|GSO Main Housing Page||GSO Housing Pages - Guide to Areas around BU||GSO Main Page|
Any guide to neighborhoods will be subjective. This guide is unashamedly so, but we hope to give you some idea of where to look. Below we refer to the public transit system, the "T" (as it is usually called).
Here is a map showing some of the below-mentioned neighborhoods.
Cheap and cheerful, this is where many BU students live. Accessible by the T Green Line (B-branch) along Commonwealth Ave and the 57 bus along Brighton Ave. Generally quite noisy, reasonably safe except for drunken brawls.
An affluent town, which is adjacent to BU. Known for its good school system, hence rents are significantly higher than other areas. Stretches out along the T Green Line (C-branch), which runs down Beacon Street to Cleveland Circle. Very safe in general.
Just south of BU. The Fenway is the neighborhood adjacent to Fenway Ball Park. A public park and public gardens surround part of the neighborhood. It houses a mix of families, professionals and students (from BU, Northeastern and other small local colleges). Gay-friendly neighborhood. Prices are moderate to expensive, easy walking to BU (5-10 min). Convenient access to T lines, supermarket, and popular areas of Boston. Lansdowne Street has many nightclubs. The area around Fenway Park gets snarled up when there's a baseball game. Reasonably safe, but you shouldn't walk through the park or dark areas at night.
On the edge of BU, excellent public transport BUT very noisy especially when there's a baseball game, and the area stubbornly resists any attempts at beautification. Prices vary, reasonable apartments can be expensive. Fairly safe.
South of Newbury Street and north of the City Hospital, a very quaint area, with a large gay community. Safe, although less so the further south you go. About 30-45 minutes walk from BU, or 15 minutes walk to the T Green Line, then 10 minutes on the T. Generally expensive, but there are some cheaper apartments.
The other side of the river from BU, home to Harvard and MIT. Cambridge has a good school system, so rents are higher. Accessible by public transport, but trips are longer. You may have to take the T Red Line, then Green Line, which can take an hour or more. There are some buses that go between Boston and parts of Cambridge.
Also known as "Slummerville", cheap rents. Commuting from Somerville is not impossible, but not fun if you don't have a car. At least an hour on the T. By bike, not a long trip to BU (25-40 min), but the commuter faces hilly terrain and busy intersections through Cambridge. Mostly safe, except maybe around Sullivan Square.
While a car seems to be a must for those who might think about living in this town situated next to Cambridge and Somerville, the rent is cheaper than most areas. In downtown Arlington, the head of the Minuteman trail brings you to the historic town of Lexington (but not BU). The closest T station is Alewife, in Cambridge, and commuters should allow an hour's time to reach BU via the T. Safe.
Watertown Square is right at the end of the 57 bus route. It's cheaper than Brighton Center but less convenient too. Allow 30-40 minutes on the bus. Safe.
Expensive. Exclusive. About 30-60 minutes on the T Green Line (D-branch). Where all the professors live. Safe.
Old and beautiful, but very expensive, one of the most sought-after areas in Boston. 20-30 min walk to BU, 15 min on the T Green Line. Mostly safe.
Quite far away from BU (60 minutes from Forest Hills to BU on the T Orange Line). Multicultural, good sense of community, quite trendy at the moment, relatively cheap, but still safe.
Not very popular areas, very cheap, but regarded by many to be dangerous.
Not to be confused with the South End, an area beyond South Station. Large Irish Community. Inconvenient for BU (60+ min by T Red and Green lines). Can be unsafe.
Large Italian Community, close to the center of Boston. About 45 min away from BU on T Green Line. Expensive.
Convenient for the Airport, but not for BU (60 min by T Blue and Green lines). Cheap, reasonably safe.