Brookline is a town in Massachusetts that is bordered on three sides by Boston. Brookline is primarily residential, and it's technically a suburb, but it's fairly high density considering all of that. Brookline is in fact denser than many major cities, such as Los Angeles! In terms of the number of T stops, it's probably the best-connected of any town to Boston.

Brookline has quite a few destinations, but unless you're meeting someone or have your heart set on a particular restaurant, Brookline probably doesn't justify a stop. It has some interesting attractions, shops, and restaurants, but they're primarily patronized by locals and aren't wildly interesting, especially compared to those in the rest of the Boston area.

Get in

By plane

Brookline is very close to and therefore served by Boston's sole major airport, Logan International Airport.

By train

Brookline is served by 2 out of 4 branches of the MBTA light rail known as the Green Line, which is in itself a part of the system known as the T.

Take the C line from Boston, and get off at one of the main stops in Brookline. Coolidge Corner is a great place to get off the train.

The D line, also accessible from many places downtown, will bring you to Brookline Village, a quaint area with many restaurants, though it isn't as big a draw for people who live outside the area. Brookline Village is a little sleepier and more residential, although it has some dining and shopping.

The B line doesn't actually enter Brookline proper, but its Commonwealth Ave. stops are all within blocks of Brookline.

The E line is a bit of a hike, but you can get to it by walking all the way to the Fens.

The D line is much faster with less stops than the B and C lines. If given the choice between one or the other, take the D line. That said, the D line is further away from most of the people and businesses in Brookline, who mostly are near the C line, which also has the most stops of any Green Line branch in Brookline.

If you are disabled, think carefully before taking the train into Brookline. Only a few Green Line stops are wheelchair-accessible (the MBTA website should have the most current accessibility information). During busier times of day wheelchair users should have little difficulty getting to Coolidge Corner, Washington Square, and Brookline Village on one of the newer Green Line trolleys with low floors; however many older-style cars with large steps up are still in use, especially during non-peak hours, and these are accessible only via hand-cranked wheelchair lift. The situation is better now than it was even just a few years ago, but the Green Line is still a long way from being universally accessible. The other rail lines in the MBTA, for the most part, have handicap access.

All MBTA rapid transit services, including the Green Line, are $2 with a plastic RFID (wireless transmitter) card known as the CharlieCard, and $2.50 with either a CharlieTicket or cash. Unfortunately for riders, the CharlieCard, for the most part is only available at neighborhood stores such as 7-11s. The vending machines, for some bizarre reason, only vend CharlieTickets, and it's impossible to pay in cash if you're taking the trip from downtown.

By car

Cars and Brookline, like most of Boston and its immediate suburbs, do not mix perfectly. One thing to be aware of is that there is generally no overnight parking on streets; those cars on streets after 2AM (11PM in some areas) will be ticketed...seriously! There is also a two-hour parking limit, which is not as strictly enforced. (But wouldn't you know it, your car will be the one that gets ticketed :)

By bus

The following Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority bus routes are in Brookline:

Route 66-At Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village. Runs up and down Harvard Street and continues north to Allston in Boston and Havard Square in Cambridge.

Route 65-Is less frequent, goes through Brookline Village and Washington Square and continues north to Brighton Center in Boston.

Route 60-Goes Along Highway 9 (Boylston Street) and Cypress Street. Goes through Brookline Village. Continues west to Chestnut Hill Mall, and East to Kenmore Square.

Route 51-Goes from Cleveland Circle into South Brookline and continues Forest Hills MBTA station in Jamaica Pond in Boston.

Route 86-Goes from Cleveland Circle north into Brighton Center and Harvard Square.

Many buses that go to other cities including New York, stop at the Riverside MBTA Stop in Newton on the D Line. The train can be taken into Brookline.

By boat

Brookline has no navigable bodies of water along its borders. Therefore one cannot arrive in Brookline by boat. Theoretically one could cross the Muddy River by canoe or raft and in doing so travel from Boston to Brookline via boat... but that would be just plain silly.


Coolidge Corner - A shopping area with much to do. Is the most happening area in Brookline. On C Line, Coolidge Corner Stop.

Brookline Village - A somewhat sleepier historic area with many restaurants. On D Line, Brookline Village Stop.

Washington Square - Local shops and some popular restaurants and taverns. On C Line, Washington Square Stop.

Brookline Hills - Around the high school and across Route 9. Very residential. On the D Line, Brookline Hills stop.

Cleveland Circle - Actually in the Boston neighborhood of Allston-Brighton, but is right on the border with Brookline. Large student population, due to its proximity to Boston College. Has some bars, restaurants pizzerias, but is slightly more run-down than Brookline proper (although gentrifying). The intersection is very confusing, as it is the intersection of three different lines of the T. On C Line Cleveland, Circle Stop. On D Line, Reservoir Stop.

Putterham Circle/South Brookline "Chestnut Hill" - Suburban and residential feel. Putterham Circle has a variety of shops, including market, restaurants, bank, hair salon, gift shop, Starbucks, and others. Does not have access to a train, but the Route 51 Bus can be taken to and from Cleveland Circle.

St. Mary's- Overshadowed by nearby Kenmore Square and the Landmark Center in Boston. The area has a little bit to it. Is On C Line, St. Mary's Stop, On D Line, Fenway Stop.

Pill Hill/The Point - Residential area to the south of Route 9. Ritzy. From this area, one can either walk to the Brookline Hills or Brookline Village stops on the D Line, or take the Route 60 bus.

JFK Crossing - Stretch along Harvard St. with a heavy Jewish influence, from just north of Coolidge Corner to Commonwealth Ave. in Allston.

Get around

The primary way to get around in Brookline is to walk. Most places of interest are close together, or if you need to go farther away, a short ride on the MBTA will do it. If you choose to drive, be aware—especially on Beacon Street, where the trolley runs down the middle of the street.

By bike




Brookline is home to some of the best public schools around. Brookline High School has many famous alumni including Theo Epstein, the current General Manager of the Cubs; Michael Dukakis, former Massachusetts Governor and 1988 Democratic Presidential nominee; Robert Kraft, current Patriots and Revolution owner; Conan O'Brien, TV host.







Harvard St. between Commonwealth Ave. and Beacon St. is a heavily Jewish neighborhood: the majority of the kosher restaurants in the Greater Boston area can be found here. These restaurants are best accessed by the 66 bus, although they are within walking distance from the Harvard Ave. stop of the B branch of the Green Line and the Coolidge Corner stop of the C branch of the Green Line. Keep in mind that like all kosher restaurants, these restaurants are closed Friday night and only open late Saturday night (if at all on Saturday) due to the Jewish Sabbath.

In addition to the restaurants listed here, the J.P. Licks mentioned above is also kosher.






Greater Boston uses 10-digit dialing. This means you need to include the area code whenever you are making a call. The standard area code is 617, but some phone numbers, especially cell phones, use the new 857 overlay.

Stay safe

The town is incredibly safe, with an impressive police presence. Pedestrians entering Brookline for the first time from some of rowdier sections of Boston that border the town often speak of a noticeable change in atmosphere; there are fewer drunks and homeless people, more police, and the beer cans and cigarette butts that line the sidewalks of neighborhoods like Allston disappear. The town works very hard to keep it this way and police can be aggressive. Police in Brookline will often annoy the local high school and college populations for "rowdiness."

Go next

Routes through Brookline

END Allston-Brighton  W  E  Fenway-Kenmore Merges with main Green Line
END Newton  W  E  Fenway-Kenmore Merges with main Green Line
Worcester Newton  W  E  Boston Ends at

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.