Cambridge is just a few hours from London and is a perfect place for a weekend break. The city is perfect for all kind of visitors since young students to an adventurous family. I wasn’t very lucky when I visit the city as it was a very rainy and cloudy day – what a surprise UK! But even that the weather it wasn’t the perfect, the city still is magical and deserves a trip.
Easily walkable by foot
As the city is not near as big as London, it is easily explorable by foot. I definitely recommend you to do it. The atmosphere around the town is magical, and the historical and medieval streets are perfect to explore and listen to many students’ stories from over the years. As approximately 1/5 of the city’s population consists of students, makes Cambridge a very busy city. Walking around the streets of the city and discovering the colleges makes me feel like travel in time or even like I was inside of a Harry Potter movie.
You can also explore the city via bicycle, as almost is the main transport for Cambridge inhabitants. Also, cycling around the city is convenient and quicker, especially if the weather is propitious. Traditionally the student’s bicycles are usually a much swifter form of transport than the car.
The Cambridge University is absolutely spectacular. Cambridge is known worldwide by their ancient university which was founded in 1209. The city is full of impressive old buildings and medieval historical features, in fusion with technologies of the future. The most amazing fact is that the oldest college still exists today – the Peterhouse – formed in 1280, being the oldest university building in Cambridge.
Some of the colleges are free to walk around and some charge a fee for admission. However, don’t get discouraged with the charging fees, as the Colleges are definitely a must-see for any visitor in Cambridge. However, on some occasions of the year, the colleges can be closed for some events, so it’s always good to check their websites before visiting.
My favorites colleges that I definitely recommend you to visit are the King’s College and Trinity College. The King’s College dining hall is looking exactly like the dining hall of Hogwarts. Seriously, deserves a visit!
Punting on the River Cam
My favourite activity in Cambridge was the punting on the River Cam. Punting is definitely a must-do when you visit Cambridge, especially it is sunny. The bridges over the river are indescribable and each of them seems to outshine the next. From the medieval architecture of the Bridge of Sighs at St. John’s College to the more basic architecture of the Mathematical Bridge at Queens College – get yourself in love with this breathtaking spotlights.
Buy a ticket for a guided tour and admire the beautiful colleges, whilst enjoying the trip. If you prefer you can hire your own punt. However, lots of people appeared to be struggling and get stock at some point in the river. Even as it was funny for us to watch, I was quite happy that we opted for a guided tour instead. The tour guide was very informative and funny, giving us lots of information about the colleges and bridges, focusing also on funny stories from the students over the years.
Green Spaces and Parks
Cambridge is a particularly green city, which makes it a nice place to visit for a picnic close to the river and enjoy a day outdoors. During the Summer, the parks tend to be full of locals, students and tourists relaxing in the sunshine. The university’s marvellous Botanic Gardens has been open to the public since 1846 and displays over 8000 plant species from all over the world – also a must-see in the city!
The streets of Cambridge are full of historical architecture, giving a special character to the city. The character of Cambridge is still set by magnificent medieval college buildings, including the most-known finest landmarks in Britain. One of the only four round churches in England, which was probably inspired by Holly Sepulchre in Jerusalem, was built around 1130, is one of the most antique buildings in Cambridge.
Shops and Markets
Cambridge has 2 shopping centers and an outdoor shopping district, offering plenty of shops to wander around. There is also a market in the city center every day of the week, from home decor and flower stalls – which is one of my favorites! As Cambridge is such a traditional English city, it has an endless amount of books and gift shops.