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Ashmolean Museum

The world’s oldest public museum is home to a fascinating collection of global curios and priceless works of art.

The Ashmolean Museum is a distinguished collection of fascinating art and archeological relics. From Egyptian mummies to English silverware, the museum's pieces are wide in scope and include internationally important collections, such as the modern and contemporary Chinese art collection.  

The museum was established in the 17th century to hold the cabinet of curiosities of Elias Ashmole, a notable English antiquarian and politician. Since then, the collection has grown considerably, with many further donors adding to it.

Admire the majestic 19th-century structure that houses the museum. Note the façade’s classical design with four large pillars holding up a grand pediment above the entrance. The building is particularly striking at night, when it is bathed in golden light. The interior has been renovated many times, and its modern design is in stark contrast to the neoclassical exterior. Inside you’ll notice an extensive use of glass, which allows light into the exhibits.

Make your way to the archeological department to see the museum’s excellent array of Greek and Minoan pottery. View intriguing objects from Ancient Egypt as well as archeological finds from the Neolithic era.

The art collection includes paintings by Paul Cézanne, John Constable, Pablo Picasso and many other reputable artists. Peruse the excellent watercolors by Turner and examine art from across the globe, from modern Chinese works to Islamic pieces. Temporary exhibitions are held year-round and cover topics like photography of old Oxford.

Take a break and order refreshments, such as traditional cream tea, from the museum café. For a special dining experience, book a table at the museum’s rooftop restaurant. Stop by the shop to pick up souvenirs, stationery and gifts.

The Ashmolean Museum is part of the University of Oxford and located in the center of the city. The museum is open daily from morning until late afternoon and is free to enter. It is closed on Mondays, except when it is a bank holiday. Use local bus lines to get here or walk from the Oxford Railway Station, which is just 10 minutes away on foot. Nearby attractions include the Blackfriars building and The New Theatre.


Guide to Exploring around Ashmolean Museum


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The Randolph Hotel
The Randolph Hotel

The Randolph Hotel

Beaumont Street, Oxford, England
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Oxford City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Oxford Playhouse, University of Oxford, and Ashmolean Museum. New Theatre Oxford and Bridge of Sighs are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 10 minutes by foot.

    Malmaison Oxford $154
    Malmaison Oxford

    Malmaison Oxford

    3 Oxford Castle, Oxford, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Oxford City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps from Oxford Castle and University of Oxford. Christ Church College and New Theatre Oxford are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 8 minutes by foot.

      Vanbrugh House Hotel $119
      Vanbrugh House Hotel

      Vanbrugh House Hotel

      20-24 St Michaels Street, Oxford, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is steps from New Theatre Oxford and University of Oxford. Ashmolean Museum and Oxford Castle are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 9 minutes by foot.

        The Buttery Hotel $61
        The Buttery Hotel

        The Buttery Hotel

        11 Broad Street, Oxford, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Oxford City Centre, this guesthouse is steps from Balliol College, University of Oxford, and New Theatre Oxford. Ashmolean Museum and Bridge of Sighs are also within 5 minutes. Oxford Station is 11 minutes by foot.

          Courtyard by Marriott Oxford City Centre $131
          Courtyard by Marriott Oxford City Centre

          Courtyard by Marriott Oxford City Centre

          15 Paradise Street, Oxford, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Oxford Castle, Said Business School, and Ashmolean Museum. Exeter College and Radcliffe Camera are also within 15 minutes. Oxford Station is 8 minutes by foot.

            George Street Hotel $108
            George Street Hotel

            George Street Hotel

            15-19 George Street, Oxford, England
               
              3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is steps from Balliol College, University of Oxford, and New Theatre Oxford. Ashmolean Museum and Bridge of Sighs are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 11 minutes by foot.

              Museum Hotel Oxford
              Museum Hotel Oxford

              Museum Hotel Oxford

              107a St. Aldates, Oxford, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is steps from Museum of Oxford, University of Oxford, and Christ Church College. New Theatre Oxford and Oxford Castle are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 13 minutes by foot.

                Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel $110
                Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel

                Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel

                73 High Street, Oxford, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is steps from The Queen's College and University of Oxford. Bodleian Library and Bridge of Sighs are also within 10 minutes. Oxford Station is 21 minutes by foot.