Cambridge is known for its stunning architecture, beautiful old buildings, and fun water activities. But there’s no doubt that what makes this rich city a favorite destination among students and travelers is the world-famous Cambridge University. It has produced many historic alumni and scholars in various fields, including Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Malthus, Charles Darwin, and more.
Your trip to Cambridge will never be in vain, whether you’re here for a quick visit or an extended vacation. Must-see attractions and exciting adventures await you during the day. You can go on a punting (boating) tour, visit a museum, or see some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as King’s College, St. John’s College, and Trinity College.
There’s also an abundance of things to do in Cambridge, places to eat, and fun activities to enjoy at night. Check out some local pubs or walk around the city center and explore many cobbled streets and ancient buildings.
However, you can’t fully enjoy the city’s small yet thriving nightlife scene if you have bags to carry or drag around. Take advantage of a luggage storage locker in Cambridge so that you can explore different places without any burden. Enjoy the sights!
Watch a Film at an Outdoor Cinema
Thanks to new outdoor cinemas popping up around Cambridge, you can now watch your favorite movies under a calm summer sky. Moviegoers and film buffs will adore the lovely open-air setting, where they can relax and be relieved of the pressures of the day. You can watch new releases, classics, and even less popular films with beautiful gardens as your backdrop.
It’s also a great time to spend with family and loved ones while having an entertaining experience in a non-conventional cinema environment. Bring a cozy blanket and your favorite snacks, pair them with a glass of your preferred cocktail, and you’re in for a lovely night.
Take in the Beautiful Sunset at the Castle Hill
Located north of the city center, close to Kettle’s Yard, Castle Hill offers a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. If you climb before the sun sets, you’ll see clearly the tower of The Museum of Technology in the distance and the King’s College Chapel over the roof of St. Giles church.
The original castle isn’t there, but it’s still worth climbing, especially if you want to witness the beautiful sunset in Cambridge. It’s a comfortable and magnificent way to end the day as you watch the sun go down. This is a terrific free activity too. To learn about more free things to do in Cambridge, read this guide compiled by Bounce.
Go On a Ghost Tour
Nightlife in Cambridge isn’t all about bars and nightclubs. If you’re looking for a spine-chilling experience, don’t miss a ghost walking tour in this historic city. With grand gothic architecture, medieval buildings, dark back alleys, and a history dating back many centuries, Cambridge provides a perfect backdrop for a petrifying night.
Knowledgeable guides will take you to some of the famous haunted areas in the city and even popular attractions of known hauntings. You’ll get to explore the city's dark side and discover the bizarre events happening in some of its oldest buildings.
Are you feeling braver and want a creepier experience? Near Cambridge Station, try a ghost punting tour along the River Cam and travel the historical Mathematical Bridge while hearing spooky tales from the scariest storytellers about Cambridge’s mysterious and supernatural side.
Join Museum Lates at The Fitzwilliam Museum
Can’t visit any Cambridge museums during the day because of work or other commitments? Fortunately, The Fitzwilliam Museum continues to hold after-hour exhibits and events. Past events, focusing on two exhibitions, were Hockney’s Eye and True to Nature.
For a three-hour evening event in the museum, expect to experience creative workshops, pop-up talks, late-night shopping, performances, and the opportunity to relax and enjoy great food and drink. And if you’re wondering what’s the best thing about a late event, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s completely free!
The Museum is Cambridge University’s principal art museum. It houses an outstanding collection of artifacts and works of art from around the world, spanning many centuries and civilizations. Each year, it hosts special events for free.
Visit La Raza
Combining delicious meals, quality drinks, and music, La Raza is a must-visit place if you’re looking for something to do at night in Cambridge. This tapas restaurant not only serves dishes that will make your mouth water but also offers live music and entertainment in a lively atmosphere.
Enjoy chilled tunes early evening while having your dinner. Then, after 10 pm, you’ll see DJs and live musicians perform, creating a happy, vibrant atmosphere to get everyone in the party mood. The restaurant has resident house bands, but it also caters to local bands and artists who want to show off their original music.
Pay The Corpus Clock a Visit
The Corpus Clock is undeniably a unique and distinctive timepiece you can’t find anywhere else. Also known as the Grasshopper clock, this large peculiar piece of art has attracted the attention of locals and tourists worldwide. It’s one of John C. Taylor’s spectacular masterpieces, currently placed outside the Taylor Library at Corpus Christi College.
Inaugurated in 2008, the Corpus Clock is a fascinating monument that stands out and looks bold with its gold-plated face against old brickwork. Though it remains a remarkable attraction during the day, it looks even more magical when lit up at night.
