Things to do in Cambridge

Top attractions in Cambridge

About Cambridge

Must-see attractions in Cambridge include the historic Harvard University campus, the picturesque Charles River Esplanade, and the MIT campus, known for its unique architecture and public art. Don't miss the Harvard Square for its vibrant atmosphere and cultural activities.
The best things to do in Cambridge with kids are visiting the Harvard Museum of Natural History, enjoying interactive exhibits at the Boston Children's Museum, and having outdoor fun at Danehy Park with its playgrounds and open space for picnics.
The best outdoor activities in Cambridge include rowing or kayaking on the Charles River, taking a leisurely bike ride down the Minuteman Bikeway, and picnicking or playing sports at Cambridge Common or Fresh Pond Reservation.
Indoor enthusiasts can explore the Harvard Art Museums, engage with science at the MIT Museum, enjoy performances at the American Repertory Theater, or discover books at the Cambridge Public Library.
The best Cambridge tours encompass the Historic Harvard Campus walking tour, the Innovation and Science Journey at MIT, and the Culinary Delights Food Tour through vibrant neighborhoods for a taste of local flavors.
The Harvard Art Museums, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and the MIT Museum are among the most popular, offering rich cultural and educational experiences.
On rainy days, indoor audio tours of historical buildings like the Harvard University facilities, or cultural excursions like the Harvard Art Museums tour are excellent ways to explore while staying dry.
Shorter tours in Cambridge include a concise walk around Harvard Yard, a quick exploration of the MIT Public Art Collection, or a 1-hour guided walkthrough of the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Best Things to Do In Cambridge

Embark on a journey of discovery and enjoy a plethora of Cambridge activities with our immersive self-guided audio tours.

Cambridge: The Harvard Art Museums

What is it?
A collective of three art institutions, prized for their expansive collections.
Why you should go?
Art lovers are drawn to the Harvard Art Museums, which unite the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums. This extraordinary trio boasts more than 250,000 works that span across time and the globe, offering visitors an unparalleled tour of art history. Whether you're captivated by European masterpieces or contemporary gems, the range and depth of art on display are truly some of the best things to do in Cambridge, allowing for a cultural infatuation that is both educational and visually stunning.

Cambridge: Mount Auburn Cemetery

What is it?
An enchanting arboretum and the country's first garden cemetery.
Why you should go?
Mount Auburn Cemetery transcends its function as a final resting place and blooms into a serene sanctuary of flora and fauna. This National Historic Landmark offers spectacles of ornamental plantings, engrossing monuments, and tranquil wildlife. As part of Cambridge excursions, it provides a place for contemplation and connection with nature's timeless beauty, making it both a somber and unexpectedly life-affirming attraction. Tourists are invited to take guided walks or self-guided journeys that render a profound sense of peace and reflection.

Cambridge: Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

What is it?
An acclaimed poet's home steeped in colonial and literary history.
Why you should go?
Longfellow House not only served as the domicile to the famous poet Henry W. Longfellow but also as George Washington's headquarters during the Siege of Boston. Visitors can explore the history-laden rooms and the vibrant gardens, making the connection between the nation's formative past and its cultural expressions. Taking a tour here is not just engaging in Cambridge activities, it is a walk through time, where echoes of the American Revolution perfectly couple with recitations of Longfellow's verses.

Cambridge: Central Square

What is it?
A dynamic neighborhood known for its lively arts scene and diverse community.
Why you should go?
Central Square is where Cambridge's pulse is most palpable, making it a magnet for those seeking the energy of an urban enclave. With its theaters, live music venues, and murals, the neighborhood offers an array of fun things to do in Cambridge. The Square's eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and boutiques contribute to its reputation as a hub of food, shopping, and nightlife. It's a perfect snapshot of Cambridge's contemporary culture, with something always happening to entertain visitors and locals alike.

