Take a punt on the river Cam, admire the city’s wonderful architecture, discover cobbled streets full of quirky shops and relax at a riverside bar on a visit to Cambridge
The city’s iconic sights
Cambridge is home to many exquisite buildings and architectural delights and one of the best ways to explore it is to take a trip along the river Cam on a traditional Cambridge punt. From here, you’ll see some of the city’s most iconic structures: the spectacular King’s College Chapel, a gothic masterpiece that took over a century to build; the beautiful Bridge of Sighs; and the wooden Mathematical Bridge. A recent addition to the cityscape is the Corpus Clock, known locally as the Grasshopper Clock. This fascinating golden timepiece, unveiled in 2008, can be found at the Corpus’ Taylor Library.
Remarkable museums in Cambridge
The city is home to a range of exceptional museums and galleries, many of which are great for family visits. You can take a journey around the world and back to the dawn of time at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. The museum is popular with kids of all ages and is home to a huge Iguanodon skeleton and an outstanding collection of rocks, minerals and fossils.
The Cambridge Science Centre is also great for a family visit. It was designed to make science fun, and its interactive exhibits, workshops and lively shows appeal to children and grown-ups alike.
Amongst the most popular of Cambridge attractions is the Fitzwilliam Museum, where you’ll find world history and art that dates back to 2500 BC. If you’re a lover of art, there’s plenty to interest you here, as the museum boasts more than half a million (yes, that’s right!) superb artworks, including prints, watercolours and drawings. Highlights include paintings by Titian and an impressive collection of works by Turner.
There are also over 60 pieces of 20th and 21st-century sculpture to be seen around the city, so step outside and follow one of the Cambridge Sculpture Trails and see how many you can spot.
Cambridge has an abundance of green spaces, riverside walks and acres of parks and gardens to enjoy. Christ’s Pieces and Jesus Green are particularly beautiful in spring and there’s plenty on show all year round at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Some of the city’s most beautifully designed gardens are to be found at the University colleges, many of which are open to the public.
Shopping in style
Whether you’re with family or friends, everyone will enjoy shopping in Cambridge. The city’s compact centre makes it wonderfully easy to navigate. You can wander along old cobbled streets full of independent shops, quirky outlets and eateries, or browse in the city’s shopping malls. The new Grand Arcade boasts top high-street names, international brands and has a five-storey department store at its centre. And don’t forget the city’s colourful weekday market, where you’ll find fresh produce, books, clothing, flowers and more.
Take a little time out during the day to indulge yourself in one of the area’s many fabulous teashops and cafes. Local favourite Fitzbillies has been serving its famous Chelsea buns and other delights to the people of Cambridge since 1921.
Cambridge has a superb selection of restaurants and offers options for every occasion. You’ll find fine dining at Alimentum, modern Italian at De Luca Cucina & Bar and award-winning vegetarian and vegan food at the Rainbow Café. For alfresco dining with fine views over the River Cam, head for one of the city’s riverside eateries. Galleria, The Anchor and The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill are all popular with locals. If you fancy something a little less formal, then head for Butch Annie’s in Market Street. They make delicious hand-crafted burgers and serve a great selection of craft beers.
Cambridge has a varied mix of traditional pubs and lively bars and is home to some wonderful riverside inns, including The Mill and The Anchor, where you can relax and enjoy lovely views. Popular city centre pubs include The Eagle and The Mitre, and both serve up a selection of traditional ales in a traditional atmosphere.
After dark, Cambridge’s varied and exciting entertainment scene comes to life. The Cambridge Corn Exchange is the city’s premier venue for rock and pop concerts, while the Cambridge Junction features some of the country’s leading comedy performers and major music acts.
The Cambridge Arts Theatre is one of the city’s best-known venues. It presents a varied programme of drama, comedy, music, opera and dance. If you’re a lover of classical music, you can catch world-renowned classical musicians at the Saffron Hall, while film buffs will want to head to the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, home to the annual Cambridge Film Festival.
Do you like the sound of the amazing architecture and beautiful open spaces that this famous city has to offer? Then take a look at our affordable places to stay in Cambridge.