Things to do in Cambridge – United Kingdom

Cambridge, located in the United Kingdom, offers a wide range of attractions, activities, and cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy. From exploring the city’s historic colleges and museums to punting on the River Cam, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in art and culture, live performances, delicious food, or simply strolling through picturesque gardens, Cambridge has it all. Discover the must-see landmarks, indulge in unique experiences, and immerse yourself in the rich history and charm that Cambridge has to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cambridge boasts a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to explore.
  • From punting on the River Cam to exploring historic colleges and museums, there is plenty to see and do in Cambridge.
  • Art lovers can explore galleries like Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum.
  • The ADC Theatre offers a diverse range of performances and events.
  • Taste the unique flavors of Cambridge at Jack’s Gelato.

Exploring Cambridge’s Historic Colleges and Museums

Immerse yourself in the rich history and academic heritage of Cambridge by exploring its historic colleges and museums. Cambridge is renowned for its prestigious educational institutions, and many of them have magnificent architectural structures that date back centuries. Begin your journey with a visit to the iconic King’s College, where you can marvel at the stunning Gothic chapel and wander through the picturesque Fellows’ Garden.

Continue your exploration of Cambridge’s academic heritage by visiting the world-famous University Library. This vast repository of knowledge houses over 8 million books, including rare manuscripts and historical treasures. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful architecture of the library’s building, affectionately known as the “Bodleian of Cambridge.”

Colleges and Museums in Cambridge

King’s CollegeKing’s Parade
University LibraryWest Road
St John’s CollegeSt John’s Street

No visit to Cambridge is complete without exploring the extensive collections found in the city’s museums. The Fitzwilliam Museum, located in the heart of Cambridge, is a treasure trove of art and antiquities. Admire works by famous artists, such as Titian and Van Gogh, and delve into the museum’s diverse collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts.

For a more unconventional museum experience, head to Kettle’s Yard, a unique house and art gallery. Explore the carefully curated collection of modern and contemporary art, set within a tranquil domestic environment. The juxtaposition of art and everyday objects creates a captivating atmosphere that encourages contemplation and reflection.

Cambridge Museums

  • Fitzwilliam Museum
  • Kettle’s Yard
  • Scott Polar Research Institute Museum

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

As you wander through the historic colleges and museums of Cambridge, you will gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s profound impact on academics, arts, and culture. Each institution offers a unique glimpse into the past, showcasing the enduring legacy of knowledge and creativity that continues to thrive in Cambridge today.

Now that you have explored the historic colleges and museums, it’s time to discover more of what Cambridge has to offer. Head to Section 3 to learn about punting on the River Cam and other exciting activities.


  1. Cambridge University Library. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Fitzwilliam Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Kettle’s Yard. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Section 2 Summary
In this section, you discovered the rich history and academic heritage of Cambridge by exploring its historic colleges and museums. Highlights include visiting King’s College and its stunning chapel, exploring the vast collection of the University Library, and immersing yourself in art at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Kettle’s Yard. The section also included a quote by Pablo Picasso, emphasizing the transformative power of art. References to the visited institutions were provided, allowing readers to further explore these cultural gems. The next section will introduce the popular activity of punting on the River Cam.

Punting on the River Cam

Experience the quintessential Cambridge activity by taking a peaceful punt along the picturesque River Cam. Punting, a traditional method of propelling a flat-bottomed boat with a long pole, offers a unique way to admire the beauty of the city’s river and its surroundings. Whether you choose to hire a punt and try it yourself or join a guided tour, this leisurely activity allows you to soak in the historic charm of Cambridge while enjoying the tranquil atmosphere.

As you glide along the River Cam, you’ll pass by some of Cambridge’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Mathematical Bridge and the beautiful college boathouses. The serene journey provides an excellent opportunity for sightseeing, as you’ll be able to take in the stunning architecture of the famous Cambridge colleges that line the riverbanks. Be sure to keep an eye out for the “Bridge of Sighs,” a covered bridge that resembles its namesake in Venice.

For those seeking a more immersive experience, consider hiring a chauffeur to guide your punt. These knowledgeable locals can not only navigate the river with ease but also provide interesting commentary on the history and significance of the landmarks you pass. They can also offer insights into the Cambridge tradition of punting and share stories about famous individuals associated with the city.

Why Punting on the River Cam Should be on Your List of Things to Do in Cambridge

  • Admire the stunning architecture of Cambridge’s famous colleges.
  • Experience the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere of punting on the river.
  • Learn about the history and traditions of Cambridge from knowledgeable chauffeurs.
  • Capture beautiful photos of the iconic landmarks along the River Cam.

