Cambridge is a university city in Cambridgeshire in England. It is a city of crocuses and daffodils on the Backs, of green open spaces and cattle grazing only 500 yards from the market square. The Cambridge of Brooke, Byron, Newton and Rutherford, of the summer idyll of punts, 'bumps', cool willows and May Balls is worth seeing.
View of King's College Chapel, seen from St Johns College chapel.
Cambridge brings many images to mind: the breathtaking view of King's College Chapel from across the river Cam, the rich intricacy of Gothic architecture, students cycling to lectures, and lazy summer punting on the River Cam.
Cambridge manages to combine its role as an historic city with a world-renowned University and, in more recent years, an internationally acknowledged centre of excellence for technology and science. The University of Cambridge was founded in the 13th century by scholars leaving Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk. They chose the quiet town of Cambridge as a suitable location for study. In the 17th century Cambridge University educated many of the founders of a (then) minor American university called Harvard, also located in a place called Cambridge (named after the English university). Cambridge University has many famous alumni, including: mathematicians such as Sir Isaac Newton, philosophers such as Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, and writers such as John Milton and Lord Byron. It was the site of Rutherford's pioneering work in nuclear physics as well as Crick and Watson's DNA work (see the Eagle pub below). Cambridge academics have won more Nobel Prizes than those of any other university in the world. The rumour that just one college, Trinity, had more Nobel prize winners than France, however, is false.
The city is surrounded on all sides by heritage villages, towns and ancient monuments (such as Ely, Peterborough and Grantchester), all within easy travelling distance.
More than 3.5 million visitors come to Cambridge every year to savour the delights of the historic city itself, as well as using it as an ideal base for exploring some of the gentlest (read flattest; good for leisurely walks, poor for hills with viewpoints) and most unspoiled countryside in England.
Cambridge's stunning architecture is not just noted by its impressed hum drum tourists. The US magazine Forbes claimed in 2009 that Cambridge is 'one of the most beautiful cities in the world' with widespread agreement. The Lonely Planet guide book also claim that few cities in the world can impress as much as Cambridge, and that it is almost impossible to not be awe struck when leaving the train station at just how stunning the city is.
Cambridge is a mere 50 mi (80 km) north of London, and centrally located for the rest of East Anglia (direct links to Norwich, Peterborough, Ely, Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Newmarket, Kings Lynn); with good rail services and road communication links, Cambridge is easily accessible, whether travelling by car, or by public transport.
Cambridge is within easy reach of some but not all of London's international airports.
London Stansted is 30 mi away, for example, has regular bus and rail services into Cambridge. Direct rail services leave every hour from platform 2 (to Birmingham New Street) and take about 35 min with a return fare £12.80. For more frequent services take the Stansted Express to London from platform 1 and change at Bishops's Stortford or Stansted Mountfitchet, taking about 50 min. Note, however, that rail services may be unavailable if your flight arrives Stansted very late or departs very early in the day, and while the airport likes to advertise hourly services, there are some strange gaps in the timetable so check the boards before you buy a ticket, and go to the bus terminal if there is nothing sensible on offer. National Express coaches run between Cambridge and Stansted (including late at night), taking about 55 minutes and costing £11.50. Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £40.00 one way.
Luton Airport is best reached by National Express Coach, taking about 1.5 hours and costing £14, but these run every only every 2 h or so.
London Stansted and London Luton airports offer many of the cheapest international flights to be found in Europe, with many of the big low-cost European airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and TUIfly having a hub at one of these two airports.
Heathrow is 90-120 min away by car, depending on traffic. National Express Coaches to and from Heathrow central bus station take around 2.5 h for £25. A less comfortable but cheaper and faster option is to take a train to King's Cross and then use the tube, taking about 2 hours total and costing £22 (less if you have an oyster card). Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge costs £85.00 one way.
Gatwick is the least convenient London airport, being on the opposite side of London: driving necessitates a tour of the M25 London ring road and takes around 3 h by car. It is best reached by train to King's Cross, walk to St. Pancras and train to Gatwick (or by connecting by tube to Victoria and then catching the marginally faster Gatwick Express) with a total journey time around 2 h for fare £28. Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £100.00 one way. There is a National Express bus service available, again around 3 h (and that M25 again).
London City Airport is best reached by train to King's Cross, then Underground and Docklands Light Railway across London, tfor £22 (less if you have an Oyster card). Abacus Airport Cars Cambridge rides there from £77.00 one way.
Cambridge has its own airport, but there are currently scheduled flights only to France, Italy and Jersey.
Regular trains run from London (King's Cross and Liverpool Street) to Cambridge. The fastest "Cambridge Cruiser" services to and from King's Cross run nonstop and take under 50 min, generally departing at :15 and :45 minutes after the hour. "Semi-fast" services stop at a few intermediate stations and take about 65 min, slower stopping trains may take up to 90 min. Try to avoid taking a train with more than 8 stops between Cambridge and London Kings Cross to avoid the slowest trains. Trains to and from London Liverpool Street, for which cheaper tickets are sometimes available, all take about 75 min. Direct trains from Stansted airport to Cambridge take 35 min (catch trains from Stansted going in the direction of Birmingham).
Because Cambridge is one of the main junctions of the East Anglia railway network, trains also run to and from Ipswich, Norwich, Peterborough and Birmingham. See National Rail  for timetable and fare information.
You can buy an overnight Rail and Sail ticket from Cambridge to anywhere in the Netherlands for around GBP80, using the Harwich-Hook of Holland ferry route. Ensure that you choose the correct ticket, but you can find deals that cover the ferry (including a room and bed) and travel between Cambridge to any station in the Netherlands. Departures from Cambridge are at about 7pm; going the other way, you arrive a bit before 10am. (There are daytime ferries too, but the train timetables mean you can make no train connection.)
