Central Square

cambridge central square mbta

About Central Square

Central Square Cambridge

Photo by Eric Kilby

Central Square was one of the first residential shopping areas in Cambridge. It was made popular by the creation of the Cambridge Trolley, which brought residents both into Boston and to the Square.

The square suffered a decline in the 1990s, but is now restored to its former glory from recent infrastructure developments and rises in prosperity.

Today, Central Square is known for its large amount of ethnic restaurants, bars, clubs, and small shops.

Because the area experienced waves of immigration from many different areas of the world, residents and visitors can experience all different types of cuisine and nightlife. Shops tend to be small and specialized.

Many startups, especially video game and pharmaceutical startups, are located in Central Square due to its close proximity to MIT. The Cambridge City Hall and Post Office are also here.

Central Square Photo Ethan O'Connor

Photo Ethan O’Connor

Central Square Location

Central Square is formed by the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Prospect Street, and Western Avenue.

Public Transportation

Accessible at the Central Station stop on the MBTA Red Line or the 47 bus.


Meters are located throughout Central Square and are free after 6 p.m. Parking lot locations include:

  • Three free municipal lots on Bishop Allen Drive
  • Prospect Street Lot: Free and open to the public after 5 p.m.
  • Green Street Garage at the corner of Pearl and Green Street, enter one block down Pearl Street

Interesting Facts:

  • Several celebrities come from Central Square, including Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
  • Until a few years ago, Central Square was home to the Necco Factory since 1927. It has since moved to Revere, MA