Ultimate Guide: Things to Do in Oxford

Toa Heftiba
January 6
Written by Elena Kostas

Discover the best things to do in Oxford, a city full of history and culture. Explore the most iconic sites and attractions during your visit.

Oxford, a city filled with charm and mystery. Known for its prestigious university and stunning architecture, Oxford offers a wide range of activities and must-see attractions.

In Oxford, you'll find beautiful gardens like Christ Church and Magdalen College, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the serenity. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, which houses a vast collection of literary treasures.

Immerse yourself in Oxford's history by visiting the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the UK, or the Oxford Castle, an impressive medieval fortress that offers guided tours.

If you're a literature lover, Oxford invites you to follow in the footsteps of famous writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, who found inspiration in its streets. Make sure to visit The Eagle and Child pub, known as the meeting place of the Inklings, a group of writers.

These are just a few of the many things to do and see in Oxford. Explore everything this wonderful city has to offer!

1. Christ Church Oxford

Historical Monuments and Architecture
a clock on a tower
Christ Church Oxford / James Wood, Unsplash

Discover the history and beauty of Christ Church in Oxford.

Located in the heart of the city, Christ Church is one of Oxford's most important tourist attractions. Founded in the 16th century, this university and cathedral offers visitors a unique experience.

Explore its impressive cathedral and gardens.

Christ Church boasts a magnificent Gothic cathedral that will leave you speechless. Admire its imposing architecture and discover its interior filled with works of art. Additionally, the gardens of Christ Church are the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Oxford.

Visiting Christ Church is immersing yourself in centuries of history and culture. Discover the illustrious figures who have passed through its halls and be enchanted by the charm of this iconic place.

2. Bodleian Library

Museums and Art Galleries
person standing in front of brown concrete building
Bodleian Library / Ugur Akdemir, Unsplash

The Bodleian Library is a historic gem that is part of the University of Oxford. Founded in 1602, it boasts a rich collection of books and manuscripts spanning centuries of history.

This iconic Gothic architecture building is home to over 12 million books, including valuable treasures such as the Magna Carta and J.R.R. Tolkien's original manuscripts. Walking through its corridors is immersing oneself in the accumulated knowledge of centuries.

The Bodleian Library is a must-visit place in Oxford for literature and history enthusiasts. Exploring its rooms filled with shelves of books is a unique experience that transports us to bygone eras and connects us with the intellectual legacy of humanity.

3. Ashmolean Museum in Oxford

Museums and Art Galleries
a man and woman sitting on a bench in a museum
Ashmolean Museum in Oxford / Benjamin Elliott, Unsplash

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is one of the top things to do in Oxford. With its extensive collection of art and historical objects, this museum is a must-visit for any history and art lover.

Housed in an impressive stone building, the Ashmolean Museum showcases a wide range of exhibits spanning from ancient and classical art to modern and contemporary art. You'll be amazed by Renaissance masterpieces, ancient artifacts, and cultural treasures from around the world.

In addition to exploring the galleries, the Ashmolean Museum offers a diverse program of events and activities for all ages. It also features a gift shop and a café where you can relax and enjoy a delicious coffee after your visit.

4. Magdalen College

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Magdalen College is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges of the University of Oxford. Founded in 1458, its historic architecture and natural surroundings make it a unique place to visit in the city of Oxford.

The college is situated on a beautiful campus that includes award-winning gardens, a meandering river, and the famous tower of Magdalen Chapel. Take a stroll through its grounds and marvel at the picturesque beauty of this iconic place.

Magdalen College Chapel is famous for its male voices choir, who perform the traditional singing of psalms every day at 6 am during the months of May and June. Don't miss the opportunity to witness this unique musical spectacle.

5. Oxford Castle

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$

Oxford Castle is an impressive medieval fortress located in the heart of the city of Oxford. Built in the 11th century, this castle offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the region.

Known for its imposing architecture and extensive gardens, Oxford Castle is a must-visit for history lovers and curious explorers. Explore the towers, dungeons, and courtyards as you immerse yourself in Oxford's past.

From the top of the castle walls, you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. Don't forget your camera, as this is undoubtedly one of the best places to capture the charm and beauty of Oxford.

6. The Eagle and Child Pub

Food and Markets$$$

The Eagle and Child, also known as The Bird and Baby, is a famous pub located in Oxford. It is known for its literary history and for being a meeting point for important writers such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Located in the heart of the city, The Eagle and Child is the ideal place to enjoy a good beer while immersing yourself in the literary atmosphere of Oxford. Be amazed by the traditional decor and the warmth of this iconic pub.

Come and discover The Eagle and Child and experience an authentic British experience in a charming and traditional setting.

7. C.S. Lewis Walk

History and Cultural Heritage

The C.S. Lewis Walk in Oxford is a unique experience for literature and history lovers. Explore the places that inspired the acclaimed British author C.S. Lewis and immerse yourself in a literary world full of magic and fantasy.

During the tour, you will visit the University of Oxford, where Lewis taught for many years, and discover the colleges and classrooms where he created some of his most famous works, such as The Chronicles of Narnia.

Stroll through the picturesque university gardens and be enchanted by the places that shaped the life and work of this talented author. Imagine how the streets of Oxford came to life in C.S. Lewis' mind and discover the inspiration behind beloved characters like Aslan and Lucy.

8. Oxford Botanic Garden

Natural Spaces and Parks

The Oxford Botanic Garden is one of the city's top tourist attractions. Located in the heart of Oxford, it is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy peaceful surroundings.

With over 6,000 species of plants and flowers, the Botanic Garden offers a unique experience for botany and gardening enthusiasts. Its meticulously designed gardens and colorful greenhouses will transport you to a world of natural beauty.

Don't miss the beautiful pathways that wind through the garden, where you can discover exotic and native species, as well as themed areas focused on conservation and environmental education. Take a stroll, relax, and enjoy this botanical treasure in the heart of Oxford.

9. University of Oxford

History and Cultural Heritage

The University of Oxford is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Founded in the 12th century, this institution has been the breeding ground for countless brilliant minds that have left their mark on the history of humanity.

Explore its majestic buildings and stroll through the lawns of its colleges, marveling at the Gothic architecture and beautiful gardens that surround them.

Immerse yourself in the academic atmosphere of Oxford as you observe the students in their gowns and enjoy the knowledge that has been forged in this place for centuries. A must-visit for knowledge and history enthusiasts!

10. Carfax Tower

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Carfax Tower is one of the most iconic attractions in Oxford. Located in the heart of the city, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the ancient university buildings and the surrounding landscape.

Originally built in the 13th century as part of St. Martin's Church, Carfax Tower has witnessed centuries of history and changes in the city.

Today, climbing to the top of the tower is a must-do for visitors, providing the opportunity to capture incredible photos and appreciate the grandeur of Oxford from above.