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Best Neighborhoods in Boston [2021] | Best Places to Live in Boston

Considering moving to Boston? One of the first things you’ll want to do is explore Boston’s best neighborhoods to get an idea of where you might like to call home. Boston communities have something for everyone, from bustling urban neighborhoods popular with young professionals and millennials to safe, suburban-style communities great for families.

As you explore the top Boston neighborhoods and compare amenities and prices, it may help to keep the Boston average in mind. Boston has an average home price of $710,000 and average rent of $3,139. The following neighborhood rent prices are for one-bedroom homes.

Here’s an overview of the six greatest neighborhoods in Boston to add to your list!

West Roxbury – Safest Boston Neighborhood for Families

Population: 30,500
Median home price: $600,000 ($422/square foot)
Average rent: $2,110

What makes West Roxbury one of the best neighborhoods in Boston for families? It’s the safest place to live in Boston with a crime rate 65% lower than the Boston and national average and only 919 crimes per 100k people. It’s also affordable – for Boston, anyway!

West Roxbury residents enjoy tons of great amenities like Millennium Park along the Charles River with six miles of trails. Billings Field is popular with kids with softball and baseball fields.

Getting around: West Roxbury is served by the Needham Line on the West Roxbury and Highland stops.

MORE TO EXPLORE: Is safety a top concern when exploring the best places to live in Boston? Check out our guide to the safest neighborhoods in Boston to see other top picks. You can also read our guide to the Boston crime rate which explores crime in Boston, safe neighborhoods, and the most dangerous areas of Boston.

Jamaica Plain – Diverse Neighborhood in Boston Known for Its Beautiful Parks

  • Population: 37,500
  • Median home price: $659,000 ($513/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,200

Looking for a beautiful Boston neighborhood where you can easily enjoy the parks and sights that make Boston famous? Jamaica Plain is home to four of the Emerald Necklace parks of Boston including the iconic Franklin Park, Olmsted Park, and the Arnold Arboretum. One of the first streetcar suburbs in the U.S., Jamaica Plain today is known for its LGBT community, arts scene, and population of artists, families, and young professionals.

Jamaica Plain is also known for its diversity: Latin Quarter between Jackson and Hyde Squares has a large share of Hispanic residents with amazing restaurants you’ll love exploring. One of the best areas to live in Jamaica Plain is Moss Hill, a quiet neighborhood with single-family homes and yards – a rare treat in Boston.

Getting around: The Needham Line serves Jamaica Plain with the Forest Hills stop. You’ll also be served by the Orange Line with stops at Forest Hills, Green Street, Stony Brook, and Jackson Square.

LEARN MORE: Our TOTAL guide to moving to Jamaica Plain, Boston covers everything you want to know about this gorgeous Boston neighborhood.

South Boston – One of the Most Iconic & Exciting Neighborhoods in Boston for Millennials

Population: 33,700
Median home price: $807,000 ($746/square foot)
Average rent: $3,175

South Boston or Southie is one of the most well-known Boston neighborhoods made famous in movies like The Departed. Once the center of Boston’s large Irish community, South Boston has maintained its Irish identity and has transformed from a low-income neighborhood to THE place to live in Boston for millennials.

 

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You’ll appreciate a strong sense of community in this quintessential Boston neighborhood with a large share of young professionals, families, and millennials. Residents love having easy access to downtown. Few neighborhoods in Boston compare when it comes to Southie’s ideal location between downtown and the airport. The Seaport District, home to some of Boston’s top attractions, has also become one of the most desirable Boston neighborhoods with exciting high-rise condos, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. You’ll even enjoy easy access to the beach!

Getting around: South Boston is served by the Andrew and Broadway stops on the Red Line. Waterfront residents can also use water taxis and commuter ferries.

FIND OUT MORE: Is living in Southie the right move for you? Read our COMPLETE guide to living in South Boston to find out more about this amazing Boston neighborhood.

Back Bay – Sought-After Boston Neighborhood with Shopping & Cultural Attractions

Population: 16,500
Median home price: $1.4 million ($1,140/square foot)
Average rent: $2,850

Back Bay is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston and one of the most historic. Mostly home to retirees and wealthy professionals, Back Bay has long been home to the wealthiest residents in Boston. You’ll find it to the northeast along the Charles River across from MIT.

It isn’t just its affluence and history that make Back Bay so amazing. It’s home to some of Boston’s top tourist attractions, cultural destinations, and shopping areas. Visit the Public Garden, America’s first public botanical garden, and the 3-mile-long Charles River Esplanade along the river. The Hatch Memorial Shell and Symphony Hall offer live music while the Boston Public Library is a cherished neighborhood icon.

Getting around: Back Bay is known for its walkability. You’re just a 15-minute walk from downtown and right next to Boston Common and Fenway Park. You can get to Back Bay via the Copley, Arlington, Hynes Convention Center, and Prudential stops on the Green Line or the Back Bay station on the Orange Line.

LEARN MORE: Want to know what it’s like living in Back Bay, Boston? Check out our comprehensive guide to this amazing Boston community.

AllstonBrighton – Popular Boston Neighborhood for Students & Recent Grads

Population: 73,000
Median home price: $450,000 ($553/square foot)
Average rent: $1,875

Allston and Brighton are separate neighborhoods but often combined into a single area. This community surrounds Boston College and Boston University. It’s considered a student village with a large population of college students and recent grads. Allston-Brighton was for centuries known as Little Cambridge and officially separated from Cambridge in the early 19th century.

What makes Allston-Brighton one of the best Boston neighborhoods for students? In addition to its convenient location by the colleges, it has a thriving student night life with bars and tons of ethnic cuisine. It’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in Boston with 38% less crime than the city average!

 

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The nexus in Allston is the intersection of Commonwealth, Brighton, and Harvard Avenues. One of the highlights in the neighborhood is Brighton Music Hall, a popular music venue for alternative and indie bands.

Getting around: The B branch of the Green Line travels through Brighton and Allston. Stops include Chestnut Hill Ave, Washington St, Harvard Ave, and Packard’s Corner.

Beacon Hill – Historic Boston Neighborhood Home to One of America’s Most Photographed Streets

  • Population: 9,700
  • Median home price: $2.4 million ($1,300/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,395

What is Beacon Hill, Boston known for? Its upscale homes and its antique shops on Charles Street. Beacon Hill is what most people envision when they think about living in Boston. This iconic neighborhood is one of Boston’s oldest and most charming communities. The homes themselves draw a lot of attention with cobblestone streets and stately brick row houses. The neighborhood’s Acorn Street is so famous that the iconic alleyway represents Boston to many out-of-towners.

 

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Getting around: It’s one of the best Boston neighborhoods for public transit! Reach all three major T lines in minutes. You can reach Beacon Hill via the Bowdoin stop on the Blue Line, the Park St stop on the Green Line, and the Park Street and Charles MGH stops on the Red line. The Financial District downtown and hospitals like MGH are within walking distance.

Map of Best Neighborhoods in Boston


With so many amazing neighborhoods in Boston to explore, you may have trouble narrowing down your options to just one! Whether you’re looking for a safe community to raise children; easy access to stunning parks, the bay, and the river; or an exciting nightlife, you’ll find it in Boston, Massachusetts.
Once you’ve decided on a neighborhood to call your own and you’ve found a place to live, get in touch with the friendly Boston movers at Mass Bay Moving for a free estimate. We look forward to helping you settle into your new home without the stress!

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