The train station is about 1.2 mi south of the city centre; there are regular buses to town and a taxi rank outside the station. The station has a staffed travel centre, self-service ticket machines (note that many take only European smartchip cards and do not accept cash) and automatic ticket barriers (you need your ticket to get both in and out of the station). Pay attention buying tickets as there is often a queue at the machines and none at the ticket windows. There are also ATMs, several cafes and a bookstore, on the platform accessible only to ticket holders, and a mini-supermarket in the station foyer. Note that the station is very long, with several trains parked end-to-end on the main platform, so you may need to walk a long way between trains if you have a tight connection. Bags can be left at Station Cycles  just outside the train station, for a small fee.
Cambridge is very accessible by cycle, and the local government encourages sustainable travel (such as walking and cycling). National Cycle Network routes 11 and 51 both pass through the city, and Cambridge is also served with a comprehensive local cycle network. Within the city, cycling is a common means of getting around. Cycles can be rented from a number of outlets, including Station Cycles (located just north of the railway station), Station Cycles' central branch (located on floor -1 of the Grand Arcade shopping centre) and from City Cycle Hire (on the western edge of the city centre, in the suburb of Newnham).
Some quick notes on cyling etiquette: cycling on the pavement (sidewalk) is not generally permitted unless there is a specifically signed shared-use cycle lane; cycling on the road is always allowed, even if a shared-use lane exists (but you may find this annoys car drivers). One-way streets apply to cycles unless there is a cycle lane for travelling in the opposite direction. Respect red traffic lights. Obey the rules even if many others break them.
Parking can be difficult in central Cambridge (the most convenient parking is in the Grand Arcade shopping centre and it is expensive) and the one way street system is extremely confusing. The Council recommends the use of the "Park and Ride" scheme (free parking and a £2.30 return bus fare)
(map of Park and Ride routes ). For details visit The National Park and Ride Directory 
Cambridge is connected to London primarily by the M11 or the A10. From the north, come off the A1 onto the A14.
National Express provides bus links to major cities around the country, including direct services to London Victoria and Birmingham, as well as frequent airport coaches to Luton, Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick. National Express coaches depart from Parkside, next to Parker's Piece park, about half a mile from the City Centre. Many services also stop at the Trumpington and Madingley Road Park and Ride sites.
The bus station for shorter-distance buses is on Drummer Street, conveniently located for all the main sights. Stagecoach  operate routes from Cambridge to Bedford, Ely, Peterborough (via a connection at Chatteris), Newmarket, Saffron Walden, Bury St Edmunds and Oxford.
Several different bus and coach companies (notably Stagecoach and Whippet Coaches) operate services within Cambridge and the surrounding area, and therefore tickets for one company may not be valid on buses routes operated by other companies. The service is notoriously irregular, and it is best to leave around half as much time again for a journey as the buses are often delayed/cancelled/slow, and if an urgent connection is to be made they are best avoided, especially the "citi" branded buses: walk or take a taxi.
Cambridge is mostly pedestrian-friendly: most sights can be easily reached on foot and much of the central area is traffic-free. Do note that some of the pavements are shared use between pedestrians and cyclists; this can catch you out unless you watch out for it. Cambridge walking directions can be planned online with the walkit.com  walking route planner. Students and locals often use bikes to get around and hiring a bike is a viable alternative to simply walking.
You can also opt for a hop-on, hop-off open-top sightseeing bus which provides commentary in several languages. The sightseeing bus passes the railway station, American Cemetery, and many of the historic colleges, but as the city centre is pedestrianised, it can pproach the more central colleges on only Sundays.
There is little need to use the local bus services unless you are staying in a far-flung area of the city, but they are clean and efficient if you need to. Citi buses cost between £1 and £2 for individual cash fares within Cambridge City (change is given but drivers may refuse large denomination notes), but just tell the driver your destination as you board and take your ticket from the machine. An all-day pass costs £3.40 for Cambridge City and Park and Ride services or £5.20 for the surrounding area.
Cambridge City Council discourages car use. Parking charges are high and the city is home to a system of rising bollards that allow vehicles with appropriate transponders (e.g., taxis, buses, emergency vehicles) through but can cause severe damage to other vehicles tailgating, often to the point of writing them off.
There are many taxi companies in Cambridge. Panther Taxis are the largest and most widely used/reliable taxi company operating 24/7/365, bookings can also be made via their website; Tel: 01223 715715. Camtax claim to be Cambridge's oldest taxi company; Tel: 01223 313131. Camcab operate a 24 hour service 365 days a year; Tel: 01223 704704.
Focus on Architecture
Cambridge, especially the various colleges and university buildings, is fascinating for people with an interest in architecture. The colleges have been built sporadically over the centuries and the result is a mixture of styles both ancient and modern. Although the modern architecture is sometimes controversial, especially in how the newer buildings (fail to) harmonise with adjacent older buildings, it is in its way as interesting as the older. A tour of the backs (see above) gives the visitor a good feel for the various styles and a few small diversions add to the experience. One obvious landmark is the tower of the University Library. The library was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also built the Bankside Power Station in London that is now the Tate Modern. It does have a very industrial feel to it perhaps because of this. On the far side of the library the curious can see Robinson College, the newest college and built in about 1980 and one of the few pieces of modern architecture in Cambridge that has no notable old buildings nearby. If you prefer to see a blend of old and new, it is worth making the way out to Homerton College, which is fifteen minutes walk on Hills Road. Homerton College is particularly interesting as there are examples of various styles of architecture on-site such as the neo-Georgian buildings at the front of the college and the gothic Victorian hall on the inside of the college. This is an excellent place to take a stroll through the grounds which encompass an old orchard, water features and even a small honey farm, in order to appreciate the architecture from afar.
St John's College and Magdalene College also have a number of architectural treats. As well as the Bridge of Sighs, St John's has buildings in almost every style of architecture starting with the 16th century hall in First Court and ending up with the extremely modern Cripps building. Near the Cripps building there is also the dramatic New Court built in the early 19th century and the School of Pythagoras, one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge which dates from the early 13th century.
