• Awards Season
  • Big Stories
  • Pop Culture
  • Video Games
  • Celebrities

Experience the Bible in Real Life: The Best Christian Tours of Israel

For many Christians, visiting the Holy Land is a dream come true. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and experiencing the places where biblical events took place is a powerful and transformative experience. If you’re planning a trip to Israel and want to make the most of your time there, consider booking one of these best Christian tours of Israel.

Why Visit Israel?

Before diving into specific tour options, it’s important to understand why visiting Israel is so significant for Christians. For starters, it’s the birthplace of Christianity and home to many important biblical sites such as Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Jerusalem. It’s also a way to connect with the history and culture of Judaism, which provides context for understanding Christianity.

Moreover, visiting Israel is an opportunity to deepen your faith by experiencing firsthand the places where Jesus performed miracles and taught his disciples. It’s one thing to read about these events in a book; it’s another thing entirely to stand where they happened.

What Makes a Great Christian Tour?

When choosing a Christian tour of Israel, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost is the itinerary – does it include all of the sites you want to visit? Does it allow enough time at each site for reflection and prayer? You’ll also want to look for tours led by knowledgeable guides who can provide historical context as well as spiritual insight.

Another consideration is group size – do you prefer a smaller group for more personalized attention or are you comfortable with larger groups? Finally, cost may be a factor as well – some tours include meals and accommodations while others require you to arrange those separately.

Top Christian Tours of Israel

Holy Land VIP Tours – This tour company offers private tours customized according to your interests and schedule. You’ll have your own guide who can provide personalized insight into each site visited. Some of the tour options include a visit to the Garden Tomb, a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and a walk through the ancient city of Jericho.

Israel Christian Tours – This company offers both group and private tours led by experienced Christian guides. You’ll visit all of the major biblical sites as well as lesser-known locations such as Caesarea Philippi and Mount Tabor. The tour also includes accommodations and meals.

Sar-El Tours & Conferences – This tour company specializes in Christian tours of Israel and has been operating for over 30 years. The tours are led by Messianic Jewish guides who provide unique insight into both Judaism and Christianity. You’ll visit sites such as Masada, Qumran, and the Western Wall.

Final Thoughts

Visiting Israel is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many Christians. By choosing one of these best Christian tours of Israel, you can ensure that your trip is not only informative but also spiritually enriching. Remember to choose a tour that fits your interests, budget, and travel style so that you can fully immerse yourself in this incredible journey through biblical history.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


harvard walking tour free

Explore the ideas, artifacts, people, and places that have shaped our history for nearly 400 years.

Tour updates

Harvard visitor center tours.

All tours are 45 to 60 minutes long. Registration is required in advance for both in-person and virtual tours. Weekly tour registration will be available every Friday. You can download the Visit Harvard mobile app on iOS and Android devices. During business hours you may purchase a Self-Guided Tour Map for $3 available in multiple languages.

For information about Harvard College Admissions tours for prospective students, visit their website .

People on a tour of Harvard Yard

Official Historical Tour of Harvard

The free, student-led public walking tour through Harvard Yard provides a history of the University, general information, and a unique view on the students’ individual experience. 

Register for the in-person tour

Visit Harvard mobile app

Explore Harvard with our free mobile app, featuring a collection of self-guided walking tours. Whichever tour you decide to embark on, you’ll be sure to learn something new.

Download the app on  iOS  and  Android devices.

Historical Tour of Harvard

Learn the history behind well-known spots across Harvard’s campus! Each stop highlights iconic buildings, traditions, alumni, and much more.

Harvard Public Art & Culture Tour: Allston

Explore vibrant public art in Allston! You’ll encounter can’t-miss installations along Western Avenue and learn the stories behind them and their artists.

Harvard Public Art & Culture Tour: Cambridge

Discover a new side to our campus through an art-filled adventure! Explore outdoor art, famous architecture, renowned cultural institutions, and more.

Discover more Harvard tours

From nature walks to art galleries, these tour offerings include virtual options, in-person experiences, student and staff-led excursions, and more.

A drawing of Harvard Yard in the 1700s

Tour spotlight

Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery

The Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Walking Tour Experience explores Harvard University’s entanglements with the institution of slavery through a 10-stop tour around Harvard’s campus.

Learn more about the tour

Prospective students

Harvard College In-Person Campus Visit Options: in-person, student-led

Harvard College Virtual Tour Options: virtual

SEAS Tours Options: in-person, student-led

Harvard Business School Options: in-person, virtual, student-led, mobile

Harvard Law School Virtual Tour Video Options: virtual

Arts and culture

Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Options: mobile

Harvard Art Museums: Student Guided Tours Options: in-person, student-led

Harvard Forest Field Trips & Tours Options: virtual, in-person, staff-led, self-guided

Arnold Arboretum: All Tours Options: in-person, virtual, staff-led, self-guided

Museums and libraries

Peabody Museum: All Tours Options: in-person, virtual, self-guided, staff-led

Houghton & Widener In-Person Tours Options: in-person, staff-led

Widener 360-Degree Virtual Tour Options: virtual, self-guided

Houghton Library Virtual Tour Options: virtual

Harvard Art Museums: Gallery Tours Options: in-person, self-guided, staff-led

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture: Virtual Tours Options: virtual, self-guided

Frequently asked questions

General tour information.

