Home to one of the best universities in the world, Cambridge definitely boasts an academic feel, even during the summer months. People come here to visit the historic college buildings, experience the British phlegm and cruise along the river Cam.

However, it can be difficult to figure out where to stay in Cambridge, especially when you are not familiar with the city.

This is exactly the reason why I have decided to create this guide on where to stay in Cambridge.

After reading it, YOU will know everything about where to stay in Cambridge and will know exactly which area to choose to fit your style and your budget.

So, why wait any longer? Let’s begin this guide on where to stay in Cambridge.

Quick Answers – Where To Stay In Cambridge

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN CAMBRIDGE

Round Church Street

Round Church Street is located just outside the City Centre and is one of the first residential neighbourhoods in Cambridge to be found next to the universities. While staying there, you will be within walking distance from all the main central sights, which makes it an area of choice if you are visiting Cambridge for the first time.

Places to visit:
  • Visit Saint John College, its chapel and the Bridge of Sighs
  • Go for a picnic in Jesus Green Park
  • Have dinner in one of the restaurants along the river Cam

Where To Stay In Cambridge

Best Hostel in Cambridge – YHA Cambridge

The YHA Cambridge is located in the Mill Road area of Cambridge. It has been recently refurbished completely and offers single beds in dormitory rooms and private rooms with double beds. Each room is fitted with an ensuite bathroom with hot water. The hostel has an in-house bar serving drinks and bar snacks.

Best Airbnb in Cambridge – Cosy Room in the Heart of the City

This centrally located comfortable bedroom is ideal for a first time visitors in Cambridge. Right in the middle of historic colleges, soak up the charming Cambridge culture and feel the magic of the city. The double bedroom, on the second floor, are right next to a bathroom that you will share with hosts. The other shared rooms are the kitchen and the living room.

Best Budget Hotel in Cambridge – Ibis Cambridge Central Station

The Ibis Cambridge Central Station is located near the main train station in Cambridge. It offers modern rooms fitted with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, and a TV with cable channels. A free Wifi connection is available in all areas of the hotel. A tasty buffet breakfast is served in the morning.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Cambridge – The Gonville Hotel

The Gonville Hotel has been recently refurbished and offers a luxurious feel in the heart of Cambridge. Each room is comfortable and fitted with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, a flat screen TV and a minibar. Some rooms also have a private patio. The in-house restaurant serves British traditional food.

Cambridge Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN CAMBRIDGE
Round Church Street, Cambridge
FIRST TIME IN CAMBRIDGE

Round Church Street

Round Church Street is located just outside the City Centre and is one of the first residential neighbourhoods in Cambridge to be found next to the universities. While staying there, you will be within walking distance from all the main central sights, which makes it an area of choice if you are visiting Cambridge for the first time.

ON A BUDGET
Mill Road Cambridge
ON A BUDGET

Mill Road

Mill Road is the neighbourhood located around the main train station in Cambridge. As it is located a bit further away from the city centre, it offers cheaper accommodation choices and is thus a perfect fit for backpackers and budget travellers.

NIGHTLIFE
City Centre, Cambridge
NIGHTLIFE

City Centre

The City Centre is the true heart of Cambridge. This is where the most famous colleges are located, as well as museums and lots of shopping opportunities. You will love the cobbled streets around King’s Parade, the street located along King’s College.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Romsey, Cambridge
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Romsey

Romsey used to be a not so nice area in Cambridge but has in the last few years turned into one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the UK. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it boasts its very own vibe full of English coolness.

FOR FAMILIES
De Freville Avenue, Cambridge
FOR FAMILIES

De Freville Avenue

De Freville Avenue is a tranquil neighbourhood and one of the most sought-after for people living in Cambridge. Many professors from the university have chosen to live there.

Cambridge is a relatively small city located around 65 miles north of London. It is mainly famous for its centuries-old university, which constantly remains one of the best in the world. In addition to students from all over the world, the unique architecture of the university’s colleges draws thousands of tourist eager to see what one of the best campuses in the world looks like.

The City Centre is where most sights are located, and where the university can be found. It is small enough to be explored walking around. After your visit, take a walk around the small streets and do some shopping in the local shops. One of the highlights of the city centre is the backs, the back yards of each college, which you can take a peek at from a punt boat on the river Cam.

