Harvard Yard

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Harvard Yard: Our most recommended tours and activities

Harvard: 70-Minute Harvard Tour

1. Harvard: 70-Minute Harvard Tour

What better way to see Harvard than through the eyes of a student! This tour is a 70-minute student-led walking tour of America's oldest university, designed to be a funny and educational journey through Harvard's campus. Beginning in the heart of Harvard Square, you'll be led into historic Harvard Yard by an enthusiastic Harvard student. Enjoy the sights while your guide entertains and inspires with tales of Harvard history and personal experience at the university they call home. You'll get an up-close look at major Harvard landmarks including Johnston Gate, the John Harvard Statue, Memorial Hall, and Widener Library. You'll even become privy to a few Harvard secrets along the way! Whether you're a student visiting colleges or a family on vacation, the Hahvahd Tour is undoubtedly the top way to see Harvard.

Boston and the Freedom Trail from New York: Day Trip

2. Boston and the Freedom Trail from New York: Day Trip

Depart New York along the Eastern Coast through Connecticut to Massachusetts and to its capital, Boston. Your first stop is the city of Cambridge where will find one of the most famous and most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard. The tour starts with a walk in Harvard Yard; the oldest academic ground in America. See Widener library, then rub the shoe of John Harvard for good luck. Continue to a panoramic tour passing by City Hall, MIT and Cambridge College. Then cross the Charles River and arrive in the center of the intellectual capital of the country. Visit Copley Square, home to beautiful Trinity church. Next up is a walk along the Freedom Trail through Boston Common Park. Break for lunch at Quincy Market, and try the world famous Clam Chowder or a lobster roll. After lunch, visit the site of the famous Tea Party and the navy ship Constitution. In the late afternoon, depart southwest for an evening arrival in New York.

Private 90-Minute Tour of Harvard

3. Private 90-Minute Tour of Harvard

Enjoy this 90-minute, private tour of Harvard University for you and your guests! The tour is completely customizable to fit your group’s needs. Throughout this tour, your informative guide – a current university student – will offer a unique perspective of college life at the famed institution, of which 44 current and former faculty members are Nobel laureates. Head to the 25-acre (10-hectare) Harvard Yard, the oldest section of the university, and view the brick facades of the dormitories, libraries and classrooms. Your guide will point out Old Yard, including Harvard’s oldest standing building – Massachusetts Hall, constructed in 1720 – as well as New Yard. See historical edifices like Memorial Hall, Sever Hall, the Widener Library and the Harvard Lampoon, as well as the statue of John Harvard – the university’s founder. As you tour the grounds, be entertained by your guide’s stories and Harvard lore – partly scripted and partly shared from personal experience. Learn about the most famous people that attended Harvard, hear historical anecdotes and get an insider’s view on current college life. After a stop at the Plaza, Winthrop Park and Mt Auburn Street in Harvard Square, complete your tour at the Harvard Cooperative Society (COOP), the University’s official bookstore.

Harvard Yard: The Mysterious Porcelain Club Exploration Game

4. Harvard Yard: The Mysterious Porcelain Club Exploration Game

Explore the Harvard Yard in a unique way with an exploration game downloaded on your smartphone. Discover mysterious clues, solve puzzles, and use logic to lead you to the next destination. See Boston's iconic locations, tease your brain, and have a little fun. Begin the game at Harvard Square by opening the application on your phone. The tour takes between 1.5 and 2 hours, but feel free to explore at your own pace. Pause the game and resume anytime from your last visited location. Solve challenges and allow the story to unfold in front of you. Follow the exact directions and get the next code to crack. Find yourself exploring the Widener Library, pondering the statue of John Harvard, and learning the truth of The Statue of Three Lies. Figure out who keeps stealing the chair of the president of The Harvard Crimson and finish the tour at Harvard Lampoon Building. Play on your own, in a small group, or divide all your friends into groups and compete against each other. Try something new and go on an adventure in Boston.

Other Sightseeing Options in Harvard Yard

Want to discover all there is to do in Harvard Yard? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Harvard Yard

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,079 reviews

Did the tour on Sunday 9th May with, luckily only 4 in total. Jacks, (sorry if I misspelled it!!) our guide was absolutely fantastic. He was so enthusiastic and happy to talk to us about his own Harvard experiences, which was a nice authentic touch. He truly was a credit to his family, such a lovely young man. Your was well paced and Jacks was full of info as we walked around. It’s not what you expect but we did see a live Turkey on our tour, such a strange but funny sight! So, so glad we arranged this tour, as it really enhanced our 4-day stay in Boston. I would thoroughly recommend booking one of these tours, especially if you were to get the same Guide as us.

Excellent tour! Kevin has extensive knowledge about the history of the Harvard University, it’s buildings, famous people, customs, and traditions. I would highly recommend this tour!

It is a good tour. Brandon, the guide was a senior and he engaged with all the visitors in a very genuine, friendly manner. Regaled the crowd with a lot of stores and wit.

Excellent overview of Harvard's history and a glimpse into student life.

Great information, funny in parts and highly educational.