Oxford is a city bursting with history, legend and tradition. It is known for its outstanding architecture, heritage buildings, and its world-renowned university and colleges.

But there are a ton of hotels in Oxford and it can be overwhelming to know which is right for you. Which is exactly why I wrote this guide for where to stay in Oxford.

This article was written for travellers, by travellers. It lists the best places to stay in Oxford and organizes them not only by neighbourhood but based on your travel interests and needs.

So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the neighbourhood AND accommodation of your dreams.

Whether you’re looking to party, delve deep into history, or marvel at the architecture – you’ve come to the right place.

Here are our top picks for where to stay in Oxford, England.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Oxford

  • Where to stay in Oxford for your first time – City Centre
  • Where to stay in Oxford on a budget – City Centre
  • The best area to stay in Oxford for nightlife – Jericho
  • The coolest place to stay in Oxford – Cowley Road
  • Best neighbourhood in Oxford for families – Summertown

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

FIRST TIME IN OXFORD

City Centre

The City Centre is a charming and compact neighbourhood that packs a big punch. It is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city as well as incredible museums, libraries and art galleries.

Places to visit:
  • Delve deep into the city’s past at the Museum of Oxford.
  • Discover another world at the History of Science Museum.
  • Explore the grounds of Oxford Castle & Prison.

Where to Stay in Oxford

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Oxford.

Best Hostel in Oxford: Central Backpackers

Central Backpackers isn’t just the best hostel in Oxford, but it’s been one of Europe’s top hostels since 2007! It is located in the city centre and is within walking distance of great shops, eateries, bars and landmarks. They provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere along with free wifi, coffee/tea and comfortable beds.

Best Airbnb in Oxford: Private room in a homestay

A cosy bedroom with lots of natural light t a bargain price. What more could you ask for? You’ll have access to all of the apartment’s facilities, and the city centre location is perfect for taking in the city on foot.

If you’re looking for epic cottages and lodges in Oxford, here are our picks of the best that are out there!

Best Hotel in Oxford: Macdonald Randolph Hotel

This stylish five-star hotel in Oxford is conveniently located in the centre of the city. This is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oxford for sightseeing and this hotel is close to popular restaurants, shops, bars and clubs. Guests of this hotel can enjoy a peaceful room, spa facilities and a variety of excellent amenities.

Oxford Neighbourhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN OXFORD
City Centre, Oxford
FIRST TIME IN OXFORD

City Centre

The City Centre is a charming and compact neighbourhood that packs a big punch. It is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city as well as incredible museums, libraries and art galleries.

ON A BUDGET
City Centre, Oxford
ON A BUDGET

City Centre

The City Centre is also our number one choice for where to stay in Oxford on a budget. Dotted throughout the neighbourhood is a great selection of budget hotels and backpacker hostels as well as rental apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs.

NIGHTLIFE
Jericho, Oxford
NIGHTLIFE

Jericho

Jericho is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Oxford. Located approximately 10 minutes north of the city centre, this trendy suburb attracts a cool and bohemian crowd thanks to its independent shops and quirky cafes.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Cowley Road, Oxford
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Cowley Road

Cowley Road is set southeast of the city centre. It is a cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse neighbourhood that attracts a vibrant mix of residents, students and tourists.

FOR FAMILIES
Summertown, Oxford
FOR FAMILIES

Summertown

Summertown is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Oxford. It is an affluent and elegant suburb located north of the city centre and it is characterized by its attractive architecture and verdant green parks.

Oxford is a small city with a big reputation. Home to one of the oldest English-speaking Universities in the world, Oxford is a city that is brimming with history and legends. It has incredible heritage architecture, charming meandering streets and offers a fascinating mix of old world charm and bohemian flair.

The 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, Oxford is home to approximately 155,000 people and is divided into numerous unique neighbourhoods. To help you plan an unforgettable trip, this Oxford neighbourhood guide will highlight the top things to see, do and eat in the city’s best neighbourhoods.

At the heart of the city is Oxford City Centre. Comprised of cobbled alleyways and meandering lanes, this is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oxford if you’re visiting for the first time. Here you’ll be surrounded by striking Gothic architecture and will be surrounded by the best restaurants, bars and clubs.

Oxford City Centre is also where you’ll find the vast majority of the city’s best hotels and hostels, which is why it’s also our number one choice for where to stay in Oxford for one night.

South of the city centre is the Cowley Road neighbourhood. One of the coolest places to stay in Oxford, this area is bursting with hip hangouts, trendy restaurants, and cool galleries and attractions.

