What to see in Oxford in one day

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Located about 100km from London, Oxford is home to England's oldest and most prestigious university and has been dubbed the city of dreaming spiers by the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold.
Strong of its 800 years of history, the borough of Oxford there gives a dreamy atmosphere and a vitality made even more interesting by the thousands of students who attend its famous universities (the city has a total of 38 that make up the University of Oxford).
Here is a one day itinerary in Oxford.


  1. Oxford day itinerary: Morning
  2. Oxford day itinerary: Afternoon
  3. Oxford day itinerary: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

Oxford day itinerary: Morning

1 - Balliol College and Trinity College

Start by doing breakfast to the Old Parsonage Hotel, an iconic and classy place where Oscar Wilde stayed and which also opens its restaurant to non-guests of the structure. The menu for the English Breakfast costs around € 20,00 per person.
From here, proceed to discovery of the famous University of Oxford visiting Balliol College (10am to 00pm, £ 17 - € 00) and Trinity College (3:2,77 am to 10pm and 30pm to 12pm, £ 00 - € 13, 00). In addition to discovering the structures, real and small style masterpieces, do not miss the internal cloisters, green corners of incredible charm.

2 - Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera

Reach the Bodleian Library, built in 1602 and today one of the oldest public libraries in the world. In addition to having an incredible charm, the library is part of the group of 3 public libraries that hold a copy of everything printed in England by right.
Continue to the Radcliffe Camera, a reading room housed in a circular building that symbolizes the city, built in the eighteenth century. Opening hours vary according to the rooms, admission is free.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,1 km / 22 min
  • Places visited: Balliol College (£ 3 - € 2,77), Trinity College (£ 3 - € 2,77), Bodleian Library (free) and Radcliffe Camera (free)
  • Oxford University: Walking Tour Harry Potter Themed Tour and Bodleian Library
  • Where to have breakfast: Old Parsonage Hotel, 1-3 Banbury Road, Oxford - Get directions

Oxford day itinerary: Afternoon

1 - University Church of St. Mary The Virgin and covered market

Have lunch at The Eagle and Child, a historic pub where Tolkien met with his literary club. The fish & chips menu is around € 17,00 per person.
Reach theUniversity Church of St. Mary The Virgin (Mon - Sat 9: 30/17: 00 Sun 12: 00/17: 00, cost £ 5,00 - € 4,61, per family £ 15,00- € 13,84), commit to climbing the 127 steps of its tower: the view of the city from above will repay you for any effort!

Visit the covered market located in a th century building which maintains original views and a fascinating structure. Here you can have a snack with a Ben's Cookie, the typical giant biscuit (the market is open from 08:00 to 17:30 and on Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00).

2 - Magdalene College and Merton College

You cannot miss a visit to the building of the Magdalen College, created in 1458 (adults £ 7- € 6,46; Over 65, children, students £ 6- € 5,54, opening hours vary, consult the website). Even the Merton College, established in 1264 and frequented by Oscar Wilde, it is worth a visit to truly immerse yourself in theatmosphere of Oxford university life.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 2 km / 40 min
  • Places visited: University Church of St. Mary The Virgin (£ 5,00 - € 4,61), covered market (free), Magdalene College (£ 7 - € 6,46) and Merton College (free)
  • 1 day tour with train transfer from London Walking tour of the city and university
  • Where to have lunch: The Eagle and Child, 49 St Giles', Oxford - Get directions

Oxford day itinerary: Evening

1 - Tom Tower and Christ Church, Cornmarket Street

Dine at the historic The Checkers pub, of which CS Lewis was a regular customer. A hamburger and an English beer will cost you around € 20,00 per person.
After dinner, head to the Tom Tower. Every evening at 21:05 pm the bell of the tower, la Great Tom, strikes 101 strokes, marking the ancient curfew that required all Oxford students to return to the dormitories. Under the tower, you will see the building of the largest college: the Christ Church College (if you are a fan of the Harry Potter films you can not fail to recognize him) and a few steps there Christ Church Cathedral.
If you want to visit inside, the buildings stay open until 17pm, £ 00 (€ 15,00), free under 13,84 (includes Tom Tower, college and cathedral).

Before concluding your visit to the town of Oxford, take a stroll in the commercial Cornmarket Street where street musicians usually perform.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 0,7 km / 14 min
  • Places visited: Tom Tower - Christ Church College - Christ Church Cathedral (£ 15,00 - € 13,84), Cornmarket Street (free)
  • 2 hour Harry Potter walking tour including Bodleian
  • Where to dine: The Checkers, 131 High Street, Oxford - Get directions

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Best time: from mid-May to mid-September, as mild temperatures allow you to experience the city better.
  • Clothing: dress in layers, always according to the season: even during the summer, don't forget to bring a sweatshirt and a raincoat with you. In many places, wearing heels is not allowed.
  • Don't drive there from London: parking can be difficult and expensive. There are two convenient and quick solutions from the capital: the Oxford Tube buses which depart every 10 minutes all day from Buckingham Palace Road and the Great Western Railway train which leaves every half hour from Victoria Station.
  • Book attractions in advance: it might be a good idea to book your visit online, to avoid wasting time in the queue.

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

  1. Oxford castle and prisons. Not because they are not beautiful, on the contrary: they are perfectly preserved. But as you can imagine, in just one day you have to give up something.
  2. The long river. As romantic as it is and inspired the literary masterpiece "Alice in Wonderland", having just one day is not worth it.

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