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 neighborhood but based on your travel interests and needs.

So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the neighborhood 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 my top picks for where to stay in Oxford, England.

Where to Stay in Oxford

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

Walk the hallowed halls of Oxford University

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Cosy City Centre Studio | Best Airbnb in Oxford

A cosy studio on a quiet street with lots of natural light at a bargain price. What more could you ask for? You’ll have access to all of the apartment’s facilities including free parking on the street, and Oxford city centre location is perfect for taking in the city on foot. You’ll be within walking distance of Oxford University, Oxford Castle, Pitt Rivers Museum, Christ Church College and the Ashmolean Museum.

Central Backpackers | Best Hostel in Oxford

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.

Macdonald Randolph Hotel | Best Hotel in Oxford

This stylish five-star hotel in Oxford is conveniently located in the centre of the city. This central location is the ideal area 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. It is definitely one of the best luxury hotels in Oxford because of its location and facilities.

Oxford Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Oxford

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.

As the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, Oxford is home to approximately 155,000 people and is divided into numerous unique neighborhoods.

To help you plan an unforgettable trip, this Oxford neighborhood guide will highlight the top things to see, do and eat in the city’s best neighborhoods so you can make an informed decision about which neighborhood is right for you.

At the heart of the city is Oxford City Centre. Comprised of cobbled alleyways and meandering lanes, this is the best neighborhood 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, luxury hotels 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 my number one choice for where to stay in Oxford for one night.

South of the city centre is the Cowley Road neighborhood. 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 my 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.

Oxford’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Still not sure which is the best neighborhood in Oxford to stay in? Don’t worry, in this next section, I have broken down each neighborhood in detail.

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

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

The City Centre is a charming and compact neighborhood 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 neighborhood to stay in Oxford for sightseeing and it is my 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

Central Backpackers, Central Oxford | Best Hostel in City Centre

Central Backpackers is one of the best places to stay in central 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 including Oxford University, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the River Thames. This hostel offers comfortable private rooms and dorms with modern amenities and features.

Cosy City Centre Studio | Best Airbnb in City Centre

A cosy studio on a quiet street with lots of natural light at a bargain price. What more could you ask for? You’ll have access to all of the apartment’s facilities including free parking on the street, and Oxford city centre location is perfect for taking in the city on foot. You’ll be within walking distance of Oxford University, Oxford Castle, Pitt Rivers Museum, Christ Church College and the Ashmolean Museum.

Macdonald Randolph Hotel | Best Hotel in City Centre

This stylish five-star hotel in Oxford is conveniently located in the City Centre. This luxury hotel is nestled in a central location, 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.

The Buttery Oxford | Best Hotel in City Centre

The Butterfly Oxford is situated in one of Oxford’s best neighborhoods 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. What more could you want from Oxford hotels?

Things to See and Do in City Centre

  1. Browse a collection of Italian art at the Christ Church Picture Gallery.
  2. Delve deep into the city’s past at the Museum of Oxford.
  3. Dine on typical British fare at The Swan & Castle.
  4. Enjoy a boat cruise on the River Thames.
  5. Discover another world at the History of Science Museum.
  6. Enjoy panoramic views from the historic Sheldonian Theatre.
  7. Explore the grounds of Oxford Castle & Prison.
  8. Grab a pint at The Bear Inn, which has been serving patrons since 1242.
  9. Look for ghost sightings on a nighttime Ghost Tour.
  10. See one of the oldest university buildings in the world, the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin.
  11. Snack your way through the Oxford Covered Market.
  12. Check out the Harry Potter Film Locations.
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2. City Centre – Where to Stay in Oxford on a Budget

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

This neighborhood 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 neighborhood bursting with affordable and flavourful food from around the world.

City Centre, Oxford

Central Backpackers | Best Hostel in City Centre

Central Backpackers isn’t just the best hostel in Oxford, but it’s the only one. 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.

Cosy room in a flatshare | Best Airbnb in City Centre

What’s cheaper than renting an entire apartment? Renting a piece of an entire apartment! These rooms are 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 grab the bus from outside! This is one of the more affordable Airbnbs in Oxford and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Rewley House University of Oxford | Best Hotel in City Centre

This is one of Oxford’s boutique hotels that is located 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.

Westgate Hotel | Best Hotel in City Centre

Comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms, and a tasty breakfast – it’s no wonder I love this Oxford 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.

Things to See and Do in City Centre

  1. Browse a collection of geological and zoological specimens at the Museum of Natural History.
  2. Marvel at the Pitt River Museum.
  3. Go for a stroll through one of Oxford University’s lush parks.
  4. Visit the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the UK.
  5. Admire the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
  6. Excite your senses at Comie’s Caribbean Grill.
  7. Enjoy a hearty and home-cooked meal at Polish Kitchen Oxford.
  8. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ben’s Cookies.
  9. Dine on fresh and delicious dishes at Sasi’s Thai.
  10. Sample freshly baked and handmade treats from the Middle East at Za’atar Bake.

