural hub of New England, Boston is home to more than half a million people.

Check out some of the eclectic neighborhoods where Bostonians live, work and play.

Back Bay

The Back Bay is one of Boston’s premier neighborhoods, as well as the busiest retail section of the city. Historic boulevards such as Newbury Street and Commonwealth Avenue sit inside the eight-block by five-block area, on what was originally a mud basin for the Charles River.

Back Bay brings you to the Charles River Esplanade (the grassy area bordering the river), the Public Garden and Boston Common, the Boston Public Library, and the shops and restaurants of Boylston Street, the Prudential Center and Copley Square. High-end boutiques, sidewalk cafés and elegant townhouses line Newbury Street and Commonwealth Ave. It’s a great place to people watch.


The Fenway is home to Boston University; Massachusetts College of Art; Northeastern University; and Emmanuel, Simmons and Wheelock colleges. Area landmarks include Fenway Park (go Sox!), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and Symphony Hall.

Kenmore Square is the major shopping area, catering to a student clientele. Perhaps the best-known street in “the Fens” is Landsdowne Street, home to many popular clubs and entertainment venues (Bill’s Bar and Lounge, Game On!Boston, House of Blues, Jillian's and more). Just keep an eye on the sky for homerun balls hit out of the park.


This neighboorhood boasts the most students-per-square-foot of any in Boston. There is music to suit every taste at Harper’s Ferry and other venues for live performances by established and up-and-coming artists. At night, students spill into dozens of ethnic eateries, and late-night favorites such as Spike’s Junkyard Dogs and Redneck’s.

It’s hard to turn a corner in Allston without hitting a discount furniture or thrift store. Harvard Avenue boasts everything from upscale eateries to pool halls to locally owned grocery stores. Brighton is fairly quiet, especially at night. The neighborhood is primarily populated by graduate students, young professionals and families.

North End

This historic neighborhood is the site of the Old North Church and the Paul Revere House. Located along the Boston waterfront, it was the first stop for several waves of immigrants. Italians, who arrived in the 1870s, still make their mark with incredible restaurants, pastry shops, butcheries and more crammed into narrow streets. The two main thoroughfares — Hanover Street and Salem Street — are packed with tourists and locals alike.

With a different Italian festival held every weekend throughout the summer, there rarely is a dull moment in the North End. It is considered one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston.

South End

Teeming with Victorian brick row houses, upscale eateries and art galleries, the South End one of Boston's most popular places to live. The neighborhood welcomes a diverse mix of families, young professionals, a gay and lesbian community and a thriving artistic center. Trendy restaurants brush shoulders with coffee shops and mom-and-pop grocery stores along Tremont Street and its side streets. A steady influx of artists keeps the area filled with galleries that showcase their works.

Check out other fun neighborhoods of Boston.