Head north of the city centre and you’ll pass through Jericho. A lively and exciting district, Jericho is our top choice for where to stay in Oxford for nightlife because it’s home to some of the best bars, clubs and restaurants in the city.

Continue travelling north to Summertown. The best area in Oxford to stay in for families, Summertown is an elegant and affluent neighbourhood with lush green spaces, popular art centres and a wide range of chic boutiques and cosy cafes.

The BEST Travel Backpack?!
aer travel pack 2 backpack

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite travel backpack is the Aer Travel Pack 2.

View on AER

Oxford’s 5 Best Neighbourhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best neighbourhood in Oxford to stay in? Don’t worry, in this next section, we’ll breakdown each neighbourhood in detail.

#1 City Centre – Where to Stay in Oxford for Your First Time

The City Centre is a charming and compact neighbourhood that packs a big punch. It is home to some of the oldest buildings in the city as well as incredible museums, libraries and art galleries.

Without a doubt, the City Centre is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oxford for sightseeing and it is our top choice for where to stay in Oxford for your first time. Here you can lose yourself in history as well as enjoy some of the city’s best restaurants and pubs, landmarks and attractions.

City Centre, Oxford

Things to See and Do in City Centre

– Browse a collection of Italian art at the Christ Church Picture Gallery.

– Delve deep into the city’s past at the Museum of Oxford.

– Dine on typical British fare at The Swan & Castle.

– Discover another world at the History of Science Museum.

– Enjoy panoramic views from the historic Sheldonian Theatre.

– Explore the grounds of Oxford Castle & Prison.

– Grab a pint at The Bear Inn, which has been serving patrons since 1242.

– See one of the oldest university buildings in the world, the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin.

– Snack your way through the Oxford Covered Market.

Best Hostel in City Centre: YHA Oxford

YHA Oxford is one of the best places to stay in Oxford if you’re on a budget. It is located at the heart of the city and offers easy access to Oxford’s most famous tourist attractions. This hostel offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and features.

Best Airbnb in City Centre: Private room in a homestay

A cosy bedroom with lots of natural light t a bargain price. What more could you ask for? You’ll have access to all of the apartment’s facilities, and the city centre location is perfect for taking in the city on foot.

Best Hotel in City Centre: Macdonald Randolph Hotel

This stylish five-star hotel in Oxford is conveniently located in the City Centre. This is the best neighbourhood to stay in Oxford for sightseeing and this hotel is close to top restaurants, shops, bars and clubs. Guests of this hotel can enjoy a peaceful room, spa facilities and a variety of excellent amenities.

Best Hotel in City Centre: The Buttery Oxford

The Butterfly Oxford is situated in one of Oxford’s best neighbourhoods because it provides easy access to shopping, dining and popular sightseeing. This three-star hotel has 16 well-equipped rooms, a gym and free wifi. It is also close to an array of bars and pubs.

#2 City Centre – Where to Stay in Oxford on a Budget

The City Centre is also our number one choice for where to stay in Oxford on a budget. Dotted throughout the neighbourhood is a great selection of budget hotels and backpacker hostels as well as rental apartments, guesthouses and B&Bs.

This neighbourhood is also where you’ll find a spectacular selection of cheap and delicious eats. Boasting everything from cheeky curries to fresh and delicious Thai dishes, the City Centre is a neighbourhood bursting with affordable and flavourful food from around the world.

City Centre, Oxford

Things to See and Do in City Centre

– Browse a collection of geological and zoological specimens at the Museum of Natural History.

– Marvel at the Pitt River Museum.

– Go for a stroll through one of Oxford University’s lush parks.

– Visit the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the UK.

– Admire the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

– Excite your senses at Comie’s Caribbean Grill.

– Enjoy a hearty and home-cooked meal at Polish Kitchen Oxford.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ben’s Cookies.

– Dine on fresh and delicious dishes at Sasi’s Thai.

– Sample freshly baked and handmade treats from the Middle East at Za’atar Bake.

Best Hostel in City Centre: Central Backpackers

Central Backpackers isn’t just the best hostel in Oxford, but it’s been one of Europe’s top hostels since 2007! It is located in the city centre and is within walking distance of great shops, eateries, bars and landmarks. They provide a friendly and relaxed atmosphere along with free wifi, coffee/tea and comfortable beds.

Best Airbnb in City Centre: Cosy room in a flatshare

What’s cheaper than renting an entire apartment? Renting a piece of an entire apartment! This rooms available at a great price for the area, and you’ll have access to all the shared facilities. It’s only a short walk from the centre, or you can gab the bus from outside!

