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Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Travel Guide North America USA Northeastern United States New England Massachusetts Cambridge

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Introduction

Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a city located across the Charles River from Boston. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent universities, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. With about 100,000 inhabitants, it is the fifth most populous city in the state, behind Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and Lowell.

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Neighbourhoods

  • Kendall Square
  • Central Square
  • Harvard Square
  • Porter Square
  • Inman Square
  • Lechmere Square

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Sights and Activities

  • Harvard Museum of Natural History - Address: 26 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, Phone: (617) 495-3045, Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Price: $12
  • Mt. Auburn Cemetary - Address: 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, Phone: (617) 547-7105

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Weather

Cambridge is in a continental climate with winds blowing off the Atlantic. The summers are usually hot and humid while the winters are snowy and cold. In summer, temperatures usually are between 24 °C and 29 °C during the day and around 17 °C at night. Winters are slightly above zero during the day but averaging around -7 °C degrees at night. Absolute records are plus 40 °C in July and -28 °C in February. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, around 85 mm in about 10 or 11 days. May and September are pleasant months for a visit.

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Getting There

By Plane

Logan International Airport (BOS) is located in east Boston and is one of the busiest airports in the United States with over 27 million passengers a year. It is a major hub for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue Airways. There are many daily international flights and all major domestic cities have direct service from Boston.
Some of the main destinations served include Dublin, Toronto, Montreal, Paris, London, New York, Seattle, Rome, Aruba, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Amsterdam, Washington, D.C., Orlando, Bermuda, Minneapolis, Detroit, Memphis, Madrid, Reykjavik, Frankfurt, Munich, Lisbon, New Orleans, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Denver, Zürich, Cancun, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Nassau, Santo Domingo, Tampa and Philadelphia.

By Train

Masschusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA):

  • Subway - The Red Line stops from Kendall/MIT station to Alewife station (except Davis Square, in Somerville) are in Cambridge. The Green Line has a terminus at Lechmere station, near Lechmere Square in East Cambridge.
  • Commuter rail - The Fitchburg line has a stop in Porter Square. This line serves the northwest suburbs and ends in Boston's North Station where you can connect to other northbound commuter rail lines.

By Car

Interstate 90 to Exit 18, or Interstate 93 to Exit 27, "Storrow Drive" to Monsignor O'Brien Highway (Rt. 28) to Cambridge.
Route 2 comes into Cambridge from Interstate 95 to the northwest.

By Bus

Check the MBTA website for buses to Boston, or Greyhound for longer distances. Otherwise travel via Boston for much more options and companies.

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Eat

  • Toscanini's Ice Cream - Ice cream parlor. Address: 899 Main Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, Phone: (617) 491-5877, Hours: Weekdays 8am-11pm. Weekends we are open from 9:00am-11:00pm., Price: <$10
  • Craigie on Main - Fine dining. French cuisine. Address: 853 Main Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, Phone: (617) 497-5511, Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday. Dining Room: 5:30pm-10:00pm (10:30pm Fri & Sat). Bar: 5:30pm-Midnight. Bar Dinner Menu: 5:30pm-11:00pm. Bar Drinks Served: 5:30pm-Midnight. Brunch: Sunday 10:30am-1:30pm, Price: $65

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Cambridge Youth Hostel400B Muir St, Cambridge MD, 21613Hostel-

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Learn

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the best engineering schools in the world and has several excellent programs.
  • Harvard University is one of the most famous universities in the world. Known as the most elite among the Ivy's many people try their hardest to attend here. Although there are schools in the United States that are much harder to attend.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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Contributors

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Cambridge (Massachusetts) Travel Helpers

This is version 14. Last edited at 11:37 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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