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Visit MIT: Things to do near MIT

MIT is located on 120 acres just across the river from downtown Boston and surrounded by universities, museums, parks, and attractions. Here are some things you can do while visiting us.


While visiting our campus, you might also make time for:

  • MIT Museum, open to the general public and featuring kinetic artwork, rare items from the history of science and engineering, and hands-on classes
  • MIT COOPwhich sells apparel, books, and other items
  • MIT Press, the official bookstore of our publishing house
  • public art scattered across the MIT campus

Visitors are also welcome at our retail dining and many on-campus events, including lectures, performances, and so on.

In Cambridge and Boston

Cambridge and Boston are global centers of education and culture. You’ll never run out of things to do and see no matter how long you stay here.

If you’re looking for official suggestions, try the tourism offices of Cambridge and Boston; if you’re looking for something more offbeat, try the Atlas Obscura suggestions for Cambridge and Boston.

We polled our staff for official and offbeat suggestions, and here’s some of what they came up with:

Category More official More offbeat
Museums and history Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, ICA, N. E. Aquarium Gardner Museum, Warren Anatomical Museum, Mount Auburn Cemetery
Parks and nature Freedom Trail, the EsplanadeBoston Common Arnold Arboretum, Emerald Necklace, Harbor Islands
Performing arts House of Blues, Hatch Shell, Blue Man Group Middle EastCantab Lounge, the Sinclair
Shopping and retail Newbury St, Faneuil Hall, Prudential Center, CambridgeSide Galleria SoWa Open Market, Farmers’ Market @ Kendall, Garment District

Nearby universities

There are 51 colleges or universities within the greater Boston area, and Bill Rankin over at radical cartographies has made a gorgeous map of them, which we are putting here because it is useful, but also because it is pretty. Many people who visit MIT will also visit some of them, too.