Cambridge technically has a tiny airport, but not one that is realistic to fly into. If flying to London Heathrow, the drive is about 90 minutes from the airport to Cambridge. If traveling to Gatwick, there is a direct train line that runs from Gatwick all the way to Cambridge, but takes about two hours. The Luton airport is located about 45 – 60 minutes away by car (longer in traffic) and there is not a very convenient way to get from Luton airport to Cambridge.
Traveling from London to Cambridge is fairly easy and can be done in a day-trip easily if desired. The easiest and fastest direct train runs from St. Pancras International station in London to Cambridge. The trip takes about 45 minutes if on the faster train, or just over an hour on the slower train. As St. Pancras is located in North London and connected to Kings Cross with a large tube station, one can take the tube to Kings Cross and walk to St. Pancras International. The fast train option typically runs two times per hour.
Alternatively, if Kings Cross is not a convenient station to get to, there is also a slower train that runs through the other large train stations in London including London Bridge, Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon, and St. Pancras. If one gets on at London Bridge, the train ride from London Bridge (southern most station in London city area) to Cambridge is about 75 – 90 minutes. There are more stops on the slower train, but if one of the other main stations is more accessible than St. Pancras, it may be easier than combining the tube and train. The slower train typically runs less frequently, about once per hour.
Cambridge is a small and cute town. Many locals get around by bike, but when visiting for a day or weekend, you should be able to access everywhere on foot. When you are tired of walking, you can catch a taxi or Uber to take you to your destination. The train station is about a 30 minute walk to the city center. If you would like to save your energy for walking around the city center and University, consider catching a taxi to the center.
Staying in the downtown center of Cambridge will be the most convenient and allow you to get around easily during your visit.
This is a wonderful and very nice hotel. The hotel is part of the autograph collection of Marriott properties. There is a small gym in the basement, a nice restaurant and bar area, and a library within the hotel.
Cambridge has numerous different colleges, all part of Cambridge University. Each college has its own building associated with it. King’s College is notable for the beautiful and grand King’s College chapel. It is located in the middle of Cambridge. The Chapel costs 10 GBP to enter and tickets are available on specific days.
Consider taking a walking tour in Cambridge to learn about the University and be taken to some of the key sights in the town. Cambridge Alumni Tours or Footprints both offer nice options for walking tours. Typically, you can also add a Punting tour onto your walking tour for a bundle deal.
Punting is a fancy way of explaining a boat which is pushed through the water with a large pole. In Cambridge, there are a lot of flat boats along the river. Consider booking a punting tour (45 – 60 minutes is the perfect length) to see Cambridge from River Cam. There are also options to rent your own boat and try punting on your own, but it tneds to be harder than it looks so keep this in mind.
The well-known Bridge of Sighs is found within St. John’s College and connects the buildings
Climb the 123 steps for a view over Cambridge. It is located right near King’s College Chapel.
Wooden bridge part of Queen’s college
Crossing the river, the Bridge of Sighs connects buildings for St. John’s College
One of the largest colleges in Cambridge and known for Wren Library. It has the most Nobel Prize winners and is funded well by alumni.
On the weekends, the market square has an outdoor market with vendors selling food, crafts, and other items.
Large unique clock, often called the Grasshopper clock
Riverside restaurant with a great atmosphere. The food could be hit or miss, but the environment was always nice and menu had a variety of options. It is good spot to go with a group.
Part of a chain of restaurants, this Brasserie has excellent food. It is a fancier restaurant with good service and a different interior design.
Rooftop restaurant on the top floor of the Varsity Hotel
Excellent restaurant for sushi, and it never disappointed. If you are with a group, consider trying an assortment of sushi by ordering one of the many platter options. These provided a nice way to try various sushi options.
Nicer British restaurant with quality food choices. The service is rather slow, but not a problem if you are not in a hurry.
French restaurant that has a variety of locations and another good option
Restaurant well-known for its Espresso martinis
British restaurant and pub along the river
Great British pub for a drink during the week. It will be plenty busy any night of the week.
Old school bakery famous for buns
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks