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20 Best Things to Do in Oxford, United Kingdom

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Immersed with ancient charm, exquisite architecture, and rich history, Oxford is not only a vibrant academic center but a splendid city and one of the most charming in all of England. Oxford can also quickly and conveniently be reached from London by train and therefore is a fantastic option for a day trip.

The city is rightfully famous for hosting the University of Oxford, an excellent university that is one of the oldest and the best in the world. The university has plenty of magnificent attractions such as the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Ashmolean Museum, the Oxford Botanic Garden, and much more. However, the city itself has also some lovely hidden jams. One notable place near Oxford is the Blenheim Palace, a fascinating spot that is also known for being Churchill's birthplace.

This map-based itinerary exhibits the 20 best things to do in Oxford, to help you efficiently use the time you have in this wonderful city. Use Trip.Expert's planner to create an itinerary to Oxford, based on your personal preferences, and maximize your experience in this enchanting and elegant city.
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Founded in 1379, New College is known for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. The college chapel is a masterpiece, and the cloisters featured in various films, including the Harry Potter series.
  Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3BN, UK
4.6
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Established in 1602, the Bodleian is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Its vast collection includes rare manuscripts and books. The historic Radcliffe Camera, part of the Bodleian, is an iconic round library with captivating architecture.
  Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BG, UK
4.6
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Connecting two parts of Hertford College, this picturesque bridge is famous for its stunning design. It is often called the "Bridge of Sighs" due to its supposed similarity to the bridge in Venice.
  New College Ln, Oxford OX1 3BL, UK
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4
An iconic circular building, the Radcliffe Camera is part of the Bodleian Library. Its distinctive design and central location make it one of Oxford's most photographed landmarks.
  Radcliffe Sq, Oxford OX1 3BG, UK
4.7
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5
Founded in 1458, Magdalen College boasts beautiful grounds, including the famous Magdalen Tower. The college's choir is renowned, especially for its traditional May Morning performance from the top of the tower.
  Oxford OX1 4AU, UK
4.6
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6
Founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525, Christ Church is one of Oxford's largest and most prestigious colleges. Its Great Hall inspired the dining hall in the Harry Potter films.
  St Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1DP, UK
4.5
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7
Known for its academic excellence, All Souls College has an impressive architecture. It is unique in that it has no undergraduate students, focusing solely on postgraduate academics.
  Oxford OX1 4AL, UK
4.7
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A Victorian masterpiece, the museum is famous for its neo-Gothic architecture and extensive natural history collections. The impressive glass-roofed main hall is home to the museum's exhibits, including the Oxford dodo.
  Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PW, UK
4.8
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The Ashmolean Museum, established in 1683, is the world's first university museum. Renowned for its diverse collections, it houses art and artifacts spanning centuries and cultures. From Egyptian mummies to Renaissance paintings, the Ashmolean provides a captivating journey through human history, making it a treasure trove for art and history enthusiasts.
  Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2PH, UK
4.7
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A site with a rich history dating back to the Norman Conquest, Oxford Castle & Prison offers a fascinating glimpse into England's past. The complex includes a medieval castle, a Georgian debtors' tower, and a Victorian prison. Visitors can explore the castle's historic rooms, climb St. George's Tower for panoramic views, and descend into the eerie depths of the underground prison.
  44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY, UK
4.4
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11
Known for its unique approach to display, the Pitt Rivers Museum is a haven for anthropologists and curious minds alike. Founded in 1884, it houses a vast array of artifacts from around the world, arranged thematically rather than by region or time period. Its eclectic collection, including shrunken heads and ceremonial masks, offers a thought-provoking exploration of human cultures.
  S Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PP, UK
4.7
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St. Mary's, a prominent Oxford landmark, has stood since the 13th century. Its tower provides breathtaking views of the city's spires. The church is not only an architectural gem but also significant for its connection to Oxford University. It has witnessed historic events, including the trial of the Oxford Martyrs, making it a must-visit for those interested in both religious and academic history.
  The, High St, Oxford OX1 4BJ, UK
4.6
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Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1669, the Sheldonian Theatre is an architectural masterpiece. Home to university ceremonies and events, its stunning interior features intricate woodwork and the famous ceiling painting by Robert Streater. Visitors can attend concerts, and lectures, or simply appreciate the building's grandeur.
  Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ, UK
4.6
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Standing at the heart of Oxford, Carfax Tower is a medieval landmark with roots dating back to the 12th century. Once part of St. Martin's Church, it offers panoramic views of the city. Climbing to the top rewards visitors with a spectacular vantage point, showcasing Oxford's spires and historic architecture.
  Queen St, Oxford OX1 1ET, UK
4.4
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15
Port Meadow, an ancient grazing area by the River Thames, offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Famous for its unspoiled natural beauty and panoramic views, it's an ideal spot for a leisurely walk or a picnic. The meadow has historical significance and provides a serene escape just a short distance from the city center.
  Walton Well Rd, Oxford OX2 6ED, UK
4.7
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Founded in 1621, the Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the UK. A haven of tranquility, it showcases a diverse collection of plants, from medicinal herbs to exotic blooms. Visitors can explore themed borders, glasshouses, and the walled garden. The garden is a living laboratory of biodiversity and a delightful space for plant enthusiasts.
  Rose Ln, Oxford OX1 4AZ, UK
4.5
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17
Nestled in the heart of Oxford, Alice's Shop is a charming bookstore with literary significance. Once frequented by Lewis Carroll, it inspired the novel "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." The shop retains its Victorian charm and offers a whimsical collection of Alice-themed books, gifts, and memorabilia, making it a must-visit for literature lovers.
  83 St Aldate's, Oxford OX1 1RA, UK
4.3
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18
Keble College, founded in the 19th century, is renowned for its striking architecture, including the ornate Keble Chapel. The college's red-brick façade and the stunning chapel's mosaics make it a visual delight. Visitors can appreciate the Victorian Gothic style and explore the beautiful surroundings, immersing themselves in Oxford's architectural heritage.
  Oxford OX1 3PG, UK
4.7
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The Story Museum, a literary wonderland for children and adults alike, celebrates the magic of storytelling. Housed in a historic building, it features immersive exhibitions, interactive displays, and storytelling sessions. From Narnia to Wonderland, the museum brings beloved tales to life, fostering a love for literature in an enchanting and educational setting.
  42 Pembroke St, Oxford OX1 1BP, UK
4.5
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Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture surrounded by stunning landscaped gardens. Birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the palace boasts opulent interiors, extensive parklands, and the beautiful Water Terraces. A visit allows exploration of history, art, and nature, making it a grand destination for those seeking a blend of cultural richness and scenic beauty.
  Woodstock OX20 1PP, UK
4.7
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How to get to Oxford from London by train


It is very easy to reach Oxford anywhere, thanks to the fantastic public transit system in England. However, if you wish to have a day trip from London to Oxford, it is best to use the train. From London Paddington station it takes about an hour to arrive at Oxford and start your magnificent trip to this mesmerizing university town.

How to reach Blenheim Palace from Oxford


Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock, which is about 15-20 minutes away from Oxford. Therefore, if you have time, do not miss this wonderful attraction. The easy way is to take Stagecoach Bus S3 or Bus 7, both can be found on Magdalen Street in Oxford, although Bus S3 can be reached via Oxford train station.