Next door Magdalene College - cognoscenti know that Magdalene is accessible from the back of the Cripps building - is quite a contrast. Unlike St John's, which consists mainly of buildings designed originally as college accommodation, Magdalene has converted a number of old half-timbered inns as some of its accommodation. Magdalene also possesses the Lutyens building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and the Pepys building. The latter, which houses the Pepys library, has an imposing and almost symmetrical facade and looks completely different from the rear. The ugliest Magdalene building, the 1970s Buckingham Court, is fortunately well hidden, while across the river the Magdalene Quayside development (1990) is an excellent example of how the late century architects appear to have learned subtlety and harmony. Quayside is an excellent place to rent a punt.
If you keep
The Cambridge 2000  website has a list of 100 buildings  that have notable architecture for one reason or another.
Cambridge has a number of interesting modern buildings : The Maths Department
Cambridge University consists of a number of semi-independent colleges, many central, some up to 3 miles from the town centre (traditionally measured from Great St. Mary's church). The following are a good selection for sightseeing. Most of the colleges within the central area are worth a look, if you have the time.
Some, but not all, colleges charge for entrance. Colleges are typically closed to visitors during the University exam period, at the end of May and the first week of June.
Please remember to be respectful when visiting the colleges. They are students' homes for much of the year, and the workload and pressure at the University can be immense. Do not enter buildings you are not explicitly invited to, do not stare into people's windows, and be polite when taking photographs. Always remember that the colleges' role is first and foremost that of academic institutions; they are not there for tourists, and it is rude to do anything which impedes or inconveniences the people who live and work in them.
King's College and King's College Chapel, King's Parade, 01223 331212. College grounds open term-time M-F 9.30AM-3.30PM, Sa 9.30AM-3.15PM, Su 1.15PM-2.15PM and 5PM-5.30PM (summer only). Out of term M-Sa 9.30AM-4.30PM, Su 10AM-5PM. Grounds closed during exams (late April to mid June) though Chapel is open. Chapel opening times vary, ring for details. The most visited attraction in Cambridge, the architecture of King's College Chapel towers above the town and its world-famous choir have spread its reputation across the globe. £7 adults, £5 children/students.
Queens' College, Silver Street/Queens' Lane, 01223 335511. Open approx 10AM-4.30PM, see website or ring for updated times. Closed mid-May to mid-June. Founded by two Queens - Margaret of Anjou in 1448 and Elizabeth Woodville in 1465, the College stretches across both sides of the Cam, linked by the famous Mathematical Bridge. The myth goes that it was designed by Isaac Newton without the use of pins, screws, nuts or bolts, but when disassembled, the fellows and students couldn't figure out how to put it back together again. This is sadly false, the bridge dates from 1749, 22 years after Newton's death. The stunning medieval Old Hall is also worth a visit. £1.30 (includes printed guide). Free mid-October to mid-March.
Trinity College: Large attractive courtyard and library designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The interior of the Wren Library is particularly beautiful and features medieval bibles, items from the possession of Isaac Newton, original manuscripts by Wittgenstein, a Winnie-the-Pooh manuscript by A.A. Milne, and notes by Bertrand Russell, among other things. Even when the college is closed to visitors, the library may still be accessible from Queens Road on the other side of the River Cam.
St Johns College: Formally the St Johns Hospital (13th century) before being refounded as a college in 1511, this college houses the oldest academic building in Cambridge (the "School of Pythagoras"). It has a number of large courtyards, and has the Cambridge "Bridge of Sighs".
Pembroke College: The 3rd oldest college in Cambridge, founded in 1347 by the Countess of Pembroke, Marie de St Paul, is well known for its beautiful gardens.
Clare College: The 2nd oldest college with pretty gardens, courtyard and the oldest river bridge in Cambridge.
Saint Catharine's College: St Catharine's College was founded in 1473 by Robert Wodelarke, Provost of King’s College. The College was christened in honour of the patron saint of learning and was originally known as Katharine Hall. It was largely rebuilt in the 17th century with work on the Main Court beginning in 1673; the Chapel was completed in 1704. It is worthwhile to note that the College is renown for its academic and athletic excellence. In spite of its modest size, the college’s three-sided brick Main Court is almost unique among Cambridge Colleges and deserves a short stop while strolling down Trumpington Street. The College is in the very centre of Cambridge next to King's College and facing Corpus Christi College.
Homerton College: Homerton College is one of the newer colleges, though it has existed for centuries as an academic institution and is architecturally very pretty, with extensive and tranquil grounds and a picturesque orchard. It is in a beautiful location on Hills Road, about fifteen minutes walk from the town centre. The Victorian hall here is one of the most beautiful in Cambridge and definitely worth a visit. Free to enter, so worth the walk to see.
Corpus Christi College: Uniquely, founded by Cambridge locals (from two town guilds). Its Old Court (to the left of the main entrance, behind St Bene't's church) dates from the 1350s and is the oldest courtyard in Cambridge. Old Court rooms have no plumbing, so you may occasionally be treated to a student walking across the court in their dressing gown to get to the toilet complex...
The Backs. The gardens by the river behind various colleges. Heading downstream from Kings you can pass through the gardens of Clare, Trinity and St John's Colleges (which has the "Bridge of Sighs").
Botanic Garden of Cambridge University. Bateman St CB2 1JF. Open 10AM-4PM Nov-Jan, 10AM-5PM Feb and Oct, 10AM-6PM Mar-Oct, closed 25 Dec to 3 Jan. +44 (0)1223 336265. A relaxing way to spend a few hours, away from the hustle and bustle of the colleges and canals. Open to the public since 1846 this garden hosts some important botanic collections amongst its 10,000 or more species. Adult admission £2.50, free Mon-Fri in winter (November through February).
Jesus Green. Originally proposed as the site for Cambridge's main railway station, Jesus Green is a broad piece of parkland immediately adjacent to Midsummer Common. Provides a quiet retreat away from the city centre and also has grass and hard tennis courts as well as an outdoor swimming pool. Plans are underway for redevelopment of this much loved park in Cambridge.
