Located just an hour from Paddington, Oxford is conveniently connected for when London calls. But the city itself is home to a range of distinctive districts, ensuring that there's always plenty to do among the spires
Within the city centre, the King's Arms near Broad Street is best avoided by night as it's usually packed to capacity by 10pm on weekends. The Bear and the Royal Oak both offer a decent range of beers and ales and tend to be off the tourist radar. For cocktails, Raoul's and Freud's in Jericho are the most popular spots, although your favourite drink could cost you up to £9-10 outside happy hour. For cheaper bars, head up Cowley Road where you'll find a more diverse string of drinking establishments like Jamaican resto-bar Hi-Lo and Café Tarifa, away from the crowds of the city centre. The central clubbing scene is dominated by a few key players: in town, the Bridge, the Cellar, and the Purple Turtle (loving called the PT, and known for its grimy character); further a field, the O2 Academy (formerly known as the Zodiac) offers live music and a spacious dancefloor.
The main shopping area of Oxford is in the area of the High and Cornmarket Street, and offers the standard commercial outfits alongside a few Oxford-specific shops, such as Shepherd and Woodward, the university outfitters, and Sanders of Oxford, an antiquarian printseller. The Covered Market has a famously charming and eclectic setup, where you can purchase anything from specialty cakes to fresh fish and produce. Book lovers will enjoy roaming the city's many bookshops, perhaps most notably the original site of Blackwell's booksellers located on Broad Street, now complete with the Norrington Room which reputedly houses over three miles of bookshelves. Those who live nearer to North Oxford find themselves well serviced by an array of shops and grocery stores in the Summertown area. For the best prices on groceries, though, visit the farmer's market in Gloucester Green (set up on Wednesdays only).
© Kingpin Media Ltd
Oxford's large student population means that most restaurant chains offer student deals and discounts for university card holders. In addition to these, which are mostly found along George Street, the city can nonetheless boast an impressive range of more exciting dining experiences, ranging from Angrid Thai, Gloucester Green's best-kept secret for cheap and generous portions, to the Old Parsonage, which offers fine dining in as charming an atmosphere as its name implies. Oxford also has a justifiably famed ice cream café in G&D's, with three locations across the city open from morning to midnight. The city centre offers plenty of choice, even for picky eaters, but many people sometimes find themselves heading further afield to seek out much-loved establishments like Atomic Burger in Cowley, or the Gardener's Arms, Oxford’s only vegetarian pub.
The George Street and Magdalen Street Odeon cinemas will cater to mainstream tastes in film, but go to the Phoenix Picturehouse in Jericho for special releases and independent films. Oxford's large student population means that cheap and engaging student theatre is abundant during the university's term-time. Oxford Playhouse and the New Theatre tend to host professional acts and troupes, and are both close to restaurants offering theatre specials. For entertainment on a rainy afternoon, look no further than Oxford's museums: the Ashmolean specialises in art and archaeology, while the Natural History and History of Science museums cover what their names imply and are well worth a visit. In addition to these permanent fixtures, Oxford also hosts an array of annual events: a beer festival (October), chocolate festival (spring), and literary festival (March), to name a few.
Most students, especially undergraduates, live in student accommodation provided by the college or university, but graduate students often prefer to rent privately. You can expect to pay about £300-£400 for a month's rent, and prices tend to decrease as you head farther out from the centre. Many students who live in private accommodation choose either Cowley, cheap and close to Headington, or Jericho, which can be more expensive, but is in a good area from which to enjoy Oxford's nightlife and restaurants.
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.