Best neighborhoods for living in Boston

Explore the average rent for an unfurnished and furnished apartments by area.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

Port in Boston city with skyscrapers in the background.

If you’re looking for housing in Boston, it comes down to much more than your preference for brownstones or glass facades. What counts above all else is the area that you choose to stay in.

Here we break down the best neighborhoods to live in Boston based on your lifestyle and budget. You’ll notice that 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, have a look through these potential places to call home in Boston, on Blueground’s website to give you an idea of the cost of living in an unfurnished unit (according to RENTCafe) versus renting a furnished and equipped Blueground apartment.

Downtown & the Financial District

As the true hub of Boston, Downtown and Financial District are a convergence of architectural styles. Bostonians from the touristy Quincy Market to Exchange Place and the JFK Federal Building all call this home.

For out-of-towners, one walk down Washington Street will have you convinced this is the place to be.

Residing in the heart of the city means you’re within walking distance of dinner options in the North End and shopping in Beacon Hill.

Fortunately, all T lines run through Downtown.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3136 (unfurnished), $4410 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: New England Aquarium, Faneuil Hall, Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, Freedom Trail, North, and South Stations

Back Bay

If you value being within walking distance from everything (from meeting up with friends for drinks to showing off the city to visitors), this is the hood for you. Back Bay is known for its old-money feel and historic charm.

After a weekend stroll in this area, you’ll be coveting this classic address.

George Washington statue in the middle of Boston Public garden. It's snowy but the sky is blue with golden clouds closing in on the sunset.

Well-maintained brownstones radiate out from Boston Public Garden along Commonwealth Avenue which has quiet parallel streets. Both big and small name retailers occupy the south end along Newbury and Boylston.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3269 (unfurnished), $4505 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: Prudential Center, Skywalk Observatory, Hynes Convention Center, and Commonwealth Avenue

Beacon Hill

With its cobblestones, red brick, and window flower boxes, there are little surprises waiting around every corner in Beacon Hill. From the Massachusetts State House, down to the boutiques and restaurants on Charles Street. Beacon Hill balances quintessentially Bostonian sights and neighborhood delights.

Those working for the State Government and MGH will find a home right nearby, whether that be a new high-rise or a historic Federal-style rowhouse. Even for those working further away from the city, 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, living here means staying well-connected.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3070 (unfurnished), $2950 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: Charles Street, Museum of African American History, Massachusetts State House, and the Charles River Esplanade

Theater District/Chinatown

South of Essex Street, it quickly becomes apparent that you’re entering Chinatown thanks to the gilded Paifang gate. A number of theaters also call this area home including The Wilbur, the Charles Playhouse, and the Boch Center-Wang Theatre.

From the Tufts Medical Center, this walkable area is connected straight to Downtown on Washington Street. It’s ideally situated, sitting caddy corner from the Boston Common and next door to Bay Village.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3337 (unfurnished), $3743 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: Chinatown Gate, W Boston, The Wilbur, Pao Arts Center, and Washington Street

Kendall Square

Across the Charles River, Kendall Square straddles the space between MIT and East Cambridge, which has become chock full of 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 just a short distance away.

For trips to Downtown, the Red Line brings you across the river in minutes. Though technically in Cambridge, this beloved Boston neighborhood has close proximity to all things in the greater area.

So, that’s why people love to call this home.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $2848 (unfurnished by MIT), $4110 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: MIT and the Sloan School of Management, Cambridge Innovation Center, and the Strata Center

North End

Wake up and smell the sofrito.

While synonymous with Boston’s Italian community, don’t expect there to be only pizza and pasta in this scenic part of the city. The diverse variety of restaurants, bakeries, and bars make this side of the I-93 a foodie’s paradise.

Various brightly colored brick buildings are all next to each other with a different style of windows and flower boxes with a black iron fence in the foreground in front of all of them. There is a green building and a yellow one and the rest are red. Above the buildings is a blue sky with white clouds.

The Green and Orange line T service connects you to the rest of the city while back in the North End, you are never more than a 10-minute walk from the water.

With all of its offerings and its central location, this Boston neighborhood is ideal for striking a healthy work-life balance.

One Bedroom Monthly Rent: $3137 (unfurnished), $4350 (furnished by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: Paul Revere House, Museum of Science, Freedom Trail, and the Old North Church

South End

Red brick walk-ups and traditional 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.

best neighborhoods boston waterfront path

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 by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: SoWa Art Walk, Boston Center for the Arts, and the SoWa Market

South Boston

You don’t need to look much further than ‘Southie’ to discover the real side of Boston.

Known for more than just the 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 this authentic neighborhood may also be interested in Fort Point where South Boston meets Downtown.

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 by Blueground)

Neighborhood Landmarks: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Children’s Museum, and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

When it comes to finding the right area to live in for an extended period of time, we’ve done the research for you. Blueground furnishes and rents out apartments (studios, one and two-bedroom) in the most sought-after and safest neighborhoods in Boston.

If you’re relocating from out-of-state or from abroad, take advantage of having a turnkey apartment ready to go from the day you arrive, including all appliances, decorations, furniture, and utilities all set up and connected.

Best of all, the flexible lease terms allow tenants to move between apartments and discover new areas so you never have to feel tied down.

While staying content and comfortable, you can explore the best that this city has to offer.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.