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Fitzwilliam Museum

Spend hours discovering more than 4,000 years of art and antiquities in the grand setting of a monumental 19th-century building. 

Behind the grand façade of this neoclassical building is Fitzwilliam Museum, a treasure trove of arts and antiquities. One of Europe’s finest regional museums is home to more than half a million fascinating artifacts, ranging from works by Rubens and Monet, to Roman and Egyptian burial pieces.

The museum was founded in 1816 after Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion bequeathed his art collection and library to Cambridge University. Over the years the collection has been added to and is still growing to this day.

Start your exploration in the lower galleries which focus on antiquities from several ancient civilizations. Look for marble figures from Greece and Rome and funeral pieces left in Egyptian tombs. Examine sculptures from the Chinese Han dynasty dating back to the 3rd century B.C. and an Egyptian cat goddess figurine.

The museum’s lower two floors also feature exhibitions dedicated to Far Eastern applied arts and Korean ceramics, as well as a large collection of manuscripts. See early examples of printed books, letters by literary giants and musical scores autographed by Handel and Elgar.

The museum’s upper galleries are mainly dedicated to paintings and sculptures. Look over impressive works by British artists such as William Blake and John Constable and Flemish masters, including Jacob van Ruisdael and Frans Hals. Be sure to seek out the museum’s two large paintings by Titian, as well as Salvator Rosa’s work L'Umana Fragilita. Save time to check out the post-1945 gallery, which includes pieces by Henry Moore and Lucian Freud.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions as well as various events and courses for all ages. For a small fee, you can also take advantage of guided tours, which are offered on Saturday afternoons.

The Fitzwilliam Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday and admission is free, although donations are welcome. The museum is located near King's College, within walking distance of the city center. For an alternative to walking, use local bus services.


Guide to Exploring around Fitzwilliam Museum


Map

Lodging Near Fitzwilliam Museum

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$159
Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

15-19 Trumpington Street, Cambridge
4.1
of 5, from 45 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cambridge, this romantic hotel is steps from Hobson's Conduit and University of Cambridge. St Catharine's College and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences are also within 10 minutes.

$111
ibis Cambridge Central Station

ibis Cambridge Central Station

2 Station Square, Cambridge
4.1
of 5, from 36 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Cambridge, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of University Botanic Gardens, University of Cambridge, and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. St Catharine's College and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 2 mi (3 km).

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Hilton Cambridge City Centre

Hilton Cambridge City Centre

Downing Street, Cambridge
4.2
of 5, from 374 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cambridge, this hotel is steps from Cambridge University Museum and Archaeology and Anthropology and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. University of Cambridge and St Catharine's College are also within 10 minutes.

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Royal Cambridge Hotel

Royal Cambridge Hotel

Trumpington Street, Cambridge
2.9
of 5, from 99 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cambridge, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hobson's Conduit, University of Cambridge, and St Catharine's College. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 15 minutes.

$174
Tamburlaine

Tamburlaine

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4.8
of 5, from 8 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Cambridge, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of University Botanic Gardens, University of Cambridge, and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. St Catharine's College and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$220
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre

Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge
4.1
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4.0 out of 5.0

This Cambridge hotel, situated on the banks of the River Cam, is one block from the University Centre. The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Mathematical Bridge and Queens’ College.

$160
The Gonville Hotel

The Gonville Hotel

Gonville Place, Cambridge
4.4
of 5, from 103 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Cambridge, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Scott Polar Research Institute and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. University of Cambridge and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 15 minutes.

$221
Citystay - The Dales

Citystay - The Dales

40 Cambridge Place, Cambridge
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Situated in Cambridge, this apartment is within a 15-minute walk of Cambridge University Lawn Tennis Club, University of Cambridge, and Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. St Catharine's College and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 1 mi (2 km).