Cambridge Life and Travel Tips
(Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK)
Cambridge is a wonderful university city to visit at any time of year and boasts much in the way of tourism. The weather in Cambridge is best during the summer months, and this is a particularly popular time to visit the Cambridge area. Cambridge is busy throughout the year, even during the winter, when Cambridgeshire weather is at its coldest. Many people travel here in December to enjoy the Christmas festivities and the exceptional decorations, and also to do their Christmas shopping in the large shopping centre.
Cambridge is at its quietest from January to mid-March and this is probably the only time when local hotels reduce their prices and hotel rates to attract more tourists.
There are a number of tourist information offices and outlets throughout Cambridge and these provide useful tourist information, such as brochures, maps, attractions information, opening hours, directions and general Cambridge tourist information. The main tourist information office in Cambridge is situated in the Old Library on Wheeler Street, in central Cambridge.
Cambridge Tourist Information Centre
Address: The Old Library, Wheeler Street, Cambridge, CB2 3QB, England
Tel: +44 (0)1223 322640
Located in the heart of Cambridge city centre, the Cambridge Tourist Information Centre is full of useful Cambridge tourism leaflets, details about Cambridge attractions, landmarks and monuments, Cambridge maps and the latest tourist information about Cambridge festivals and events.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:30, Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00
As in any large city, always maintain an awareness of your surroundings and try to blend in and not look like a tourist when visiting Cambridge. Although crime levels in Cambridge are low, look like you know where you are going and be particularly careful with hand baggage. Wear a bag or camera across your body, or even consider using a concealed money belt.
Places of Worship
The diverse city of Cambridge is home to a large number of different cultures and most religions have a presence. Many of the churches in Cambridge belong to the Church of England as places of worship for the Anglican faith, although all faiths are always welcome. Newspapers generally list times of services for the main denominations. Cambridge contains numerous cathedrals, chapels, mosques, temples and synagogues.
Pharmacies and Chemists
Most pharmacies in Cambridge are open from at least 09:00 until around 18:00 and supermarkets often have in-store chemists. Cambridge drugstores will usually open until 18:00, although some may stay open until later, and these usually have a pharmacy counter for dispensing prescriptions. Drugstores in Cambridge are like mini-supermarkets, with a wide range of products on sale.
English is the most commonly spoken language in Cambridge and the United Kingdom, although regional dialects can vary greatly.
Tipping in Cambridge is quite discretionary, with Cambridge taxi drivers usually being given a 10% gratuity or thereabouts - although this is not essential. Cambridge restaurants often include service charges and these are always clearly stated on the menus, otherwise a gratuity of around 10% is usually expected in recognition of prompt and courteous service. Hotel staff in Cambridge, such as luggage handlers, happily accept a tip of one or two pounds. Generally, no other public service workers in the Cambridge area expect tips.
In many buildings and on public transport in Cambridge, rules restrict smoking and this is usually indicated by no-smoking symbols in prominent places. If you wish to smoke inside one of Cambridge's many restaurants, public houses or bars - think again. From July 2007, these public spaces are now completely smoke-free.
Smoking in Cambridge, and England as a whole, is not as fashionable as it once was, so it is always worth exercising discretion and sensitivity when selecting a place in which to smoke. The best advice would be not to smoke unless others around you do so.
Invitations to Eat
Much business is done over the dinner table in Cambridge and business lunches frequently take place at central Cambridge restaurants recommended by your host. In most good Cambridge restaurants there will be a comprehensive wine and beer list and tables usually need to be booked in advance. Business dinners in Cambridge are also often conducted at home and these tend to be less formal affairs, with a pre-arranged time for arrival about half an hour before dinner is served.
The British love pubs for their informality and social atmosphere. Pubs and wine bars in Cambridge are most often places to meet and be seen, though each has its own standing in the local community, with some being frequented by business people, locals, celebrities and others by visitors and tourists. Most Cambridge pubs and Cambridge wine bars are friendly places - if there is a good mix of people you can be sure that it is a good pub, otherwise, just close the door and find another nearby.