Cambridge: Fresh Pond Reservation

What is it?
A local natural oasis offering recreational activities and serene landscapes.
Why you should go?
Fresh Pond Reservation is a verdant getaway for those who enjoy active and passive recreation amidst nature. The reservation includes a 155-acre lake, looping trails, and an array of wildlife. Whether it's for walking, running, bird watching, or golfing at the adjacent public course, it's a beloved spot for Cambridge activities. It serves as a local reservoir, making it a crucial environmental resource in addition to a delightful recreational space, perfect for those pondering what to do in Cambridge to relax and unwind.

Cambridge: Harvard University

What is it?
An illustrious institution and a historical nexus of academia and architecture.
Why you should go?
Harvard University is not just a keystone in educational excellence but also a must-visit landmark filled with tradition and culture. Meander through the hallowed halls and breathtakingly maintained green spaces. Stand in the centre of Harvard Yard, relishing in the aura of intellectual rigor that resonates through the campus. With art museums and rare manuscripts at the Houghton Library, visitors are guaranteed an enriching glimpse into the historical fabric that weaves together one of the best things to do in Cambridge.

Cambridge: MIT Museum

What is it?
A hub for scientific wonders and technological breakthroughs.
Why you should go?
The MIT Museum presents an exceptional opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the forefront of innovation. The museum's exhibits on robotics, holography, and artificial intelligence make it a standout among Cambridge activities. Explore interactive displays and contemporary artworks, all while gaining insight into the minds shaping the future. Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious, the MIT Museum will spark your imagination and serve as a highlight of what to see in Cambridge.

Cambridge: Charles River Esplanade

What is it?
A scenic riverside green space perfect for leisure and outdoor activities.
Why you should go?
Stroll, bike, or jog along the picturesque Charles River Esplanade to experience Cambridge's natural charm. This peaceful retreat features public art, playgrounds, and ample space for picnics, making it one of the fun things to do in Cambridge. With stunning views of the Boston skyline and sailing boats bobbing along the water, a tour along the Esplanade offers a delightful escape from the city's hustle, cementing its status as one of the best Cambridge tours for nature lovers.

Cambridge: Harvard Square

What is it?
A historic convergence of culture, dining, and shopping.
Why you should go?
Harvard Square is the bustling heartbeat of Cambridge where academia meets street performance, and international cuisine meets historical architecture. It is a cultural crossroads that’s always vibrant, making it a central pivot among the places to visit in Cambridge. Enjoy theater performances, visit bookstores that echo with literary history, and partake in the cafes and eateries. Harvard Square delivers an energy that encapsulates the true essence of things to do in Cambridge.

Cambridge: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

What is it?
A treasure trove of anthropological insights and artifacts.
Why you should go?
For those wondering what to do in Cambridge for a dive into human history, the Peabody Museum offers an extensive collection of ethnographic and archaeological objects. Showcasing millions of artifacts from Native American totems to ancient Mayan sculptures, this museum provides a lens into the past. It stands as a witness to human cultural evolution, making it an enriching experience for history buffs and a notable feature among Cambridge excursions.

TOP-5 tours in Cambridge for first time visitors

  • Explore the esteemed university grounds and architectural marvels, a quintessential part of things to see in Cambridge, on the Historic Campus Tour.
  • Experience the bustling market squares and scenic riverbanks, highlighting what to do in Cambridge, on the Bustling City Life Adventure.
  • Discover places to visit in Cambridge with the Cultural Treasures Excursion, featuring world-renowned museums and art galleries.
  • Dive into best things to do in Cambridge through the Innovation and Science Journey, tracing the steps of groundbreaking discoveries.
  • Delight in fun things to do in Cambridge, like punting along the serene Cambridge waterways, with the River Cam Exploration Experience.

Fun things to do in Cambridge with kids

Families visiting Cambridge will find the city brimming with child-friendly attractions that educate and entertain. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is a wonderland for curious minds, where kids can marvel at an extensive collection of minerals and the famous glass flowers. It's an interactive experience where learning about the natural world becomes a captivating pastime. Another highlight is the Cambridge Public Library, which not only offers a vast selection of children's books but also hosts engaging storytelling sessions and educational programs, making it a delightful retreat for young bookworms. Lastly, the playgrounds at Danehy Park offer acres of open space, sports fields, and adventure equipment. This vibrant, family-oriented park is ideal for a day of fun, whether your family prefers picnicking, playing, or simply exploring. These spots exemplify the family-friendly nature of Cambridge, guaranteeing memorable moments for the whole family.