The Harvard University Visitor Center offers several different types of tours. For our in person tour offerings on campus, we provide the Official Historical Tour of Harvard. All tours are provided to the public for free and to private groups for a fee. Our tours typically run 45-60 minutes.

To view the schedule and register for our free public tours (virtual and in person), please visit our Eventbrite page . To request a virtual or in person private tour, visit this link .

We also offer a free self-guided historical tour through the Visit Harvard mobile app, which you can download on iOS and Android devices. You can take this self-guided tour on campus or from the comfort of your own home.

Information About Free In Person Tours

The in person Historical Tour of Harvard explores Harvard Yard. Tours depart from the Visitor Center which is located at the front desk in the Smith Campus Center. Our address is 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Registration for our in person tours must be made in advance. Registration is made available starting the Friday before your tour week. Parties of up to 14 persons can register for a free in person tour. Parties of 15-60 are encouraged to submit a request for a private tour .

Registered tour goers should arrive at the Visitor Center at least 15 minutes before your tour to check-in. Tours depart from the Smith Campus Center and end in Harvard Yard.

Information About the Visit Harvard Mobile App

Visit Harvard is a free mobile app by the Harvard Visitor Center that features a collection of self-guided tours centered around the Harvard University experience. The Visit Harvard mobile app can be downloaded by anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, to be enjoyed from wherever you might be visiting, whether it’s in-person at Harvard or from the comfort of your own home.

What tours are being offered in the mobile app? Currently on the app, visitors can take a mobile version of our popular in-person and virtual tour, the Historical Tour of Harvard.

How long is the mobile tour? This self-guided tour takes place across 14 mapped stops through Harvard’s campus. At a standard walking pace, it will take between 45-60 minutes to complete the 1 mile long tour.

Can I take the mobile tour in-person or virtually? The mobile tour is designed to be accessed in-person on Harvard University’s campus, starting at the Harvard Visitor Center, located at the Smith Campus Center in Harvard Square (1350 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA). It can also be viewed from the comfort of your own home. Simply download Visit Harvard in the app store, select the Historical Tour of Harvard, and begin your journey!

Where can I download the Visit Harvard mobile app? You can download the Visit Harvard mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play . There is also a desktop version of the app you can access here .

Learn More About the Harvard College Admissions Process

For more information about Harvard College Admissions, please visit their official website . Their contact information can be found here .

  • Utility Menu

University Logo


HARVie  Harvard Information For Employees logo

  • Classifieds
  • Training Portal
  • Contingent Workforce


Where can i find a tour of harvard’s campus.

A tour is a great way to get to know the campus! Harvard Information Center, located in the Smith Campus Center, offers free student-led walking tours through Harvard Yard. Tours are one hour and provide a general overview of the main Cambridge camps and University history. The Information Center also has maps for self-guided walking tours. For details and schedule, as well as links to tour information at the graduate schools go here . The Admissions Office offers separate tours for prospective students.

FAQs by department

  • Administrative Fellows Program
  • Center for Workplace Development
  • Compensation
  • Harvard Bridge Program
  • Labor and Employee Relations
  • Learning & Development
  • Our Workplace
  • Recognition
  • Recruitment Office
  • Total Rewards

This website uses cookies to improve your browsing experience and analyze the use of the website. Learn More

Company Logo - Home Link

Harvard University Walking Tour

harvard walking tour free

This post covers how to tour Harvard University and the surrounding Cambridge area, including our pay-what-you-wish tour and our audio tour (which you can take anytime.

There is also a tour guided by students, as well as a self-guided option.

Harvard University is the oldest college in the United States (1636).

Eight U.S. presidents attended Harvard University and the name is known worldwide.


Harvard University is located in the City of Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston.

It's located approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) away from the Boston Commons (or 15 min on the subway).

Regardless of how you decide to get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to Harvard Square .

Where is Harvard University

Be sure to read our how-to guide on riding the Boston T (subway).

TIP: If you are considering purchasing a hop-on-hop-off trolley ticket, be aware that Old Town Trolley has a stop for Harvard University.


To start with, our 2-hour, pay-what-you-like tour not only covers Harvard University but also the surrounding area of Cambridge.

Below us, you can read about a shorter tour led by current Harvard students.


Reservations:  REQUIRED.  Click here to reserve . Groups of 6 or more must  contact us  before booking.

Where:  At the Cambridge Tourism Information Booth in Harvard Square ( map ).

Cost:  This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it's done. A  name-your-own-price tour  is a tour for anyone's budget.

Duration:  Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1 mile (1.6K)


  • Jan. to Feb. : No Tours
  • March to April:   Saturdays and Sundays 10 am
  • May to June 20:   Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays 10 am
  • June 20th to Labor Day : Everyday 10 am
  • Sept. to Oct:   Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays 10 am
  • Nov. to Dec .  Saturdays and Sundays 10 am

You can also take this tour as a self-guided GPS enabled audio tour .