Parker's Piece. Parkers Piece is one of the best known open spaces in Cambridge. Located in the centre of the City it is bordered by Park Terrace, Regent Terrace, Parkside and Gonville Place.
Christ's Pieces. Christ's Pieces is situated in the centre of the City, bordered by the bus station, Christ's College, Emmanuel Road and King Street. It is of typical Victorian park design with tree lined avenues. The formal seasonal bedding displays planted in the 'petal beds' near Emmanuel Road, provide all year round colour. There are also large ornamental shrub beds around the perimeter to add further year round colour and interest.
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, +44 (0)1223 332900 . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Su 12PM-5PM. The Fitzwilliam Museum is the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge and is on Trumpington Street. It receives around 300,000 visitors annually. The museum was founded in 1816 with the bequest of the library and art collection of the VIIth Viscount FitzWilliam. The bequest also included £100,000 "to cause to be erected a good substantial museum repository". The "Founder's Building" itself was designed by George Basevi, completed by C. R. Cockerell and opened in 1848; the entrance hall is by Edward Middleton Barry and was completed in 1875. The Egyptian Galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum re-opened in 2006 after a two-year, £1.5 million programme of refurbishment, conservation and research. The museum has five departments: Antiquities; Applied Arts; Coins and Medals; Manuscripts and Printed Books; and Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Highlights include masterpieces by Titian, Rubens, Van Dyck, Canaletto, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Picasso and a fine collection of 20th century art. Admission free.
Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, 01223 352124 . House open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 1.30 - 4.30PM (1st weekend in April - last weekend in September); Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 2PM - 4PM (1st weekend in October - last weekend in March). Gallery open Tuesday to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays 11.30AM - 5.00PM. Kettle's Yard is the former home of Jim and Helen Ede and houses the fine collection of art, from the early part of this century, which they gave to the University. Artists represented include Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, David Jones, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. There is a separate gallery for exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, which are widely advertised and detailed on the website. Each exhibition is accompanied by a lively programme of talks, workshops and discussion groups for all ages. Music at Kettle's Yard: Kettle's Yard presents programmes of chamber music concerts and contemporary music concerts. Admission free.
The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street, 01223 333456. Monday to Friday, 10AM - 1PM and 2PM - 5PM; Saturday 10AM - 4PM. Closed on Bank Holidays. One of the University's many hidden treasures, and actually its oldest museum, the Sedgwick is packed full of fossils with more than 1 million in its collection. These range from the earliest forms of life from more than 3000 million years ago, to the wildlife that roamed the Fens less than 150,000 years ago. Displays include a gallery of minerals and gemstones, the world's largest spider, rocks collected by Charles Darwin on the 'Voyage of the Beagle', dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Triassic, and fossils from the local area including a hippopotamus from the nearby Barrington gravel pits. The museum organises many activities, so it's always a good idea to check its website. Admission free.
The University Museum of Zoology - This museum is currently closed for refurbishment-, the New Museum Site, Downing Street, 01223 336650 . Monday to Friday 10AM - 4.45PM (closed on Bank Holidays). Open Saturdays mornings 10AM - 1PM from June to September. The University Museum of Zoology displays a great range of recent and fossil animals, emphasising the structural diversity and evolutionary relationships among the animal kingdom. The collections were accumulated from 1814 onwards, and include many specimens collected by Charles Darwin. To find the museum, look for the spectacular whale skeleton, hung above the entrance and visible through the archway from Downing Street. Admission free.
The Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Free School Lane, just off Pembroke Street, 01223 330906. Monday to Friday 12.30PM - 4.30PM. Closed at weekends, bank holidays and occasionally over the Christmas period. Visitors are advised to check beforehand by contacting the Museum. The Whipple Museum is a pre-eminent collection of scientific instruments and models, dating from the Middle Ages to the present. Included in this outstanding collection are microscopes and telescopes, sundials, early slide rules, pocket electronic calculators, laboratory equipment and teaching and demonstration apparatus. Admission free.
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, 01223 333516 . Tuesday to Saturday 2PM - 4.30PM. Closed at Christmas and Easter and on most public holidays. Possible extended summer opening - please telephone or email for details. The Museum contains large and important collections of archaeological and anthropological material from all parts of the world. The archaeological collections from all periods include significant collections from Palaeolithic Europe, Asia and Africa; Precolumbian Central and South America; early civilizations of the Mediterranean; and British archaeology. The world-renowned anthropological collections include important collections from the South Seas, West Africa and the Northwest Coast of North America; historic collections from the 18th century; and extensive photographic collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. Admission free.
Museum of Classical ArchaeologySidgwick Avenue, 01223 330402 Open Monday-Friday: 10AM to 5PM; Saturday: 10AM to 1PM; closed Sunday. Admission is free. The Museum of Classical Archaeology is one of the few surviving collections of plaster casts of Greek & Roman sculpture in the world. The collection of about four hundred and fifty casts is open to the public and housed in a purpose-built Cast Gallery on the first floor of the Classics Faculty. Although nothing here is an original, nearly all the well-known (and not so well-known) works from the Classical world can be seen together under one roof. The reserve research collections consist of another two hundred plaster casts, Greek vases, pottery sherds, and epigraphic squeezes. These can be consulted by arrangement.
The Folk MuseumCastle Street Tuesday-Sunday (also Mondays in Summer) 10.30-5.30. The only local social history museum in Cambridge and is the most comprehensive collection representing life in the South Cambridgeshire villages. Housed in an old Coaching House, the museum is home to some 20,000 objects representing the history of local life away from the University.
The Polar MuseumLensfield Road Tuesday-Saturday (Also Sundays on Bank Holiday Weekends) 10.00 -4.00. A short walk from the Fitzwilliam Museum is The Polar Museum. It was a finalist for The Museum of the Year Prize in 2011. Its extraordinary collection covers the Arctic and Antarctic, native peoples and the Golden Age of Exploration of heroes such as Scott and Shackleton. It also serves as the National Memorial to Scott and his men, as well as being the public front of The Scott Polar Research Institute which continues their scientific work. Special events, exhibitions, tours, children's activities and behind the scenes Open Days are held quite often.
