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The Office of Graduate Student Life

Boston Area Neighborhoods

Whether you are looking for the perfect neighborhood to call home, desperate for a quick day trip to occupy your parents when they visit, or are just in the mood to try a new restaurant, below you'll find oodles of information about Boston area neighborhoods.



ALLSTON/BRIGHTON Allston/Brighton is connected to the rest of the city by a narrow strip of land between Commonwealth Avenue and the Charles River. Surrounded by Newton, Watertown, Cambridge, and Brookline, this area is accessible via the B & C Green Lines and buses.  The Allston/Brighton area is very popular with students, as it is home to both Boston College and Boston University.  There are many local hot spots along Commonwealth Avenue (“Comm Ave,”) especially at its intersection with Harvard Avenue and one block north at the intersection of Harvard and Brighton Avenues.

BROOKLINE Surrounded on three sides by Boston, Brookline is easily accessible by the C & D Green Lines, as well as buses. A mixture of thriving urban and quaint suburban life, Brookline offers theconvenience of the city for those who don’t want to live in it. There are plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops, especially in the Coolidge Corner and Washington Square areas.

CAMBRIDGE Cambridge is a city unto itself, located opposite Boston on the Charles River.  Known to many as the home of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge is a fun area with lots to do in places like Central and Harvard Squares, and is accessible via the Red Line and buses.

DOWNTOWN BOSTON/BACK BAY The Back Bay sits on land reclaimed from water in the mid-nineteenth century. Downtown includes the Financial District, Government Center, and the waterfront between Long Wharf and Summer Street.  The Green Lines run through Back Bay, and Downtown is served by all the MBTA lines and many buses.

NEWTON Six miles west of Boston and accessible through several D Green Line stops, Newton is a quiet, affluent suburb. Bounded by the Charles River, Newton has an award-winning library, museum, and is home to Chestnut Hill and, of course, Boston College!

JAMAICA PLAIN Know as J.P. by locals, Jamaica Plain is one ofBoston’s most hip and diverse neighborhood.  Local businesses, such as the many different restaurants which line Centre Street, reflect the cultural mix in the area.  J.P. is accessible by the Orange Line and multiple buses.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the wonderful neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.  From Fenway/Kenmore, to West Roxbury, to Watertown, to Waltham, to Somerville, Boston is home to an almost inexhaustible diversity of place to live, eat, shop, and soak up culture.  We encourage you to explore all that our fine city has to offer you...and, as always, feel free to contact us with questions as you plan your next adventure! We can be reached at or 617-552-1855.