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Cambridge ATTRACTIONS See all

Harvard University

Harvard University in Cambridge, located just north of Boston, is synonymous with prestige and accomplishment. This Ivy League university accepts only the best and provides a curriculum to students that challenges and inspires them to succeed (faculty and alumni hold over 45 Nobel Prizes!). The country’s first institution of higher learning ever established, Harvard University is a historical school that is also constantly looking toward the future and creating new innovations in education, science, technology, the arts and beyond. Looking at a list of notable graduates of Harvard University -- some of which include Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt, Rashida Jones, Norman Mailer, Helen Keller and John Quincy Adams  -- it’s easy to see that the school has a rich and diverse heritage.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a straight A student to explore the campus, which is full of historic buildings, monuments, beautiful architecture and scenic green spaces. Head to the Harvard Yard to see the iconic John Harvard Statue -- with its inscription of “John Harvard • Founder • 1638” -- which has been a part of the campus for centuries. Interestingly, some call it the “Statue of Three Lies,” which represents the fact that John Harvard was not the founder of Harvard (he was a major donor), Harvard was not founded in 1638 (it was 1636) and the statue is not actually of John Harvard (the model for the statue was a man named Sherman Hoar).

The Memorial Church is also worth a stop, built in 1932 to commemorate soldiers who had lost their lives in WWI. Today it stands as a place to not only worship, but to remember. Additionally, Memorial Hall is a striking High Victorian Gothic that pays homage to Boston’s defense of the Union and the country’s abolitionist movement during the Civil War. Harvard University is also home to one of the world’s most impressive bookstores, open since 1932. The bookstore hosts a large array of events like panels, book discussions and science fairs. On the Harvard University campus you’ll also find a number of interesting museums, some of which include the Peabody Museum, Sackler Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum. Continue exploring the area in Harvard Square, which is full of shops, bars and restaurants.

Practical Info

Free hour-long campus tours of Harvard University are led by students and begin at the Harvard Information Center in the Holyoke Center Arcade. Dates and times of tours vary. Another option is to purchase a tour pamphlet at the Information Center and do a self-guided walking tour of the campus at your own pace.

Tours & Tickets

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Historical Hysterical Tour of Harvard

Stroll the country’s classiest campus, Harvard University, with costumed guides as they tell fascinating tales from nearly 400 years of Harvard history. The ...  Read more

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Duration: 70 minutes (approx.)

From USD $15.00

Haunted Harvard Square Ghost Tour

Let professional storytellers take you on a eery evening stroll to hear about the otherworldly tales of those who lurk the shadows of Harvard Square in the ...  Read more

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $15.00

Harvard Campus Walking Tour and Admission to Natural History Museum

4.5 star rating: Recommended 31 Reviews

For anyone thinking of attending Harvard, or for those who simply want a glimpse of life at the famous university, this 1-hour guided tour is a must. Get an ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 70 minutes (approx.)

From USD $19.85

Boston Duck Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 357 Reviews

Water is no barrier for a duck, why should it be for you? A Boston Duck Tour is a wonderful way to get a great look at Boston on land and water. See all the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 80 minutes (approx.)

From USD $39.79

American History Tour: Cambridge, Lexington and Concord Day Trip from Boston

4.5 star rating: Recommended 154 Reviews

This fascinating historical day trip from Boston takes you to the famous nearby Massachusetts cities of Cambridge, Lexington and Concord. Journey along the ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.22

Boston in One Day Sightseeing Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 456 Reviews

Experience the very best of Boston in one day on this fully narrated sightseeing tour of the area's major sights. First, journey through the historic towns of ...  Read more

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.22

Boston Freedom Trail Day Trip from New York

4 star rating: Recommended 134 Reviews

See the historical sights and famous universities of the Boston area on this full-day trip from New York City. After a scenic drive through Connecticut, arrive ...  Read more

Location: New York City, New York
Duration: 13 hours (approx.)

From USD $169.00

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