Home Travel Destinations The Student’s Guide to Visit Oxford: Free Activities and Discounts

The Student’s Guide to Visit Oxford: Free Activities and Discounts

Oxford University

When you’re a student and planning to visit Oxford, one of the great British seats of further education, you’ll be pleased to know it’s a proverbial nirvana as long as you take your student card with you.

Over 25,000 students are attending the prestigious university alone, not to mention all of the other educational facilities scattered around the city and its suburbs. While it’s true that many of those students are living on stipends, local businesses still vie for their trade and offer amazing discounts if you can show proof that you’re studying.

There are also lots of free things to do in Oxford, so if you’re on a tight budget, which everyone knows in student lingo translates to being broke, you’ll be able to do much more than window shop or trudge around Christ Church Meadow with your hands in your empty pockets.

And all that walking around will be much more pleasant if you drop your bags off at a Bounce luggage storage in Oxford before you start exploring.

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Free Things To Do In Oxford

Free Walking Tour

Wandering around the streets of Oxford, as attractive as they are, can get boring when you’re on your own. One way of meeting up with others visiting the city is to take a free walking tour. Footprint Tours organizes two-hour long, student-led walking tours twice a day, seven days a week. You can find the student guide waiting at the meeting point on Broad Street at 11 am and again at 2 pm.

Oxford Covered Market

If the weather doesn’t treat you favorably, then one place you can go to get out of the rain is Oxford Covered Market. This characterful Victorian-era-built arcade in the city center houses numerous unique stores and offers some great photo opportunities. No, they don’t give stuff away for free, but looking costs nothing, and if you want to pick up a souvenir of your visit, then Oxford Souvenirs is the place to be.  

Tip: The market has a long and interesting history. If you want to know more about the building and the traders who have operated there over the past two hundred years, check out this 15-minute audio tour. It’s fun and informative.

Ashmolean Museum

If you’re into art or archeology and don’t have money for admission fees, then the Ashmolean Museum is the museum in Oxford for you. Admission to this huge museum is completely free, and you can easily spend half a day, at least, looking around. It’s not the only free museum in Oxford either.

Oxford Museum of Natural History

The following are free too:

  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History
  • History of Science Museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Oxford
  • Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

Where To Get Student Discounts In Oxford

Westgate Oxford

If you don’t have much time but want to make the most of the businesses that are offering student discounts, head for the Westgate Shopping Center. This indoor mall is crammed with stores, restaurants, and even a cinema that will be only too happy to see your student identity card.

If you’re not thinking of going shopping, don’t dismiss it. At Westgate, everything is under one roof, so it’s another ideal place to keep in mind as a backup should the British weather decide to dampen your sightseeing enthusiasm.

Here are some of the businesses in Westgate that offer student discounts:

  • Dr Martens – 10%
  • Moss Bros – 10%
  • Calvin Klein – 10%
  • Urban Outfitters – 10%
  • Bobbi Brown – 10%
  • Superdrug – 10%
  • The Body Shop – 15%
  • Levis – 20%
  • Jack & Jones – 20%
  • Itsu – 15%
  • Pho – 15%
  • Benito’s – 20%

Those discounts make visiting Oxford worth it even if you only go to stock up on essential clothing and toiletries, then treat yourself to a cheap meal while you do it.

Oxford University

Eat and Drink On The Cheap

If you’re staying overnight in town, then you’ll definitely want to hit the student social scene in Oxford. There are some amazing bars where you can get drinks at prices much lower than normal, and places that frequently have special promotions just to attract the student drinking crowds.

The OXO Bar

The OXO Bar is a cocktail bar on George Street where you can sip on the good stuff served at two-for-one prices or choose your poison from a special student cocktail menu with cocktails cheaper than a Starbucks latte.

Quod Brasserie and Bar

The Quod Brasserie and Bar on the High Street looks after students all day long by offering 10% off the bill whether you go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or an afternoon drink. They care about students’ livers too, so there’s no discount on drinks.

Falafel House

When you’re out and about in Oxford city center and want to grab a quick bite on the cheap, check out Falafel House on George Street. From this kiosk-style takeaway, you can grab a giant wrap stuffed with whatever takes your fancy for next to nothing. The great thing is it’s not all meat as they have an entire range of vegetarian fillings you can choose from. Falafel House gets rave reviews from Oxford students, and the reason for that is that it’s seriously good and seriously cheap. That’s an unbeatable combination.

Sasi’s Thai

Who doesn’t love a good Thai? Aside from Pho in the Westgate Shopping Center which gives a 20% discount, Sasi’s Thai is where most Oxford students go to get their fix of Thai food. Sasi’s is in the Covered Market, and while the place’s décor is about as basic as it gets, the food is exceptional, the portions are generous, and the prices are about as low as they can be without being free. When you’re hankering after a pad thai or an authentic green curry, this is the place to be. You may need to be patient, though, as there’s nearly always a queue waiting to be served.

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Visiting Oxford while you’re studying is a great time to do it. Once you’ve finished studying and have been integrated into the workforce, you won’t be able to take advantage of the amazing student discounts, so go now and make the most of it while you can.

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