So, if you’re looking for a quintessential Cambridge experience, don’t miss the chance to go punting on the River Cam. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a serene activity, this picturesque journey will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

DurationLocationPrice Range
Approximately 1 to 2 hoursThe River Cam, Cambridge£20 to £50 per hour (depending on self-punting or hiring a chauffeur)

Discovering Art and Culture at Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum

Immerse yourself in the world of art and culture by visiting the renowned Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. These two iconic art galleries offer a diverse range of exhibits and provide a fascinating insight into the history and creativity of this vibrant city.

At Kettle’s Yard, you’ll discover a unique collection of modern and contemporary art, housed in a beautiful 20th-century house. The gallery showcases works by renowned artists such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Joan Miró, and Barbara Hepworth, among others. With its intimate and welcoming atmosphere, Kettle’s Yard offers a tranquil space to appreciate art and reflect on its meaning.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, on the other hand, boasts an extensive collection of art and antiquities spanning centuries and continents. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to European masterpieces, the museum offers a truly captivating journey through human history. You can admire works by famous artists like Titian, Monet, and Van Gogh, as well as explore fascinating exhibitions on a variety of topics.

Highlights of Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum

  • Experience the serene beauty of Kettle’s Yard House and its carefully curated art collection.
  • Admire the extensive range of art and antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum, spanning multiple disciplines and time periods.
  • Join guided tours or attend special events to enhance your understanding of the exhibits and engage with the local art community.
  • Take advantage of the educational programs offered by both galleries, including workshops and lectures that cater to all ages and interests.

Visiting Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum is not only a chance to appreciate art but also an opportunity to delve into the rich cultural heritage of Cambridge. These galleries are a testament to the city’s commitment to fostering creativity and providing a platform for artists and art enthusiasts alike. So, make sure to add these must-visit destinations to your Cambridge itinerary and embark on a journey of artistic discovery.

Kettle’s YardFitzwilliam Museum
Location: Castle St, Cambridge CB3 0AQLocation: Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RB
Opening Hours: Varies, check website for detailsOpening Hours: Varies, check website for details
Admission: FreeAdmission: Free, donations welcome

Enjoying Performances at the ADC Theatre

Indulge in the vibrant performing arts scene of Cambridge by catching a show at the iconic ADC Theatre. This historical venue, founded in 1855, has been a cornerstone of the city’s cultural landscape, showcasing a diverse range of theatrical performances and events throughout the year.

Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, musicals, or experimental theater, the ADC Theatre has something for everyone. From student productions to professional performances, the stage comes alive with talent and creativity. The intimate atmosphere of the theater allows for an immersive experience, bringing you closer to the action and ensuring a memorable night out.

Upcoming shows at the ADC Theatre include a mix of classic plays, contemporary works, and exciting new productions. From Shakespearean tragedies to thought-provoking dramas and side-splitting comedies, the theater offers an eclectic program that caters to all tastes.

19th June7:30 pmRomeo and Juliet
25th July8:00 pmThe Importance of Being Earnest
2nd August6:30 pmEmotional Baggage

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the incredible talent of Cambridge’s emerging performers and experience the magic of live theater at the ADC Theatre. Book your tickets in advance to secure your spot in the audience and get ready for an unforgettable evening of entertainment in the heart of Cambridge.

Tasting Unique Flavors at Jack’s Gelato

Treat your taste buds to a delightful experience by trying the innovative and delicious ice cream flavors at Jack’s Gelato. Located in the heart of Cambridge, this charming gelateria offers a range of irresistible treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Step into Jack’s Gelato and prepare to be amazed by their ever-changing menu of flavors. From classics like creamy vanilla and indulgent chocolate to more adventurous options like lavender and honeycomb, each scoop is crafted with precision and creativity. Whether you prefer fruity sorbets or decadent gelato, there is something for everyone at Jack’s.

But what sets Jack’s Gelato apart is their commitment to using the finest locally sourced ingredients. They take pride in supporting local farmers and producers, resulting in the freshest and most flavorful ice cream you’ll ever taste. Each spoonful is a true celebration of the region’s rich culinary heritage.

Strawberry and BasilA refreshing combination of ripe strawberries and aromatic basil, perfect for a summer treat.
Cardamom and PistachioA fragrant blend of exotic cardamom and crunchy pistachios, creating a truly unique and irresistible flavor.
Rhubarb and GingerA tangy and spicy pairing of tart rhubarb and zesty ginger, striking the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

So, whether you’re a local looking for a sweet escape or a visitor seeking a taste of Cambridge, a visit to Jack’s Gelato is an absolute must. Indulge in their delectable creations and discover why they have become a beloved institution in the city’s culinary scene.

Exploring Markets and Market Stalls in Cambridge

Immerse yourself in the bustling market atmosphere of Cambridge by exploring the diverse range of market stalls offering a plethora of products. From fresh produce to unique crafts, these markets provide an opportunity to discover local treasures and support independent businesses.

One popular market to visit is the Cambridge Market, located in the historic city center. Here, you can find an array of stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers, as well as local cheeses, baked goods, and specialty foods. Take your time to browse through the stalls, and you may come across artisanal products, handmade jewelry, and vintage clothing.

If you’re looking for a more quirky and eclectic shopping experience, head to the Mill Road Market. This vibrant market showcases the diversity of Cambridge’s cultural scene, with stalls offering an assortment of international cuisine, second-hand books, unique artwork, and vintage finds. Don’t forget to grab a freshly brewed coffee or indulge in delicious street food while exploring.

Cambridge Markets Information

Market NameLocationOpening DaysOpening Hours
Cambridge MarketMarket SquareMonday to Sunday9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Mill Road MarketMill RoadSunday10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Exploring the markets in Cambridge is not only a chance to find unique souvenirs and delicious treats, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with the local community and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the city. So, make sure to carve out some time in your itinerary to wander through these bustling markets and discover the hidden gems they have to offer.

Visiting Historical Sites such as King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs

Step back in time and marvel at the architectural wonders of Cambridge by visiting historical sites like the majestic King’s College Chapel and the charming Bridge of Sighs. These iconic landmarks are not only a testament to the city’s rich history but also offer breathtaking views and a glimpse into the past.

As you enter the awe-inspiring King’s College Chapel, you’ll be greeted by its magnificent Gothic architecture and intricate stained glass windows. Admire the grandeur of the interior, with its soaring ceilings and beautiful fan vaulting. Take a moment to appreciate the intricate details of the chapel’s famous organ, which has been played by renowned musicians throughout history.

Next, make your way to the Bridge of Sighs, a picturesque covered bridge that connects two parts of St John’s College. Named after the bridge in Venice, this romantic structure offers stunning views of the River Cam and the surrounding Cambridge architecture. Capture the perfect photo spot and imagine the countless generations of students who have crossed its arches.

Notable Historical Sites in Cambridge

While King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs are must-see attractions, there are other historical sites in Cambridge that are worth exploring. Here are a few more recommendations:

  • The Mathematical Bridge: A famous wooden bridge at Queens’ College known for its unique design.
  • The Round Church: One of only four round churches in England, dating back to the 12th century.
  • The Senate House: A grand neoclassical building used for university ceremonies, including graduation ceremonies.
  • St Mary’s Church: The university church with its striking tower, offering panoramic views of Cambridge.

Immerse yourself in the history and beauty of Cambridge by visiting these landmarks and exploring the fascinating stories they hold. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or simply looking to experience the charm of this historic city, Cambridge’s historical sites are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Historical SitesHighlights
King’s College ChapelMajestic Gothic architecture, stunning stained glass windows, and renowned organ.
Bridge of SighsA picturesque covered bridge offering panoramic views of the River Cam.
Mathematical BridgeA unique wooden bridge with an intriguing design at Queens’ College.
Round ChurchOne of England’s four round churches, dating back to the 12th century.
Senate HouseA grand neoclassical building used for university ceremonies.
St Mary’s ChurchA historic church with a striking tower and panoramic views of Cambridge.

Exploring the Botanic Gardens

Immerse yourself in nature’s tranquility at the breathtaking Botanic Gardens, a haven of beauty and serenity in Cambridge. This 40-acre oasis is home to over 8,000 species of plants, making it a paradise for nature lovers and avid gardeners alike.

Take a leisurely stroll through the various themed gardens, each offering its own unique atmosphere and charm. From the vibrant colors of the Rose Garden to the peaceful serenity of the Winter Garden, there is something to captivate every visitor. Don’t miss the Scented Garden, where aromatic plants delight the senses, or the Rock Garden, showcasing a diverse range of alpine plants.

For a truly immersive experience, join one of the guided tours led by knowledgeable gardeners who will share fascinating insights into the plant collections and their conservation efforts. You can also attend workshops and events to learn more about gardening techniques, plant propagation, and sustainable practices.

