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CAMBRIDGE CITY GUIDE

Even though my time living here was short, the summer semester I spent studying abroad at Cambridge University was the best time of my life. Coming to this tiny city to live away from home for the first time at the age of 20 was frightening but the charming cobble stone streets, tiny alleyways and ancient architecture made me feel as though I had stepped into a fairytale. I was comforted almost immediately by the welcoming locals, there was beauty every which way I looked, and a homey vibe that was radiating through the lush environment.

This small city that can be completely covered by foot in less than an hour is filled with great shopping, 29 colleges, and plenty of shops with homemade ice cream, fudge and yummy scones. This is a city built around a college atmosphere so the people are all either from the uni or new families raising their children.

This city is known for the bikes and it’s ancient architecture. There is barely anywhere to park in this small city so everyone owns a bike to get about anywhere in less that five minutes.

Best Time To Visit

Just like all other parts of England, Cambridge rains the majority of the year and can get very cold. July or August are the best times to find the sun coming out to play for a short period of time.

Places I Like

River Cam

Punting down the River Cam is a must! Cruising down the river gives you the most beautiful views of the colleges.

Kings Chapel at Kings College

Very famous for it’s architecture and a lot of historical influence on the city.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Some of the most famous painting from England’s own Hogarth, Turner and Gainsborough are held here.

Pembroke College

The most charming of the colleges (also the one I attended). Fall in love as you walk through it’s small campus and make sure you stop at the student pub to try their blackcurrent lemonade!

The Princess Diana Gardens

or the University Botanical Gardens are beautiful to see if it is sunny out.

Town Square

There is a flea market that runs every day.

Oliver Bonas

It’s like the Anthropologie of England.

Places To Eat

Auntie’s Tea Shop

Fresh homemade scones with your pick of a homemade jam and whipped butter. Can’t beat the view of Kings College!

Nando’s

Three words- Best. Chicken. Ever.

Don’t forget to try the Peri Peri sauce

Trailer of Life

This food truck doesn’t magically appear in town square until after 4pm. Make sure you order the “cheesy chips with garlic mayo”

Fudge Kitchen

Watch homemade fudge be made right before your eyes and then enjoy a free sample or don’t but you’ll be missing what tastes like heaven in your mouth.

The Cow

Looking for some good old fashioned pizza? Try this place. They are open late so people drink and socialize there till about 1am.

Ways To Travel Around

Cycling is a great option as you get to see the gorgeous city and breath in the culture.

Places To Stay

Hotels, Bed and Breakfast or Hostels. There aren’t a lot of places to stay so enjoying a B&B would be ideal or staying in Christs College where you can get the full experience of staying in one of UK’s most historic university buildings.

Additional Tips

Don’t ever look the wrong way when crossing this street, it won’t be a car or a bus that will be coming right at you but a person on a bike most likely running late to class or to work. Trust me, they won’t stop for anybody!

You will get dirty looks if you call “chips”- french fries.

NIGHTLIFE

Cambridge is known for it’s nightlife on Monday’s and Friday’s. The people start socialising late so have a beer at The Mill which overlooks the Cam and then head over to Revolution or Fez for some dancing and lounging with the locals.

What is the best way to travel around the city? : Cabs are pretty cheap since the city is so small but if it is nice outside I recommend walking. I wouldn’t recommend renting a bike- knowing how to bike amongst the pros in Cambridge can be quite the challenge.

 

Photo Credit

Kristen Harkey