Visiting Campus & Finding Housing
Planning to visit campus, looking for temporary housing to attend a short course, or considering a move to Boston for a degree program? We've gathered some information to help you consider your options.
The official Harvard tour departs from the Harvard Information Center, in the Smith Campus Center. The tour is student-led and includes a walk through Harvard Yard, an overview of the University’s history, and a unique view on the student experience.
The one-hour tour is free. You do not need to register, but because tours are capped at 35 attendees we recommend arriving 30 minutes early to guarantee a spot at your desired time. Please view the Harvard University visitors calendar for more details.
If you are interested in touring the campus on your own, you may buy a tour pamphlet at the Harvard Information Center, in the Smith Campus Center. You may also download audio files of historical information on each of the buildings in Harvard Yard or the full audio tour. If you have a mobile device, you can download the new mobile tour.
You can also access the Harvard University campus map to explore campus yourself.
Admission Advising Appointments
Interested in one of our degree programs? Meet with an admissions advisor before or after your tour, or any time you are in town. Just send an e-mail to the office, firstname.lastname@example.org, at least a week before you’d like to meet.
Short-Term Accommodations and Long-Term Housing
There are a number of housing options for students, whether you only need to stay for a few days or you are moving here for a degree program. We recommend that you first visit www.harvardsquare.com for information about accommodations, restaurants, events, and activities.
Hotel and Inn Accommodations
Several hotels and inns are steps away or short walking distance from the campus, including:
- The Charles Hotel
- The Sheraton Commander Hotel (discounted rate for Harvard Extension School students)
- Hotel Veritas
- The Harvard Square Hotel
- A Friendly Inn at Harvard
- Irving House
You may be adventurous enough for the communal accommodations of a hostel. Boston’s Hostel was renovated in 2012 and welcomes 40,000 visitors a year. It also offers a discounted price for the Harvard Extension School January Term. Read more information about the discount, promo code (harvard17), and how to register. Please note: Reservations can only be made online; guests must pay for the stay in full upon arrival, be at least 18 years of age, and provide a government-issued ID when checking in.
You may also secure a sublet within an easy distance of campus. The following websites have postings of available rooms and apartments:
The rooms available are often considerably cheaper than a hotel and offer the added amenities and privacy of a house or apartment. Be aware of the risks involved with using any of these sites, and be certain to do the proper research before committing to an arrangement.
Rent is lower outside of Boston and Cambridge. Familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods and towns in outlying areas (e.g., Allston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Medford, Somerville, and Watertown), and consider commuting. Many students save on rent by living with roommates. The following sites provide listings.
- Corporate Stay
Admitted degree candidates should visit Degree Privileges for information about Harvard Off-Campus Housing Resources.
- Good apartments go quickly. Be prepared to act fast.
- Begin your search early to allow yourself enough time to make a decision.
- Make sure to actually view the apartment; the amount of rent does not always indicate the quality of the apartment.
- You will gain a better sense of the surrounding environment if you view an apartment during both day and night.
- Be sure to allot extra money for utilities, parking, telephone, laundry, and other expenses not included in the rent.
- Find out about parking availability in the area (on street, off street, permit only).
- Allow extra time for your search if you have pets; rentals that accept pets are often harder to find.