Here is how it works:

  • Purchase an  audio tour from our Booking Page .
  • You'll receive a confirmation email with a .pdf, Google Map link, and audio tour.
  • Enjoy the tour(s).

Listen to a sample of the Harvard and Cambridge audio tour.

Hahvahad Tours (that's phonetically spelled) 

This company offers 70-min tours several times each day that are led by current Harvard students, enthusiastic ambassadors of the university.

Tours are inexpensive, light-hearted, but are limited to the university grounds, so you won't see much of Cambridge. 

Tours run daily at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, and 1 pm.  

$19.50/adults | $18.50/students, seniors and children (Free with the Go Boston tourist discount card )

Book your tour here .


How to get to harvard university.

Reaching the start of this tour is easy.

The best way to access the area is by mass transit. You can take the red line T to Harvard Square MBTA Station.  

Use this Google map for directions to Harvard Square .  

Out-of-Town-News-Harvard-Square s

Out of Town Newsstand

Your tour starts outside the Harvard Sq. MBTA (subway) Station.

Notice the Out of Town Newsstand which is a Cambridge landmark. 

The newsstand since it opened in 1955, has been providing Harvard professors, students, and Cambridge Residence with newspapers and magazines from all over the world.

The building is a national historic landmark.

From Out of Town News walk up JFK Street (to your right if you are facing Out of Town News).

Follow JFK St. to Mt. Auburn St. and take a left down Mt. Auburn St. to the Harvard Lampoon Building at 44 Bow St.

Lampoon Building

Harvard-Lampoon-Building s

The Lampoon Building is also known as the Lampoon Castle.

The best place to view this building is by standing on the island where Bow St. and Mt. Auburn St. meet.

This building houses Harvard's comedy magazine The Lampoon, where students like Cohan O'Brien and John Updike wrote while undergraduates at the university.

John Updike also served as president of The Lampoon at his time there.

This is one of the most unique buildings on Campus.

Opened in 1909 the building is designed in the form of a human face wearing a Prussian helmet. The front door looks like a bow tie turned sideways.

Notice the Ibis on top. This is made of copper weighs about 70 pounds. The Ibis was stolen a few times by members of Harvard University's newspaper The Crimson as a prank.

The bird is now said to now have an electrified wire attached to it to prevent future thefts.

Costing $40,000 to construct in 1909, at the time the building was the most expensive headquarters for a student publication in the nation. Look to your right you will see Lowell House, the structure with the white bell tower.

This undergraduate dorm is where Matt Damon stayed while a student at the university.

Notice the bell tower of Lowell House. The tower houses 18 bells ranging is size of 22 pounds (the smallest bell) to 27,000 pounds (the mother earth bell).

After what is known as The Game, the annual Harvard vs. Yale football game, the Harvard team score is rung out on the Mother Earth Bell.

The Yale score is chimed on what is known as the bells of Pestilence, Famine, and Despair.

As you walk around the Lampoon Building you will notice two dates, 1909 and 1876. 1909 is when the building opened and 1876 is when the Harvard Lampoon Magazine was first published

Continue walking up Mt. Auburn St following the Lampoon Building and take a left onto Plympton St. At 26 Plympton St. you will see the undergraduate dorm of the Adams House.

Adams House

Harvard-Adams-House s

Opened in 1900 the dorm is named in honor of the United State's 2nd President John Adams and his son, The United States' 6th President John Quincy Adams, who both graduated from the university.

There is a suite inside Adam's House called the FDR suite where the United States' 32nd president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) lived while a student at Harvard.

It is restored to the 1904 appearance to honor the president who stayed there as a student.

The FDR Suite inside Adams House is the only memorial to FDR on campus.

Including FDR, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams, Harvard University has had 5 other US Presidents who attended: Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, and Rutherford B. Hayes for a total of 8 U.S. Presidents who attended the university.

Continue up Plympton St. to 14 Plympton St. to the student newspaper The Harvard Crimson.

Harvard Crimson

Founded in 1873 it was called The Magenta for its first two years, and in 1875 the paper changed its name to The Crimson when the University changed its color to crimson.

Crimson-Building-Harvard s

The Harvard Crimson is the only daily newspaper in the City of Cambridge and is run entirely by the university's undergraduate students.

It is also the only college newspaper in the United States that has its own printing press.

Some of the famous folks who wrote for the Crimson include US Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt (who served as the newspaper president) and John F. Kennedy (a business editor).

Look up to the second-floor glass door and you may be able to see the big chair inside.

This chair has small brass makers attached to the chair with the names of the former presidents of the newspaper.

Like the Ibis on top of the Lampoon Building, members of the Harvard Lampoon sometimes steal this chair as a prank and revenge for the Crimson's members theft of their Ibis.

The chair is now chained to the floor to help thwart future thefts.

Continue up Plympton St. and cross Massachusetts Ave. and enter Old Harvard Yard through Dextor Gate.

Notice carved inscription above the entrance and the words "enter to grow in wisdom" and on the exit/inside of the gate the words "depart to serve better this country and thy kind."

