If you’re looking for a house or apartment in Boston — it comes down to much more than whether you prefer brownstones to glass facades — what counts above all else is the neighborhood.
Here we break down the best neighborhoods to live in Boston based on your lifestyle and budget. We’ve taken a particular liking to centrally-located areas around Boston and Cambridge based on the preferences of young professionals, families and business executives.
Before moving within or to Boston, have a look through this briefing of eight neighborhoods that you ought to call home. We’ve also included the average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment by neighborhood to give you an idea of the cost of living in an unfurnished unit (according to RENTCafe) versus a Blueground furnished unit.
As the true “Hub” of Boston, Downtown and Financial District is a convergence of architectural styles and Bostonians from the touristy Quincy Market to Exchange Place and the JFK Federal Building. For out-of-towners, one walk through Washington Street will have you convinced of your new home. Residing in the heart of the city means you’re walking distance to dinner in the North End and shopping in Beacon Hill with all T lines radiating out of the Downtown.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3136 (unfurnished), $4410 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Freedom Trail, North and South Stations
If you place a high value on being walking distance from meeting up with friends for drinks or anticipate showing off Boston to visitors, this is the hood for you. Back Bay may be known for housing Old Money, but really after a weekend stroll in this area, who wouldn’t want to have it all at their doorstep?
Well-maintained brownstones radiate out from Boston Public Garden along Commonwealth Avenue and its parallel quiet streets, while big and small name retailers occupy the south end along Newbury and Boylston.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3269 (unfurnished), $4505 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: Prudential Center, Skywalk Observatory, Hynes Convention Center, and Commonwealth Avenue
With its cobbles, red brick and window flower boxes, there are little surprises waiting around every corner in Beacon Hill. From the Massachusetts State House at the top of the hill, down to the boutiques and restaurants on Charles Street down below, Beacon Hill balances quintessentially Bostonian sights and neighborhood delights.
Those working at MGH and for the State Government will find a home right nearby, whether that be a new high-rise or a historic Federal-style rowhouse. For those working further away this still remains one of the best neighborhoods to live in Boston, thanks to Red, Green and Blue line T-stops found in each corner of Beacon Hill.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3070 (unfurnished), $2950 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: Charles Street, Museum of African American History, Massachusetts State House, and the Charles River Esplanade
South of Essex Street, nothing could be more apparent that you’re entering one of the US’s historic Chinatown other than the gilded paifong gate. A number of theaters also call this area home including The Wilbur, the Charles Playhouse and the Boch Center-Wang Theatre.
This walkable area is connected to Downtown on a straight shot down Washington Street from the Tufts Medical Center. This ideally-situated area sits caddy-corner from the Boston Common and next door to Bay Village.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3337 (unfurnished), $3743 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: Chinatown Gate, W Boston, The Wilbur, Pao Arts Center, and Washington Street
Across the Charles River, Kendall Square straddles the space between MIT and East Cambridge, chock full with labs, start-ups and the odd coffee shop in between. For those working in biotech or studying at Harvard or MIT, an address in Kendall Square is a must. Walk to work and school, while shopping and drinks in Central Square are skipping distance away.
For trips into Downtown Boston, the Red Line brings you across the River in minutes. Though technically in Cambridge, its proximity to all things in the greater area means that this is still one of the best neighborhoods in Boston to call home.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $2848 (unfurnished by MIT), $4110 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: MIT and the Sloan School of Management, Cambridge Innovation Center, and the Strata Center
Wake up and smell the sofrito in the North End. While synonymous with Boston’s Italian community, don’t expect there to be only pizza and pasta in this scenic part of the city. A variety of restaurants, bakeries, and bars make this side of the I-93 a foodie’s paradise.
Green and Orange line T service connects you to the rest of the city while back in the hood, you are never more than a 10-minute walk from the water. With all of these happenings and its central location and you have a clear winner for striking a healthy work-life balance.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3137 (unfurnished), $4350 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: Paul Revere House, Museum of Science, Freedom Trail, and the Old North Church
Red brick walk-ups and brownstones are trademarks of the South End. With a historic LGBT residency, this neighborhood now has a bit of everyone from young families to established professionals. Art galleries call old warehouses home while the SoWa Open Market brings out locals every Sunday in the summer for handmade crafts and farm fresh produce.
Dining options here range from low-key Ethiopian feasts to high-end tapas and fine wine. While there is no train service until you approach the Northeastern University and Back Bay side of the neighborhood, the Silver Line bus service is handy for connections around town.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3047 (unfurnished), $3590 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: SoWa Art Walk, Boston Center for the Arts, and the SoWa Market
For Boston at its truest, you don’t need to look much further than Southie. More than it’s renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the identity of South Boston continues to evolve to include both the descendants of the historic Irish working class and a new wave of well-heeled professionals.
Those looking at South Boston may also be interested in Fort Point where South Boston meets Downtown Boston. Also known as the Seaport and the Innovation District, this area’s brick warehouses are being converted into eye-catching condominiums and workspaces.
One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3201 (unfurnished), $3650 (furnished)
Boston Neighborhood Landmarks: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Children’s Museum, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
When it comes to finding the right neighborhood for you, Blueground furnishes and rents out studios through two-bedroom apartments in the most central and safest neighborhoods from Los Angeles to Boston. If you’re relocating from out-of-state or from abroad, take advantage of having a turnkey apartment ready-to-go from move-in including all appliances, decorations, furniture and utilities set up.