The quintessential university town, Cambridge is located on the idyllic river Cam. But beyond its scenery, the city's residents also love it for its historic pubs, bustling daily market, and array of international eateries
Residents of Cambridge are spoiled for choice when it comes to pubs, and everyone you meet will have a favourite.
The Elm Tree prides itself on its selection of Belgian beers and microbrews, while the Free Press is off the tourist track and is popular with students. The Eagle and the Anchor are famous in their own right, and do good pub food, but you can expect to jostle with tourists and wait a little longer for your meal.
Ballare, known as Cindies, is both the most frequented and the grubbiest club in Cambridge, while Fez offers dance music and a more relaxed atmosphere.
If you're looking for cocktails, Revolution and Baroush are both located in the heart of the city centre and may offer special deals on food and drink if you ask in advance.
Cambridge's constant flow of tourists means that it has a booming commercial life that surpasses many other towns of the same size.
You can find just about any high street shop in the tightly packed area between King's Parade and Bridge/Sidney Street. The city's largest shopping centre is the Grand Arcade, which is well stocked with restaurants and chain shops like Lush and Topshop. Less than five minutes away, the Grafton is a smaller shopping centre with a Vue cinema and Debenhams being its largest tenants.
Burleigh Street, adjacent to the Grafton, has a range of eclectic shopping options, from Primark to Party Mania, a fancy dress shop.
For bargain buys, visit the Salvation Army on Mill Road, or Oxfam near the Grafton.
At the very heart of Cambridge lies Market Square, the site of a medieval market, and now home to a daily trade offering everything from artisan cheeses to fresh Belgian waffles, along with produce stalls and specialist meat vendors.
Cambridge specialises in both haute cuisine and more affordable student eateries. Alimentum and Midsummer House are located at the gourmet end of the spectrum, and have prices to match, while Dojo Noodle Bar is a student favourite for cheap takeaways.
Even on a budget, though, Cambridge can be a foodie paradise; look no further than the Galleria, located on the river, or Efes, a must-visit Turkish restaurant for splendid food at moderate prices.
As attested by the falafel, crepe, and hotdog vans that operate by day, and the kebab and chip vans that appear after hours, street food is also a viable and popular option.
The Mill Road area, home to a range of international restaurants and independent cafes (CB1 and the Black Cat, to name just two), also contributes significantly to Cambridge's renowned dining scene.
The ADC claims the title of Britain's oldest university playhouse, and is one of the most popular venues for seeing high-quality student theatre. The venue plays host to the famous Footlights comedy troupe, in which Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Sacha Baron Cohen all cut their thespian teeth.
From comedy to jazz and everything in between, the Junction is hard to beat for its varied programme of performers.
The Cambridge Union Society also hosts a series of themed entertainment around Cambridge, and often negotiates special deals on drinks that can be good value for money.
When the weather is pleasant, the outdoors of Cambridge beckon: punting along the Backs and a walk to have scones at the Orchard Tea Garden in nearby Grantchester are the best ways to spend a summer's afternoon.
Most students live in accommodation provided by their colleges or university, and these are typically located a stone's throw from the host institution itself.
Private accommodation is expensive in the city centre - expect to pay up to £600 monthly for a small room in a prime location.
But further out, going either south on Mill Road, or north towards Chesterton Road, you will find decent and spacious student accommodation at a more affordable price.
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