The University LibraryWest Road Monday-Friday 09.00-6.00, Saturday 09.00-16.30. Exhibition of treasures and highlights from the Library's world-class collections of manuscripts and printed books. Two major exhibitions are held each year (roughly January to June and September to December): check website for details.
The history of Cambridge is entwined with that of the Church of England. The colleges (see above) all have chapels which can be visited, but town churches also offer a rich insight into the history of the town and university, and are usually free. Even if you aren't interested in places of worship, they are well worth a few minutes attention and are peaceful places to enjoy.
Great St Mary's - open daily, free. This fine example of 15th-Century English Perpendicular architecture is on the market square opposite King's College. As well as viewing the beautiful nave, visitors can climb the bell tower (admission £2.50) for spectacular views over the town.
St. Benet's - tucked away in the lanes is this tiny 11th-century church. Its main attraction is a Saxon arch in the nave. One of several churches in town with bells, this one is a good location to see English bellringing. The times are unpredictable and not published but Sunday afternoons are your best bet. Please be quiet, ringing takes a surprising amount of concentration and the ringers can do without distractions.
All Saints, Jesus Lane - open daily, free. This 19th century church is no longer used for worship but has been preserved as a rare example of the Arts and Crafts movement, featuring a highly ornate interior by Bodley, and windows and wall decorations by William Morris.
St. Andrew's, Chesterton - a walk from town, but with an impressive (if somewhat faded) medieval Doom painting around the chancel arch, showing the Judgement and giving worshippers good reason to pay attention to the sermon.
World War II Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial: Three miles west of the city on Highway A-1303. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery is on land donated by Cambridge University and is the final resting place for 3,812 American military dead lost during the War in the Atlantic and Northern Europe. A monument is inscribed with the names of 5,126 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. The chapel contains mosaic maps of World War II campaigns and a mosaic memorial to American Air Forces on the ceiling. Free.
Duxford Imperial War Museum This old airfield south of Cambridge has been converted into a museum of aviation, mostly based on military planes, but they do possess an old Concorde. As well as this, there is a land warfare museum attached that has many examples of armoured vehicles from the First World War onwards. It really a full day for a proper visit. Bus Citi 7 takes about an hour to get there from the city centre or the bus station. Make sure that you board the Citi 7 bus that says Duxford as the Citi 7 bus also goes to two other places. Also note the time of the last bus to leave the museum as later buses go to the village of Duxford but not out to the museum.
Walk along the backs. It's free, and gives you a real flavour of the city. You can walk through Kings College, onto Kings Parade, a beautiful row of exclusive shops.
Punting at Clare College Bridge on the Cam
Punting. 9/10AM-dusk daily. If anything is stereotypically 'Cambridge', this must be it. Punting involves propelling yourself in a long wooden boat by pushing a pole against the shallow river bottom. For the full effect, take strawberries and champagne to quaff as you glide effortlessly down the river. You can either travel along the Backs or head out towards the village of Grantchester. Guided tours are also available from £10 per person, but self-hire is more fun (Granta Punting Company) . £12 per hour per punt, £14 at weekends. A deposit (e.g. a credit card) is required. In fact if you turn up in the summer you'll find it hard not to go punting as touts assail you from all sides in the streets. For a look at the evolution of punting in Cambridge consult 
Rowing. Cambridge is renowned for rowing on the Cam. All colleges and some schools have their own clubs, and there are over half a dozen large 'town' clubs. There are a number of regattas and head races on the river throughout the year, though the highlight in the rowing calendar on the Cam is the annual bumping races. For College crews, the 'May' bumps are in June, for the local clubs, this normally is the fourth week in July. Over four evenings of racing (Tuesday - Friday), eights attempt to gain higher position by catching the crew ahead of them before being 'bumped' by the crew behind. Races take place downstream (north) of the city, between the A-14 road bridge and the railway bridge at Stourbridge Common, and are best viewed from the towpath alongside the river, or from the Plough pub in Fen Ditton, both accessible by foot from the town centre - words of warning though - if on the towpath side, be careful for the massive number of bikes that accompany the crews racing, if in the pub, you may not get a seat, and beer prices are at a premium.
MP3 walking tour of Cambridge £5 for two downloadable 60-minute walks  or for hire for £7 from the Tourist Information Centre 
Cambridge United Football Club The leading football team in Cambridge, games are played at the Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road.
Cambridge Arts Directory, provided by Cambridge City Council, is a comprehensive list of theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries and much more in Cambridge.
Cambridge Corn Exchange. The city's centre for arts and entertainment .
ADC Theatre, Park Street, . The University's playhouse. Hosts student and local amateur productions. Look out for performances by Footlights, this has been the training ground for many famous comedians. Tickets £4-10.
The Junction, Clifton Road, . Artistic centre offering club nights, gigs, and new theatre, comedy, and dance. Ticket prices vary depending on the show/gig.
Arts Picture House, 38–39 St Andrew's St. Various foreign and art-house films (see the current listing ). A more conventional selection can be found at the large multiplex at the Grafton Centre as well as the recently opened Cineworld complex at Cambridge Leisure Park in Hills Road.
Cambridge Summer Music Festival. Perhaps the most romantic way to appreciate the magnificent architecture of the many College Chapels is to hear a concert performed in their marvellous acoustics. Cambridge Summer Music offers world class performances in the well-known Chapel of King's College as well as many of the city's hidden gems.
Midsummer Fair (mid-June), Midsummer Common.
Strawberry Fair On Midsummer Common.  in early June.
There are a large number of summer schools, mostly English language, but also some offering tuition in a wide range of other subjects.
It is possible for those wishing to experience what life might be like as a Cambridge student to get a taste of college life by enrolling on a course offered by Oxford Royale Academy. Originally running courses solely in Oxford, the organisation has been running courses in Cambridge since 2010.
Cambridge University students aren't allowed to work during term-time, so there are often possibilities for bar or waitering work for foreign nationals. Those from outside the EU require a work permit, see the Work section of United Kingdom for more details.
