Life Near HDS

Update: March 20, 2020: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 response, many resources, offices, and businesses have paused or shifted their service delivery. Check the HDS Coronavirus Update page for the latest news and information.

Getting Around

Commuter Choice Program

The Commuter Choice Program site includes information about all kinds of local transportation options including resources for bicyclists. There are discounts available for local bike shops, for the Blue Bike bike rental program, and more. 

Harvard Shuttle

Major stops are at Memorial Hall, Pound Hall, Currier House, Mather House, Johnston Gate, the Science Center, JFK, and the Business School. Pocket-sized schedules with routes and times are available at the libraries, the Information Center, on the shuttles, and on the Shuttle & Van Services page of the Harvard Transportation & Parking website. For information call 617.495.0400.


The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) is a great way to get around Cambridge and Boston and to explore neighboring communities. More commonly referred to as the "T," the MBTA offers subway, bus, ferry, and commuter rail systems. For instance, the Red Line subway starts at Alewife in Cambridge and reaches into Dorchester and Quincy. Complete maps of the system are available on their website.

The MBTA offers a discount program through the Office of Student Life to students who opt to buy semester passes for any of the MBTA services for the fall and spring semesters.  Please note that this is a savings only to students who use the MBTA often. 


These five squares are conveniently located centers of culture, cuisine, and commerce in Cambridge and Somerville. The following information is compiled from and the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.

Harvard Square

The most well-known of the squares and the one closest to HDS, Harvard Square offers a wide array of tourist destinations, local businesses, and eateries to explore. Over 30 bookstores and hundreds of shops are just the beginning of what you'll find exploring the less than eight square miles of Harvard Square. Learn more at, or journey across the Yard and see it all.  

Porter Square

Porter Square is within walking distance from the HDS campus or a short trip on the T from Harvard Square. (It also has one of the most unique T stations you'll encounter.) A more commercial destination, Porter is home to the largest chain grocery store in the area (Shaw's Market), as well as a hardware/housewares shop (Tags), and a bevy of smaller shops arranged strip-mall style. Red Line to Porter, or walk NW on Mass Ave from Harvard Square.

Davis Square

Davis Square has long been a popular destination due to its abundance of eccentric restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Davis is a cultural hub featuring restaurants ranging from vegan to BBQ and music venues playing everything from jazz to folk music. Venture out to Davis to check it out for yourself, or see's guide to Davis Square.

Central Square

Central Square, located in the center of Cambridge, has in recent years become a destination to sample a vast array of ethnic foods and to enjoy the live music and theater venues it offers. Central's transition from an economic center to a cultural one is definitely worth checking out. Learn more at  

Inman Square

Despite its lack of a T stop, Inman Square is a vibrant community and worth the walk or bus ride. While maintaining much of its original architecture, Inman boasts a wide variety of eclectic and diverse restaurants, coffee shops, and businesses. Check out all it has to offer at