Top 10 things to do in Cambridge

Home to one of the oldest universities in the world, Cambridge is bursting with history and character. Explore its ancient streets, marvel at the beautiful architecture, go punting along the River Cam, or enjoy some shopping in a bohemian market. 

Explore the historic University of Cambridge

Old Court, Queen's College in Cambridge, south England. Image credited to Iain Lewis.

As one of the oldest and most famous universities in the world, the 31 colleges of Cambridge University are the centrepieces of this city. Explore gothic chapels, Regency halls, and Victorian squares as you walk in the footsteps of famous alumni that includes Lord Byron and Sir Isaac Newton.

 

Tuck into the Cambridge food tour

This delicious walking (and eating) tour of Cambridge’s best places for all things food is a great way to get to know the city’s top tastes. The tour includes pubs, fish and chip shops, delis and speciality shops, and you can set up your tour to suit your culinary preferences perfectly.

 

Go on a punting tour

Bridge of Sighs, St John's College, Scudamore's Punting Company in Cambridge, south England. Image credited to Iain Lewis.

The River Cam flows beside many of the city’s historic colleges, so punting – poling a flat-bottomed boat – is a great way to both see the sights and be close to nature. You can punt right out of the city to the charming village of Grantchester and rest up stop at a country café. You can also pay for a professional punter to take you on a tour.

 

Drink in the pub where DNA was discovered

Cambridge has some fantastic historic pubs, many of which were once the haunts of famous figures. One of the best known is The Eagle, where scientists Crick and Watson famously came up with the idea that led to the discovery of DNA.

 

Stay in a historic college

King's College in Cambridge, south England. Image credited to Iain Lewis.

Stay in one of the beautiful historic colleges of the university. Trinity, King’s and St. John’s are among the largest and best known, while Pembroke, Corpus Christi and Jesus College have beautiful gardens and grounds. You can book tours with the individual colleges outside of term time. It’s a great way to stay right in the heart of the city and get to know its most beautiful buildings.

 

See the Buskers and Street Performers Festival

Over a 3-day period in September, spread throughout the city, buskers and street performers are invited to participate in a competition that is voted by the public. Take a stroll through the city streets and enjoy the music!

 

Spend the day at a museum

One of the most well-known Cambridge museums is the Fitzwilliam Museum, which houses more than half a million works of art, including modern paintings, light installations and historic manuscripts. The Museum of Cambridge, set in a 17th-century building, will take you on a fascinating journey through the history of the city, while the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is home to world-class art and artefacts from across the globe.

 

Hit the parks

Punting along 'The Backs' of the famous colleges in Cambridge, south England.

Cambridge is a leafy city full of great parks and the beautiful gardens of the different colleges. Most famous are ‘The Backs’, the gardens of the riverside colleges that back onto the River Cam, which is a perfect spot for a picnic. You’ll also find Parkers Piece and Midsummer Common ideal for relaxing on a sunny day.

 

Visit the churches and chapels

Cambridge is home to some of England’s most beautiful churches and chapels. St Peter’s Chapel is the smallest church in Cambridge and dates back to the 12th century. St Mary the Great is known as the university church and all distances in Cambridge are measured from its location – be sure to take in the city from the top of its tower! And don’t miss King’s College Chapel, which is a true masterpiece of English craftsmanship.

 

Get the gifts in

Cambridge has excellent shopping; whether you’re looking for high-street brands, designer jewellery, local markets or bohemian boutiques, this compact city has you covered. You’ll find some fantastic bookshops too, as you might expect from such a scholarly city!

More things to do in Cambridge

Culture
Heritage
Family Friendly
Food & Drink
Film & TV
Free things to do
Hidden gems
One hour from...
Shopping