If you’re planning a trip to Oxford in 2024, you’re in for a treat. This charming city is home to some of the world’s most renowned universities, museums, and historic landmarks.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, indulging in its culinary delights, or simply taking in the stunning architecture, there’s something for everyone in Oxford.

Best Things to do in Oxford

One of the most popular things to do in Oxford is to visit its historic sites and museums. From the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology to the Bodleian Library, there’s no shortage of cultural treasures to discover.

If you’re interested in history, be sure to check out the Oxford Castle and Prison, where you can explore the city’s medieval past and even climb to the top of the castle’s tower for stunning views of the city.

For those looking for cultural experiences, Oxford has plenty to offer. Attend a performance at the Oxford Playhouse or the New Theatre, or visit the Sheldonian Theatre, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

If you’re interested in outdoor activities, you can take a stroll through the University of Oxford Botanic Garden or explore the beautiful Port Meadow. And of course, no trip to Oxford is complete without sampling some of the city’s famous cuisine, whether it’s a traditional pub meal or a gourmet feast at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

Key Takeaways

  • Oxford is a city with a long and illustrious history, dating back to 912 AD.
  • The city is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Oxford, which is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
  • Oxford is also home to a number of famous museums, including the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Bodleian Library.
  • The city is known for its beautiful architecture, including the Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Christ Church Cathedral.
  • Oxford is also home to a number of literary landmarks, including the Eagle and Child pub, where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are said to have met.
  • Oxford is a great place to visit for food lovers, with a wide variety of restaurants serving traditional British cuisine as well as international cuisine.
  • The city is also home to a number of pubs and bars, making it a great place to enjoy a pint of traditional English beer.
  • Oxford is a great place to visit for shopping, with a number of independent shops and boutiques selling everything from souvenirs to high-end fashion.
  • The city is also home to the Covered Market, a covered market with over 50 stalls selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and international cuisine.
  • Oxford is a great place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts, with a number of parks and gardens to explore, including the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Port Meadow.
  • The city is also home to the River Thames, which is a popular spot for boating and punting.
  • Oxford is a great place to visit for families, with a number of attractions that are suitable for all ages.

Historic Sites and Museums

If you’re interested in history, Oxford has plenty of historic sites and museums that are worth visiting. Here are a few of the best:

Oxford University Tours – One of the Best Things to Do in Oxford

One of the best ways to experience the history of Oxford is by taking a tour of the University.

Best Things to Do in Oxford - Oxford University Tour

You can explore the beautiful architecture of the colleges, learn about the history of the University, and even visit some of the famous filming locations from the Harry Potter movies.

There are a variety of tours available, so you can choose one that fits your interests and schedule.

Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world, and it’s home to an incredible collection of art and artefacts.

Best Things to Do in Oxford Ashmolean Museum

You can see everything from ancient Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, and there are always new exhibitions to explore. The museum is located in the heart of Oxford, so it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the city.

Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of the most famous libraries in the world, and it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in books and history.

Bodleian Library - Best Things to do in Oxford

You can take a tour of the library and see some of the rarest and most valuable books in the world, including a Gutenberg Bible and a Shakespeare First Folio.

The library is also a beautiful building, with stunning architecture and plenty of history to explore.

Overall, if you’re interested in history and culture, Oxford has plenty to offer. Whether you’re exploring the University, visiting the Ashmolean Museum, or checking out the Bodleian Library, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Cultural Experiences

If you are looking for cultural experiences in Oxford, you are in luck. The city is home to a wide range of cultural activities that are sure to delight and inspire you. From theatre performances to literary walking tours, there is something for everyone.

Theater Performances

Oxford has a rich theater tradition, and you can catch a variety of performances throughout the year. The Oxford Playhouse is one of the city’s most popular venues, and it hosts a range of productions, from classic plays to contemporary works. The New Theatre is another great option, with a diverse lineup of shows that includes everything from musicals to ballet.

Literary Walking Tours

Oxford is famous for its literary connections, and there are plenty of walking tours that will take you on a journey through the city’s literary history.

The C.S. Lewis Tour is a must for fans of the Narnia series, while the Inspector Morse Tour will take you to some of the locations featured in the popular TV show.

The Oxford Literary Festival is another highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, and it attracts some of the biggest names in literature.

Whether you are a fan of theater or literature, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to enjoy in Oxford. So why not plan a visit and immerse yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage?

Outdoor Activities

When it comes to outdoor activities, Oxford has plenty of options to offer. Whether you’re looking to relax and enjoy the scenery or get active and explore, there’s something for everyone.

Punting on the Thames

One of the most popular outdoor activities in Oxford is punting on the Thames.

Outdoor activities in Oxford is punting - Best Things to do in Oxford.

This traditional mode of transport involves using a long pole to push a flat-bottomed boat along the river. It’s a great way to see the city from a different perspective and take in the beautiful architecture and scenery.

You can hire a punt and do it yourself, or take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the city and its famous landmarks.

Botanic Gardens Visit

Another great outdoor activity in Oxford is a visit to the Botanic Gardens.

