Boston’s  quirky geography has caused more than a few headaches to visitors trying to keep its twisting roads straight. The bulk of the downtown still takes up the Shawmut Peninsula, with Boston Common  as its beating green heart. The downtown neighborhoods are organized around the Common, with Beacon Hill  and North End  to the north, the Financial District  and Downtown to the east, and the Back Bay  and South End  to the south.
East Boston , along with Logan International Airport, is across Boston Harbor to the northeast, while South Boston  and the new Seaport District , meanwhile, form a peninsula to the southeast. Farther to the south are the city’s ethnic residential communities, including Roxbury , Dorchester , and Jamaica Plain . Even farther south is the separate city of Quincy , while west of the Fenway  is the chic Brookline , a separate town despite being almost completely surrounded by Boston. Across the river to the north are intellectual Cambridge  and hip Somerville .
Once upon a time it was foolhardy to walk around downtown Boston  at night—especially in the blocks between Downtown Crossing  and Chinatown  colorfully known as the “Combat Zone.” Now the Combat Zone is home to a luxury hotel, and with a little common sense it’s safe to walk downtown at any hour.
Keep in mind that because of Boston bars’ early closing times of 1 or 2 a.m. the streets can seem somewhat empty during the early morning hours. It’s probably a good idea to avoid crossing Boston Common  after midnight.
Most of the outlying neighborhoods are also safe to walk in at night, with the exception of parts of Roxbury  and Dorchester , including Dudley Square, Grove Hall, Upham’s Corner, and Franklin Park (though these areas are safe enough during the day). Most subway lines and stations are safe until closing at 12:30 a.m.; however, use caution for the stations on the Orange Line between Massachusetts Avenue and Forest Hills.