Oxford, also called the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ is a wonderful place to explore with a broad range of things to do. Home to 1,500 listed buildings from every major period of British architectural history from the 11th century onwards, its centre looks like an enchanted fairytale city – no wonder Oxford is a firm favourite of filmmakers from all over the world and has inspired countless famous writers over the centuries.
Things to do in Oxford
Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a history and heritage holiday, cultured city break, a family holiday or a weekend out with friends – Oxford has plenty to offer for everyone.
Oxford is flat and compact, with many of its major attractions, such as the University of Oxford and its 38 colleges; Bodleian Library, the museums, and Oxford Castle & Prison right in the centre – perfect to explore on foot.
Climb the 99 steps of Carfax Tower to experience a bird’s eye view of Oxford’s “dreaming spires” or climb the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, considered one of the oldest buildings in the world for a great view of Radcliffe Camera.
Want to go shopping with friends and family? Westgate Oxford is Oxford’s shopping and leisure experience located in the heart of Oxford and is home to prestigious global brands, inventive and eclectic restaurants and cafes, a five-screen boutique cinema and sophisticated rooftop bars and dining. The Oxford Covered Market was officially opened in 1774 and has a unique and wonderful atmosphere. It provides its visitors with the wonderful aromas of fresh fruit, coffee, and fresh baking and to a feast of sights and sounds.
Explore the city on foot with Oxford Official Walking Tours. Join the popular Oxford University & City Tour and learn about the city’s quirky traditions, fascinating history and hidden secrets or take one of many specialist tours to explore more what this historic city has to offer! Are you tired of walking? You can hop on a City Sightseeing Oxford open-top bus tour and see the city’s famous buildings from a unique perspective.
TV and film locations
Oxford is a favourite filming location for many famous TV shows, such as Inspector Morse and movies filmed in the city. Join the Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Tour with Oxford Official Walking Tours and take a fun look at the Oxford locations for these popular TV detective series.
Retrace the steps of Harry Potter in Oxford with your family or friends on a private walking tour of Oxford. See the Tudor dining hall at Christ Church that inspired the Hogwarts Great Hall, as well as the staircase that was used several times during the films. Even though neither of the Alice in Wonderland films were ever made in Oxfordshire, Oxford was where author Lewis Carol met little Alice and where the whole story began! Find out more about TV and film locations in Oxford and Oxfordshire here.
Oxford is easy and fast to reach from London, as well as the major airports in the area, with regular direct connections: London Paddington and London Marylebone are an hour away by train. Frequent coaches depart 24 hours a day from London Victoria with the Oxford Tube. Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham airports can be reached by regular direct buses in approximately 90 minutes, and Birmingham International is served by fast trains, making Oxford easily accessible from all over the world!
Places to eat & drink
Looking for great places to eat and drink in the city? Head to Pho Oxford or Shoryu Ramen in Westgate Oxford, enjoy a unique afternoon tea experience at Victors or treat yourself to some delicious Sri Lankan cuisine at The Coconut Tree. Check out our latest Oxfordshire Hospitality Guide to find out more.
Where is Oxford?
How to get to Oxford
park&ride Oxford is an express bus service connecting Oxford Rail Station, Summertown, Seacourt Park&Ride, Redbridge Park&Ride, Pear Tree Park&Ride and Thornhill Park&Ride sites with the the heart of Oxford with minimal stops on its route.More info
Royal Cars is Oxford's largest taxi company offering all types of work, from local runs to airport tranfers to long-distance pickups and drop offs, weddings and occasionally have crossed the channel.More info
Airline: London Heathrow to Oxford
Luxury coach service linking Oxford and London Heathrow 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.More info
Oxford Tube: Oxford to London
24 hours a day and 7 day a week coach service linking Oxford and London.More info
Airline: London Gatwick Airport to Oxford
A luxury coach service linking London Gatwick and Oxford 24 hours a day, 7 day a week.More info
Things to do in Oxford
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Written & performed by Sudha Bhuchar This warm-hearted monologue is inspired by acclaimed actor and writer, Sudha Bhuchar’s banter with her dual-heritage millennial sons who have grown up in leafy…Find out more »
Want a deeper dive into the history of Oxford and its people? Our guides will take you on their personalized highlights tour around the Museum of Oxford, lasting 30 minutes-45…Find out more »