Best Hotel in City Centre: Rewley House University of Oxford

This hotel is in one of the best areas to stay in Oxford. It is close to bars and restaurants as well as museums, galleries and historic landmarks. This hotel offers free wifi, a swimming pool and a relaxing library. There’s also a delicious onsite restaurant and cosy lounge bar.

Best Hotel in City Centre: Westgate Hotel

Comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms and a tasty breakfast – it’s no wonder we love this hotel. It is located in the city centre and is one of the best places in Oxford to stay if you’re on a budget because nightlife, shopping, sightseeing and dining options are just a short stroll away.

#3 Jericho – Where to Stay in Oxford for Nightlife

Jericho is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Oxford. Located approximately 10 minutes north of the city centre, this trendy suburb attracts a cool and bohemian crowd thanks to its independent shops and quirky cafes.

It is one of the loveliest neighbourhoods to explore by day because of its fantastic Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as its colourful and vibrant row houses.

But the real attraction is its nightlife. As the sun sets, Jericho comes to life thanks to its many bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Because you’ll be spoiled for choice in Jericho, this is out number one pick for where to stay in Oxford for nightlife.

Jericho, Oxford
source: Andrei Nekrassov (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Jericho

– Choose from a great selection of beers and wine at The Oxford Wine Cafe.

– Dine on European and French fare at Brasserie Blanc.

– Drink cocktails at The Duke of Cambridge.

– Eat Italian dishes at Branca Restaurant and Bar.

– Enjoy a pint at Jude the Obscure.

– Excite your senses with spicy and flavourful Indian fare at Jamal’s.

– Feast on French food at Pierre Victoire.

– Grab a pint at The Harcourt Arms.

– Indulge in a sweet treat at GAIL’s Bakery Jericho.

– Sample high-quality cocktails at Love Jericho.

– Sip a few drinks at The Old Bookbinders Ale House.

Best Airbnb in Jericho: Modern flat full of natural light

With is clean decor and generous natural light, this is the kind of room you want to be waking up in after a big night on the town. It’s close to all the cities most popular bars and restaurants, and you’ll be spoilt for choice of good quality coffee on your doorstep the morning after.

Best Hotel in Jericho: The Richmond Hotel

The Richmond Hotel is an excellent Oxford accommodation option. It is located in trendy Jericho and is close to great bars, lively pubs, and delicious restaurants. Comprised of 12 rooms, this hotel offers comfortable and clean beds, a swimming pool and free wifi access.

Best Apartments in Jericho: Oxford Apartment

These apartments are set in lively Jericho, the best neighbourhood in Oxford to stay in for nightlife. This trendy neighbourhood is packed with bars and restaurants, and this property is within walking distance of them all. Each apartment is well-equipped with a dining area, kitchen, and modern amenities.

Best Hotel in Jericho: The Great Observatory – Peymans

The Great Observatory – Peymans is a spectacular five-star hotel in Jericho, one of Oxford’s best neighbourhoods for nightlife, drinking and partying. This property offers comfortable lodgings, each with tea/coffee facilities and private bathrooms. There’s also free wifi and an airport shuttle.

Need some extra energy?
Power Adapter

One of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

Buy your travel adapter on Amazon now.

#4 Cowley Road – Coolest Place to Stay in Oxford

Cowley Road is set southeast of the city centre. It is a cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse neighbourhood that attracts a vibrant mix of residents, students and tourists.

In recent years, Cowley Road has risen through the ranks and is today one of the coolest places to stay in Oxford. Here you’ll find a high concentration of quirky vintage shops and cafes as well as eclectic bars, trendy restaurants, and possibly the coolest cinema in town. With its colourful street art and lively community, Cowley Road is a fantastic neighbourhood to explore no matter the day or night!

Cowley Road, Oxford
source: Kamyar Adl (Flickr)

Things to See and Do in Cowley Road

– Dine in a Victorian Glasshouse at Gee’s Restaurant.

– Discover a world of flavours at Antep Kitchen.

– Drink cocktails at The Baron.

– Eat tapas and enjoy cheap cocktails at Café Baba.

– Enjoy a night out at the lively Bullingdon.

– Excite your taste buds at Spiced Roots.

– Grab a slice of homemade pizza at The Rusty Bicycle.

– Laugh your head off at the QED Comedy Lab.

– Listen to live music at The Catweazle Club.

