Budget-Friendly Summer Activities in Oxford

An international student recently moved to Oxford and turned to Reddit for recommendations on budget-friendly summer activities, clubs, and events. The community responded with a wealth of suggestions, perfect for enjoying the season and meeting new people. Here’s a compilation of the top recommendations:


Most students leave Oxford in July, so it’s best to take advantage of activities and events now while the city is still bustling with student life.


Oxford Piano Festival: Described by one commenter as a life-changing event, this festival is perfect for music lovers. The Oxford Piano Festival occurs in the last week of July on the serene and picturesque campus of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. This college, home to the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, is conveniently located just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre.

Cowley Road Carnival: A vibrant event featuring live music and food, usually taking place this year. It’s a great opportunity to experience local culture.

Riverside Festival in Charlbury: Enjoy free entry, local bands, and beer at this charming festival. Save the dates! Saturday, July 20th, gates at 1 pm Acts from 1 pm – 10 pm Sunday, July 21st, gates at 11 am Acts from noon – 8 pm.


Flofest and GloFest (22nd June): Two exciting festivals offering a variety of entertainment and community activities.

Tap Social Craft Beer Festival (22nd June) and Jericho Street Fair (8th June): Enjoy beer tasting and local crafts at these popular events.

Outdoor Activities

Swimming in the Thames at Port Meadow: While this is a popular activity, caution is advised due to water quality and strong undercurrents.

Punting and Picnicking on the River: A quintessential Oxford experience, perfect for a sunny day.

Walking Slacklines in South Park: Test your balance and have fun on the slacklines.

Walking Along the River to Various Pubs: Discover scenic routes leading to charming pubs like Isis in Iffley, Fishes in Hinksey, Perch in Binsey, Trout in Godstow, and Plough in Wolvercote.


Drawing Club at the Old Fire Station: Join this monthly club for a creative outlet and a chance to meet fellow art enthusiasts. Various activities are offered at each meeting.


A special note on safety: be cautious while swimming in the river. The Thames can have strong undercurrents and varying water quality, so always prioritize safety.

With these recommendations, new arrivals in Oxford can enjoy a variety of activities and events while making new friends and experiencing the local culture. Whether you’re into festivals, outdoor adventures, or club activities, Oxford has something to offer for everyone.