Boston is a great place to live. The city is well-known for its history, culture, and a strong economy. It’s also home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. Boston has a lot to offer for people of all ages and backgrounds, so it’s no wonder why so many people want to move here. 

If you’re thinking about moving to Boston, but you’re not sure if it’s the right fit for you, then this article will help answer any questions that you may have about living in this great city.

What’s it Like Living in Boston?

Boston is a historic city that offers the best of urban living. It is a world-class city with a diverse culinary scene, access to cultural institutions, and proximity to top-tier schools, employers and health care facilities.

Food Scene

Boston is a coastal city and has fresh seafood. The New England clam chowder is a perfect winter dish and the lobster rolls are perfect for any season. Boston baked beans and Boston cream pie are two more of Boston’s signature dishes. 

Walkable City

Many young professionals in Boston walk to work for health and environmental benefits. The city’s old-school layout makes it easy for residents to walk to venues throughout the city.

boston skyline

Boston scored high on Walk Score’s walkability index, earning an 82 out of 100. The city alsp ranked third among the country’s largest metropolitan areas, up one point since 2017. Walk Score called Boston “a pedestrian’s perfect city.”

Healthy City

Boston is committed to a healthy lifestyle. It has a high ranking on the American Fitness Index, which measures how fit a city is. The Boston metropolitan area ranked at number 7 out of 50 and earned big points for the city’s walkability score. Boston had more public parks, playgrounds, and farmer’s markets per capita than the AFI’s target goal for a healthy city.

Ideal Weather

When people think of New England, they often think first of Boston’s fall. In Boston, you can enjoy the brilliant display of falling leaves at the Public Garden and Boston Common. Summer in Boston also has its own charms with its generally pleasant temperatures with a few hot days mixed in.

Great Public Transportation

Boston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the US, so it’s no surprise that it has a robust network of public transportation to support its residents. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has several options: ferries, subways and buses, and rail trains. \

boston public transit

The cost varies depending on what kind of trip you’re planning.  If you’re planning to use public transit regularly, you might want to consider buying a LinkPass. That gives you unlimited travel on the subway, bus, and Charlestown ferry for the entire month.

Green Spaces

Boston has some of the most beautiful parks in the country. Residents can take advantage of 2,300 acres of green parkland maintained by the City’s Park Department. These parks include Boston Common, located right in the heart of downtown Boston, as well as Franklin Park, which is home to Franklin Park Zoo

The Trust for Public Land ranks Boston as one of only two cities in the nation that provide residents with easy access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home, regardless of income or ethnicity.

Strong Economy

Boston is New England’s economic and cultural hub. The city is home to over 600,000 residents, many institutions of higher education, some of the world’s finest inpatient hospitals, and numerous professional sports and cultural organizations.

Among Boston’s largest employers, the most significant industry sectors are health care, finance and insurance, and higher education. These three industries account for approximately 74% of all employment in Boston’s largest employers or roughly 142,000 jobs across 61 companies.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Boston?

Before moving to Boston, you should know that it has a lot of history, culture, and activities to enjoy. If you are thinking about moving to the city, here are some things you should know to help you prepare.

Strong Tech Scene

The tech scene in Boston is booming, which means that there are a lot of business opportunities in the city and its surrounding areas.  If you’re looking for a tech-related job or hoping to start a technology company, consider adding Boston to your list of potential locations.

The tech scene has grown in Boston by leaps and bounds in recent years thanks to the abundance of top-notch colleges located in the city. Many tech students from around the world decide to stay in Boston after they graduate—thus contributing to the city’s continued expansion of high-tech jobs and companies.

Boston Pride

Bostonians are proud of the role that the city played during the American Revolution. Bostonians are also sensitive about their sports teams. 

boston sports

If you wear a New York Yankees hat around town, you’ll hear some harsh words from locals. Another easy way to ruffle feathers is to compare Boston in any unfavorable manner to other cities. 

Public Transportation Hours

The T (short for MBTA) usually shuts down by 1 AM. If you plan to party late, be aware that it will be difficult to get home without a car or cab. Most bars in Boston close at 2 AM, so if you want to stay out past that time, you might have to take an Uber or call a cab. This can be challenging if you’re used to being able to use public transit.

Historic City

If you’re interested in history, you’ll find that Boston is an excellent place to live. Many historic sites and museums in Boston highlight the city’s role in the war for independence, making it a great place to learn all about this important period in U.S. history. 

You can also visit graveyards where some of our country’s founding fathers are buried. Some of these sites have been preserved as historic grounds and parks. Boston also has many historic houses that can be toured by appointment or during special events. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is in Boston as well.

Driving In Boston

Driving in Boston can be a challenge. The streets are narrow, and there is no grid, like in New York City. People walk around a lot, so there are usually many pedestrians at intersections to watch out for. If you’re new to Boston, you may need an adjustment period until you get used to driving here. Factor this into your plans if you plan to drive to work or school. 

Are There any Bad Things About Boston?

Yes, there are some bad things about Boston. The weather can be very cold and snowy during the winter months, and the cost of living is higher than in many other places. Here are some downsides to living in Boston.

