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Things to do in  Oxford

Welcome to Oxford

The weight of history is felt in every footstep in atmospheric Oxford, where life revolves around the world-class university that occupies its heart. The City of the Dreaming Spires is a walkable one (and likely visually familiar, given its turn as a Harry Potter filming location), though you can also get another view by punting along its waterways in true student fashion. Visiting the university’s colleges, plus highlights such as the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum, are also among the top things to do in Oxford, though you shouldn’t leave town before enjoying an evening in a snug pub.

Top attractions in Oxford for Spring

#1
Bodleian Library

Bodleian Library

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Located in central Oxford in a complex of historic buildings, the venerable Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It’s the main research library for the University of Oxford and also a copyright library, housing every book printed in the UK and Ireland, a collection of more than 12 million printed items.More
#2
University of Oxford

University of Oxford

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The oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford is the main draw to the riverside town of Oxford. With a history dating back to the 11th century, the university’s many colleges offer a wealth of gorgeous historical architecture—not to mention settings for movies including theHarry Potter series.More
#3
Christ Church College

Christ Church College

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Attended by leading luminaries across the centuries—and in possession of an art museum, soaring cathedral, and stately quad—Christ Church is among Oxford’s largest, grandest, and most prestigious colleges. Famously used as a set for theHarry Potter films, it is now also a pop cultural attraction.More
#4
Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace

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Built in the early 18th century, this stately home is one of Britain’s grandest historical estates. It was gifted by Queen Anne to the Duke of Marlborough, General John Churchill, for his role in defeating the French at the 1704 Battle of Blenheim, and Britain’s beloved wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill was born here in 1874.More
#5
Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera

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Located in the heart of Oxford, the Radcliffe Camera is one of the city’s most recognizable and photographed landmarks, with its unusual shape and impressive dome. Completed in 1749, it was the first rotunda library in England, and today it is one of the main reading rooms of the Bodleian Library complex.More
#6
Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs

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Linking the two halves of Hertford College, the Bridge of Sighs (formally known as Hertford Bridge) arcs above New College Lane in the heart of Oxford. Despite its ancient-seeming exterior and leaded windows, it’s only a little over a century old. While it shares a name with the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, it actually looks much more similar to that city’s Rialto Bridge.More
#7
Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre

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One of Oxford’s most recognizable landmarks, the Sheldonian Theatre is a neoclassical building dating to 1669. Designed by the celebrated architect Sir Christopher Wren, the venue is used for ceremonial events by the University of Oxford (including graduations), as well as lectures, concerts, and other publicly accessible performances.More
#8
All Souls College

All Souls College

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Set on High Street in the heart of town, graduates-only All Souls College is Oxford’s most elitist institution. Only the university’s best and brightest are invited to sit the entrance exam, and just two are accepted as fellows each year. Fifteenth-century architecture mingles with Hawksmoor and Wren detailings for pure tranquility.More
#9
Oxford Castle & Prison

Oxford Castle & Prison

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Explore nearly 1,000 years of history at Oxford Castle & Prison, located near central Oxford. Originally built in 1071 by Normans who came across with William the Conqueror, the castle was later turned into a prison. Now a museum and tourist site, it also offers stunning panoramic views over Oxford from one of the city’s oldest buildings.More
#10
Trinity College

Trinity College

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Between its baroque chapel, extensive gardens, and historic buildings, Trinity is one of Oxford’s prettiest small colleges. Founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, it occupies a prime position in central Oxford, opposite the landmark Bodleian Library.More

Trip ideas

Exploring the Oxford University Colleges

Exploring the Oxford University Colleges

Top activities in Oxford

Oxford Sightseeing Picnic River Cruise
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Cotswolds Villages Full-Day Small-Group Tour from Oxford
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Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise in Oxford
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Cotswolds Summer Adventurer Tour
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Cotswold Taster Tour from Oxford
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Cotswolds Private Day Tour

Cotswolds Private Day Tour

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Sundowner Cruise with Three Course Riverside Dining
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Harry Potter Walking Tour of Oxford Including Christ Church
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Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Oxford Walking Tour
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Oxford Sightseeing River Cruise Along The University Regatta Course
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Evening Cocktail Cruise in Oxford
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Blenheim Palace Tour From Oxford With Oxford University Alumni (Half Day)
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