Wigglesworth Hall

Wigglesworth-Hall-Harvard s

After you enter Harvard Yard, take a left and will see the dorm, Wigglesworth Hall.

All freshmen who enter Harvard are required to stay in the Halls of Old Harvard Yard. All the freshman dorms are called Halls and the upper-class dorms are called Houses.

Some of the famous students who lived inside Wigglesworth Hall include Leonard Bernstein, Senator Edward Kennedy, and Bill Gates.

Follow the path to the Henry Elkins Widener Memorial Library.

Henry Elkins Widener Memorial Library

This is the largest college library in the United States and is the nation's 3rd largest library. The library has 57 miles (92 km) of shelves along five miles of aisles on ten floors.

Only the US Library of Congress and the New York Public Library hold more volumes of books.

The Library is six floors high and four floors below and was built in honor of 1907 Harvard graduate Henry Elkins Widener who was killed in April 1912 at the age of 27 during the sinking of the Titanic.

The library was built with funds donated by Widener's mother Eleanor to honor her son's memory.

Look directly across the Old Yard and you will see Memorial Church. This church was built in 1932.

Inside these walls engraved alongside a sculptor named “The Sacrifice” are 373 names of alumni who were killed during WWI.

Since then other memorials have been established inside the church for Harvard Students and Alumni who were killed in WWII, The Korean War, and Vietnam.

Walk around the Widener Library and follow the path to the Dragon Statue.

Dragon Statue

This statue was donated to the university in 1936 by Chinese Alumni in honor of the university's 300 anniversary.

The statue is made of marble and weighs 27 tons. It was carved between 1796-1820 in Beijing and formally resided in the Winter Palace before being donated and ship to the university.

As you continue down the path look to your right and you will see Weld Hall where President John F. Kennedy lived during his freshman year at Harvard.

Follow the path around University Hall and you will see the most famous site on campus, the John Harvard Statue.

John Harvard Statue

This is also known as the statue of three lies.

Statue-of-John-Harvard s

The first one is on the statue's base and states Harvard was formed in 1638. Wrong, as we know Harvard was formed in 1636.

It says that John Harvard was the founder of Harvard. Wrong, Harvard was founded in 1636 by the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. John Harvard endowed Harvard with books and money in 1638.

And the third and probably the biggest lie on the statue is that the man in the chair; not John Harvard.

When the statue was designed in 1884 by Daniel Chester French there was not any likeness of John Harvard.

French used a Harvard Student by the name Sherman Hoar as the inspiration for John Harvard's face. Sherman Hoar was a descendant of the brother of Harvard's fourth president Leonard Hoar.

The statue is one of the most photographed statues in the United State, and you will notice the worn-out bronze of the statue's left foot where millions of visitors have rubbed for good luck.

There is also the legend that if you rub/touch the foot of the statue you will acquire some of the knowledge of Harvard.

Take the path away from the John Harvard Statue and towards the street. On the left, you will see Massachusetts Hall.

Massachusetts Hall

Harvard-Massachusetts-Hall-John-Adams s

Opened in 1720, Massachusetts Hall is the second oldest college dorm in the United States.

Some of their legendary student residents include John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and United States second president John Adams.

During the siege of Boston in 1775, 640 members of the Continental Army led by George Washington were housed there.

Currently, Massachusetts Hall houses the office of Harvard's President, Treasurer, and Vice President, all of which have their offices on the first two floors and part of the third floor.

On the fourth floor are freshman dorms.

Exit the Old Yard through Johnston Gate.

Johnson Gate

Opened in 1890, Johnston Gate was the first gate constructed around Old Harvard Yard.

Johnston Gate cost $10,000 to construct in 1889-90 and was a gift to the university by 1855 Harvard Graduate Samuel Johnston.

For several hundred years, on Harvard's commencement day, sheriffs from Middlesex and Suffolk Country have entered Harvard Yard on horseback before the Middlesex Sheriff's call to order.

It has become a tradition that they enter through Johnston Gate. Another tradition at Harvard regarding Johnston Gate is that after the commencement ceremony, graduates exit Harvard Yard using only Johnston Gate.

As you exit Harvard Yard through Johnston Gate you can now consider yourself an honorary graduate of Harvard University.

After exiting Johnston Gate, cross Massachusetts Ave. to the island in the middle and you will be at the sculpture of Charles Sumner (1811-1874).

Charles Sumner Statue

He was a lawyer, abolitionist, orator, and US Senator from Massachusetts.

One of the many things he is known for is while a US Senator he was an incident that took place on the Senate floor when he was arguing against the Kansas/Nebraska Act.

This was an 1854 legislative act that would allow the expansion of slavery in the new states of Kansas and Nebraska.

On May 20th, 1856, Sumner was auguring against the Act, and during his diatribe, Sumner called US Senator Andrew Butler from South Carolina a slave pimp and went on a tirade against the senator and his state of South Carolina.

During the tirade, he mocked Butler's manner of speech and physical mannerism as Butler previously suffered a stroke which left him physically impaired.