Right outside the City Centre, Round Church Street is a great area to stay in if you want to be close to all the action, and have a ton of eating options right out your doorstep. There, you will also find Jesus Green Park where is it is relaxing to spend some time or have a picnic during the summer.

A bit further away and close to the main train station, Mill Road provides more affordable accommodation and is thus a great choice for backpackers travelling to Cambridge. From there, the City Centre is easily accessible by bus.

At this point, you may still wonder where to stay in Cambridge. Do not panic and check out our detailed breakdown below!

Note that during the summer the city is a lot quieter as the students have gone home. If you are coming during summer and looking for nightlife in Cambridge, visit at the weekend.

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5 Best Neighbourhoods To Stay In Cambridge

Let’s take a more detailed look at the 5 best neighbourhoods to stay in Cambridge. There is something for every taste and budget.

#1 Round Church Street – Where to stay in Cambridge your First Time

Round Church Street is located just outside the City Centre and is one of the first residential neighbourhoods in Cambridge to be found next to the universities. While staying there, you will be within walking distance from all the main central sights, which makes it an area of choice if you are visiting Cambridge for the first time.

During the summer, take a break from your visits and go relax in the grass at Jesus Green Park. You can also bring some food and organise a picnic while the kids play in the railway themed playground. Some concerts are also regularly organised.

Saint John College is located in this neighbourhood. It is particularly interesting to visit for its chapel and the stain glass windows showing scenes from the life of Christ. Over the river Cam, the Bridge of Sighs was built in 1831 and was said to be Queen Victoria’s favourite spot in the city.

Round Church Street, Cambridge

Things to see and do in Round Church Street

 – Visit Saint John College, its chapel and the Bridge of Sighs

 – Go for a picnic in Jesus Green Park

 – Have dinner in one of the restaurants along the river Cam

Best Hostel in Round Church Street – The Castle B&B

The Castle B&B offers simple rooms in the heart of Cambridge. Each room comes with access to a shared bathroom and toilet and gives guests access to a free Wifi connection. On the ground floor, the restaurant serves traditional British pub food and organises parties at night during the weekends.

Best Airbnb in Round Church Street – Cosy Room in the Heart of the City

This centrally located comfortable bedroom is ideal for a first time visitors in Cambridge. Right in the middle of historic colleges, soak up the charming Cambridge culture and feel the magic of the city. The double bedroom, on the second floor, are right next to a bathroom that you will share with hosts. The other shared rooms are the kitchen and the living room.

Best Budget Hotel in Round Church Street – Christ’s College Cambridge

Christ’s College Cambridge offers unique accommodation in one of Cambridge’s historic colleges. The student rooms are spacious and are fitted with a private bathroom with a bathtub, a city view and a free Wifi connection. In the morning, a buffet breakfast is available.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Round Church Street – The Varsity Hotel and Spa

The Varsity Hotel and Spa is one of the nicest hotels in Cambridge. The modern and comfortable rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a private bathroom, a flat screen TV with international channels and a free Wifi connection. The rooftop terrace overlooks the whole city and the hotel also has a well-equipped fitness centre.

#2 Mill Road – Where to Stay in Cambridge on a Budget

Mill Road is the neighbourhood located around the main train station in Cambridge. As it is located a bit further away from the city centre, it offers cheaper accommodation choices and is thus a perfect fit for backpackers and budget travellers. From there, it is easy to catch a bus to the main part of town.

Still, Mill Road has many activities to offer. The Cambridge Science Centre provides an interactive, hands-on experience for children and adults alike, giving them the opportunity to learn more about science and technology. Inside, visitors will find exhibits and shows, as well as workshops which are organised regularly.

In the summer, the Coleridge Recreation Ground is a fantastic playground for kids, with a paddling pool and a splash pad. Grown-ups will enjoy the presence of a football field and a tennis court.

To see what the local cultural scene looks like, head to the Cambridge Junction, where concerts, plays, and more are organised.

Mill Road Cambridge
source: Imran’s Photography (Shutterstock)

Things to see and do in Mill Road

 – Learn more about science at the Cambridge Science Centre

 – Catch a show at the Cambridge Junction

 – Take the kids for a day out at the Coleridge Recreation Ground

Best Hostel in Mill Road – YHA Cambridge

The YHA Cambridge is located in the Mill Road area of Cambridge. It has been recently refurbished completely and offers single beds in dormitory rooms and private rooms with double beds. Each room is fitted with an ensuite bathroom with hot water. The hostel has an in-house bar serving drinks and bar snacks.

