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Top 10 Things to Do in Oxford in the Evening

There are tonnes of things to do in Oxford during the day: visit the beautiful Oxford colleges, explore the Natural History Museum, go on a Harry Potter tour of Oxford and more.

But what about at night?

There’s precious little information on the top things to do in Oxford in the evening so I’ve put together a list of my top 10 recommendations!

If you’re planning on visiting Oxford soon, check out my Oxford day trip itinerary first!

Have a little scroll for more things to do in Oxford at night:

Experience Evensong at an Oxford College

Evensong is one of the best free things to do in Oxford and a great way to get an inside look at some of the most famous colleges after visiting hours are over.

Most evenings, the colleges will host Evensong, a service of psalms and prayers, which members of the general public are allowed to attend. The Oxford college choirs are often of a professional standard and you can enjoy an hour or so with them for free!

Seeing Oxford University at night is an experience most tourists don’t get so check out my post on free things to do in Oxford for more information on Evensong.

My three personal recommendations are: New College, Magdalen College and Christ Church. These are three of the largest and most expensive colleges to visit.

For more info: Evensong at Christ Church | Evensong at New College | Evensong at Magdalen

Drink Award-Winning Cocktails at Raoul’s Bar

Raoul’s Bar in Jericho was always my favourite place for cocktails when at university and is widely considered to be the best bar in Oxford.

Their cocktail list is extensive and each and every one is delicious. Raoul’s prides itself on its use of homemade and fresh ingredients and you can definitely taste the difference. I love a fruity cocktail myself and my favourites are: watermelon crush and mango & lychee collins.

Their talented team of barmen and women put their passion and skill to use with each cocktail they make. That care and attention means drinks take slightly longer to whip up here than they might at another bar, but it’s all part of the Raoul’s experience and, trust me, it’s worth it.

Raoul’s also offers cocktail making classes for four people or more, which are available every day of the week! It’s a great Oxford bar to hire out for birthday parties too.

I’d recommend going early because this Raoul’s gets very busy. Open until midnight or 1am every day.

This would definitely make for a classy Oxford night out so if you’re looking to experience Oxford nightlife for a smaller price tag and louder music, head to Parkend (ATIK) or Bridge.

Address: 32 Walton St, Oxford, OX2 6AA
Opening Hours: 4pm – 12am/1am every day
Price: ~£8.50 per cocktail
Website: www.raoulsbar.com

Play Board Games at Thirsty Meeples

Thirsty Meeples is one of the most popular cafes in Oxford and its easy to see why. With over 2500 different board games available, once you’re in there, you won’t want to leave!

Groups spend hours in here battling it out over classic games such as Risk and Diplomacy, or more niche ones like Hogwarts Battle and Here, Kitty, Kitty.

Buy Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle to play at home here.

You can order food and drink from a surprisingly comprehensive menu as you play, and you’ll want to for two reasons.

One, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said you’d be here for hours – you’re going to need sustenance.

Two, it’s actually really damn good.

My personal recommendation would be The Baratheon, their coronation chicken sandwich.

RELATED: The Best Cafes in Oxford

Thirsty Meeples is open until midnight every day making it my top recommendation for night owls looking for things to do at night in Oxford. If you’re looking for things to do in Oxford tonight, check their website now and make a booking!

Address: 99 Gloucester Street, Oxford, OX1 2DF
Opening Hours: 11am – 12am
Website: thirstymeeples.co.uk
Price: £7.50pp cover charge, £6pp if also ordering food.

Watch a Film at The Ultimate Picture Palace

Although you’ll find an Odeon and Phoenix Picture House more centrally in Oxford, there’s a local gem just off the Cowley Road that you should visit instead.

The Ultimate Picture Palace is housed in a beautiful art deco building that still has its original box office window. This dates all the way back to 1911!

The building was even given Grade II listed status in 1994 for being of historic and architectural significance.

You’ll find a diverse range of films on at The Ultimate Picture Palace and they know foreign, classic and independent films as well as the latest releases. It’s the perfect place to go for a date in Oxford!

Last showings at 9pm each evening, visit their website to find out more about what’s on now and how to make a booking.

Address: Jeune Street, Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1BN
Website: www.uppcinema.com
Price: £9.50 (£8 for students)

Visit The Ashmolean After Hours

On the last Friday of every month, the Ashmolean keeps its doors open for an additional three hours so you can start the weekend off with a cultured wander through the museum.

Start with a drink at the bar (it is Friday after all!), before listening to a talk or jamming to live music. Most of the free exhibitions are open and you are free to explore them at your leisure.

And the best thing? Entry is completely free!

This is also one of the best Oxford date ideas. The rooftop restaurant is open until 10pm so head upstairs when the exhibitions close for so you can admire Oxford by night with amazing views across the city.

Check their website to see what evening events in Oxford they’re hosting soon.

Address: Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2PH
Opening Hours: 5pm – 8pm last Friday of the month
Website: www.ashmolean.org/afterhours
Price: FREE

Enjoy Live Jazz at Sandy’s Piano & Wine Bar 

There are lots of great bars in Oxford but Sandy’s is the most unique as it is a piano bar. There’s live piano music played here every evening and there’s a wonderful atmosphere, friendly staff and great drinks.

You’ll be treated to a real mix of music from old school jazz to modern classics. The pianist will often take requests so you can dance to a piano rendition of your favourite tunes!

It’s perfect for both a chilled evening with friends or dancing to the early hours of the morning. It’s also one of the better date ideas Oxford has to offer.

On busy days, stay upstairs for the former but head downstairs for the latter. A visit to Sandy’s is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Oxford in the evening and it’s not one to miss!

