Panoramic view of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Things to do in  Cambridge

Higher learning meets creativity

There are so many things to do in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a city that’s home to world-class universities (Harvard and MIT) and cultural institutions. Located along the banks of the Charles River, across the water from Boston, Cambridge maintains its own identity as a liberal, creative hub. The city is known as the “city of squares” for the squares anchoring different neighborhoods, including Central Square, Kendall Square, and Harvard Square. Parks like the Cambridge Common dot the city.

Top 10 attractions in Cambridge

Harvard University

Located in Cambridge, just north of Boston, Harvard University is synonymous with prestige and accomplishment. Known for a curriculum that challenges and inspires its students, this Ivy League university boasts over 45 Nobel Prize winners and eight US presidents, including Barack Obama, among its faculty and alumni.More

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the well-respected Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university with a strong focus on technology, science, and engineering. Although it’s a 168-acre urban campus, you’ll see visually interesting buildings mixed with peaceful green spaces.More

Harvard Square

It’s easy to spend an afternoon in Harvard Square, a popular gathering place and a hub for street performers thanks to a lively street scene and close proximity to Harvard University. Travelers will find plenty of local life in this Cambridge neighborhood, as well as restaurants, shopping, an old-school newsstand, and public-art installations.More

John Harvard Statue

This bronze statue, which stands at the center of Harvard Yard, is frequently visited by both travelers and prospective students, and it’s also been the target of dozens of pranks since its unveiling. Whether it’s covered in tar, paint, or some other substance, the John Harvard statue remains at the heart of the school named for him … even though the statue isn’t actually of him.More

Kendall Square

Kendall Square has served as a transit hub for travelers venturing between Boston and Cambridge for centuries: In 1793, it provided the first direct wagon route between these cities. Today tech firms and offshoots of nearby MIT call Kendall Square home, and travelers will find plenty of accommodations, restaurants, and shopping here.More

Harvard Museum of Natural History

The expansive collection of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, located on the grounds of Harvard University, comes from the school’s major research museums. Visitors will find fabulous displays of fossils and dinosaurs, taxidermied animals from around the world, exquisite glass models of plants, and more at this family-friendly museum.More

Charles River

The Charles River meanders 80 miles (129 kilometers) through eastern Massachusetts, including Boston and Cambridge, before emptying into the Atlantic. The Charles, as it’s often called, plays a role in the daily lives of many Bostonians, especially walkers, joggers, cyclists, kayakers, and those who love to quietly relax by the water.More

Cambridge Common

Cambridge Common is a popular green space near Harvard Square where local recreational sports teams play, picnickers gather, and energetic kids run around. On the site where George Washington gathered troops during the Revolutionary War, the park contains historic cannons and plaques that commemorate some of the revolution’s major events.More

Longfellow House (Washington's Headquarters)

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Longfellow House is the former home of poet Henry W. Longfellow and served as headquarters to General George Washington during the Siege of Boston from 1775 to 1776. Visitors can wander the decorated halls of this Georgian mansion and learn about the dynamic Longfellow family.More

MIT Museum

Founded in 1971, the MIT Museum is home to a wide array of exhibits showcasing the intersection of science, technology, and art, from artificial intelligence and holography to robotics. The museum offers rotating exhibitions on STEAM-based topics, demonstrations by faculty and students, workshops, and hands-on activities.More

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All about Cambridge

When to visit

Summer and autumn are the best seasons to visit Cambridge. In summer, the weather is hot and humid, and life is lived outside—the banks of the Charles River brim with people eating ice cream and riding bicycles. In autumn, the famous New England foliage turns, and the trees are a riot of colors—just in time for the return of the university students and many festivals.

Getting around

Cambridge is a compact city, and it’s easy to get around using public transportation. The subway, called the T, goes through Cambridge with the Red Line and the Green Line, and an extensive bus network fills in the gaps. Cambridge is also an easy city to navigate by bike (with flat roads and bike lanes) and by foot, thanks to the short distances between major areas and wide sidewalks.

Traveler tips

In addition to its celebrated museums and universities, Cambridge is home to a thriving independent culture scene, including the Harvard Bookstore (not university affiliated) with an extensive collection of new and secondhand books, and the Brattle Theater, with an eclectic program of foreign, indie, and offbeat movies. For music, stop by the Middle East, an iconic music club in Central Square to see a local band or belly dancing at one of its affiliated venues.

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People Also Ask

Is Cambridge MA worth visiting?

Yes, Cambridge is worth visiting. It is a charming city in Massachusetts that is easy to navigate and brims with history, beautiful parks, cultural and educational institutions, and a diverse population. The presence of schools like Harvard and MIT makes Cambridge a globally significant place, but the city maintains its local feeling.

What is Cambridge MA best known for?

Cambridge is best known as the home of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It’s a hub for the biotech industry and has been the home of many writers, poets, and other creatives throughout the decades. Cambridge is home to several noteworthy museums, including the Harvard Art Museum.

How do I spend a day in Cambridge?

Cambridge is an easy city to stroll through, so spend your day walking between the squares that anchor its neighborhoods. Start in Harvard Square to see the university and the many boutiques, cafés, and restaurants that dot the area. Then stroll south towards the Charles River and walk along the water towards Cambridgeport and Central Square.

Is Cambridge a walkable city?

Yes, Cambridge is a walkable city, complete with wide sidewalks, flat land, and a small area that makes it easy to reach most major attractions on foot. The city has many parks, including the Cambridge Common, which are green and pleasant to stroll through. A path along the Charles River is designated for walkers and bikers.

How many days do you need in Cambridge?

Two days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Cambridge, though you should set aside a few more days if you’re planning on spending time across the river in Boston as well. Cambridge is an easy place to spend leisurely time, but most of the major attractions in the city can be seen easily in about two days.

What is the best month to visit Cambridge?

Summer and early autumn (between June and October) are the best times to visit Cambridge. Summers are hot and moderately humid, and residents and visitors are quick to take advantage of the sunshine and good weather. Autumn brings colorful foliage and many seasonal festivals, as well as even more pleasant weather.

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