Best Airbnb in Mill Road – Comfortable and Convenient Private Room

Nestled 20 to 30 min walk away from Cambridge center and the Cambridge Central Train station, this comfortable private apartment is ideal for visitors on a budget. Embrace an abundance of natural light in your big bedroom and the clean private bathroom.

Best Budget Hotel in Mill Road – Ibis Cambridge Central Station

The Ibis Cambridge Central Station is located near the main train station in Cambridge. It offers modern rooms fitted with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, and a TV with cable channels. A free Wifi connection is available in all areas of the hotel. A tasty buffet breakfast is served in the morning.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Mill Road – Centennial Hotel Cambridge

The Centennial Hotel Cambridge offers traditionally decorated rooms next to the main train station. Each room is fitted with a private bathroom with a bathtub, ironing facilities, an electric kettle and free Wifi access. The restaurant serves traditional British food made of local produce, as well as drinks and snacks.

#3 City Centre – Best Area to Stay in Cambridge for Nightlife

The City Centre is the true heart of Cambridge. This is where the most famous colleges are located, as well as museums and lots of shopping opportunities. You will love the cobbled streets around King’s Parade, the street located along King’s College.

King’s College is probably the most famous college of the University of Cambridge, and also the most visited. One of the highlights is the chapel, which boasts the world’s largest fan vault built in Gothic style. The chapel was used as a set for Hogwarts during the filming of the Harry Potter movies.

Behind the colleges, the Backs are the area where the grounds meet the river Cam. One of the most popular ways to explore them is to hop on a punt, a flat bottomed boat propelled by a punter pushing a pole against the river bed. Punters will tell you all about the history of each college. During the winter, blankets are even provided!

City Centre, Cambridge

Things to see and do in City Centre

 – Take a cruise along the banks on a punt on the river Cam

 – Visit King’s College and its chapel

 – Go see the Fitzwilliam Museum’s world-famous collections of art and antiquities

Best Hostel in City Centre – The Castle B&B

The Castle B&B offers simple rooms in the heart of Cambridge. Each room comes with access to a shared bathroom and toilet and gives guests access to a free Wifi connection. On the ground floor, the restaurant serves traditional British pub food and organises parties at night during the weekends.

Best Airbnb in City Centre – Stylish Modern Boutique Apartment

This modern and bright modern boutique apartment is located close to Christ Church and five minutes walking distance to the city centre. Fully furnished and with a lot of natural light, this one-bedroom apartment is on the first floor and consists of a king size bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a large comfortable living room with large sofas and a smart TV.

Best Budget Hotel in City Centre – University Arms Hotel Autograph Collection

The University Arms Hotel Autograph Collection is a large hotel offering modern accommodation in the heart of Cambridge. Each room is fitted with a private bathroom, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV with international channels. The hotel also has a very well equipped fitness centre, as well as a restaurant serving brasserie food.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in City Centre – The Gonville Hotel

The Gonville Hotel has been recently refurbished and offers a luxurious feel in the heart of Cambridge. Each room is comfortable and fitted with an ensuite bathroom, air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a minibar. Some rooms also have a private patio. The in-house restaurant serves British traditional food.

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#4 Romsey – Coolest Place to Stay in Cambridge

Romsey used to be a not so nice area in Cambridge but has in the last few years turned into one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the UK. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, it boasts its very own vibe full of English coolness.

In Romsey, take the opportunity to live like a local and take the time to hang out in all the local cafés and restaurants. Some good ones to try are the Limoncello Café for a unique Italian vibe, the Black Cat Café for an all-day breakfast or the Liutaio Music Café to sip on a cuppa surrounded by musical instruments.

From Romsey, skip the bus to reach the city centre and hop on a bike instead. Cycle through the picturesque terraced houses and through the Mill Road neighbourhood before reaching the historic centre. If you get tired, there will always be a restaurant to stop in!

