10 things to do in Oxford

5:43 AM

On my second day in England, I took a quick train from London Marylebone to Oxford. There are probably more services but I bought a £11.00 roundtrip ticket with Chiltern Railways. This line is comfortable and has free Wi-fi on board so that was definitely a bonus.

Oxford is a small city so from the station, you can walk to the center and be there in around 10 minutes. I had 8 hours to explore the city. The weather was warm and sunny, (hello heatwave!), so it was perfect to stroll around. I found this city to be more breathtaking than London. Maybe it is because I love small and charming old cities with beautiful architecture. It’s also less crowded and overwhelming than the capital, so for me it was the perfect getaway.

Looking up how you should spend your day? Here are ten things to do when visiting Oxford:

1. Admire Oxford’s architecture – taking a stroll around the city center is breathtaking. You don’t want to miss Oxford University’s different colleges and churches.

University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Part of Bodleian Library

Weston Library
High Street

New Theatre

Magdalen Chapel

2. See the Radcliffe Camera – this was one of my favorite buildings. Photos don’t make this library justice.

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3. Spot the Bridge of Sighs (Hertford Bridge)

4. Visit the Bodleian Libraries – I bought the 30-minute tour to see Duke Humfrey's Library and the Divinity School, both used to shot scenes for the Harry Potter movie. You can’t take pictures at the library, so it’s worth the £7.

5. Have lunch at the Covered Market – this market is full of independent stores where you can find clothing, shoes, fresh food and cooked meals.

6. Buy a milkshake or smoothie at Moo Moo’s – this place is easy to spot thanks to its bright pink color. I’ve heard great things about the milkshakes but I can tell you, the smoothies are also to die for. I tried the Very Berry flavor (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, yoghurt and cranberry juice) and it was heavenly.

7. Visit a museum or two (or three) – it’s free!  I went to the Museum of History of Science. They have a board with a formula written by Einstein during its visit to Oxford University!

Museum of History of Science on the right

💡 Tip: Verify opening times and availability prior to visiting – Some museums may be closed on Sundays, such as the Oxford Museum. Also, places like Christ Church may be closed due to private events.

8. Watch the city skyline from Carfax Tower - Although I didn’t go up, city views from above are always spectacular.

9. Breath fresh air at the botanic garden – (£3.50 if a student, adults at £5)

10. Take a tour at the Christ Church – some scenes of Harry Potter were also filmed here. I didn’t get to visit because it was closed, but the entrance fee is from £6 to £8 if you’re a student.

How beautiful is Oxford? If you’re staying in London for a few days, I recommend that you make the quick trip. It’s budget-friendly, full of history and simply amazing!

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