The university colleges are the star attractions and many line the main street of town. Some charge an entry fee, more to deter visitors than to make money, for example King’s College which has the most beautiful building in the city: King’s College Chapel. Some of the colleges are free to enter and look around, although at exam time in May they might restrict entry. Each college has a gatehouse and porter, approach the porter to ask whether you can go in. Trinity College Gatehouse is particularly splendid; note the table leg in King Henry VIII’s hand – a long-lasting student prank.
2) The Backs
This is the name given to where the colleges back onto the River Cam. The land is private to the college and you can’t walk there or even get river access except by actually being on the water in a punt. The colleges have their own bridges across the river, including St John’s College famous Bridge of Sighs. You can cross the river at one of the public bridges: Magdalene Bridge, Garret Hostel Bridge and Silver Street Bridge. Garret Hostel Bridge is only for bikes and pedestrians and gives some of the best views of the Backs with glimpses of the college buildings.
3) Fitzwilliam Museum
This is Cambridge’s biggest and best museum and entry is free (except for some special exhibitions). It has an expansive collection of art and antiquities from Egyptian artifacts, to medieval armor, to the revamped French Impressionist Gallery. Most other museums in Cambridge are also free to enter.
4) Castle Mound
This is Cambridge’s highest hill, which is really not very high. A short stroll up this grassy mound gives good views over the flat city, its domes and spires.
5) Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
This is a few miles out of the town center, on 30.5 acres of land donated by the university. It contains around 3,800 American military graves with over 5,000 Tablets of the Missing from battles in northwest Europe. It’s open daily from 9am to 5pm for free with a guide on duty.
Every Saturday at 9am, running enthusiasts join in this 5 kilometer timed run in Milton County Park on the edge of the city. It’s free but you need to register in advance.