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Bars and nightlife in Oxford

Top bars

Pub
“Check out the flea market outside the Magdalen Arms pub on Iffley Road - it takes place on the first Saturday of each month (except some winter months) from 9.30am until lunchtime. There are interesting objects for sale and details can be found on the pub website. ”
  • 47 locals recommend
Bar
“The Rusty Bicycle is our favourite local pub. It does good food during the day and is open late at weekends. The home-made burgers, pizzas and ales are great. It is also on Magdalen Rd. ”
  • 46 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
“A friendly smile, beautifully hand made food, and delicious cocktails are waiting for you at Oxford’s best tapas bar. So come on in, sit back, and soak up the atmosphere. We will be here waiting to make you a drink.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Pub
“The Isis Farmhouse is a riverside music pub on the Thames towpath near Iffley, only accessible by foot or boat. Very popular in summer for its large, tree-shaded, family-friendly beer garden by the river and as a year-round venue for trad jazz, folk, country and world music. ”
  • 40 locals recommend
Nightclub
“The reason for visiting this bar is for its unique original Oxford terrace where you can sit and have a drink amongst the Dreaming Spires. ”
  • 24 locals recommend
Pub
“The Turf Tavern (or just "the Turf") is a popular but well-hidden historic pub in central Oxford, England. Its foundations and use as a malt house and drinking tavern date back to 1381. The low-beamed front bar area was put in place sometime in the 17th century. It was originally called the Spotted Cow but the name was changed in 1842, likely as part of an effort to extinguish its reputation as a venue for illegal gambling activities. The pub is frequented primarily by university students (of both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University). It is located at the end of a narrow winding alley, St Helens Passage (originally Hell's passage), between Holywell Street and New College Lane, near the Bridge of Sighs. Running along one side of the pub is one of the remaining sections of the old city wall. Due to the illegal activities of many of its original patrons, the Turf sprang up in an area just outside the city wall in order to escape the jurisdiction of the governing bodies of the local colleges. The Turf Tavern is also where former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for consuming a yard glass of ale in 11 seconds in 1963. Local legend also has it that former U.S. president Bill Clinton, while attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, infamously "did not inhale" during an evening of carousing at the pub. Additional celebrities and public figures who have dined or drunk at the tavern include Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Blair, CS Lewis, Stephen Hawking and Margaret Thatcher. It also served as a hangout for the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies while the nearby colleges were used as locations throughout the filming of the series. It was also featured in the show Inspector Morse. The pub inspired The Lamb and Flag, a fictional drinking establishment featured in Jude the Obscure, author Thomas Hardy's final novel. It is also reportedly haunted by "Old Rosie," the ghost of a young woman who allegedly drowned herself in a nearby moat after her lover failed to return from the English Civil War. The Turf is still a frequent gathering place for the Rhodes community in Oxford as the site of Turf Tuesday every week during term.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Bar
“Take a walk over Port Meadow towards Oxford from Godstow. Half-way to Oxford you will come across a countryside restaurant with a beautiful beer garden. A must visit! ”
  • 29 locals recommend
Cocktail Bar
“RAOUL'S HAS BEEN A COCKTAIL INSTITUTION SINCE 1979 BUT BY 1999 WAS LOOKING VERY TIRED INDEED. AFTER A MAJOR REFURB RAOUL'S WAS REBORN INTO A GREAT LITTLE COCKTAIL BAR AND SINCE THEN HAS WON A MULTITUDE OF AWARDS, EVEN BEING PLACED AS ONE OF THE TOP 50 BARS IN THE WORLD BY THE SUNDAY TIMES”
  • 20 locals recommend

Nightclubs

Tapas Restaurant
“A friendly smile, beautifully hand made food, and delicious cocktails are waiting for you at Oxford’s best tapas bar. So come on in, sit back, and soak up the atmosphere. We will be here waiting to make you a drink.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Bar
“The Freud café is housed in the former St Paul's Church, a Greek Revival building designed in 1836 by Henry Jones Underwood. The church was inspired by an outbreak of cholera in the area in 1831. The building has an imposing portico with Ionic columns. The architect Edward George Bruton added the apse in 1853 and Frederick Charles Eden remodelled the interior in 1908. In the 20th century, the building became a redundant church and was closed in the late 1960s. After deconsecration, the building was bought by the Oxford Area Arts Council and used as a theatre and arts centre venue. In 1988, the building was acquired by Secession Ltd to prevent the building's demolition. Freud opened as a café/bar in the same year. The cafe was created by David Freud, a graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art, who has an interest in buildings and their interaction with people. There is sometimes live music such as jazz or blues. The name is often written in Roman-style capital lettering as "FREVD", for example above the main entrance door.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Night Club
“Popular nightclub otherwise known as "ATIK" with four stages to suit all tastes... Young student crowd.”
  • 1 local recommends
Night Club
“The Bully as its affectionately known provides all manner of entertainment, but primarily music with a bit of comedy thrown in. There's a bar out front too in case you just fancy a drink!”
  • 6 locals recommend
Bar
“this is a popular crazy golf place set in the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford”
  • 2 locals recommend
Night Club
Moroccan Restaurant
“North African and eastern Mediterranean fusion dishes in a simple, relaxed space with wooden tables.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Food
“For those who want to enjoy the night dancing, this is a good spot to have some fun!”
  • 3 locals recommend

Music venues

Concert Hall
“First Music hall in UK where Mozart visited - frequent music events - including coffee concerts on Sundays”
  • 1 local recommends
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