Opening hours vary every day but expect Sandy’s to close between midnight and 3am! This is a good contender for a night out in Oxford if you want to avoid the students.

Address: 3-4 King Edward Street, Oxford, OX1 4HS
Website: sandyspianobar.co.uk
Opening hours: Different every day. Check website for your day of choice.

Grab a Pint at The Eagle & Child

The Eagle & Child is a cosy pub in Oxford that once played host to meetings of “The Inklings”. This was a literary discussion group in the 30s and 40s who counted Tolkien and C S Lewis amongst its members.

In fact, it was at one of these meetings that C S Lewis first handed out his draft of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe!

RELATED: Guide to Oxford for Book Lovers

Grab a pint in this historic Oxford pub and sit in the same where literary giants have sat before you. You’ll find a good selection of beers and ales here as well as gin and whisky!

Opening Hours: 11am-11pm (12-10:30pm Sundays)
Address: 49 St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU
Website: www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/restaurants/southeast/theeagleandchildoxford

Other famous Oxford pubs worth checking out include:

The Bear: Close by Christ Church, this pub is famous because of its collection of over 4500 clipped ties from many Oxford University clubs and societies.

Turf Tavern: Where famous names such as Tony Blair, Stephen Hawking and Margaret Thatcher are known to have had a pint! The Harry Potter filming crew would also hang out here after a long day of magic making.

Put a Hole-in-One at Junkyard Golf

There are lots to do at the new Westgate Oxford shopping centre besides eat, drink, shop. Located on the lower ground floor is Junkyard Golf.

This is one of the best places for dates in London and now they’ve opened up a branch in Oxford.

There are three crazy golf courses available here, each of which is a wacky adventure. Think bright lights, a colourful, grungy decor and fabulous cocktails.

One is inspired by fairgrounds (with a dark twist), another is a tropical jungle and the third is scrapyard filled with junk! Which would you choose?

Junkyard Golf is one of the best things to do in Oxford in the evening with friends or even a competitive date night! It’s open until midnight most days.

Address: Westgate Oxford, Castle Street, Oxford, OX1 1NU
Website: www.junkyardgolfclub.co.uk/oxford/
Price: £8 off peak, £9.50 peak

See a Play at Oxford Playhouse

Oxford Playhouse sits opposite the Ashmolean Museum and plays host to some excellent acting talent. You’ll be able to see top-notch drama, akin to that found in London, but at reduced Oxford prices.

There’s a huge array of performances here from drama to musicals to comedy to dance – you name it! Some performances are by students or amateur actors, others are by names as big as Ian McKellan!

The theatre is moderately sized but you’ll be glad to hear that legroom is not an issue here as it is in many other theatres.

The foyer can get very busy before the show begins so I’d advise you to grab a drink elsewhere beforehand instead of trying to battle your way to the Playhouse bar.

My top suggestion would be Raoul’s Bar (mentioned above), which is a 6 minute walk away.

Performances start at 7:30pm or 8pm each evening.

Address: 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2LW
Website: www.oxfordplayhouse.com
Price: From £10 (concessions available)

Have a Laugh at The Glee Club Comedy Nights

For a night filled with laughter, head to The Glee Club hosted in The Bullingdon. Every Saturday night, The Glee invites four stand-up comedians for an evening of hilarious jokes and routines.

Many performers here are award-winning comedians and they even once played host to Jack Whitehall!

The venue leaves a lot to be desired but the people on stage bring the place to life and there’s a great atmosphere here every Saturday.

Try to get there as close to 6:30pm as possible to grab a good seat as it fills up fast and seating is on a first come, first serve basis!

NB. These events are usually 18+ so this is part of Oxford activities for adults.

Address: The Bullingdon, 162 Cowley Rd, Oxford, OX4 1UE
Website: www.glee.co.uk
Opening Hours: Shows start at 7:30pm every Saturday
Price: £16.50 (£10 for students)

Now you’ve got plenty of things to do in Oxford in the evening so you can make the most of your visit to the city of dreaming spires! For things to do in Oxford during the day, check out these posts:

Free Things to do in Oxford
Most Beautiful Oxford Colleges
A Guide to Harry Potter in Oxford
Alice in Wonderland in Oxford
A Literary Tour of Oxford

How to get to Oxford

By Train 

There are regular trains from all major UK stations to Oxford. If you are coming from London, you will need to go via London Paddington. Oxford station is a little way out of the city centre but you can then take a bus or walk into town. Book via the Trainline for the cheapest tickets.

By Bus

If you’re planning to come by bus, aim to get off at either Oxford High Street or Gloucester Green bus station depending on your first Oxford destination.

The Oxford Tube is a super convenient and cheap bus service that’ll take you from the centre of London straight into the heart of Oxford. If you’re taking this route, I’d recommend getting off at the High Street so that you can walk to Radcliffe Square in just 3 minutes. 

By Car

Oxford is easily accessible via the M4, M25, M40 and A roads.

Where to Stay in Oxford

Booking.com

Any more to add? Drop me a comment!

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Milenka

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

All of these ideas sound so lovely and make me want to visit Oxford again! I especially love the sound of visiting a museum after hours... it sounds so cosy and romantic!

Milenka x Blushing Lately

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Monday 11th of February 2019

I looove cafes and Thirsty Meeples is so charming and wholesome! <3 I haven't visited Oxford before, but if I do, that's definitely going on my list. A lot of my travel itineraries are basically just planning around my cafe crawling :P Thanks for the recs! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Laura

Friday 15th of February 2019

Oxford is such a lovely city and really great for cafes so I think you'd love it!!