Top 10 Things to Do in Cambridge for First-Time Visitors

by Ren Nair
Last Update: 17 July 2023

If you’re looking for an exciting city break destination, look no further than Cambridge.

This world-famous university town is home to a wealth of attractions, both historical and contemporary.

From punting down the river to exploring art at Kettle’s Yard and even sampling some unusual ice cream flavours at Jack’s Gelato, Cambridge is an exciting place to visit.

Sample the best food and drink that the city has to offer, check out the latest art exhibitions, or see some of the country’s top theatre performances! Cambridge has something for everyone. Here are our top 10 things to do in Cambridge for the first time.

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A great day out without compromise.


1. Punting Down The River

Have you heard of punting? It’s Cambridge’s most famous activity and for good reason! Gliding down the river on a punt is a great way to see the city sights. There are plenty of companies offering punting tours, or you can simply hire a punt and go at your own pace. There are no more famous, nor more invigorating, outdoor Cambridge activities than this.

The best time to go punting is in the morning or evening when the light is beautiful and you’re likely to have the river to yourself.

2. See Amazing Art at Kettle’s Yard

Kettle’s Yard is one of Cambridge’s most renowned art galleries and it’s well worth a visit. The gallery is home to a permanent collection of British art, as well as hosting regular temporary exhibitions.
The gallery is free to visit and it’s open Tuesday-Sunday.

3. The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum is Cambridge’s largest museum and it’s definitely worth a visit. The museum has collections of art, antiquities, coins and medals, and more.

Tip: The museum has a great cafe, enjoy a coffee there!

4. Discover Vintage Treasures On Mill Road

Mill Road is a great place to explore if you’re looking for vintage treasures. This busy road is home to a range of independent shops, selling everything from clothes and records to furniture and homeware. This historic road tops lists of popular Cambridge locations.

You’re sure to find something you love!

Tip: Many of the shops on Mill Road offer discounts on purchases over a certain amount. Be sure to ask!

5. Try Exciting Ice Cream Flavours at Jack’s Gelato

Jack’s Gelato is a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth. This gelato shop has a huge range of flavours, from classics like vanilla and chocolate to more unusual options like avocado and black garlic. No vacation in Cambridge would be complete without sampling some delicious ice cream.

Tip: Jack’s Gelato offers discounts on large orders, perfect for weddings and birthdays.

6. Dig Into History and STEM at the Churchill College Archives

Churchill College is Cambridge’s only college dedicated to science, engineering, and technology. But it also has a fascinating archive, open to the public. The archives contain documents dating back to the 12th century!

You can explore everything from medieval manuscripts to WWII correspondence.

Tip: The Churchill College Archives are free to visit.

Opening times vary, so be sure to check the website before you go.

7. Enjoy Fine Dining With a View at The Grafton

The Grafton is one of the most popular restaurants in Cambridge, thanks to its amazing views over the river. The menu features modern British cuisine, with dishes like slow-cooked pork belly and roast cod with black pudding.

Tip: The Grafton is often very busy, so make a restaurant reservation in advance.

8. Drink Cocktails at Six’s Rooftop Bar

Six is a popular cocktail bar in Cambridge, with a stylish rooftop bar overlooking the river. The menu features cocktails made with premium spirits and fresh ingredients. Visiting Cambridge with friends? Get glam and make memories at Six!
Tip: Six is popular, so be sure to book ahead!

9. Enjoy a Play at The ADC

A night at the theatre is a must-do in Cambridge. The ADC is one of the most popular theatres in the city, with a programme that features everything from new writing to classic drama.

You’re sure to find something you love!

Tip: The ADC offers student discounts on tickets.

10. Book Nerd Out at Heffers

Heffers is the place to go for book lovers in Cambridge. This independent bookshop has a huge selection of books, from new releases to rare editions.

Be sure to check out the second-hand section!

Tip: Heffers offers student discounts on books.

Welcome to our Blog!

Hi, I’m Ren, a travel lover a mum of 2 and founder of Keetoo, a  leading website and app for tickets for days out.
On this blog, I share our family travel experiences with practical information, pictures and useful tips!

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