Oxford city guide

Explore the colleges and museums in one of Britain’s most beautiful city centres, once home to bands Foals, Radiohead, and setting for the Harry Potter films.

Oxford is best known for its university – and quite rightly so. Not only has the institution played a major role in the education of some of the finest minds in the world, it is also responsible for many of the city’s 1,500 listed buildings.

Visitors can explore the premises of several of the university’s 38 colleges. In some instances, sightseers can even visit a college dining room, such as Christ Church’s Great Hall, the inspiration for Hogwarts’ dining hall in the Harry Potter films.

Oxford was once home to major authors such as JRR Tolkien, Lewis Carroll and Iris Murdoch, and more recently the city has given us the bands Radiohead and Foals.

What to see

The Pitt Rivers Museum is just stuffed full of weird and wonderful objects from around the world.

Where to hang out

Head over to Oxford Castle Quarter for good places to eat and drink, and discover the city’s dark history on an Oxford Castle Unlocked tour.

Where to eat

Turl Street Kitchen is a café-restaurant in central Oxford offering modern British cuisine. The interior décor is cool without being unbearably hipsterish.

Where to stay

The Malmaison Oxford was formerly an old slammer but is now a boutique hotel. It’s at the pricier end of the scale, but worth every penny if you’re looking

Pitt Rivers Museum
Oxford Castle Quarter
Turl Street Kitchen
Malmaison Oxford