Before you leave, be sure to visit the Garden Cafe, where you can relax and enjoy delicious refreshments surrounded by the beauty of nature. The Botanic Gardens also have a well-stocked gift shop where you can find unique botanical-themed souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

Opening Hours:Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Admission:Adults: £6.50
 Concessions (students, seniors): £5.50
 Children (0-16 years): Free
Contact Information:Address: 1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE
 Phone: +44 (0)1223 336265

Highlighted Features:

  • A vast collection of over 8,000 plant species
  • Themed gardens, including the Rose Garden and Winter Garden
  • Guided tours and educational workshops
  • Garden Cafe serving refreshments
  • Gift shop offering botanical-themed souvenirs

“The Botanic Gardens in Cambridge offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. From the colorful array of flowers to the peaceful nooks and crannies, every inch of the gardens is a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul.” – Garden Enthusiast Magazine

Indulging in a Chelsea Bun at Fitzbillies

Treat yourself to a delectable delight by savoring a mouth-watering Chelsea Bun from the iconic Fitzbillies bakery in Cambridge. These soft, sweet, and sticky pastries have been a favorite among locals and visitors alike for over a century. Made from a secret recipe, passed down through generations, each bun is freshly baked to perfection, resulting in a heavenly treat that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

As you take your first bite, you’ll be greeted with the enticing aroma of warm spices and sweet currants. The fluffy dough, enriched with butter and sugar, melts in your mouth, while the sticky glaze on top adds a delightful caramelized crunch. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and textures that makes Fitzbillies’ Chelsea Buns truly irresistible.

What makes Fitzbillies even more special is its rich history. Established in 1921, this renowned bakery has been a part of Cambridge’s culinary scene for decades. It has welcomed generations of locals and students, who have made it a tradition to indulge in these delectable treats. The bakery’s charming atmosphere and friendly staff make every visit a memorable experience.

Why choose Fitzbillies for your Chelsea Bun?
1. Tradition: Fitzbillies has been serving Chelsea Buns since 1921, ensuring an authentic experience.
2. Quality: Each bun is made using the finest ingredients and baked to perfection by their expert bakers.
3. Taste: The combination of fluffy dough, sweet currants, and sticky glaze creates a flavor that’s truly exceptional.
4. History: Fitzbillies is a beloved institution in Cambridge, with a rich heritage that adds to the overall experience.

So, whether you’re a local or a visitor exploring Cambridge, a visit to Fitzbillies is a must. Indulge in their famous Chelsea Buns and allow yourself to be transported to a world of pure culinary bliss. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Enjoying Live Music at Cambridge Junction

Immerse yourself in the vibrant music culture of Cambridge by experiencing a memorable live performance at the renowned Cambridge Junction. This iconic venue has been a hub for live music, gigs, and events for over 30 years. With its diverse lineup of local and international talent, Cambridge Junction offers something for every music lover.

Step into the atmospheric concert hall, where the energy of the crowd and the pulsating rhythms of the performers create an electrifying atmosphere. From rock and indie to jazz and electronic, the venue hosts a wide range of genres that cater to diverse musical tastes. Catch up-and-coming bands, witness legendary acts, or discover new sounds that will leave you swaying to the beat.

As you soak up the sounds of the live music, explore the various facilities and spaces Cambridge Junction has to offer. Make a pit stop at the Junction Cafe and Bar, where you can recharge with a refreshing drink or grab a bite to eat. The venue also features a smaller, intimate space called J2, which showcases emerging artists and provides a more intimate setting for performances.

The Cambridge Junction Experience

  • Immerse yourself in the vibrant music culture of Cambridge
  • Experience unforgettable live performances from local and international artists
  • Enjoy a wide range of genres to suit any musical preference
  • Explore the venue’s facilities, including the Junction Cafe and Bar
  • Discover emerging artists in the intimate setting of J2

Whether you’re a music aficionado or simply looking for a night of entertainment, Cambridge Junction guarantees an unforgettable experience. Book your tickets in advance and get ready to let the music transport you to a world of rhythm and melody.

LocationContact InformationOpening Hours
Cambridge JunctionClifton Way, Cambridge CB1 7GXPhone: +44 (0)1223 511511Monday-Sunday: 10am-6pm

Biking Around Cambridge

Embark on an adventurous journey by cycling through the picturesque streets of Cambridge, discovering hidden gems along the way. With its flat terrain and well-maintained cycling paths, Cambridge is a haven for bike enthusiasts and offers a unique perspective of the city. Whether you’re a leisure cyclist or a keen adventurer, there are plenty of activities and sights to enjoy while biking around Cambridge.

Start your cycling adventure by renting a bike from one of the many bicycle rental shops in the city. Once you’re ready, head out and explore the historic colleges, charming neighborhoods, and stunning parks that Cambridge has to offer. As you pedal through the streets, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the magnificent architecture of the colleges, such as the renowned King’s College Chapel and the iconic Bridge of Sighs.

