Photo Credit: Alison Day
Oxford is known across the world for its incredible standard of education. Being both home to the prestigious Oxford Brookes uni and the world-renown University of Oxford, this city is full of super brainy students! But hey, you can’t just spend three years in the library right? Use our city guide to discover this great city.
If you’re new to the city, our Oxford city guide will help you find your feet and experience the best of it.
Oxford is fairly compact and most things are within walking distance. A preferred form of transportation is bikes. Lots of students choose to cycle around the city.
If you want to hop on a bus though there are plenty around and fares are fairly cheap. Oxford Brookes’ main campus is close to the city centre. To get from one campus to the other though, you can hop on the BROOKESbus service.
The University of Oxford’s main campus is near the city centre. If you need to get to any of the other campuses though, you can get use the university’s shuttle bus service.
If you need to get a taxi, there are taxi ranks in the city centre and each journey shouldn’t cost you much more than a fiver.
Photo Credit: Peter Corbett
Oxford is a beautiful historic city and has loads to see and do. It’s got tons of history and a lively nightlife too.
Want to see lots of Oxford in a short space of time? Hop on a cruise along river tour. Not only will you get to glide down Oxford’s stunning canals and rivers, but you’ll also see all of the sights on the way!
If you hop off the boat, have a look around at Oxford’s stunning architecture. If you feel like you’re walking through a mythical place, like Hogwarts, there’s a good reason why! Loads of Harry Potter scenes were filmed in and around Oxford uni. Take a walking tour of all the different locations!
If you’re looking to see a bit of history, pop along to the stunning Ashmolean Museum of Art and History. It’s full of amazing artworks and incredible historical artefacts. Definitely a must-see for any culture vultures. Want to unleash your inner Indiana Jones? Visit the Pitt Rivers Museum. This place has it all, from dinosaur bones to shrunken heads. You know when Indy says “this belongs in a museum!”, well, this is that museum! Another good place is the University of Oxford Museum. It’s comparable to the Natural History Museum in London, as it’s filled with bones and taxidermy. You’d be a fool to study here and miss any of these places!
Looking for a bit of fresh air? Have a walk around the Oxford University Parks. They’re absolutely huge and follow lots of the nearby rivers if you’re looking for a riverside stroll! Other great parks are South Park and Florence Park. If that still isn’t enough for you, travel a little out of Oxford to see the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. It’s a stunning part of the country and definitely worth taking a little road trip for!
If you’re looking to wet your whistle, Oxford has tons of amazing bars to grab a drink in. Thirst Bar is a great place to go. This place is pretty lively and offers up a wide range of delicious cocktails. Another great place is Raoul’s. It’s a little pricey, but this place has an awesome atmosphere! If you’re looking for something a little cheaper and ‘studenty’, check out the Duke of Cambridge. It’s a little cosier and more “pubby” than the other two, but is definitely worth a visit!
Oxford has got loads of great clubs to go out with your mates in! The Bullingdon is a great place for live music. Definitely worth a visit! JT’s Cocktail Bar and Club is a great night for cheap drinks deals and student nights! Oxford might feel quite fancy at times, but this place is perfect for a night out that won’t hurt your wallet! The Bridge is in the same vein as JT’s, this place is very student-friendly! Fancy a big night out? Check out Atik. It’s a huge club with four different floors and has a total capacity of over 1000! Perfect for a messy night out on the town!
Fancy a lovely cup of coffee? Oxford has a whole host of great coffee bars. Check out Brew for a chilled cuppa. Want something a little fancier? The Grand Café has a stunning interior and trained baristas who really know their stuff!
If you’re a fan of sport, the obvious event you’ll want to see is the famous Oxford and Cambridge boat race. Although the event takes place in London, you can cheer on Oxford (or boo if you’re an Oxford Brookes student!). Hey, it’s a great excuse to have a few bevvies either way, right? If you’re into footy, Oxford United are worth a watch. They may not have the biggest team, but the side does well in League One!
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Oxford has lots of great restaurants to get a bite to eat. Oxford is a decent-sized city, so you’ll find all the major restaurant chains here.
For a gorgeous dining experience, go to the Folly Restaurant. It’s a lovely restaurant right next to the River Thames. It’s got a European feel to it and will make you feel like you’re dining out in Venice!
For something a little more casual, check out Oli’s Thai. It’s a great place to grab a bite with some friends and has a wide range of delicious Thai cuisine.
Want to share a slice with some mates? Pop down to Mamma Mia Pizzeria. Its pizzas are scrumptious!
For vegans and vegetarians, The Gardeners Arms is a great place to check out. It’s got a fully vegetarian menu for you to choose from!
Oxford has got loads of great shops you can visit. It’s got tons of range, from mainstream brands to quirky vintage shops. Whatever you fancy, you’ll be able to find it here!
The main shopping centre in Oxford is the Westgate shopping centre. Another big one is Templars Square shopping centre. These two shopping centres should have most of what you’ll need clothes-wise. If you fancy a break whilst shopping, Westgate also has a cinema you can visit!
There are plenty of other shops to explore on the high street as well. The high street is right in the city centre and easy to find.
If you’re looking to pick up some vintage clobber, Unicorn is a cool place to check out. Reign Vintage is another great place to check out if you’re looking for some old-school gear!
Oxford has got a big student population who are spread out all over the city. Unlike other uni cities, Oxford student areas are often quite far away from each other. The main areas are Jericho, Grandpoint and Abingdon Road, Summertown, Headington, Marston and East Oxford.
Jericho is a very popular student area. It’s in a great location and is filled with loads of lovely houses. The downside is though that you’ll likely be paying quite a bit more to live here, which isn’t ideal for some students.
Grandpoint and Abingdon Road are a little further out than most other student areas. This isn’t ideal for some students, but others prefer the peace and quiet. You’re still only a bus ride away from the centre anyway!
Summertown is another popular choice for students. It’s in a great location if you’re studying at the University of Oxford. Better still, it has that typical ‘Oxfordy’ look to it, but without the price tag! Rents are a little lower here than in other areas in Oxford.
Headington is most popular with Oxford Brookes students as it is super close to the main campus. You’ll have to get a bus into the city centre, but Headington is known for its quirky student bars, so these will likely become your go-to watering holes!
Marston is in a great location. Getting to the city centre and the universities are quick and easy (especially by bike!). Expect higher rents here though. If you’re a post-grad or an academic, this area will be ideal for you, as it offers up a little more peace and quiet than other student areas.
East Oxford (Kenilworth Avenue, Cowley Road, St Clements and Iffley Road) is one of the most popular places for students. It’s in a great location for Oxford uni students and the rent prices here are a little lower than average. It’s known for being a slightly cooler and edgier part of Oxford due to its wide array of vintage shops, indie cinemas and buzzing music scene.
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