Boston Neighborhoods – Everything You Need to Know

July 19, 2016 - 7 minutes read

If you’ve spent any time in Boston, you know this city is composed of several neighborhoods that each have their own distinct personalities. According to Bostonians, nothing defines you more than what part of the city you live in. Well, besides how hard you rep Boston sports teams, the slang you use, the beer you drink, and how often you complain about the T. It’s a little overwhelming, and can be a bit intimidating, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about living in, or visiting, Boston neighborhoods:


Allston-Brighton: This Boston neighborhood combines rags and riches. The Allston-Brighton area is shared with a motley crew of raging frat boys and hardworking entrepreneurs. Spend your Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in a grungy dive bar with your buddies splitting a pitcher of beer, and your mornings sipping coffee in a quirky independently-owned coffee shop. Street art litters brick walls of thrift stores, while solo cups litter the yards of duplex houses turned mangy college apartments. Basement concerts, eclectic food, and lots of beer. You’ll never get bored on this side of town. Make sure you watch out for the abundance of college students on bicycles, and the (sometimes) unreliable Green Line.

Fenway / Kenmore Home to bustling intellectual pursuits and die-hard sports fans, which you can say about all of Boston, but here it’s more concentrated. Fenway / Kenmore: where ballpark franks meet the low hum of students rushing to class and studying in cafes. It goes without saying that The Green Monster is the shining star of this area. Overzealous baseball fans? We got ’em. Overpriced game day parking lots? We got those too. If you’re not feeling particularly studious, or athletic for that matter, you can always spend the day in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, or The Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. Basically, Fenway / Kenmore (also referred to as Fenmore. Not really. Don’t say that.) has everything you’ve ever wanted.

North End: The best Italian food in all of Boston is located here. The North End’s alleyways and antique architecture call to mind feelings of Italy itself. These streets are constantly mobbed with tourists who are most likely waiting in line for one of the critically acclaimed restaurants and bakeries. Yes, you read that right. Waiting in lines. A glass of wine, a group of old Italian men smoking cigars in front of a family-owned restaurant, and the potential of falling in love (with a person, or a bowl of pasta) is never too far away in the North End.

Back Bay: There’s nothing like going window shopping on street-after-street of high-end clothing stores, right? If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Back Bay. Home to the acclaimed, and ever so posh, Newbury Street, you’ll feel like Daddy Warbucks walking through Boston’s premiere shopping district, state-of-the-art real estate, and highbrow bars and restaurants. What makes this location so appealing is the irony of it all. Back Bay is the urban design project version of Anne Hathaway’s makeover in The Princess Diaries. Once an area of dirt and soggy marsh, this neighborhood is where to go when you’re feeling fancy, or academic, seeing as it’s home to the Boston Public Library. pexels-photo-55665

South End: The high-end feel of the South End is ubiquitous, but don’t be intimidated by its bourgeoisie atmosphere. Outside of their refined, classic brownstones, cocktail lounges, well-groomed dogs, and well-groomed parks, South End inhabitants are somewhat down-to-earth. With their gluten-free meals (for themselves and their pets), organic produce, and trendy mom-and-pop boutiques, at the core of this neighborhood is a balance of ritz and relaxation. Home to many young professionals turned young parents, who refuse to move to the suburbs, the South End has started experiencing and influx of baby bumps and baby carriages. But don’t worry, even the babies are pretty chic.

Southie: Adjacent to the South End, but so very not the South End. In fact, the polar opposite of the South End. The only way to describe this Boston neighborhood is to use the phrase “touch and go.” The up-and-coming, gentrified, 20-something’s playground of industrial bars, is balanced out by the rough and tumbling parts of the city. You know, the parts of Boston that are featured in movies, but that we don’t like to talk about.

Downtown: If you’re visiting Boston for the first time, chances are you’ll want to go downtown. The certified tourist magnet of the city, this Boston neighborhood features the Freedom Trail and historic cemeteries. Just think of where’d you go if you were on a middle school field trip. Getting tired of tall buildings and the sound of the T? Visit the Boston Common, which just so happens to be the nation’s oldest city park.

Davis Square: Not exactly in Boston, but Tufts students vehemently disagree. Davis Square, located across the river on the Red Line, is home to an array of restaurants and secondhand clothing stores. If this neighborhood was a person, it would probably be Zooey Deschanel. So yeah, it’s quirky. Davis inhabitants thrive on their political correctness, ironic tattoos, gardens, and unconventional lifestyles. It’s fun, it’s friendly, it’s filled with young professionals who want to live in a city, but don’t want to truly commit to city living. The more hip version of Brookline, Davis Square may be small, but it’s got a lot to offer. Especially bike racks.


In all these neighborhoods, find convenient affordable and convenient parking with the help of SPOT. Download here and #ParkEasier.