The beautiful city of Cambridge has greenery galore, preserved historic buildings, architectural splendour, and world-class universities, Cambridge has everything as far as the eye can see. Indeed, this quaint city has charms that its local people and tourists can’t resist. While a trip to any place in the United Kingdom may not be the first place you’d think for a cheap getaway, there are several go-to destinations for cheap days out in Cambridge. Here are five top-rated tourist attractions you can visit on a tight budget.
Evensong at King’s College Chapel
King’s College Chapel could be the go-to place for inner peace. Just to be clear, evensong isn’t a place but a short church service traditionally held near sunset. While a ticket to King’s College costs at least £9, evensong is free. The college extends a warm welcome to everyone, whether with or without a religion. Just remember entry will not be permitted after 5:25 PM, so better arrive before 5:00 PM at King’s College Chapel.
King’s College Chapel is well-known as Cambridge’s oldest surviving building with the world’s largest fan-vaulted ceiling. You’ll also witness splendid acoustics and Rubens’ Adoration of the Magi, standing at the east end of the chapel. Taking pictures as long as without the use of flashes is allowed inside except when there’s an ongoing service or concert.
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences
You’ll surely love the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences if you love dinosaurs and natural sciences. It’s the University of Cambridge’s oldest one, having been established in 1728. The geology museum exhibits around 2 million fossils, minerals and rocks collected from every part of the world, spanning around 4.5 billion years.
The museum showcases many collections, such as Woodwardian, Palaeontology, Mineral, Petrology, and Building Stones collections. Thousands of those two million rocks were also collected by Charles Darwin himself during his Beagle expedition. Above all, all of these are for free! Visit the museum any day between Mondays-Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There’s no booking required, but school and community groups must book in advance.
The Polar Museum
Another free museum in Cambridge is the Polar Museum. It’s a sub-department of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), which is the centre of excellence in Arctic and Antarctic studies. This Grade II listed museum building is rather small. But surely it’s well worth a visit as it has vast information on polar exploration, history, and science, housing the world’s all-inclusive polar library and archives.
Two thousand five hundred artworks showcasing various polar explorations and Arctic cultures are also displayed inside the museum. You’ll be able to witness a vast collection of arctic paraphernalia, ranging from seal skins and whale harpoon guns to historical tools, traps and artefacts carried by legendary Arctic explorers. Like in Sedgwick, there’s no need to book a time slot to visit Polar. But it’s only open from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Punt at Trinity College
If you’re looking for cheap places to travel around Cambridge, take a quintessentially Cantabrigian pursuit and go punting! You’ll be smoothly gliding along the River Cam on a long, narrow, flat-bottomed boat called “punt” that’s propelled with a long pole. You’ll punt through the extraordinary views of the famous Magdalene, Trinity, Trinity Hall, Clare, King’s and Queens’ Colleges, and St. John’s Bridge of Sighs.
While walk-up fees can be as high as £149/hour for private rental, passing seven riverside colleges back in the heart of the city in one go may give you your money’s worth. But if you’re looking for a cheaper option, take a tour from Trinity College for £20/hour for the same ride. If you want even cheaper, consider a shared tour for 12 people. Generally, punting may cost £5 – £149, but prices change significantly due to demand. So better book in advance!
Cheap Stuff at Cambridge Market Square
Try local and global cuisines for low prices at Cambridge Market Square in the city centre. It’s a historic market square in Cambridge, where several stalls have been trading since the middle ages. But that doesn’t mean they only sell old stuff. From traditional to trendy bites, Asian dumplings to German bratwurst, or semi-permanent stalls to food trucks, there’s an eclectic selection of bites that you can choose from! Besides street foods, traders also sell second-hand items, cute accessories, European books, hip clothes, souvenirs, and so much more!
If you like cooking, you can also buy organic and locally grown produce at very reasonable prices there, and grab some tasty street food. Plus, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of local artists, ranging from artisans, sculptors, potters, and photographers, on the very same day. The market is open every day from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, so take your time!
The perfect cheap days out in Cambridge
Cambridge isn’t only well-known for its historic beautiful university town but as the UK’s top city for cycling! It’s a compact and flat city, making cycling easier and quicker. More importantly, cycling in Cambridge is relatively cheap! So spare some time to hire bikes and cycle around the city for a cheaper yet unforgettable trip.
We hope that you have a great time in Cambridge! More free things to do in Cambridge here.