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Metro Area

Sources: World Population Review, Wikipedia

Known by many names
The City on a Hill, Beantown, Athens of America, The Cradle of Liberty, The Hub of the Universe

Boston: a city known for sharp accents, quaint cobblestone streets, intense American history, baked beans, and wild St. Patrick's Days. Bostonians are proud of their city—something noticeable by the many caps, shirts, and jackets that rep both the city and its sports teams as one strolls through town.

The Charles River, as seen from Longfellow BridgePhoto by Inge Johnsson

They have full reason to be. Recently, Boston was voted as the state capital with the highest quality of life in the United States. The city of over four million residents excels in sports, arts, and education. There’s a huge mix of people from all over the world (56,000 plus students in public school speak over 74 languages) who each contribute to the city’s spirited culture.

Boston is a home for the curious—those eager to learn, create, wander, and explore. The city is rather compact and is easy to get around by car, bike, bus, or foot. Creative communities are fueled by the dozens of fascinating independent galleries, world-class creative agencies, and art programs that attract global talent.

The Greater Boston area has over 20 institutions of higher learning, giving the city the nickname of “Athens of America.” Students make up over 20% of the population, making it America’s youngest major metropolis and a space of constant change and inspiration. Learning is a rather easy endeavor here, as the Boston Public Library stands as one of the largest library systems in the United States. It’s truly a wonder—a dependable piece of the city’s culture.

“For no matter how they might want to ignore it, there was an excellence about this city, an air of reason, a feeling for beauty, a memory of something very good, and perhaps a reminiscence of the vast aspiration of man which could never entirely vanish.”

Arona McHughAuthor

Here, you’ll also experience the full depth of each season—from humid summers, stunning falls full of golden leaves, frigid snowy winters, and cool springs abundant with new buds and blossoms. City dwellers experience this first-hand through their many beautiful, public nature spaces. Boston Common, the country’s oldest park, is full of rolling green fields and shady trees, and Boston Public Garden is packed with activities and foliage amidst the city’s tallest skyscrapers. A relaxing natural escape is always a walk away, and makes for a perfect pre-dinner stroll or afternoon hang. Given Boston’s location by the sea, you can take boat tours to get the lay of the land if you head to Long Wharf, or to the Seaport district for the Boston Harborwalk. But of course, being that close to the sea, you can’t miss a lobster roll or crispy oysters from Row 34.

As one of the centers of the American Revolution, this is also a city with old roots, one rich with history still available to experience today. Boston’s oldest neighborhood, the North End, is full of windy streets, buildings hundreds of years old, and landmarks on almost every corner.

And yes, while there is a long, storied history, the city is also very much making waves in contemporary culture. It is full of cosmopolitan flair, great places to go out, venues to experience (and make) art, and learn new things. There are funky boutiques like Magpie Industries for an eclectic mix of regionally made merchandise, quirky leather finds at Rick Walker’s, indie and pop music at Paradise Rock Club, and mellow jazz at Wally’s Cafe Jazz Club. Boston has something for everyone.

A city good for… picking up a new skill set, going back to school, or just learning something new.

Two men crossing the streetPhoto by Kentaro Toma
Described as the world capital of learning (by Boston’s mayor), it ranked ninth in the entire world for Best Student Cities in 2021, and is the only American City in the top 10. Because of its unusually high number of schools per capita, and its 20+ institutions of higher learning, Boston’s past nickname as the Athens of America still represents the city thoughtfully.