Things to do in Cambridge with family

Cambridge regales families with a suite of attractions that blend education with excitement. A staple for any family itinerary is the Boston Children's Museum, located just across the Charles River, providing hands-on exhibits that inspire creativity and discovery for all ages. For those seeking a blend of nature and science, the Harvard Museum of Natural History offers fascinating exhibits including a vast collection of minerals, the Great Mammal Hall, and the renowned Glass Flowers. Children can gaze upon dazzling displays and learn about global flora and fauna. Outdoors, the allure of the Charles River lures families to indulge in a leisurely day of picnics, play, and paddle boating. These essential experiences showcase the family-friendly aspects of Cambridge, making it a destination geared for family fun and lifelong learning.

Free things to do in Cambridge

Cambridge offers an array of attractions that are pleasing to the wallet yet rich in experience. Visitors can soak in the educational atmosphere at one of the many free lectures or public events frequently hosted by Harvard University. Embrace the opportunity to learn from world-leading academics in an inspiring setting. Art enthusiasts can visit the MIT List Visual Arts Center, where they can peruse contemporary art exhibitions featuring works from emerging and established artists alike. It stands as a testament to Cambridge's vibrant cultural scene. For those looking to enjoy the great outdoors, nothing beats a refreshing stroll or a scenic bike ride along the Charles River. The well-maintained paths provide picturesque views of the cityscape and the river's peaceful flow. These top attractions are accessible to everyone and exhibit the diverse range of free things to do in Cambridge.

Cheap things to do in Cambridge

Those exploring Cambridge on a budget will find an array of affordable delights that promise rich experiences without a hefty price tag. Engage with history and culture at the Harvard Art Museums on their free admission days — a chance to admire works from impressionist paintings to contemporary pieces. Alternatively, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology offers discounted admission for students and seniors, presenting an immersive exploration of human history through its vast collection. Outdoors, revel in the natural beauty of Fresh Pond Reservation. Perfect for a low-cost day out, visitors can hike, birdwatch, and savor panoramic views without spending a penny. Each of these diverse and inexpensive Cambridge attractions underscores the city’s dedication to accessibility, ensuring visitors can enjoy a culturally and intellectually enriching visit regardless of their budget.

Things to do in Cambridge for couples

Couples searching for romantic experiences in Cambridge can embark on enchanting activities set against the city’s historic and academic backdrop. Begin with a leisurely walk through the meandering paths of Harvard Yard, rich with the ambiance of intellectual pursuit and architectural grandeur, perfect for deep conversation and connection. Next, indulge in a picturesque Charles Riverboat tour, which offers a side of tranquility and revelatory city views, allowing couples to share intimate moments and quiet reflections on the water. As the evening sets in, head to the Brattle Theatre, a Cambridge staple that showcases classic, independent, and art-house films. The allure of this vintage-style cinema fosters a cozy atmosphere ideal for couples. Each attraction weaves a narrative of culture, beauty, and shared experiences, making Cambridge a destination for lovebirds.

Things to do in Cambridge at night

As the sun sets, Cambridge transitions into a vibrant nocturnal hotspot full of evening activities. One can immerse themselves in the eclectic energy of live music and performances at The Sinclair, a renowned venue that captures the creative spirit of the city. From indie bands to well-known artists, the line-up promises an auditory treat for night owls. For those with a keen interest in the theatrical arts, the American Repertory Theater offers world-class productions that spark conversation and captivate the imagination. End the night with a leisurely stroll across the Harvard Bridge, also known as the "Mass Ave Bridge," where the city lights reflect on the waters of the Charles River, setting a picturesque scene. These attractions provide the perfect blend of entertainment and tranquility, making nighttime an exceptionally engaging time to explore Cambridge.