Honey-coloured colleges, quaint pubs galore, and idyllic waterways – welcome to the best-known student city in the world!

Oxford is beautiful. The architecture is so elegant, and there are many historic buildings, parks, and famous museums to visit. Westgate shopping centre is huge, and has all the big brands. Everything in Oxford is walking distance, but it is also very flat and perfect for cycling. (Oxford Brookes University student)

What Oxford's famous for...

Punting

For a quintessentially Oxford experience, jump in a boat and drift downstream.

Oxford nightlife, according to students

The pubs are legendary, and all of them have a story. The Turf Tavern [is] a favourite student spot hidden away through an alleyway, [and] was frequented by [future] presidents and famous writers. Oxford's nightlife is compact but fun. (Second year student, University of Oxford)

Dreaming spires

The city's famous stunning, academic architecture has inspired poets for centuries.

Oxford nightlife, according to students

The most popular clubs in Oxford can be found at Park End Street, Atik, and Bridge. Many Oxford Brookes students find a night out in Cowley to be the best option. You can start off with drinks at the one of the pubs, like The City Arms, then gradually work your way down Cowley Road to a bar, and finally end up at the O2 Academy for a club night. The O2 is popular on Wednesday nights for 'Fishies', where the sports teams gather. (Third year student, Oxford Brookes University)

Academia

Home to 38 colleges and one of the oldest university's in the world.

Student life in Oxford

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Treat yourself
It's easy to spend money in Westgate, the new shopping centre. It has a great roof terrace, with a selection of restaurants. A favourite of mine is Indian restaurant, Mowglis. (Third year student, Oxford Brookes University)
Friday feeling
Students usually head to Fever in the centre of town. If clubbing isn’t your thing, there’s always a cheap play at Burton Taylor Studio or Oxford Playhouse. (Second year student, Oxford Brookes University)
Sunday chilling
Port Meadow, University Parks, and Christ Church Meadow are all wonderful for a peaceful walk or cycle. In the case of Port Meadow, you've also got lovely (if a bit expensive) pubs waiting on the other side. (Third year student, University of Oxford)
When family visit
My parents love walking round the colleges and gardens, or taking in the big sights like the Bodleian and Radcliffe Square. The Pitt Rivers museum is full of hidden gems. (Second year student, University of Oxford)
Catch up with mates
Thirsty Meeples is a great board game cafe. Cafe Orient in Cowley does the best East Asian cuisine in Oxford. The Gardener's Arms is a vegetarian pub with wonderful Sunday night pub quizzes. (Third year student, University of Oxford)
Feeling cultural
Loads of culture – it’s Oxford. Can’t swing a stick for jazz nights and college plays. (Second year student, University of Oxford)
Low on cash
There are so many free museums in Oxford, including the Ashmolean which is massive and has a lovely rooftop restaurant – perfect for summer cocktails! (Third year student, Oxford Brookes University)
Grab a bite
G&Ds is iconic in Oxford for its delicious ice cream. They have three branches, and the flavours change every day, so you’ll never get bored. (Third year student, University of Oxford)

Oxford in pictures

Christchurch Meadows

View across the lovely Christchurch Meadows in the centre of Oxford, looking towards Christchurch College. A place of escape. (Beth, Oxford Brookes University)

City centre

This is the beautiful centre of Oxford, as seen from the top of the New College turret. (Maddy McInerney, University of Oxford student)

View from The Varsity Club Roof Terrace

(Second year student, University of Oxford)

Living in Oxford, according to students

Cowley is a great place to live as it is full of students, however it is expensive. It is also close to [Oxford Brookes] uni, although you have to walk up a hill to get to it. There are lots of supermarkets, including a Tesco, two Sainsburys, and an Aldi to choose from. I would definitely live here again as all my friends live here, and there are lots of good pubs, including The City Arms. (Second year student, Oxford Brookes University)

Radcliffe Camera

'The Rad Cam' in the summer. I get up early, so on a sunny morning I love to wander around central Oxford before the tourists arrive. It's magical. (Ed Jones, second year student at University of Oxford)

Living in Oxford

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Living in Oxford, according to students

Headington is close to [Oxford Brookes] uni, and you don’t have to walk uphill to get there. You can walk to uni or get a bus easily. There are small supermarkets, and lots of cafes and charity shops. You can easily get [a bus] into the city centre, which only takes about 15 minutes. It is further away from the nightlife, but is a much quieter place to live. It feels safe. I would live here again. (Third year student, Oxford Brookes University)
Local transport*
  • £16.00
  • Smartzone
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Cowley
  • Headington
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

The Gloucester Green markets are great to try food of all different cultures, and makes a fun lunch out with friends. There is also a veg market there twice a week, which can be brilliant for bulk-buying. (Third year student, Oxford University)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

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