Forget the boat race – which city is best to live in? Cambridge vs Oxford

Forget the boat race – which city is best to live in? Cambridge vs Oxford

Forget the boat race – which city is best to live in? Cambridge vs Oxford

The rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge goes back centuries. Even today, the two cities battle it out every year in the boat race while their universities are constantly vying to be crowned best in the UK.

This friendly competition has helped to drive innovation in both cities and today, Cambridge and Oxford are both dynamic, exciting, and enjoyable places to be. But which city really comes out on top when it comes to livability? We decided to find out.



Both Oxford and Cambridge offer a great variety of sights and attractions. In Oxford, you can visit the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford Castle and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, as well as a whole host of colleges and other academic institutions.

If you’re visiting Cambridge, you can spend a fascinating afternoon in the Fitzwilliam Museum, visit the King’s College Chapel and stroll through the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens. With both cities offering so much to do, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to sightseeing no matter where you choose to live.

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Cambridge is considerably smaller than Oxford. As a result, it’s generally easier to get around the city by foot, bike and public transport. Cambridge boasts a good network of cycle paths and you can walk to most places in the city within 20-30 minutes. This makes it the perfect choice for those who don’t want to rely on a car, or even the bus, to get around.

Oxford, on the other hand, is a little bigger. Although the city’s public transport network makes it easy to get around, be prepared for journeys to take longer at rush hour.



Luckily for cash-strapped residents of Cambridge, the city is considerably cheaper to live in compared to Oxford. As @TheTab says, “While Cantabs are hardly enjoying a cheap student lifestyle at an annual cost of £20,266, those at the Other Place are paying £24,760.”

This considerable saving makes Cambridge perfect for those who want to take the pressure off their finances and really make the most of the city they live in.


Things to do

From punting to shopping and reading to eating, both Oxford and Cambridge boast a great choice of things to do. As Oxford is bigger than Cambridge, you’ll find a wider choice of shops, restaurants and cafes in the city centre.

However, what Cambridge lacks in size, it more than makes up for in quality, with many of its bars, eateries and retailers offering an exceptionally high level of service. Visit the Trinity Restaurant, Restaurant Twenty Two or the Galleria to sample some of Cambridge’s best cuisine.

To find out more about living in Cambridge, or to start searching for your dream city pad, explore our site or get in touch with a member of our team.