Oxford
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The 10 Best Things to Do in Oxford

The name alone exudes a scholarly atmosphere, with nearly 40 different colleges and their hallowed halls of learning. However, there's more to "Gown Town," and you'll find a city that brims with history and science, and traditional English culture.

Bodleian Library

Commonly known as the Bod, the university's famous library contains 9 million books, making it Britain's second largest. The earliest collection dates to the 13th century.

Radcliffe Camera

Connected to the Bod by an underground passageway, this striking structure, with its circular design from 1749, is the reading room of the library. Go on a guided tour to see it.

University of Oxford Botanic Garden

Established in 1621 by the university's faculty of medicine, Britain's oldest botanical garden boasts 7,000 various species of plants, and its glasshouses are 300 years old.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Walk among dinosaurs in the gallery under an industrial interior of glass and iron. After visiting, go to the Pitt Rivers Museum in the adjacent building with its bevy of artifacts.

Museum of the History of Science

The ensemble of 18,000 objects includes scientific instruments from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The chalkboard Einstein used in a lecture at Oxford is also on display.

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Once a place for lectures and ceremonies, the tallest structure on the High Street was the first of this center of academics. Climb the 124 steps to the top for amazing views.

Carfax Tower

A reminder of the former, 13th-century St. Martin Church that once stood here, this belfry, with a clock that chimes every 15 minutes, marks the geographical heart of the city.

Photo: Deb Harkness@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Blackwell's Bookshop

Students, academics, and those who love books have been flocking to this historic shop since opening on Broad St. in 1879. Whatever the subject, you'll find a book about it here.

Oxford Town Hall

Built in 1897, this former library and police station is the seat of the local government and also houses the Museum of Oxford, covering the history of the city and university.

Punting

To experience this popular summer outing, rent a flat-bottomed boat and push yourself down the River Cherwell. You can rent one at the Magdalen Bridge or Cherwell Boathouse.

Planning Your Oxford Visit

How many days to spend in Oxford?

You can spend a full three days visiting the main attractions in the city center, but why not add a couple more to explore its different neighborhoods, such as trendy Jericho or East Oxford and soak up that English culture?

Getting around

Exploring the city on foot is the best way to take in the sights and sounds, especially during rush hour times. There are two bus companies which are Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach. A day pass, which is valid when traveling with either one, costs 4£, and you can buy it directly from the driver.

Where to stay in Oxford

There are hotels in the bustling center itself, and you'll have everything at your fingertips. You'll also find accommodation just beyond the center, with easy access to go on a sightseeing expedition.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    British Pound (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +44
  • Best time to visit
    Oxford is great for a visit year-round, and with so many different festivals on offer throughout the year, it's best to plan your trip according to what you most want to do.

Things to Do in Oxford

Top Attractions in Oxford

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What people are saying about Oxford

Tour guide, David, is very knowledgeable and always give us info.

The meeting for this tour is not easy to find when we follow the Google Map. It is in a office complex with a street name not on google map. Suggest to put some sign or indicator for the passengers. A number of tourists looked confused with the location too.

Amazing tour with amazing enthusiastic guide!

The tour was amazing and the guide was very kind! She was also very bubbly and enthusiastic!

From London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 16/09/2018

Excellent walking trip of where Morse/Lewis was filmed.

Our guide was Elizabeth, she was very informative. Her knowledge of all series was unbelievable, we had a few laughs along the way as well. Would definitely recommend this tour to everybody. Love Oxford and hope to return very soon.

Excellent, motivational, interesting tour.

Tom was a fabulous guide, so knowledgeable and motivated but calm and held us all together. Despite having to move our slot due to the torrential rain, we had a fabulous time, thank you.

Walking Tour of Oxford and the University Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 27/08/2018

Well worth it for any Potter fans. Bit pricey on this site though.

Tour guides very knowledgeable, kind, and well prepared. Great sites to visit, lots of opportunities for photos. Guides also offered lots more information about Oxford in general as we were walking about. Highly recommended although rather expensive on this website.

Oxford: Harry Potter Film Locations Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 22/08/2018