Two days later, US Congressman Preston Brooks, the cousin of Senator Butler walk on the Senate floor and approached Sumner.

As Sumner rose to meet the Representative, Preston beat Sumner nearly to death with a cane until the cane finally broke.

The beating rendering Sumner unconscious on the Senate floor. It took almost two years before Senator Sumner recovered from the beating.

The event showed how divided the United States was at that time over the issue of slavery.

Continue across Massachusetts Ave. and take a right and follow Massachusetts Ave. and you will be outside the Cambridge Burial Ground (1635).

Cambridge Burial Ground

This burial ground was the only burial ground in Cambridge for nearly 200 years and includes a cross-section of Cambridge residents from paupers to Harvard presidents.

Like all the old burial grounds, there are many more bodies beneath than the 1218 headstones above, as many of the headstones did not survive the centuries and some of the earliest burials were unmarked.

The oldest headstone in the burial ground is that of Anne Eriton which dates to 1653.

The tomb of John Vassel is the most elaborate tomb in the burial ground and contains 25 caskets and including the body of Andrew Craigie who was the first Apothecary General of the Continental Army. He was also a former owner of the Longfellow House on Tory Row.

Craigie also developed much of what is known as East Cambridge and also organized the construction of the Canal Bridge which connected East Cambridge to Boston.

The bridge was later rebuilt as the Charles River Dam but is also know as Carigie's Bridge.

The Cambridge Burial Ground also contains the remains of 8 Harvard presidents including Harvard's first president Henry Dunster.

It's also home to the remains of 19 Revolutionary War Soldiers including John Hicks, William Macy, and Moses Richardson who were buried there after the first Battles of the American Revolution on April 19th, 1775 in Lexington and Concord.

The burial ground also houses the tomb of the Dana Family. Richard Henry Dana, Jr. was an abolitionist who worked with Charles Sumner.

Continue up Massachusetts Ave. and once you cross Garden St. look down on the sidewalk and you will see a series of horseshoes embedded along the sidewalk of Massachusetts Ave.

These show the route that William Dawes, the second rider with Paul Revere on his midnight ride took on his way up to Lexington, MA on the night of April 18, 1775.

The ride to "Midnight Ride" by Paul Revere, William Dawes, and others which warned the towns along the way that the British Troops were on the move resulted in the start of the American Revolution in Lexington/Concord on the morning of April 19, 1775.

Cross at the crosswalk ahead and you are at the gates of Cambridge Common. Rather than walk through the gates, take the sidewalk to the left along Garden Street.

Cambridge Common

This 16-acre park was where George Washington and the Continental Army camped in 1775 while British Troops occupied Boston until March 1776.

The first site you will see when entering the Common is a memorial for the Irish Famine which was dedicated on July 23, 1997, by then Irish President Mary Robinson.

The sculpture was created by Maurice Harron a resident of Derry, Northern Ireland who has sculptures in Ireland, The UK, and The United States.

Continue walking through the Common keeping Garden Street on your left and you will come to a series of cannons.

These cannons were abandoned at Fort Independence (also known as Castle William) on March 17, 1776, when the British Troops evacuated from Boston.

There is also a plaque to Henry Knox, a Boston and bookseller before the American Revolution, he would become the first Secretary of War under President George Washington.

Henry Knox in January of 1776, dragged cannons from and other military supplies from the captured British Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point in Upstate New York and led the mission to carry the 60 tons of cannons and other arms on ox-drawn sleds 300 miles across snowy and frozen ground to Boston.

What was expected to take two weeks, took six weeks as the caravan of men where faced storms and delays as the cannons broke through the ice and got stuck in the mud and snow, but in the end, they were able to deliver the munitions to Boston.

The cannons were placed on Dorchester Heights, (the hills surrounding Boston) on the night of March 16, 1776.

When the Occupying British Troops woke the next morning on March 17th, they realized they were surrounded by artillery and withdrew their ships to Halifax and retreated out of Boston.

The siege of Boston was ended as a result. March 17th is a holiday in Boston called Evacuation Day as a result of the efforts of Henry Knox and his men.

Henry Knox went on to be in charge of improving the defenses in Rhode Island and New York during the American Revolution where in New York he met Alexander Hamilton who was the commander of the local artillery.

They would remain close friends until Hamilton's death in 1804.

Knox would later become the first Secretary of War under George Washington.

Henry Knox died in 1806 at the age of 56 after swallowing a chicken bone which caused an infection that killed him three days later on Oct. 25th.

Also located in the area of the cannons and marked with a plaque is the Washington Elm.

Legend has it (although is disputed) that under this tree on July 3, 1775, General George Washington took control of the Continental Army.

The army struck camp there and stayed until March 1776 when British Troops evacuated Boston.

The original tree lived about 210 years and finally fell in 1923. The tree was cut up into 100 pieces and sent to all the US States and their legislatures.

Other pieces were sent to fraternal organizations throughout the US and root shoots were sent also sent throughout the nation, and some still live today.

The cross-section of the tree was sent to Mt. Vernon, George Washington's plantation in the state of Virginia.