There are also Technology Parks () where lots of hi-tech and bio-tech companies opened their offices.
King's Parade has numerous souvenir shops and gift shops with Cambridge (and London) branded merchandise. Scour the charity shops down Burleigh Street, Regent Street and Mill Road for bargains. Book collectors will find many shops especially Trinity Street. The market square in the centre of town has a general market Monday to Saturday with fruit and vegetables, bread and cakes, books, bicycle repair, tea and coffee, fast food and clothes, and a more arts- and crafts-oriented market on Sunday with pottery, ceramics, prints, clothing, etc. The surrounding streets and the nearby Lion Yard shopping centre have most of the common retail names and some individual shops to cater for most needs. The Grafton Centre has all the usual high-street shops in a mall and surrounding streets.
M&S Simply Food (part of the Marks and Spencer department store chain) have several mini-supermarkets that sell high-quality sandwiches, prepared meals, snacks and other groceries - usually at a high price. The main supermarket in the city centre is Sainsbury's on Sydney St. which stocks a full range of groceries and everyday products as well as alcohol and cigarettes. There are more supermarkets on the edge of town also large Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Waitrose superstores on the edge of the city. Tesco has the best bus connections.
Ryder & Amies, 22 King's Parade, ☎ +44 (0) 1223 350371, . "The University Store" sells Cambridge University merchandise.edit
Robert Sayle (John Lewis), 10 Downing Street, ☎ +44 (0)1223 361292, . Large department store.edit
Primavera, 10 King's Parade, ☎ +44 (0)1223 357708, . High quality contemporary art & crafts.edit
Cambridge Contemporary Art, 6 Trinity Street, ☎ +44 (0)1223 324222, . More art & crafts.edit
Cambridge Cheese Company, 4 All Saints Passage, ☎ +44 (0)1223 328672. Excellent selection of cheese and delicatessan counter.edit
Cambridge University Press Bookshop, 1 Trinity Street, ☎ +44 (0)1223 333333, . Only sells CUP books, but it is the oldest bookshop site in the country - books have been sold there since at least 1581.edit
Beehive Center, on the A1134 (by foot about 10 minutes east of the Grafton Centre), . A series of shops including Asda, DW Sports Fitness, TK Maxx, Next Home, Dreams, Toys R Us. Further up Newmarket Road, there are a couple of additional large stores like Tesco and Currys.edit
Rainbow Cafe, 9A Kings Parade, Tel: 01223 321 551, . M-Sa 11AM-11PM. Average Price: £12 (Meal with beverage) Virtually the only place in Cambridge to get vegan food. Also caters to a whole range of dietary requirements. The food is very tasty, imaginative fare. Can be cramped, but worth waiting for a table!
Michaelhouse Cafe, Trinity St, inside St. Michael's Church, . M-Sa 9:30AM-5PM. Average Price: £4-6 - beautiful cafe serving excellent sandwiches, salads, hot dishes, and soups. Sinful desserts as well. Vegetarian options always available. Lunch served until 3PM.
CB2 Internet Bistro, 5-7 Norfolk Street, Email: email@example.com. Daily 12:00-00:00. Average price: £10. Similar to CB1 (see Drink), but larger, this place serves high quality international cuisine for a modest price.
Dojo, Mill 1-2, Millers Yard, Mill Lane, ☎ 01223 363471, . Oriental fusion dishes at good prices. Nothing's quite like you'd find in Japan, but it's certainly worth eating. Main courses around £8 and huge portions wash it down with some Asahi Japanese beer.£7-10. edit
Tatties, 11 Sussex Street. Busy cafe serving jacket potatoes and sandwiches. Very popular with students around lunch time.
Auntie's Tea Shop, 1 St Marys Passage (off the market square toward Kings Parade). The £9 cream tea (traditional afternoon tea with scones and small sandwiches) makes a good snack for two. Rather cramped when busy on the weekends.
Savinos, 3 Emmanuel Street. Authentic Italian coffee bar. Best espresso and cappuccino in town.
Luke's, 110 Regent Street. Cambridge is surprisingly short of fish and chip shops but Luke's won't disappoint.
Clowns Cafe, 54 King Street. Cheap Italian pasta dishes, good coffee, wide choice of cakes. Eccentric clown-based decor.
Eraina Taverna, 2 Free School Lane. A restaurant that serves many foods with a speciality in Greek food. Very Good Value.
Many pubs in Cambridge also serve good food at reasonable prices, for example the George and Dragon, Carlton Arms, Cambridge Blue, Kingston Arms, Portland Arms, The Zebra and The Mitre among others.
The Cambridge Chop House, 1 Kings Parade, CB2 1SJ, Tel: 01223 359506 Su-Th: 12:00-22:30 F,Sa: 12:00-23:00. Good British cuisine in a great location, real ale (well kept!), attentive service, fixed lunch & (early) dinner menu from £11 (2 course), mains £10-20. Booking recommended.
De Luca Cucina & Bar, 83 Regent St, Tel: 01223 356 666, Su: 10:00-21:30 M-Th: 11:00-23:00 F,Sa: 11:00-24:00. Average Price: £25. Great little Italian/British Fusion Restaurant with reasonable prices and great staff!
Fitzbillies, 51 Trumpington Street, Tel: 0870 1413505, . Sun: 12:00-17:45 and Mon to Sat: 09:00-21:30. Average Price: Varies depending on whether you go there for lunch, tea, or dinner. Fitzbillies is a Cambridge institution serving refined food for lunches and dinners, as well as heavenly tea and pastries in the afternoon. Don't forget its adjacent shop selling the best pastries in town, amongst which you will find the world famous Chelsea Bun!
Le Gros Franck, 57 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1NT, Reservations call: 01223 565560, Le Gros Franck serves genuine French cuisine, cooked by an award-winning French chef Franck Parnin. By day, Le Gros Franck is a French patisserie, with fresh pastries, pastas and sandwiches. Specialties include our genuine French-style steak-frites, fish pies and stews. By night, Le Gros Franck is a romantic French restaurant serving the finest French food at your table from our menu. Only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday Evenings.