Head to Town and Gown Pub & Theatre
A restaurant, a pub, and a theater in one – that’s exactly what Town and Gown Pub & Theatre is, offering a great atmosphere and a memorable experience to everyone who visits. It’s ideal for casual dining, intimate dinners, and even fun parties.
Everything you expect from a pub and restaurant is here. You’ve got fantastic British food, tanked craft beer, and an inviting setting where you can chat with friends over a drink or a delicious meal.
Then there’s a fringe theater from a converted space above the pub, giving you a bit of everything you’ll want for an exciting night out with your pals. Town and Gown Theatre also joined forces with industry professionals and organizations, including Cambridge Gin Laboratory, to create mind-blowing and delicious drinks for the stars of the show.
Go Stargazing at Cambridge Observatory
Stargazing is definitely one of the fun stuff to do in Cambridge at night. Watch the glorious night sky in Cambridge and marvel at all its beauty without traveling too far from the city.
Established in 1823, Cambridge Observatory will give you a closer look at space and get spectacular views through telescopes. The observatory is now part of the Institute of Astronomy, a department of Cambridge University engaged in research and teaching in the fields of observational and theoretical Astronomy.
The Institute typically holds public events during the observing season, including stargazing activities and public talks about astronomy and weather. There are also group visits for in-person stargazing evenings there.
Delight in a Quiet Night at Grantchester Meadows
Do you just want a quiet evening where you can reflect and be far from the pressures of work or school? Perhaps, you prefer stargazing in a beautiful wide-open space with your portable telescope and watching the breathtaking wonders of the sky. No matter the case, Grantchester Meadows will provide you with a relaxing haven at night.
You need to head out of the city and walk across the Lammas Land by the river Cam to reach the area, but it’s worth the trip. Grantchester Meadows offers a refreshing green space and country views. It’s a great place to visit if you want to escape from the city noise and have a quiet night alone or with your loved ones.
Dine at The Cambridge Chop House
Cambridge has a vibrant food scene with an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, and other food venues. So, no matter what cuisine you fancy after a long day at work or cravings you have in the middle of the night, there’s always a place to go to satisfy your hunger after dark in the city.
But if you’re looking for traditional British delights and great steaks, Cambridge Chop House is a dining spot you shouldn’t miss. Located in the heart of the city, a short distance from King’s College Chapel, this restaurant will bring you your favorite comfort food in a relaxed and informal setting.
Enjoy a Comedy Act at Cambridge Junction
Cambridge Junction, also known as The Junction, is a venue with many opportunities for fun and enjoyment. Since it's only a 15-minute walk from the city center, it’s a fantastic place to spend the night at.
This venue contains three large spaces used for different purposes. These purposes can depend on the night’s program or events as all the spaces are multipurpose rooms. One of the common activities that occur is a comedy act. So if you’re a fan of watching stand-up comedy, then Cambridge Junction will undoubtedly entertain you for the night.
Have an Evening Out at Hidden Rooms
In the heart of central Cambridge is one of the most popular cocktail lounges called Hidden Rooms. Despite its name, it’s unconcealed and accessible to anyone. However, they only accept reservations and are open on Friday and Saturday nights. Therefore, you’ll need to make sure you reserve in advance to enjoy its creative cocktails and prestigious spirits.
But if you love your cocktails - and with live music - then this is a place that’s guaranteed to not disappoint you. You can even request personalized or custom-made cocktails to fit your taste. If you desire privacy for the night, you can book your own private room.
Dance to Live Music at a Music Festival
Cambridge loves its festivals. It’s evident from the number of events it hosts throughout the year, including free open-air concerts and film festivals. It also has a flourishing live music scene and fantastic venues, from a cool rooftop bar to a fancy concert hall. So no matter where you go, there’s always some live music somewhere in the city for every partygoer.
One event you don’t want to miss is Cambridge Folk Festival. The city has organized this annual festival since 1965, making it one of the longest-running folk festivals in the UK and the world, attracting around 14,000 people worldwide. It’s held at Cherry Hinton Hall, a house and park in Cherry Hilton, bringing world-class artists every August.
Exploring Nightlife Hotspots in Cambridge
There’s no reason to have an uneventful and dreary night in this marvelous city with so many things to do in Cambridge at night. Take your friends to a free concert, watch a fireworks display, and check out the botanical gardens before closing time. The sky is the only limit to what you can explore and do in this city, which is brimming with entertainment, culture, and history. Check out our neighborhood guide to decide where to stay in Cambridge. Make the most of your time here!