For as long as I can remember, a trip to this scholarly city is something that always sat on top of my travel list. Attracted to its world-class academic institutions and sacred libraries, the bibliophile in me could not wait to visit it. So I planned a trip with my friend and booked the tickets about a week in advance. Paying a total of £15 for a round-trip we hopped on to an early morning train from London Paddington Station. It took us about an hour to reach (from Oxford Station we took bus number 5 to get to the city centre).
The Grand Café
Our first stop was this beautiful café, located on the High Street. As the oldest coffee shop in England with an unmissable vintage vibe, the place offers delicious breakfast and desserts. To kick-start the exciting day with some much-needed energy, I ordered Scrambled Eggs on toast.
We took a conscious decision of not taking a guided tour and exploring the city on our own. Thanks to google maps, the first touristy site that we saw was the Radcliffe Camera which serves as one of the most iconic sites of Oxford. I could not stop admiring and capturing its picturesque architecture. Next, on the list was the magnificent Christ Church College. This place is a dreamland for anyone who is a lover of Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland.
After some wandering around, we approached the river through Christ Church Meadow and walked around for a good 20 minutes. During our little stroll, we encountered boathouses, rowers and varied wildlife while I soaked in some happy views. Most of the rowers were university students busy pursuing their daily practice. Not quite done with the sightseeing, we paid a quick visit to the Bodleian Library which serves as the second-largest library in the whole of England.
Lunch at the Ashmolean Rooftop Café
Located on the 4th floor of the Ashmolean Museum, we had made a reservation for this place because it is often jam-packed. Grabbing a lovely window seat, I enjoyed basking in the rare sun and fantastic view. Given that we were super hungry after the site-seeing, I decided to order a whole-some meal of Wild Mushrooms, spinach gnocchi with cep cream. (For those interested, you might want to check out the museum as it offers a diverse range of collections including the Egyptian mummies and Pre-Raphaelite. Plus, the admission to it is also free).
Trinity, Somerville, Mansfield and Balliol College
With over 40 colleges at the University of Oxford, I was keen on seeing at least a few of them. So, after lunch, I met my friend from undergrad who showed us Trinity, Somerville and Balliol College. Unfortunately, free entry to these colleges is only permitted via a student card. However, the good part is that the admission fee for most of them isn’t high, and varies between £5-10.
A day trip to Oxford is a must as a student. It is affordable and a perfect weekend getaway for when you want to forget the endless readings and assignments. Moreover, the city offers something for everyone, so even a group trip is a wonderful idea