Turn around and head back down the sidewalk, you'll see a white church to your right across the street.

Christ Church

This 1759 church was formed by the members of King's Chapel in Boston who lived in Cambridge.

This church provided church of England Services to students attending Harvard and was designed by Peter Harrison who also was the architect of Boston's King's Chapel.

During the American Revolution, the church which sits across the street from the Cambridge Common where the Continental Army was camped out at the start of the war, soldiers camp there fired shots at the then Loyalist Church.

If you walk into the front doors of the church and look above the inside door frame a musket hole is visible from that time.

Later George and Martha Washington would attend a prayer service there and as the war wore on the church was closed and the organ of the church was melted down for bullets for the Continental Army.

In April 1967, the church hosted speeches from Dr. Benjamin Spock and Martin Luther King, Jr. who were denied access to a building on Harvard's Campus.

They planned to hold a press conference against the Vietnam War. They were welcome by the Reverend Murray Kenney. Jesse Jackson also spoke at the church in 2004 celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Continue walking towards Massachusetts Ave. and back to the Cambridge Burial Ground. At the burial ground, take a right down Massachusetts Ave. and cross Church Street. Follow Massachusetts Ave. and you will come to the Harvard Coop.

The Harvard Coop

The Harvard Coop was opened in 1882 to supply books and school supplies for the students at Harvard.

In 1916 after MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge, MIT opened a branch of the Coop to serve its students and is still present on MIT's campus today.

This Coop is one of the largest college bookstores in the United States. The store is run by Barnes and Noble today and the public is welcome to come in the shop and browse Harvard Swag and books.

However, membership to the Coop is limited only to students, faculty, alumni, and employees as well as personnel of hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

In 1882 membership cost $1.00 and that cost is the same today.

Cross Massachusetts Ave. to the Harvard MBTA Station and you will be where the tour started outside the Harvard Sq. MBTA Station and Out-of-Town Newsstand.

We hope you enjoyed your GPS Tour of Harvard.

Choose a Destination... I want them all PLUS general travel tips. Amsterdam Berlin Boston Charleston Chicago Dubai Lisbon London Los Angeles Miami Nashville New York City New Orleans Paris Philadelphia Prague Rome San Francisco Washington DC

About The Author

harvard walking tour free

Brian Burgess

North america, united kingdom & ireland, middle east & india, asia & oceania.

  • Things to Do
  • Restaurants
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Travel Stories
  • Rental Cars
  • Add a Place
  • Travel Forum
  • Travelers' Choice
  • Help Center

Free Harvard University Walking Tour - Harvard University

  • United States    
  • Massachusetts (MA)    
  • Cambridge    
  • Cambridge - Things to Do    
  • Harvard University

Free Harvard University Walking Tour

Just returned from Boston. While visiting with our two children of 12 and 13 years of age we visited Harvard University. We took the FREE Harvard Walking tour which is located at the Harvard Information Center which is on the corner of Mount Auburn St and Dunster St. Do not be fooled by the groups that charge $12-$15 per person who are located in Hardvard Square who give the same tour with double the amount of people. They tried to stop us from going to the information center there to find the correct location for the free tour. The tour was put on by a recently graduated student of Harvard who was very informative and provided a great deal of information of the history of Harvard, the grounds and on campus life as a student. It was truly a great tour!

Everything about Harvard is special. The yard, the buildings, the libraries, the Coop. But most of all, the people. Walking around the beautiful campus, any time of the year, watching students and professors from all over the world, felt really good. I have been in Harvard several times, sat in the benches of the yard at night, watching the star and the moon. During the day, visiting the Museum, strolling around campus... is like being in a safe and beautiful place.

Alot to see. We visited the JFK exhibit what a great experience. Harvard Square is full of history. There are many restaurants and stores near by. Easy to to get to by the red line T.

harvard walking tour free

This is the campus that must have given "Ivy League" its name. Not that so many buildings are covered with ivy, but it's the feel of the place.Take a student-led tour, and don't let thoughts of how arrogant Harvard is spoil the beauty of the campus.

Really enjoyed my time here, this stunning campus has incredible architecture, so much history and so much to see. This is a must do if you are in Massachusetts.

It was really neat to be there and soak in the ambience and history. There were lots of people around -- both students and the merely curious. We took many pictures with the John Harvard statue, and finally found some buildings with some ivy covering. Be sure to get there before the gates close at 5:00 p.m. You, too, can say you went to Harvard!

How to cheat your way around Harvard

Sep 20, 2018 • 6 min read

red brick gateposts and wrought iron, open gate leading to a redbrick residence hall at Harvard on a sunny day

Enrollment in Harvard doesn't come easy, but a stroll around the campus can be enriching if you know where to look © Roman Babakin / Getty Images

If ever there was a place where Einstein, Edison or Eisenhower would feel at home it’s Cambridge, Massachusetts. When the autumn leaves begin to crinkle and fall, the city’s alumni return to this city within greater Boston, on the west bank of the Charles River, to start another semester. So many incredible brain waves occur here. So many eureka moments. And the center of this cerebral universe is Harvard University.