Brutal Winters

It’s no secret that Boston winters are cold and snow-filled. Winters in Boston can also seem to stretch on far longer than three months.

boston snow

If you’re fine with the long and dark winters, Boston is a great choice. But if you need constant sunlight, you might find the winters difficult to endure.


Boston residents aren’t famous for their manners. They might be quick to cut you off on the road or rush you out of the elevator so they can get on. If you want to make friends in Boston, then you need to be prepared for these types of interactions—and know how to respond with grace when they happen (without getting angry).


Living in Boston is expensive. The cost of living index compiled by Numbeo gave Boston a score of 83.59 out of 100, making rank #12 among the most expensive cities in America. The index factors the cost of consumer goods prices, including groceries, restaurants, transportation, and utilities. 


Traffic is a fact of life for most people in Boston. The city has some of the worst traffic congestion in the US, and it’s only getting worse with time. While there are ways to avoid it as much as possible (like using public transportation), it’s still something to keep in mind if you’re looking for an apartment or house that’s close to work or public transit.

Is Boston Expensive to Live in?

Yes, it is expensive to live in Boston. In fact, Boston is one of the most expensive cities in the world. According to, the average cost of living for a single person in Boston is $2,845 per month. That places it squarely in the top 0.5% of the most expensive cities in the world. 

According to a new report by Zumper, a digital home renting service, Boston ranked as the third most expensive city in the United States to rent in. The median rent price for a 1-bedroom was $2,660, up 27% from last year.  A 2-bedroom apartment in the city currently costs a median rent price of $2,990, up 15% from last year.

Boston is also one of the most expensive cities in the country when it comes to food costs. A meal at a low-cost restaurant will cost you around $20, according to Numbeo. A mid-range restaurant meal for two will cost around $80. So, plan on spending quite a bit on dining out when living in Boston.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Boston?  

To live comfortably in Boston, you need to make $120,900 per year, making it one of the more expensive big American cities. This figure is from the personal finance firm SmartAsset which studied what it takes to live comfortably in America’s largest cities. 

The study’s benchmark is what households needed to make to pay a market-rate rent for a 2-BR apartment and still have a nice chunk leftover. From the study, a Boston apartment with two bedrooms will cost $2,821 per month, on average. The study notes that if you can’t afford that, you can check out apartments in some of the nearby cities like Cambridge or Brookline.

What’s so Great About Boston?

If you’re thinking about moving to this city, you’ll be delighted to know that there are plenty of great things about Boston that make it such a desirable place to live. Here are just some of the reasons why Boston is one of the best cities in America:


Boston is near many prestigious colleges, including the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University

what's so great about boston

The city’s public schools are also impressive.  The Boston public school district has 125 schools and is known for its diverse student population.


Boston has been ranked as a top city for innovation. The city’s proximity to world-renowned research institutions like MIT, Harvard, and Tufts add to this cutting-edge clout, as do thousands of digital startups and entrepreneurs that have set up operations here.

Quality of Life

Boston is one of the healthiest cities in the country with a high quality of life to match.  According to Deutsche Bank, Boston’s quality of life is the best in America and eighth-best in the world. It ranks ahead of San Francisco.

Cultural Attractions

There are countless things to do in Boston, but any visit should include a sampling of the city’s arts and culture. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Berklee School of Music, and Huntington Theatre Company all call Boston home. 

In 2020, the NCAR Arts Vibrancy Index ranked Boston sixth on its list of The Top 40 Most Arts-Vibrant Communities in the U.S. And with so many art-fostering organizations—such as the Boston Center for the Arts—it’s no surprise that Boston’s art, music, and theater scenes are so vibrant.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods in Boston?

Boston has plenty of great neighborhoods to choose from — some with a more urban feel, others with a suburban vibe. Here are some of the best neighborhoods in Boston:

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is a charming neighborhood with lovely architecture, topped by the gleaming gold dome of the State House. It has elegant townhouses, narrow streets with brick sidewalks and gas lamps, local boutiques, and popular restaurants.

South End

South End is one of Boston’s most popular neighborhoods. Located just minutes from downtown and the Back Bay, South End has renowned Victorian brownstone buildings and homes along Tremont Street, Columbus Avenue, and Massachusetts Avenue. Many of Boston’s finest restaurants are here, as well as thriving arts communities and nearly 30 parks.


Charlestown’s long and varied history makes it one of the most popular and sought-after neighborhoods in Boston. It offers some of the most luxurious waterfront homes in the city, as well as elegant mansions and rustic, historic townhouses.

East Boston

East Boston is a lively and diverse neighborhood known for having one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the city. East Boston is home to Boston Logan International Airport, which flies travelers to and from all over the world.

Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain is a historic neighborhood in Boston. The area has one of the highest concentrations of artists, young professionals, and families and is popular with those who want to live in an urban area but want the benefits of living in a suburb.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Boston is a great place to live. While it has its downsides for its cold winters and high cost of living, there are a number of benefits that make this city a great place to call home. There’s no denying that Boston is a vibrant metropolis, and the culture and history alone make it worth visiting—let alone living.


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