This beautiful garden is home to over 6,000 different plant species from all over the world. You can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the sights and smells, or take part in one of the many events and workshops that are held throughout the year.

The gardens are also a great place for a picnic or to simply relax and soak up the sunshine.

Overall, Oxford’s outdoor activities are a great way to explore the city and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Dining and Cuisine

When it comes to dining and cuisine in Oxford, you’ll find a wide variety of options to satisfy your taste buds. From traditional British pubs to unique afternoon tea experiences, there’s something for everyone.

Traditional British Pubs

If you’re looking for a taste of traditional British cuisine, then you can’t go wrong with a visit to one of Oxford’s many pubs. The city is home to a number of historic pubs, some of which date back to the 16th century.

These pubs offer a cozy atmosphere and serve up classic British dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, and shepherd’s pie. Some of the most popular pubs in Oxford include The Turf Tavern, The Eagle and Child, and The Bear Inn.

Afternoon Tea Experience

For a unique and quintessentially British dining experience, you can’t miss out on an afternoon tea. Oxford is home to a number of venues that offer a traditional afternoon tea experience, complete with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of cakes and pastries.

Some of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea in Oxford include The Grand Café, The Randolph Hotel, and The Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant.

No matter what your taste buds crave, Oxford has something to offer. From traditional British pubs to unique afternoon tea experiences, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your appetite.

Shopping and Markets

Oxford is a shopper’s paradise, with a variety of markets and shops to explore. From the historic Covered Market to independent bookshops, there’s something for everyone.

Covered Market

The Covered Market, located in the heart of Oxford, is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique shopping experience. The market dates back to the 18th century and is home to over 50 independent traders selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.

One of the highlights of the Covered Market is the food stalls, offering a range of international cuisine from Thai to Mexican. You’ll also find traditional English fare, such as pies and pastries, and the famous Oxford sausage.

Independent Bookshops

Oxford is known for its literary history, so it’s no surprise that the city is home to several independent bookshops.

Blackwell’s, located on Broad Street, is one of the largest and most famous bookshops in the city. The shop has been around since 1879 and has a wide selection of books, including rare and out-of-print titles.

Another great independent bookshop is Albion Beatnik, located in the Jericho neighborhood. The shop specialises in poetry and jazz, with regular events and readings. If you’re looking for a unique gift, the shop also sells vintage vinyl records and prints.

Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, handmade crafts, or rare books, Oxford’s markets and shops have something for everyone. Make sure to add these destinations to your itinerary for an unforgettable shopping experience.


In conclusion, Oxford offers a diverse array of activities that cater to all interests, from the intellectually curious to those seeking leisure and entertainment.

The city’s rich history is showcased through its world-renowned university, historic architecture, and numerous museums.

Meanwhile, the bustling city centre, scenic parks, and vibrant cultural scene provide ample opportunities for relaxation and exploration. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, Oxford promises an enriching and unforgettable experience.

This city, steeped in tradition yet brimming with contemporary life, truly has something for everyone.

➡️ Read more abut Best Things to do in Cambridge

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What are the top attractions to visit in Oxford?

Oxford is a city that is full of history and culture, and there are many attractions that you simply can’t miss.

Some of the top attractions include the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. If you are interested in architecture, then you should definitely visit the Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Oxford Castle. The Christ Church Cathedral and the Magdalen College are also worth visiting.

Which unique experiences can’t be missed when in Oxford?

Oxford is a city that is full of unique experiences, and there are many things that you simply can’t miss.

One of the most unique experiences is punting on the River Cherwell or River Thames. Another unique experience is visiting the Oxford Covered Market, which is a historic market that has been around for over 200 years. You can also take a ghost tour of Oxford, which is a fun and spooky way to see the city.

Are there any notable free activities to enjoy in Oxford?

Yes, there are many free activities to enjoy in Oxford. You can take a walk around the city and explore the historic architecture. You can also visit the Botanic Garden, which is a beautiful garden that is open to the public for free. The Pitt Rivers Museum and the Museum of the History of Science are also free to visit.

What are the recommended evening activities in Oxford?

Oxford has a vibrant nightlife, and there are many things to do in the evening. You can watch a play at the Oxford Playhouse or the New Theatre.

You can also enjoy a drink at one of the many pubs in the city, such as The Turf Tavern or The Eagle and Child. If you’re looking for something more relaxed, you can visit one of the many cinemas in the city.

How long is an ideal visit to Oxford?

The ideal visit to Oxford depends on what you want to see and do. If you want to see all of the top attractions and have time to explore the city, then you should plan to stay for at least three days. However, if you only have a day or two, you can still see many of the top attractions and get a feel for the city.

What historical sites are a must-see in Oxford?

There are many historical sites that are a must-see in Oxford. The Oxford Castle is a great place to start, as it has a rich history that dates back to the 11th century.

The Christ Church Cathedral is also a must-see, as it is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, and the Sheldonian Theatre are also important historical sites that you should visit.

Similar Posts