Joining Harvard’s ultra-exclusive alumni club, at an annual cost of around $60,000, is the privilege of the few. But with a cheat sheet on where to go and what to see, strolling its sprawling, stunning campus is gratifyingly free.

red brick gateposts and wrought iron, open gate leading to a redbrick residence hall at Harvard on a sunny day

Harvard history 101

By anyone’s margin, Harvard is a long way from normal. The world’s richest academic institution , with a $42bn endowment, it is where presidents-in-waiting are tutored and future heads of state are inspired. Count eight US commanders-in-chief and 157 Nobel laureates over the years. Forty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners. One hundred and eight Olympic medalists. It’s an unstoppable return that has shaped world history on an epic scale.

The Harvard empire has been nearly four centuries in the making. Once a cow pasture, it was established in 1636 for the same reason many other Ivy League universities in New England were: to train puritan ministers and clergy. But it’s the stories on a perspective-popping walkabout of Harvard’s 209-acre Cambridge campus that truly set it apart.

'John Adams, John Quincy Adams, George Washington: they all passed through here,' says Trent Bryan, a 21-year-old psychology, neuroscience and philosophy senior who regularly leads campus tours. Past the gates of Harvard Yard, a revered hush falls and the college reveals itself as if a book flipping through its back pages. Georgian gatehouses and gardens retain centuries-old grace, while the storied mansion houses and memorial halls, best seen on approach from Johnston Gate, offer a lesson in colonial architecture and the American Revolution. At every level, the university bears the Harvard imprimatur: red-brick buildings intersected by leafy pathways and Ivy League charm.

side view of bronze statue of a 17th century American man, John Harvard, with Harvard's red-brick buildings in the background

Must-see spots (and the secrets behind them)

An indication that Harvard has earned its place in the glamorous zeitgeist beyond the ‘nerdom’ is the popularity of the sculpted bronze statue of John Harvard . It is the third most-photographed statue in the United States, and every day, as clockwork as the hourly lectures, visitors queue at its base for a selfie with America’s most famous benefactor.

But what outsiders don’t realize is that despite Harvard’s Latin motto veritas , or truth, all of these visitors have been duped. Sculptor Daniel Chester French based its appearance on a random student, as no known image of Harvard exists. The date inscribed at the figure’s base is wrong, too. It should read 1636, not 1638. Also incorrect is the description of Harvard as the college’s original founder; that was actually the Massachusetts General Court. Be that as it may, a long-held superstition holds that if you rub Harvard’s shoe it’ll bring good luck. 'If people knew what students have put on it over the years they wouldn’t dare touch it,' says Trent matter-of-factly.

Close up of red brick gothic building with cathedral-like rose window and multicolored roof

Everyone agrees you must see the lavish Memorial Hall, a Victorian Gothic basilica built for fallen soldiers during the Civil War. It’s Harvard’s spiritual antennae to the north of Bradstreet Gates, yet seems set apart from academia. A hard-earned silence exists inside the transept, and there are stenciled walls and stained-glass windows, which in the right light filter a spectrum of New England colors onto the floor. Maple reds burn and yellows glow. Next door, above the basement student pub, is Annenberg dining hall. The soaring, trussed ceiling of this impressive 1874 structure recalls Hogwarts, without the pointy wizard hats. It’s a student-only affair, but come at meal time for a glimpse into the realities of graduate life.

Anchoring the university grounds is the Widener Library, one of more than 70 libraries on campus. Skirted by steep stairs and braced by Corinthian columns, it’s the world’s largest private library and has been the preserve of America’s literati for centuries. The floors are a bamboozling warren of nearly 60 miles of bookshelves, although non-students are relegated to admiring the elegant facade. There are 3.5 million volumes in its collection, including a sheepskin-covered original Shakespeare and a priceless Gutenberg Bible. TS Eliot has borrowed books from its vaults, as has Gertrude Stein, who took philosophy classes at nearby Emerson Hall.

'The library was named by Lady Widener after her son, Harry, who died on the Titanic,' says Trent. 'She survived, but he refused to leave the sinking ship until he’d packed one of his favorite books. That’s how obsessive a collector he was.'

Potted highlights from American history linger elsewhere. The Pusey Library, open to the public, holds America’s oldest collection of maps and atlases. Nearby, the Harvard Art Museums – a triumvirate of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M Sackler museums – make up a miniature Louvre, with an encyclopedia of sculpture, watercolors and prints. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology , meanwhile, tells the story of North America’s indigenous peoples, from thunderbird-topped totem poles to Native American canoes.

Tight shot of the facade of Weidner Library at Harvard, a Neoclassical structure with corinthian columns

Famous people and places

Pop-culture fans are also drawn to Harvard, thanks to its many famous past students and connections to cultural moments. 'Matt Damon was a member of the class of ’92 and he wrote the script [for Good Will Hunting] in Matthews Hall,' says Trent, pointing to a red-brick dorm. 'John F Kennedy lived in Winthrop House, but his room was destroyed by the installation of an elevator. You know, Harvard can still shaft you after you’ve left!'

