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Oxford
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Top attractions in Oxford

See all tours & things to do in Oxford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Blackwell's Bookshop
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

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

Cities in United Kingdom

Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford

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

What people are saying about Oxford

Walk in the footsteps of Morse, Lewis and Hathaway

I can highly recommend this walk. The World of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour TV shows were brought to life. You stand where the stars stood in the beautiful Oxford filming locations. Our guide was very knowledgeable and very passionate about all the shows and Oxford colleges. She shared many secrets from her chats with the stars and writer Colin Dexter. The 2 hours flies by you will be sad when it is over but you are left with an experience you want all your friends to share. I’d like to do the walk again and can’t wait to go back.

Our guide was inspiring and inspired. Great tour.

I had no particular expectations of the tour. However when I turned up 35 minutes early I was greeted ny two very welcoming m e mbers of staff who assured me that my guide was going to ne the best ever. In addition, They were ha ppy to recommend the best cafe in the vicinity in which to spend my 25 minutes. The guide was an approachable and enthusiastic person who was able to present dry historical facts with verve and humour .

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour Reviewed by Fiona, 13/09/2019

A wonderful tour by a very knowledgeable tour guide

A lovely tour of Oxford and part of the University. Our guide was a very knowledgeable university student who gave us a great insight into some of the history as well as Oxford today. She made it a great tour with lots of interesting stories and historical background. Would certainly recommend

Excellent tour with brilliant guide, Heidi.

Tour was excellent with our guide, Heidi, who was knowledgeable, entertaining and funny. Saw lots of unknown parts of Oxford and even the sun shone down on us throughout the whole tour. First class and would thoroughly recommend.

An excellent day trip, the highlights Stratford and Warwick Castle

Very knowledgeable guide made this trip very interesting and enjoyable. We learnt so much more about Shakespeare, his environment and where he grew up.

Warwick Castle, Stratford, Oxford & Cotswolds Day Trip Reviewed by Anonymous, 28/09/2019