3. Jericho – Where to Stay in Oxford for Nightlife

Jericho is one of the hippest neighborhoods 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 neighborhoods to explore by day because of its fantastic Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as its colourful and vibrant row houses. For caffeine lovers, some of the best cafes in Oxford can be found here too.

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 my number one pick for where to stay in Oxford for nightlife.

Jericho, Oxford

Modern flat full of natural light | Best Airbnb in Jericho

With its 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 for good quality coffee on your doorstep the morning after.

The Jericho Hotel | Best Hotel in Jericho

The Jericho 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.

Oxford Apartment | Best Apartments in Jericho

This three bedroom apartment is set in lively Jericho, the best neighborhood in Oxford to stay in for nightlife. This trendy neighborhood is packed with bars and restaurants, and this property is within walking distance of them all. The apartment is well-equipped with a spacious open-plan living, kitchen and dining area, plus a gorgeous balcony you can eat your breakfast on. There’s also free parking with this property.

The Remont Oxford Hotel | Best Hotel in Jericho

Just 2 miles out of Central Oxford, the Remont Hotel is one of the more luxury hotels in North Oxford. This spectacular four-star hotel in North Jericho offers comfortable rooms, each with tea/coffee facilities and private bathrooms. There’s also free wifi and a work desk in every room. There’s also a communal lounge if you want to meet other travellers, plus a free breakfast buffet in the onsite restaurant and free parking outside.

Things to See and Do in Jericho

  1. Choose from a great selection of beers and wine at The Oxford Wine Cafe.
  2. Dine on European and French fare at Brasserie Blanc.
  3. Drink cocktails at The Duke of Cambridge.
  4. Eat Italian dishes at Branca Restaurant and Bar.
  5. Enjoy a pint at Jude the Obscure.
  6. Excite your senses with spicy and flavourful Indian fare at Jamal’s.
  7. Feast on French food at Pierre Victoire.
  8. Grab a pint at The Harcourt Arms.
  9. Indulge in a sweet treat at GAIL’s Bakery Jericho.
  10. Sample high-quality cocktails at Love Jericho.
  11. Sip a few drinks at The Old Bookbinders Ale House.
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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 neighborhood 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 neighborhood to explore no matter the day or night!

Cowley Road, Oxford
Photo: Kamyar Adl (Flickr)

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

This self-contained studio in the up-and-coming Cowley Road area is great for those looking to experience Oxford culture, new and old. This stunning rental unit comes complete with a kitchenette for home cooking and free parking.

Cherwell Guest House | Best Guest House in Cowley Road

This charming guesthouse is one of the best budget hotels 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 on a quiet street near Oxford Brookes University, this is one of the best areas to stay in Oxford to stay out of the busy centre but still be close enough to it.

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

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.

The Oxford Townhouse | Best Bed and Breakfast in Cowley Road

The Oxford Townhouse Bed and Breakfast is situated in South Oxford, just outside the Cowley Road neighborhood. It is just moments from the city centre and offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities and excellent services. This is one of the best cheap hotels in Oxford and is not far from the River Thames, and all of Oxford’s top attractions.

Things to See and Do in Cowley Road

  1. Dine in a Victorian Glasshouse at Gee’s Restaurant.
  2. Discover a world of flavours at Antep Kitchen.
  3. Drink cocktails at The Baron.
  4. Eat tapas and enjoy cheap cocktails at Café Baba.
  5. Enjoy a night out at the lively Bullingdon.
  6. Excite your taste buds at Spiced Roots.
  7. Grab a slice of homemade pizza at The Rusty Bicycle.
  8. Laugh your head off at the QED Comedy Lab.
  9. Listen to live music at The Catweazle Club.
  10. Sing your heart out at The Mad Hatter.
  11. Sip cocktails at Be At One Oxford.
  12. Start your day with breakfast at Tick Tock Café.

5. Summertown – Where to Stay in Oxford for Families

Summertown is one of the most desirable neighborhoods 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 neighborhood is my number one choice for where to stay in Oxford for families.

Summertown, Oxford

Eco powered flat for family getaway | Best Airbnb in Summertown

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

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

This comfortable four-star property is one of the best hotels 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.

Cotswold House Oxford | Best Hotel in Summertown

The Cotswold House is one of my 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.

Lina Guest House | Best Hotel in Summertown

Thanks to its great location in Summertown, this is one of my 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.

Things to See and Do in Summertown

  1. Enjoy an excellent meal at the New Dancing Dragon.
  2. Explore the home where JRR Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  3. Feast on burgers, fries, and beyond at Joe’s Bar & Grill.
  4. Go for a stroll through Port Meadow park.
  5. Grab a slice at the Mamma Mia Pizzeria.
  6. Indulge in a sweet and delicious treat at GAIL’s Bakery Summertown.
  7. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Gatineau.
  8. Try a traditional British meal – like fish and chips or bangers and mash – at the Dewdrop.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Oxford

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Oxford and where to stay.

What To Pack For Oxford

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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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 enthrall you.

In this Oxford neighborhood guide, I’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 my favourite places.

The City Centre is my number one choice for the best neighborhood to stay in Oxford because it has the most going on. It’s also where you’ll find my 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.

Looking for more info on travelling to Oxford and UK?