Renowned for its academic excellence, ample scenery, and historical pedigree, Cambridge is one of the UK’s most charming cities—and two days offers just the right amount of time to explore its highlights. Tour its ancient colleges, go punting along the River Cam, and even take to the skies. Here’s how to plan the perfect 48 hours in Cambridge.
Orient yourself on your first day in Cambridge—and enjoy a breezy overview of the city’s top attractions—during a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour. In the space of just an hour or two, you can zip past landmarks ranging from the Round Church to the Backs (the colleges’ tranquil meadows and lawns), all while enjoying the lofty vantage point.
After your introductory overview, hop off your bus, grab a bite at a local pub, and get ready to explore the city on a walking tour: Petite and atmospheric Cambridge rewards firsthand discovery. Thread your way through centuries-old backstreets, spy landmarks such as Senate House and Market Square, and learn about the many luminaries who have called the city home.
As the sun starts to set, enjoy a special perspective on Cambridge that most visitors miss when you take to the skies aboard a private plane. Admire Cambridgeshire’s verdant patchwork of meadows and parks, trace the winding journey of the River Cam, and view the city’s historical spires from the air.
Cambridge University comprises dozens of colleges, many of which have centuries of history (and the architecture to match). Begin your second day in town by visiting some of the city’s most prestigious academic enclaves. Venture into Trinity College, admire King’s College’s soaring chapel, wander Pembroke College’s sprawling grounds, and more.
Beyond its academic highlights, Cambridge is also a thriving cultural hub, and afternoon is the perfect time to enjoy a relaxed museum visit. Venture into the Fitzwilliam Museum to see masterworks by artists such as Picasso and Renoir, or head to the quaint Museum of Cambridge to learn more about the city’s past. In between excursions, don’t forget to drop by Fitzbillies for a gooey Chelsea bun.
After a busy day of exploring, sit back, relax, and watch the sun set over the city during a punting journey down the River Cam. Punting—or traveling via flat-bottom river boat—is both a classic Cambridge pastime and the perfect way to glimpse local landmarks such as the Bridge of Sighs.