Discover Boston’s Unique Neighborhoods for Off-Campus Living

Boston and its neighboring areas provide a plethora of diverse and distinct communities where one can settle down. Each locale has its own distinct flavor and vibe. Below, we present an overview of the neighborhoods in close proximity to Northeastern’s campus, which are popular amongst students. When considering where to live, factors such as distance from campus, budget, access to public transport, and housing type should all be taken into account to make an informed decision regarding your preferred neighborhood.

For a comprehensive guide to Boston’s neighborhoods, you can visit www.cityofboston.gov/neighborhoods or check out the cost comparison of average rents by neighborhood at offcampus.sites.northeastern.edu/rental-costs.

Back Bay

  • Key Attractions: Boston Public Library, Newbury Street, Prudential Center, Boston Public Garden
  • Resident Makeup: Predominantly professionals with a sprinkling of students
  • Distance to Campus: 1 mile
  • Transportation Options: Green line (B,C, D & E lines), orange line, multiple bus routes
  • Commute to Campus: A 15-20 minute stroll or a swift 10-minute subway ride
  • About: Once waterfront property behind the Public Garden, Back Bay now boasts exclusive real estate, diverse and chic shopping on Newbury Street, and graceful historic brownstone architecture. It’s an enticing place to reside, albeit with higher rental prices!

Boston Downtown

  • Noteworthy Sights: Theatre District, Financial District, Dewey Square, South Station
  • Residents: Largely working professionals
  • Distance to Campus: 1 mile
  • Transportation Options: Green line (B,C, D & E lines), orange line, red line, silver line, various bus routes
  • Commute to Campus: A 15-20 minute walk or a 10-minute subway ride
  • About: Downtown is the pulsating heart of the city, with many corporate headquarters, City Hall, and the State House nestled here. The area buzzes to life each weekday around noontime as thousands of office workers dash out for lunch and quick shopping errands.

South End

  • Highlighted Locations: Boston Medical Center, Boston Center for the Arts, Boston Ballet, SOWA market, and InkBlock district
  • Residents: A mix of families, professionals, and some students
  • Distance to Campus: 1 mile
  • Transportation Options: Orange line, 39 bus
  • Commute to Campus: A 10-15 minute walk or a 5-minute subway ride
  • About: The South End is all about Victorian brick row houses, upscale dining spots, and art galleries, making it an ultra-chic place to call home in Boston. Trendy eateries rub shoulders with cozy cafes and local businesses between Tremont St. and Washington St.

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