Cambridge is a beautifully charming, historical city renowned for its universities that are deemed to be the best in the world. It’s a place of great thinkers- being a home to famous scientists for hundreds of years including Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and Newton.
People from all over the world come to Cambridge to admire the stunning gothic architecture of chapels and universities that survived the wrath of World War 2. And although Cambridge is a small town- there’s a lot to see and admire, the whole place has a charisma and is very atmospheric. Ideal for a weekend break away. So here we are, the top 5 things to see and do in Cambridge!
1.Visit colleges including University of Cambridge
I think that your trip wouldn’t be complete without checking out the place that Cambridge is most known for – University of Cambridge. Beautifully detailed architecture is not all there is to this building. Founded in 1209 – this university is the fourth oldest university in the world and was granted a royal charter by King Henry III. Many colleges in Cambridge permit access inside the buildings to admire stunning architecture and craftsmanship from within, although they may ask for a small fee or be closed particular times in the year so make sure to check the accessibility of those places before you leave for your trip. Make sure to visit other colleges like St John’s College, The Trinity College or Corpus Christi College among many more!
2. Visit MUSEUMS including Fitzwilliam Museum
If after your University visits you have a newfound thirst for knowledge, make sure to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum, founded in 1816 which has one of the best collections of modern art and antiques in the entire Western Europe! It’s a home to many pieces by famous artists such as Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh. Combined with beautiful architecture, this place is so interesting you can spend an entire day there alone. Depending on your interests, alternatively you can visit other museums in Cambridge such as the Museum of Zoology which I highly recommend, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology – there’s something here for everyone!
3. Walk around the TOWN CENTRE, see CHAPELS & the CORPUS CLOCK
Walking around the town centre, is the best way to see the most Cambridge has to offer. Most places are accessible by foot with limited vehicle access. You can rent a bicycle or alternatively go on a boat ride. I do however recommend going by foot, so you can easily access many wonderful places, such as a variety of beautifully designed chapels or see the infamous Corpus Clock. It was named one of Time’s best inventions of 2008 and was unveiled to the public by Stephen Hawking. This mechanical clock is accurate every 5th minute & features an ominous mechanical locust. You can also walk by the river and visit the popular bridges- such as the mathematical bridge or the bridge of sights!
4. Recharge at a café such as FITZBILLIES & visit the Farmers Market
I think an essential to every trip is coffee. It’s a staple of mine to discover new quirky cafés around the world! And if you’re in Cambridge, you’re in luck because there’s a lot of them here! From cafes which specialize in niche coffee blends, vegan options to just small and quirky family run cafes, there’s plenty of options for everyone! The most recommended one is Fitzbillies, which is known for its original 1920’s recipe of Chelsea Buns! I loved the charming atmosphere of this place and really enjoyed the coffee, though the Chelsea buns were a little dry for me. They are also on a pricey side so if you want to grab more than a snack, I recommend visiting the Farmers Market where you have an immense variety of delicious street food options. Alternatively, there’s a lot of restaurants and takeouts in the city centre for any type of cuisine you desire.
5. Visit quirky shops including ‘The Department of Magical Gifts’
While strolling around the city centre you will find a lot of very interesting stores. There you can pick out some gifts for your family or yourself! My travel souvenirs usually conclude with a postcard and a couple of interesting snacks or a drink to try. But I do enjoy seeing all the interesting shops and items. When in Cambridge, make sure to visit a ‘’Haunted Bookshop’’ or ‘’ Gifts for interesting people’’ where you can find some truly unique gifts! Another one that is a must see is ‘A Department of Magical Gifts’ which is a Harry Potter themed gift shop. You can feel the magic from the first step you take inside, with beautiful decorations and items surrounding the shop. From wands, potions, sweets or figurines of your favourite characters, all the way down to the ‘’Invisible cloak’’ for £999.99, of course, it’s hard to fully admire that one ;)!
This short list covers a lot, but of course there’s many more places to admire in Cambridge and things to do. If you’d like a more in depth insight visit my travel journal Cambridge post. I hope that your visit will be truly special in this beautiful city!
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