Cambridge, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: I have still not experienced this first hand. So I cannot really say. But from what I have heard from my seniors and alumni, the students have parties in their dorms as well.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: People mostly party on weekends because there is just too much to do during the week. There is usually something going on most weekends.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Nightlife: Study a lot, not much partying

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Definitely not a party school, but there's definitely something going on whenever you're looking to find something. Exclusivity is rampant, but that's part of what makes Harvard Havard.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Nightlife: I'm not much of a partier, but if that's what you're into, then Harvard definitely has options. Most of the parties are on campus at the upperclassmen houses or buildings affiliated with Harvard clubs, so they're close. Cambridge is pretty safe so you'd be fine just walking to wherever the party is, which is nice.

4 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 260th
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 321st
    Best Drink Prices
  • 1116th
    Tamest Party Scenes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Dominic Hood
New Orleans, La.
View all previous student authors

In 2012, Harvard instituted new University-wide policy when it comes to drinking, in an effort to reduce dangerous drinking practices. So while there are parties on campus, the University is attempting to crack down on them, so tread lightly. Final clubs aren't necessarily mentioned in the policy, which is where a lot of partying occurs, in addition to the dorm parties that take place. Final clubs are typically for people who like to party or have the money to party in an expensive way.

However, aside from campus happenings, Harvard students still manage to spend plenty of time and money at local bars like Daedelus and Hong Kong. If the local bar scene does not sound appealing, just take the short T ride to Boston, and you will find a cornucopia of activities, ranging from bars and clubs to theaters and coffee shops. All in all, Boston and Cambridge provide Harvard students with more than enough nightlife opportunities to make most other college students jealous.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Harvard Square
  • Lansdowne Street
Other Places to Check Out
  • Cambridge Queen's Head
  • Champion's Sports Bar & Restaurant
  • Charlie's Kitchen
  • Grafton Street
  • Middlesex Lounge Restaurant
  • Rise After-Hours Club
  • Tavern at the End of the World
  • Tavern in the Square
  • Temple Bar
  • Thirsty Scholar Pub
  • Tommy Doyle's
  • Uno Chicago Grill
  • Whitney's Café
Local Specialties
Scorpion bowl: This is a popular specialty at Hong Kong.
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (A$$hole)
  • Century Club
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
Closing Time
1:30 a.m.–2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Hong Kong

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Royale Boston

Royale gets pretty good acts to perform, in addition to its resident DJs.

279 Tremont St.


(617) 338-7699

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Phoenix Landing

An Irish bar by day and a dance floor by night, the Phoenix nightlife gets into full swing around 10; the bar plays everything from house to `80s music, depending on the night.

512 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 576-6260

John Harvard's Brew House

An undergraduate hangout for well-priced, tasty food.

33 Dunster St.


(617) 868-3585

Shay's Pub & Wine Bar

A perfect summer spot to have a sandwich and beer outside while you watch the crowd stroll by on JFK.

58 JFK St.


(617) 864-9161


Great for a first date or for any jazz lover, the Regattabar serves smooth drinks to go along with its smooth jazz sounds.

1 Bennet St., in the Charles Hotel


(617) 661-5000


This classy bar is a great place to start the night with since its capacity of 65 and closing time of 1 a.m. means it gets crowded easily and closes early. Drinks are moderately priced for Cambridge, while their food tends to be well-worth the added expense.

45-1/2 Mount Auburn St.


(617) 349-0071

Cambridge Common

Containing a subsidiary lounge called the Lizard Lounge, Cambridge Common is a trendy little bar and restaurant offering 24 draft beers.

1667 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 547-1228

Hong Kong Restaurant

Can anything beat a night of scorpion bowls? And if you've had too many, there are plenty of beers to wash everything down. The Hong Kong can be the haven of underage bar-goers, though recently it has begun to crack down hard on fake IDs.

1238 Massachusetts Ave.


(617) 864-5311

Grendel's Den

Grendel's attracts a much smaller crowd than its Cambridge counterparts, and often its patrons love it because they can escape the crowd, while still enjoying good drinks and a great atmosphere. Grendel's tends to be more rustic than other bars in the area and largely features tables, instead of standing room like many other bars. Drinks are cheaper than nearly every bar in Cambridge. The below-ground bar also offers one of the best happy hours in the area (daily 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.), with $3 drinks and half-price food.

89 Winthrop St.


(617) 491-1160

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

Club Passim

Many bands come to this venue.

47 Palmer St.


(617) 492-7679

Student Polls

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 31 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 0% Use a designated driver.
  • 23% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 29% Public transportation.
  • 3% Taxis.
  • 45% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 29 responses

Very poor
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 32 responses

  • 9% Parties? What parties?
  • 12% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 34% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 38% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 6% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.
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