If you’re a nature lover, be sure to make a stop at the Botanic Gardens. With its beautiful floral displays and serene atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to take a break and soak in the natural beauty of Cambridge. You can also venture further afield and cycle along the River Cam, where you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city’s famous punters gliding along the water.

Highlights of Biking Around Cambridge:
Explore the historic colleges and soak in their architectural splendor.
Visit the Botanic Gardens and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
Cycle along the River Cam and witness the beauty of punting.
Discover hidden gems and charming neighborhoods as you pedal through the city.

Cycling around Cambridge not only allows you to see the city at your own pace but also provides a wonderful opportunity for exercise and exploration. So grab a bike, put on your helmet, and get ready to experience the beauty of Cambridge in a unique and eco-friendly way.

Exploring Vintage Shops on Mill Road

Get lost in a world of nostalgia and discover hidden treasures by exploring the eclectic vintage shops situated along the vibrant Mill Road in Cambridge. This bustling street is a mecca for antique enthusiasts, fashion lovers, and those seeking unique and one-of-a-kind items.

Step into the past as you browse through the racks of vintage clothing stores, where you’ll find retro dresses, classic suits, and accessories that will transport you back in time. Unearth rare vinyl records and collectible items at the antique shops, or explore the selection of vintage furniture and home décor pieces that add a touch of character to any living space.

The charm of Mill Road doesn’t stop at its shops. Take a break from your shopping spree and indulge in the diverse culinary offerings at the local cafes, restaurants, and delis. From artisanal coffee to international cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy every craving.

Reasons to Explore Vintage Shops on Mill Road:
1. Discover unique and one-of-a-kind items
2. Immerse yourself in the nostalgia of the past
3. Find rare vinyl records and collectibles
4. Browse through a wide selection of vintage clothing
5. Explore vintage furniture and home décor pieces
6. Enjoy diverse culinary options at local cafes and restaurants

“Mill Road is a haven for vintage enthusiasts with its diverse range of shops and unique finds.” – Vintage Lover Magazine

Hidden Gems on Mill Road

  • The Emporium – A treasure trove of vintage fashion, accessories, and curiosities.
  • The Record Exchange – Vinyl enthusiasts will be delighted by the extensive collection of LPs and singles.
  • The Vintage Home Company – Discover vintage furniture and home décor items that add character to any space.
  • The Guilty Tiki Room – A retro-inspired tiki bar, perfect for a tropical escape in the heart of Cambridge.

Embark on a journey through time and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Mill Road’s vintage shops. Whether you’re a collector, a fashion connoisseur, or simply a lover of all things retro, this hidden gem in Cambridge is sure to captivate you.

Directory of Vintage Shops on Mill Road

Shop NameSpecialtyAddress
The EmporiumVintage fashion, accessories, and curiosities123 Mill Road
The Record ExchangeVinyl records and collectibles456 Mill Road
The Vintage Home CompanyVintage furniture and home décor789 Mill Road
The Guilty Tiki RoomRetro-inspired tiki bar987 Mill Road

Unwinding at Heffers Bookstore

Step into a world of literary wonders and lose yourself in the enchanting shelves of books at the beloved Heffers Bookstore in Cambridge. As one of the city’s most iconic bookshops, Heffers offers a haven for bookworms seeking a literary escape.

Browse through a vast collection of titles spanning various genres, from classic literature to contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and everything in between. Immerse yourself in the fragrant aroma of new pages and feel the tactile pleasure of turning them as you explore the well-organized sections.

Whether you’re searching for a thought-provoking novel, a captivating memoir, or a guide to exploring Cambridge’s rich history, Heffers has something to satisfy every literary craving. Discover hidden gems, bestsellers, and collectible editions as you peruse the carefully curated shelves.

Take your time to wander through the store’s cozy corners, finding your perfect reading companions. Engage in conversations with the knowledgeable staff, who are always eager to offer recommendations and engage in bookish discussions. Soak up the tranquil ambience and embrace the joy of discovering new worlds within the pages of a book.


What are some of the top things to do in Cambridge?

Some of the top things to do in Cambridge include punting down the river, visiting art galleries like Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, watching shows at the ADC Theatre, trying unique ice cream flavors at Jack’s Gelato, browsing market stalls, and exploring historical sites like King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs.

Are there any other recommendations for activities in Cambridge?

Yes, other recommendations include visiting the Botanic Gardens, enjoying a Chelsea bun at Fitzbillies, watching a gig at Cambridge Junction, biking around the city, exploring vintage shops on Mill Road, learning about polar research at the Scott Polar Research Institute Museum, and indulging in a bookworm’s paradise at Heffers bookstore.