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What to See and Do

Museums & Exhibitions

From classical art to shrunken heads, Oxford has several museums to suit all tastes. Most have free admission, so if you have 5 minutes or you have all day, pop into a museum and see the wonderful things on offer.

Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Street, 01865 278000

official website

Ashmolean MuseumOpen: Tues - Sunday 10am - 5pm, Bank Holiday Monday 10am – 5pm. Free admission.

Contained in a gorgeous building across from the Randolph Hotel, the Ashmolean has paintings, coins, musical instruments, antiquities, statues of deities, and a must see Egyptian exhibit. Cafe and Museum Shop.

What's on?


Saturday Highlight Tours
Discover the treasures of the Ashmolean. A great introduction to the museum. Every Saturday, 11 am - 12 pm. Free but donations welcome. No booking needed but numbers limited. Places are allocated on the day by tokens. Tokens will be available from the information desk from 10 am. Talks are led by education volunteers.


Discovering Tutankhamun
24 July-2November
Our summer exhibition Discovering Tutankhamun
will tell the story of one of the most significant archaeological
discoveries of the 20th century. Find out more about the hunt for the tomb
and the thrill of its discovery, and see Howard Carter’s original records,
drawings and photographs.

The 10 year long process of recording the remarkable objects buried with the
king transformed Tutankhamun into an icon of the modern world. Explore the
phenomenon of ‘Tutmania’ and see masterpieces from the Ashmolean’s own
collections from Ancient Egypt and Sudan as well as loans of important
pieces from museums around the world.

Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun
in 1922 was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the
20th century. The name of the ‘boy king’ is now synonymous with the
glories of ancient Egypt and the spectacular contents of his tomb continue
to enthral the public and scholars alike. The Ashmolean’s summer
exhibition displays objects from ancient Egypt’s Amarna Period (about
1350–1330 BC) with material from the archives of Oxford’s Griffith
Institute, celebrating its 75th year in 2014.

Cost of Performance/Event: £9 full price/£7 concessions (£10/£8 inc.
Gift Aid)



Modern Art Oxford
30 Pembroke Street, 01865 722733

Modern Art Oxfordofficial website

Open: Tues - Sat 11am - 6pm (bar open late on event nights only), Sun 12pm - 5pm. Free admission. Closed: Mondays

Founded in 1965, the Modern Art Oxford is the South East's leading centre for modern and contemporary art. Cafe and Museum Shop.

What's on? We have no exhibition information for this museum at this time. Please check the official website for more information.


University Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers
Parks Road, 01865 272950

Museum of Natural HistoryOpen: Monday - Sunday 12.00 - 4.30pm, from the 1st May 2007 we will be open daily 10.00-4.30pm except Monday, which will remain 12.00-4.30pm. Free admission

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections of zoological, entomological, geological, palaeontological and mineralogical specimens, accumulated in the course of the last three centuries. Small museum shop.

What's on?

Jones’ Icones
From Saturday 15 February
An exhibition of beautiful images of butterflies and moths from the celebrated 18th-century manuscript of William Jones of Chelsea.


Visit the permanent exhibitions which are devoted to the history and diversity of life on earth, and to the rocks and minerals from which it is formed.


Pitt Rivers MuseumThe Pitt Rivers Museum is one of Oxford’s most popular attractions, famous for its period atmosphere and outstanding collections from many cultures around the world, past and present. The entrance to the Pitt Rivers Museum is through the Oxford University Museum Natural History. The Pitt Rivers' entrance is at the far side from the main entrance, therefore, you need to walk across the ground floor to reach it. The Pitt Rivers has three floors of curious artefacts contained in glass display cabinets - including masks, magic, musical instruments and much more, with a memorable period atmosphere. Most visitors don't notice the drawers underneath many of the cabinets that can be opened to display more hidden treasures. Admission, exhibitions and events FREE.

Opening Hours: 10.00-16.30 Tuesday - Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday; 12.00-16.30 Monday. Christmas and New Year closure: 24, 25, 26, 27, 31 Dec and 1 Jan.

What's on?We have no exhibition information for this museum at this time. Please check the official website for more information.


Oxford University Press Museum
Great Clarendon Street, Jericho, 01865 353527

official website

OUPOpen: 30 minute tours by appointment only between 10am - 4pm. Call for an appointment.

This small museum preserves and displays historic books, documents and printing equipment of the Oxford University Press, an international publishing house which is also a department of the University of Oxford.


Museum of the History of Science
Broad Street (next to Sheldonian), 01865 277280

official website

Museum of the History of ScienceOpen: Tuesday to Friday: 12.00 - 17.00, Saturday: 10.00 - 17.00, Sunday: 14.00 - 17.00

The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building (built in 1683), originally the old Ashmolean.

What's on?