– Sing your heart out at The Mad Hatter.

– Sip cocktails at Be At One Oxford.

– Start your day with breakfast at Tick Tock Café.

Best Airbnb in Cowley Road: Self contained studio with a great vibe

This self-contained studio in the up and coming Cowley Road area is great for those looking to experience Oxford culture new and old. Comes complete with kitchenette for home cooking

Best Guest House in Cowley Road: Cherwell Guest House

This charming guesthouse offers the best budget accommodations in the Cowley Road area. Rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, and each comes complete with coffee and tea supplies. Ideally located near bars, restaurants and shops, this is one of the best areas to stay in Oxford for hipsters and trendsetters.

Best Bed and Breakfast in Cowley Road: Oxford Cherwell B&B

The Oxford Cherwell Bed and Breakfast is situated in the Cowley Road neighbourhood. It is just moments from the city centre and offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and excellent services. This property is located in one of the coolest places to stay in Oxford thanks to its many bars, restaurants, shops and attractions.

Best Apartment in Cowley Road: Sleep & Stay Oxford – Modern Private flat

This bright, airy and modern private flat is located near Cowley Road, one of the best places to stay in Oxford. The property has two spacious bedrooms, a full kitchen and a private bathroom. It is surrounded by hip haunts, trendy restaurants and lively bars and pubs.

#5 Summertown – Where to Stay in Oxford for Families

Summertown is one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Oxford. It is an affluent and elegant suburb located north of the city centre and it is characterized by its attractive architecture and verdant green parks.

This area also boasts a thriving arts centre and a beautiful sculpture park as well as an array of chic shops, artisan food stores, mouthwatering restaurants and cosy cafes. Because there is so much to see, do and eat in Summertown, this delightful neighbourhood is our number one choice for where to stay in Oxford for families.

Summertown, Oxford
source: Andrei Nekrassov (Shutterstock)

Things to See and Do in Summertown

– Enjoy an excellent meal at the New Dancing Dragon.

– Explore the home where JRR Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

– Feast on burgers, fries and beyond at Joe’s Bar & Grill.

– Go for a stroll through Port Meadow park.

– Grab a slice at the Mamma Mia Pizzeria.

– Indulge in a sweet and delicious treat at GAIL’s Bakery Summertown.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Gatineau.

– Try a traditional British meal – like fish and chips or bangers and mash – at the Dewdrop.

Best Airbnb in Summertown: Eco powered falt for family getaway

With big windows, generous cooking and dining spaces and private bedrooms, this 2nd flat is great for a family. It is just 10 minutes to the City Centre by bus, yet far enough to avoid the crowds, and also provides you with access to a communal garden

Best Bed & Breakfast in Summertown: Marlborough House Hotel – B&B

This comfortable four-star property is one of the best places to stay in Oxford. It is conveniently located in Summertown and is close to well-known tourist attractions, landmarks, shops and parks. This property offers large rooms with comfortable beds, refrigerators, kitchenettes and private bathrooms.

Best Hotel in Summertown: Cotswold House Oxford

The Cotswold House is one of our top picks for where to stay in Oxford with kids because it offers comfortable rooms perfect for families. Each room is well-equipped with cosy beds and a myriad of accessories and features. Guests can also enjoy a delicious and satisfying breakfast each morning.

Best Hotel in Summertown: Lina Guest House

Thanks to its great location in Summertown, this is one of our favourite options for Oxford accommodation. It is close to popular tourist attractions and is a quick trip from Oxford City Centre. This charming property has family-sized rooms, free wifi and a great selection of contemporary amenities.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Oxford

Oxford is a relatively small city with a big reputation. It is bursting with history and culture and offers visitors vibrant shopping, trendy dining, lively nightlife and plenty of green spaces to explore. So whether you’re a new student in town, a family of four, a history buff or a rowdy party animal, Oxford is an exciting and interesting city that will entertain and enthral you.

In this Oxford neighbourhood guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in the city. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here is a quick recap of our favourite places.

The City Centre is our number one choice for the best neighbourhood to stay in Oxford because it has the most going on. It’s also where you’ll find our favourite hostel, Central Backpackers, which offers great accommodations at a fantastic price.

Another excellent choice is the Macdonald Randolph Hotel. This five-star hotel is ideally located close to top shops, restaurants and landmarks, and offers a wide range of elegant features and amenities.

And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

“Find out how YOU can support the site. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going 🙂

For the sake of transparency, some of the links in our content are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a book or sort your insurance, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. Thanks for your support.