Home to one of the world’s top universities, the scenic city of Cambridge is renowned for its centuries of history, beautiful architecture, and quaint appeal. A 3-day stay gives you ample time to discover Cambridge’s key highlights and also plan a diverting day-trip getaway. Here’s how to make the most of your visit.
Far and away the city’s most popular attraction, the University of Cambridge is also one of the oldest and most esteemed universities in the world. Given that it’s home to dozens of colleges (and has been frequented by luminaries including royalty, Nobel Prize winners, and some of the world’s greatest thinkers), exploring the university grounds is the perfect way to spend your first day in town. Walking tours provide a simple way to access some of the most popular colleges, including Trinity, Pembroke, King’s, and Clare, as well as their Backs: the pretty meadows and parks that abut the centuries-old buildings. In between sightseeing, don’t forget to stop by Fitzbillies for a sticky Chelsea bun and go punting (traveling by flat-bottom boat) on the River Cam, both quintessential student experiences. In the evening, head to a buzzing local pub to sip real ale and discover where residents blow off steam.
Continue the sightseeing on your second day in town with a morning hop-on-hop-off-bus tour or walking tour, taking in attractions such as Senate House, Market Square, and the Round Church. After a light lunch, dedicate your afternoon to a relaxed museum excursion, perusing Old Masters canvases at the Fitzwilliam Museum or millennia-old artifacts in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. In the evening, venture to one of the city’s cozy, independent eateries for a meal—or, if you’re feeling daring, take to the skies on a private plane ride over Cambridgeshire.
Dedicate the final day of your visit to an inspiring getaway to one of the charming locales in the English countryside. It’s less than an hour’s train journey to the pretty cathedral town of Bury St. Edmund’s, home to a heavy concentration of top-notch landmarks such as 9th-century St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Abbey of Bury St. Edmund’s, and the National Trust–owned Ickworth House. Alternatively, the city of Norwich—also renowned for its medieval cathedral, in addition to a Norman castle, art museums, and other highlights—can be reached in a little over an hour by train.