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  • Writer's pictureWill von Behr, MA

37 Top Landmarks and Cultural Tourist Attractions in Oxford

As the home of the oldest English-speaking university in the world and many historic landmarks, Oxford has countless treasures waiting to be discovered. This guide has been lovingly crafted to point you to 37 of Oxford's most iconic landmarks and cultural tourist attractions.

Oxford landmarks on the horizon

From centuries-old colleges and libraries to sprawling green parks and contemporary art spaces, our selection embraces the depth and diversity of this city's cultural fabric. Whether you're a history buff, nature enthusiast, book lover, or simply a curious traveller, there's something here for everyone. So, without further ado, let's embark on our virtual exploration of Oxford.

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Largest academic and specialist bookseller in the UK, founded in 1879.

Distinctive, early-20th-century stone bridge that’s part of Hertford College.

Pleasant, historic open space with a war memorial and many beautiful flowers.

One of the largest open spaces in Oxford, formerly ancient grazing land.

Idyllic university college with picturesque grounds, founded in 1458.

Purpose-built gallery with an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings.

This Oxford Landmark is a 19th-century Gothic stone monument designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott to commemorate a 16th-century event.

Leading contemporary art space founded in the 1960s.

Oldest botanic garden in the UK, this popular tourist attraction in Oxford was founded in the 17th century

Museum of anthropology and ethnography with a controversial history.

Museum of Archaeology and social history documenting the history of the city and its people.

Circular Neoclassical library. This Oxford landmark was designed by James Gibbs in the 18th century.

University of Oxford's museum of art and archaeology, founded in the 17th century.

Sturdy medieval belltower that was once part of a 12th-century church. The landmark is now a popular Oxford tourist attraction.

19th-century stone bridge that’s inspired many artists and writers.

Central thoroughfare lined with colleges, shops and eateries.

Historic crossing named after a neighbouring college.

Thousand-year-old castle and prison with a turbulent history is now one of Oxford's most prominent landmarks and tourist attractions.

Elegant Victorian town hall that houses the Museum of Oxford and hosts various celebrations.

Oxford’s largest park, opened to the public in the 1950s, with sweeping views of the city centre.

17th-century theatre that hosts university graduations and ceremonies.

Unique museum dedicated to stories and the art of storytelling.

Oldest university in the English-speaking world, founded in the 11th century who's buildings are some of the most iconic landmarks on Oxford's skyline.

Important collection of natural history specimens and archives in a 19th-century building.

Grand 18th-century building designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor as an entrance to the university.

Prestigious postgraduate college built in the 15th century, dedicated to victims of medieval England’s longest war.

Most comprehensive collection of European woodwind, brass and percussion instruments in the UK.

University library founded in 1602 that’s the second largest in Britain (after the British Library).

College founded in the 16th century whose alumni include 13 British Prime Ministers, writer Lewis Carroll and King Edward VII.

Medieval church founded over 800 years ago as a priory.

Famous medieval building that’s hosted lectures, debates and discussions for more than 500 years (best to book in advance).

Medieval college with the oldest quad in Oxford whose alumni include Sir Thomas Bodley and poet T. S. Eliot.

Anglo-Saxon church built where once stood the city’s north gate.

Church founded in the 11th century that has hosted graduation ceremonies as well as state trials.

Early scientific instruments in the old Ashmolean Museum building from the 17th century.

Oxford University’s oldest college, established in the mid-13th century.

Medieval university college founded in 1263 by a Scottish nobleman.

Well, there you have it, a treasure trove of 37 must-visit landmarks and cultural attractions that beautifully encapsulate the spirit and history of Oxford. We've journeyed from ancient colleges to modern museums, from serene meadows to bustling streets, and hopefully sparked a deep curiosity about this historic city. Remember, these highlights are just a start, and the magic of Oxford can only be truly experienced firsthand.

Using our Urbs Travel App, you can easily curate your own personalised itinerary featuring any of these spots, creating an unforgettable journey that suits your interests and pace. Click on each attraction to learn more and start planning your Oxford adventure today. Remember, it's not just about reaching the destination, it's about the journey and the memories you'll create along the way. Here's to your next adventure in the magnificent city of Oxford.

If you're planning a trip to Oxford, be sure to download Urbs and create your own personalised itineraries with audio guides from local experts.


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