Romsey, Cambridge
source: Zazpot (Wikicommons)

Things to see and do in Romsey

 – Take a picturesque bike ride to the city centre

 – Stop in one of the local coffee shops and try the local roasted coffee

 – Bargain for vintage clothing in one of the charity shops

Best Hostel in Romsey – YHA Cambridge

The YHA Cambridge is located in the Mill Road area of Cambridge, a short walk away from Romsey. It has been recently refurbished completely and offers single beds in dormitory rooms and private rooms with double beds. Each room is fitted with an ensuite bathroom with hot water. The hostel has an in-house bar serving drinks and bar snacks.

Best Airbnb in Romsey – Spacious Contemporary En-Suite

Fancy and modern, this newly-decorated en-suite loft is a cool place to stay in Cambridge. Only a ten minutes walk from the main station, and a twenty minutes away from the city centre, you will be sharing the whole space with Nichola and her friendly and cuddly cat, Millie. The house comes with all the basic ammenities and DYI breakfast is included.

Best Budget Hotel in Romsey – Helen Hotel

The Helen Hotel is located in a historic Victorian house and offers comfortable rooms in Romsey. Each room is fitted with an ensuite bathroom and a flat-screen TV with international channels. A free Wifi connection is available in all areas of the hotel, and tea is provided for free. After a long day, guests can have a drink in the cosy lounge bar or outside on the terrace.

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Romsey – Sorrento Hotel and Restaurant

The Sorrento Hotel and Restaurant is a family-run hotel offering comfortable rooms fitted with a private bathroom with a bathtub and a tea and coffee maker. The hotel has an authentic in-house Italian restaurant as well as a bar. Free Wifi access is provided.

#5 De Freville Avenue – Best Area to Stay in Cambridge for Families

De Freville Avenue is a tranquil neighbourhood and one of the most sought-after for people living in Cambridge. Many professors from the university have chosen to live there. As De Freville Avenue is a peaceful area, it is a great place to stay as a family to get a good and restful night’s sleep.

A lot of university rowing clubs are located around De Freville Avenue along the river Cam. Head on there to see the student train for the famous Oxbridge rowing race. If you want to try rowing yourself, some clubs in town allow for visitors to have a taster session.

On the other side of the river, the Midsummer Common, which once to be the largest common park area in England, is a popular spot to hang out in, especially during the summer. Every year, a funfair is held there. Take the kids for a fun day out they will not forget!

De Freville Avenue, Cambridge

Things to see and do in De Freville Avenue

 – Try rowing on the river Cam to feel like a student again

 – Get a fancy lunch on the river Cam’s bank at the Midsummer House

 – Have fun at the Midsummer Common’s annual funfair

Best Hostel in De Freville Avenue – Ashley Hotel Cambridge

The Ashley Hotel Cambridge offers traditionally decorated rooms located in an authentic Victorian house. Each room is fitted with a private bathroom, an electric kettle and free toiletries. A very good breakfast is served in the morning. Free parking is available on site and a free Wifi connection is provided.

Best Airbnb in De Freville Avenue – Large Gorgeous Family Home

This three levels magnificient family home in an excellent central location is suitable for up to 5 people, therefore perfect for families. The well-appointed house comes with a large garden, a spacious living room and three comfortable bedrooms. Walk 15 minutes through lush parks to reach the city centre.

Best Budget Hotel in De Freville Avenue – The Waterman

The Waterman is a traditional English pub offering accommodation upstairs. The rooms have been recently refurbished and are fitted with a modern private bathroom and a flat-screen TV with international channels. All rooms include complimentary Wifi access and tea and coffee making facilities.

Best Mid-Range in De Freville Avenue – Cambridge Bed & Breakfast

The Cambridge Bed & Breakfast is located in a peaceful and quiet street, away from the bustle and the noise of the city. It offers comfortable rooms fitted with an ensuite bathroom and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. A home cooked full English breakfast is served to guests in the morning.

Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Cambridge…

Cambridge is definitely a city you should stop in for a couple of days when visiting the UK. Home to one of the best universities in the world, it is packed with history and beautiful architecture.

My favourite neighbourhood to stay in Cambridge is the City Centre. It is beautiful and close to everything you need to see. There, my favourite hotel is The Gonville Hotel. Recently refurbished, this hotel offers a luxury feel at a great price.

If you are travelling on a backpacker’s budget, the YHA Cambridge is completely new and provides cheap and comfortable accommodation with a cool vibe.

Have I forgotten anything not to be missed about Cambridge? Let me know in the comments!

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