Comets, Meteors and Fireballs
From 14 January
Depictions of fiery messengers from space in art and science from the 15th century onwards, using material drawn from the Museum Library.



Museum of Oxford
Town Hall, St. Aldate's Road, 01865 252761

Museum of Oxfordofficial website

The exciting project to relocate the Museum of Oxford in new galleries within the Town Hall is now complete. The brand new Explore Oxford Galleries are based at the front of the Town Hall and are easily accessed from its main entrance on St Aldate's (just down from Carfax Tower). The Museum is open from 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-3pm on Sundays (not open on Bank Holidays)

What's on?

Town Hall Tours
Tours run every Wednesday and Saturday at 11am. Please allow between 45 minutes and 1 hour for the tour.
The Museum of Oxford now has fully trained tour guides available to whisk visitors off to parts of the Town Hall most people would never get to see. The tour uncovers the history of this fascinating building that has been at the heart of the community since its opening in May 1897. Take a peek inside the Town Hall's beautiful and decorative interior and learn more about the building and the site it stands on. Find out about its Royal opening, visit the medieval crypt and see our William Turner art collection.

Tickets are £2.50 per person and are available from the Town Hall gift shop with all proceeds going toward supporting the museum.


Explore Oxford
From Saturday 23rd June
Take a trip through Oxford's history as a city and step into City Engineer, William White's, office from 1897 when the Town Hall was first opened. Rummage through his desk drawers and find out what projects he was working on - including the St Giles underground public conveniences - and discover artefacts from the Victorian era. The maps on his drawing table show how Oxford has changed since it was first settled as a Saxon community in 910 AD.

Step through a door into the present day, and take a virtual high-speed bike tour heading east, west, south or north from the Town Hall, taking in many of the main city highlights as you travel. The tours show visitors where they can explore further for themselves, as well as featuring places that are not normally open to visitors such as inside the MINI plant.



Christ Church Picture Gallery
Oriel Square, 01865 276172

Christ Church Picture Galleryofficial website

October - May: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday 10.30am - 1pm & 2 - 4.30pm, Sunday 2 - 4.30pm; Please note that the gallery is closed on Tuesdays from October to June. June: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday 10.30am - 5pm, Sunday 2 - 5pm. July, August, September: Monday- Saturday 10.30am - 5pm, Sunday 2- 5pm. Admission £3/£2.

Christ Church is unique among the Oxford and Cambridge colleges in possessing an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings, housed in a purpose-built Gallery of considerable architectural interest in itself.

What's on?

We have no exhibition information for this museum at this time. Please check the official website for more information.

Bate Collection of Musical Instruments
Faculty of Music, St. Aldate's, 01865 276139

official website

Open: Mon - Fri 14:00 - 17:00, Sat 10:00 - 12:00 during term time only

The Bate Collection celebrates the history and development of musical instruments of the Western Classical tradition from the medieval period until the present day. The Collection is made available for study and judicious use by scholars, students, makers, and players, so as to enhance and increase the knowledge of the history of music as well as the enjoyment of historic performance for all.

What's on?

We have no exhibition information for this museum at this time. Please check the official website for more information.

Bodleian Library
Broad Street, 01865 277224

Bodleian Libraryofficial website

Free admission to these areas at the following times: Old Schools Quadrangle and Bodleian Library Gift Shop: 09:00 - 17:15 Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 16.45 Saturday, 11:00 - 17:00 Sunday; Exhibition Room: 09:00 - 17:00 Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 16.30 Saturday, 11:00 - 17:00 Sunday

The Bodleian was opened in 1602 by Thomas Bodley with a colection of 2,000 books. Today, there are more than 9 million items on 176 kilometres of shelving. Please note that children under 11 are not admitted. Tours given daily Monday through Saturday.

What's on?

We have no exhibition information for this museum at this time. Please check the official website for more information.

Other Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

26 Characters
5 April - 2 November
26 characters from children’s story are portrayed by some of Britain’s best-loved writers and storytellers in a unique photographic installation. From Anansi to Zephaniah, see your heroes in a new light. Terry Pratchett as Just William, Neil Gaiman as Badger, Malorie Blackman as the Wicked Witch of the West encourage you to get lost in stories. Captured by acclaimed photographer Cambridge Jones, the gallery of rogues and rascals, wizards, witches and wild things unfolds throughout The Story Museum’s atmospheric and unfinished spaces – with surprises along the way (including dressing up and a talking throne) and related events programme. All ages. Opening hours and days vary.

The Story Museum
Please see for more information

Artwork by Michele Field
Mon 3rd to Sat 29th November
Collection of Waterways & landscapes paintings The exhibition can be found on the top level but there is a lift in the main reception. Wheel chair access. All most welcome.

Oxford Central Library, Westgate, Oxford