Loch Fyne Fish Restaurant and Oyster Bar, 37 Trumpington Street, Tel: 0870 1413579, Sun: 10:00-21:30 M-Th: 09:00-22:00 F: 09:00-22:30 Sa: 10:00-23:00. Average Price: £20. If you love seafood this place is for you!
The Kohinoor Tandoori Restaurant, 74 Mill Road, Tel: 0870 1413563. Su to Sa: 12:00-14:30, 18:00-00:00. Average Price: £11-20. There isn't much to say: top quality food, excellent service, and generous portions!
Restaurant 22, 22 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, CB4 3AX Telephone: 01223 351880. Set Menu 3 Courses £28. Set in a converted Victorian house near the river. Serves up quality seasonal food from a monthly changing menu in an intermate dinning room. Booking essential. larger private room up stairs for parties of approx 12.
Sala Thong Thai Restaurant, 35 Newnham Road, Tel: 0870 1413666, Su-Sa: 12:00-14:30, 18:00-22:30. Average Price: £11-20. This small place serves simple tasty thai food with good service.
Thanh Binh, 17, Magdalene St, CB3 0AF, Tel: 01223 362456. Average price: £20. Very good Vietnamese food in a pleasant atmosphere. No alcohol license, but you can bring your own; there is a good wine shop just over the bridge 50m away.
Arundel House Hotel Bar & Restaurant, Chesterton Road. Comfortable, elegantly furnished bar and restaurant convenient if you are staying north of the river.
Cotto Restaurant, 183 East Road, CB1 1BG. Tel 01223 302010 The twice-Gold Medallist at the Chef's Olympics, Hans Schweitzer has amassed an impressive repertoire of culinary skills, including training as a Confiseur and Chocolatier in Switzerland and Paris. He is considered the best chef in Cambridge. A contemporary, restaurant, convenient if you are near Parker's Piece, Anglia Ruskin University or the Grafton Centre. Open for lunch Tue - Sat 9AM - 3PM. Dinner Thu - Sat from 7PM.
Midsummer House, Midsummer Common, Tel: 0870 1416395. Tu-Th: 19:00-21:30; F,Sa: 12:00-14:00, 19:00-21:30. Average Price: £50+. By far Cambridge's finest restaurant and one of only ten British restaurants to have earned two stars from the Michelin guide.
Alimentum, 152-154 Hills Road, tel: +44 (0)1223 413000. We paid £55/person for a cocktail, starter, main, half bottle of wine, and dessert each. Newly opened in July 2007; very good food and a fairly varied choice on the menu (only one vegetarian option per course, though).
Cambridge has a colossal number of pubs, over 110 at the last count.
The Cambridge Blue, Gwydir Street. A friendly pub with a large garden and good range of real ale.
The Castle Inn, Castle Hill. One of the best and busiest, traditional pubs in Cambridge. With an eclectic mix of locals and visitors, it can get impossibly busy of Friday and Saturday nights, however, the beer is excellent (the wine less so) and the food is home cooked and good value - the "Castle Burger" is a popular choice.
The Champion of the Thames, King Street. Old style pub in the centre of town with a blazing fireplace in the winter. One of the few pubs to sell a local cider rather than the mass-produced stuff.
The Eagle, Benet Street. Watson and Crick were regulars here whilst in the process of unravelling the secrets of DNA.
The Fort St George, Midsummer Common. Been there for hundreds of years, overlooks the Cam and Midsummer Common. Also one of the best places in town for a pub lunch! (Think Sunday roast.)
The Free Press, 7 Prospect Row. Mobile phone use is not allowed, making this a pleasant quiet pub. Garden.
The Granta, Newnham Road. A large terrace looks out on the river and surrounding nature. Popular during the summer, this pub serves excellent food, and rents out punts and canoes.
The Live and Let Live, Mawson Road. A small and very friendly place with an excellent selection of real ales.
The Mill, Mill Lane. Cosy in the winter, bustling in the summer, this pub offers a refined selection of real ale.
The Pickerel Inn, Magdelene Street. Claims to be the oldest pub in Cambridge.
The Regal, St Andrews Street. Formerly a cinema, the Regal is the largest pub in the city and according to some, Europe. Offers a broad range of drinks including cheap ales you´d expect from a Wetherspoon´s chain pub, plus music and a rowdy dance floor in the evenings
The Wrestlers, Newmarket Road. A bit of a walk from the City Centre, but great real ales and some of the best Thai food in town.
The Devonshire Arms, Devonshire Road (Mill Road end). Good selection of Milton Brewery beers. Good menu. Friendly, and handy for the station.
CB1, Mill Road, . A bohemian café with book-lined walls, good affordable coffee, half-price refills, free wifi and friendly staff. This place is open everyday from 10a.m. until 8p.m. and tends to get crowded in the afternoon.
Black Cat Cafe, Broadway Mill Road, . Due to being owned by a New Zealander the coffee is a kept at a high standard. The cakes however are famous, a definite must for a sweet-tooth. You will need to get in early for a table at the weekends.
Indigo Coffee House, 8 St. Edward's Passage (central). A tiny cheerful place with excellent coffee and bagels!
Savinos, Italian Coffee Bar in Emmanuel Street. the best place in town where you can relax drinking a true and delicious Italian coffee or if you are hungry you can try a tasty Italian baguette with ingredients imported from Italy. While you are chilling out with your drink you can read Italian newspapers or listening to Italian music.
The Cafe Project, 22 Jesus Lane, . A colourful volunteer-run community cafe serving cheap hot drinks and homemade cakes with a growing selection of books for swapping. Open mon-wed 7.30PM-11PM and from 10AM-10PM every Friday for a LGBTS friendly day run by the charity Naarii.edit
Clowns, Italian cafe on King Street. Cheap pasta dishes, good coffee, lots of cakes to choose from, English breakfasts. A good place to meet friends, or to while away an hour or two with a book.
