This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Cambridge. To help you make friends with Cambridge before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Well known for one of the most established and prestigious universities in the world, the city of Cambridge is as scenic as it is academic, with Gothic university buildings peppering lush green belts, with the meandering River Cam running through.
It is with good reason Cambridge University is world famous -- previous alumni have pioneered and contributed significantly to so many diverse fields. Cambridge University was home to literary figures John Milton, C.S. Lewis, Salman Rushdie, and Douglas Adams; scientific minds Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking; popular culture figures Derek Jacobi, Rachel Weisz, Hugh Laurie, and Stephen Fry; religious figures such as William Wilberforce and Rowan Williams; and innumerable Nobel laureates and numerous successful international politicians.
Most college grounds can be visited except during the exam season, where no visitors are permitted. Some colleges may charge a small entrance fee to roam around. The oldest and smaller Peterhouse College is less popular with public visitors compared to the sprawling Kings College with its famous chapel in the centre of Cambridge, and iconic St. Johns, with the Bridge of Sighs over the River Cam. The university itself often hosts public events, and maintains a number of museums, galleries and visitor centres -- one certainly worth visiting is the University Museum of Zoology, where many of Darwin's collected specimens are permanently on display.
Cambridge is especially enjoyable in the height of summer -- remember to try punting! May Balls are held by many of the colleges, and the whole city buzzes with activity after the exam season. During term breaks, university accommodation can be rented, giving you a unique opportunity to sample student digs. Most Cambridge hostels are located just outside the city centre, but Cambridge is small, well connected, and flat.
Written by local enthusiast for Cambridge hostelsSteph