The beautiful ancient buildings, the historical richness and the academic atmosphere make Oxford an awe-inspiring little city. Known as the city of dreaming spires, Oxford is just one and a half hours away from London. Yet, I can assure you the city is different from anywhere else you might have been to. Personally, I’ve been living here for more than a year and I still catch myself fascinated contemplating the city sometimes. And, this is precisely what today’s post is about: I am going to teach you how to spend the most amazing 24 hours exploring Oxford’s charming little streets! YAY!
9:00 a.m — Breakfast at the Grand Café
So, if you want to have the best 24 hours in Oxford, you will have to wake up relatively early because there is a lot to see in little time! The Grand Café is a good option to start the day as it isn’t only a cute little café in the High Street, but it also stands on the site of the oldest coffeehouse in England… and the food is really good! You can get an authentic full English breakfast here, but it’s also possible to have something like a granola yogurt or a toast if you, like me, prefer to have a light breakfast.
10:00 a.m – Ashmolean Museum
Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is the world’s oldest public museum. This is an art and archaeology museum and they have pieces from all around the world. I personally like the Egyptian collection very much. And the best part? The entrance is free!
11:30 – Covered Market
Now this is a place I really like. The Covered Market is precisely what its name indicates it is; the permanent stalls sell literally every kind of product, from souvenirs to sandwiches, bags, and flowers. When in the market, please do yourself a favor and have a cookie at Ben’s Cookies. They have many different flavors, but ask for the ones that just came out of the oven for a warm, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.
12:30 – Lunch
OK, I understand you will probably have had a lot to eat at the Grand Café so I’d advise you to grab a sandwich at the Covered Market and walk to the Christ Church Meadow, a beautiful picnic spot right in the city center (as the name suggests, it belongs to the Christ Church College of the University of Oxford). If the weather isn’t good enough for that, I would recommend picking one of the restaurants at George Street — all the places I have been to there were good but, if you like Indochinese cuisine, Banana Tree is my all time favorite!
14:00 – University Colleges
Well, it’s impossible to say you actually know Oxford if you have never visited the University of Oxford. The university is divided into thirty-eight colleges that are spread around Oxford. Not all of them are worth visiting, though. Since you will be in the city center I would recommend visiting one or two of the colleges nearby, such as St. John’s, Christ Church and Magdalen. If you’ve had lunch at the Christ Church Meadow, then you should obviously start with this one. Click here to check the entrance prices and the opening times for each one of the Oxford colleges.
16:30 – Walk around and explore!
So you could use this time to see some of Oxford’s most famous landmarks, such as the Oxford Castle, the Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bridge of Sighs. This could also be your free time to just wander around the city center and do whatever you like.
18:00 – Dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants in the Westgate Centre
The Westgate is a massive (at least for Oxford’s standards) shopping center that has recently been renovated. But this is not only a good option for the shopaholics, but it’s also a nice place to get some good food. The rooftop has about five different restaurants to choose from and, depending on the season, you might even be able to enjoy your dinner while watching the sunset over the city of dreaming spires — sounds like a good way to finish your day in Oxford!
Written by Ana Luiza Loio, EF Academy Oxford IB Year 2 Student from Brazil.
With its historic university and diverse student population, Oxford is known as the academic heart of England. At the EF Academy UK boarding school in Oxford, you will combine contemporary learning with Britain’s academic traditions for the ultimate pre-university experience that will position you for success in the globalized 21st century.