Billionaire Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard before becoming one of the world’s richest men. Satire magazine National Lampoon was born at the Harvard Lampoon Building. And you if you walk past Kirkland House, you’ll see where a social media phenomenon was born. 'I live in Kirkland, just above the room that Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in,' says Trent, pointing to H33, a ground-level dorm barracks. 'He and Bill Gates are the only two to receive honorary diplomas without graduating.'

Understandably, a place like this inspires scholarship. But it’s not always an empirical and rational place, as an insight into the realities of late-night student life shows. One such notorious ritual is the Primal Scream, a midnight run through the Yard on the last night of reading period before final exams. Needless to say, it’s a lowbrow combo of streaking and stripping, making as much of an impression on a visitor as any of the college’s more virtuous traditions.

An aerial view of the steepled red-brick buildings of Harvard University in the summer

Make it happen

Self-guided walking tour maps, offered in nine different languages, can be picked-up from the Harvard Information Center. And for an undiluted view on the student experience, the one-hour tour is also wonderfully free. All buildings except the Widener Library and, of course, student dorms, can be viewed by the public, although the dining hall is closed to visitors outside of guided tours.

Mike MacEacheran travelled to Cambridge with assistance from Visit Massachusetts . Lonely Planet contributors do not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage.

Explore related stories

Mixed group of people in Boston

Jul 31, 2022 • 7 min read

From Cape Cod’s glorious dunes and Cambridge’s tasty food scene to the spooky witches of Salem, here are the best places to visit in Massachusetts.

harvard walking tour free

Oct 25, 2023 • 19 min read

harvard walking tour free

Oct 21, 2023 • 7 min read

harvard walking tour free

Oct 18, 2023 • 7 min read

harvard walking tour free

Oct 16, 2023 • 4 min read

harvard walking tour free

Aug 10, 2023 • 2 min read

harvard walking tour free

Jun 7, 2023 • 4 min read

harvard walking tour free

Mar 23, 2023 • 12 min read

harvard walking tour free

Mar 14, 2023 • 7 min read

harvard walking tour free

Mar 3, 2023 • 10 min read


  1. Harvard University

    harvard walking tour free

  2. [2020] HARVARD UNIVERSITY in 360° (drone/walking/driving campus tour)

    harvard walking tour free

  3. Personal Walking Tour of Harvard University with a Student

    harvard walking tour free

  4. Walking Tour of Harvard University

    harvard walking tour free

  5. Boston: Harvard University Guided Walking Tour with Student

    harvard walking tour free

  6. Harvard Campus Cambridge Tour by Historic Day Trips

    harvard walking tour free


  1. A Walking Tour of Washington DC’s Monuments and Memorials

    Washington DC is a city steeped in history and culture, with an array of monuments and memorials that pay tribute to the nation’s rich past. Taking a walking tour of the city’s most iconic landmarks is a must-do for any visitor to the capit...

  2. Experience the Bible in Real Life: The Best Christian Tours of Israel

    For many Christians, visiting the Holy Land is a dream come true. Walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and experiencing the places where biblical events took place is a powerful and transformative experience.

  3. What Is the Mascot for Harvard University?

    The mascot for Harvard University, as of 2014, is the pilgrim John Harvard. John Harvard was the first benefactor of the university. Harvard University’s school color is crimson, which is also the name of its athletic teams.

  4. Campus Tours

    All tours are provided to the public for free and to private groups for a fee. Our tours typically run 45-60 minutes. To view the schedule and register for our

  5. Cambridge and Harvard Tour

    Tour information · Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. · Where: · Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1 mile (1.6K) · When:

  6. Where can I find a tour of Harvard's campus?

    Harvard Information Center, located in the Smith Campus Center, offers free student-led walking tours through Harvard Yard. Tours are one hour and provide a

  7. Harvard University Walking Tour (Self Guided), Boston

    Harvard University Walking Tour Map · Harvard Square · Harvard Hall · Massachusetts Hall · University Hall and John Harvard Statue · Widener Library · Harvard Yard

  8. Harvard University Walking Tour with Map

    Where: At the Cambridge Tourism Information Booth in Harvard Square (map). Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour

  9. Free Harvard University Walking Tour

    Harvard University: Free Harvard University Walking Tour - See 3176 traveler reviews, 2861 candid photos, and great deals for Cambridge, MA, at Tripadvisor.

  10. Public Tours of Harvard

    The Hahvahd Tour is the most popular walking tour of Harvard

  11. The BEST Harvard University, Cambridge Walking tours 2023

    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

  12. Harvard University Campus Guided Walking Tour

    70-Minute Guided Walking Tour of Harvard · Harvard Student-Led Tours for more Insightful Narrative · Free Illustrated Map of Harvard Square · Written translations

  13. How to cheat your way around Harvard

    Self-guided walking tour maps, offered in nine different languages, can be picked-up from the Harvard Information Center. And for an

  14. Harvard University Tour Tickets

    With us, there are no entry fees on the day – all you've got to do is show your pass. · Experience the Hahvahd Tour, a 70-minute guided tour of the university