You'll also find all the usual chains: Nero's in three central locations on King's Parade, Market Street, and inside Heffers, Starbucks on Market Street, inside the Grand Arcade and on Christs Lane.
There are a number of guesthouses on Tenison Road, about 10 minute walk from the train station towards town.
A&B Guesthouse, 124 Tenison Rd, ☎ +44 (0)1223 315702, . Nice clean, small rooms. Ensuite available.£70 double (includes hot English breakfast). edit
Chequer Cottage B&B, 43 Chequer Cottage, Streetly End, Cambridgeshire (14 miles from Cambridge), ☎ 01223 891522, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 11am. Luxury B&B, 4 Star Silver Award, King size en-suite room set in a beautiful country garden on the edge of the Roman Road. Price includes full English or continental breakfast and wifi.edit
Holiday Inn Cambridge, Lakeview, Bridge Road.,Impington, Cambridge (northern fringe of Cambridge, about three miles from the city centre), ☎ 0871 942 9015, . As well its accommodation, the hotel also has a restaurant and leisure facilities on-site.edit
Home from Home Guest House, 78-80 Milton Rd, ☎ +44 (0)1223 323555. Good value, but quite a distance from the city centre.edit
Signet Apartments, Cambridge, ☎ +44 (0)1223 709 409, . A range of beautifully-designed serviced apartments close to the centre of Cambridge. Available for short or long term stays, ideal for both leisure and business travellers. Each apartment includes free wifi, welcome pack and private parking. edit
Royal Cambridge Hotel, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 1PY (edge of the city centre), ☎ 01223 351 631, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. One of the oldest hotels in Cambridge and was once part of the world famous Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Not to be confused with The Royal Cambridge Hotel in London, for which at one point a fairly full entry appeared on this page. The one in Cambridge is on Trumpington Street, not Sussex Gardens, and has a (+44)/(0)1223 area code, not the London 020 (+44 20 internationally) code.£45 - £80 pppn. edit
Crowne Plaza, 20 Downing Street, ☎ +44-870 400 9180 (fax: +44-(0)1223-464440), . Crowne Plaza Cambridge enjoys a prime location in the heart of the City Centre. Located within walking distance from Kings College and the many universities with easy access to Cambridge Business Park.edit
Even if Cambridge is one of the safest cities in the UK, you should still use your common sense at night, being careful in badly-lit areas outside the city centre; Parker's Piece has seen a few cases of mugging, but the situation has greatly improved.
If you have a bike, keep it locked up to a solid object with a strong lock (preferably a D-lock), as cycle theft is big business. There are cycle parking places with cycle stands to lock you bike to in several places around the city centre and at the railway station. "Secure" covered cycle parking with CCTV surveillance and cycle stands is available in the lower section of the Park Street car park and at the Grand Arcade cycle park.
The police station in the city is on Parkside, next door to the fire station, as well as smaller stations in the nearby villages of Histon and Sawston. The non-emergency contact number is 0845 456 456 4.
The city's Accident and Emergency department is at Addenbrooke's Hospital on Hills Road, south of the city centre.
There are many cybercafes in Cambridge and free Wi-Fi is available in many cafes and pubs. The public library in Lion Yard provides free internet access but you need to register as a library member, which requires TWO proofs of ID, one of your person such as a passport, ID card or photographical driving licence and one of your address such as a utility bill, bank statement or an official letter from a council.
CYBER, 17 Norfolk Street: has both free Wi-Fi and reasonably priced PCs.
jaffa net cafe, 22 Mill Road- High quality internet access with a fast internet connection. Pleasant, comfortable seating available as well as fresh sandwiches, baguettes and a selection of cakes are also available.
CB1, 32 Mill Road: has both free Wi-Fi and reasonably priced PCs.
La Pronto, 2 Emmanuel Street (central).
The library at Anglia Ruskin University on East Rd. will provide a ticket for its wifi service on request. Ask at the library desk.
Grantchester: Take a day trip to enjoy the countryside and have scones and tea at The Orchard. With a long history of famous patrons such as Rupert Brooke, Virginia Woolf, EM Forster and Bertrand Russell, taking tea in The Orchard is a well established tradition. This large garden planted with apple trees is perfect for lounging on a deck chair in the sun with a cup of tea and a scone for sustenance. Or head out by punt with a picnic hamper.
Great and Little Gransden Glimpse the real England! Take a bus (30 mins or so , bus no. 18, or 18A) from Drummer Street to the tiny ancient villages of Little and Great Gransden, which appear in the Magna Carta. Brimming with thatched cottage charm, horses and peaceful country walks, these villages offer escape into English village life. Pub food is available in both villages. Explore the ancient churchyards, the doll path in the meadow between them, and enjoy a leisurely hike around this tranquil village area. The Duncombe Arms in neighbouring Waresly serves excellent food, and offers BnB accomodation. Waresly is one or two hour walk from the riding stables at the bottom of Great Gransden. You could even join a horse trek. The undulating road offers wonderful views across farm land, and the ancient Waresly Wood, some of which is National Trust property. The 17th century open trestle post mill Windmill between The Gransdens is unusually intact. It was last operational in 1912.
Ely: Market town, with impressive Cathedral towering above the Fens (Ely actually used to be an island): regular trains and buses (9, X9, 12), or about two hours by cycle via NCN 51 to NCN 11.
King's Lynn is well worth visiting for its wealth of architectural gems especially Nelson Street and Tuesday Market place. The explorer Vancouver came from here. Museums and churches and the largest brass in the country in St Mary's Church.
Newmarket: Market town (in Suffolk), with it famous horse-racing venue, and everything horsey related including the National Horseracing Museum. Tu-Sun 11:00-16:30 (22 March - 30 October). Hourly trains and regular buses (10, 11, 12), or about two hours by cycle on NCN 51.
Bury St Edmunds: Market town, with it brewery, cathedral and gardens. Hourly trains and regular buses (11)
This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!