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Bridge of Sighs

Take a chauffeured tour along the River Cam to get a closer look at this neo-Gothic bridge as you pass beneath it.

The Bridge of Sighs is a stunning 19th-century structure in the University of Cambridge. The covered bridge connects parts of St. John’s College and is a major draw for sightseers who come to delight in its elegance and charm. Admire the historic bridge and imagine the countless brilliant minds that have traversed it while studying at Cambridge.

The bridge, which was built in 1831, was Queen Victoria’s favorite part of Cambridge. Some say the site takes its name from the sighs of students crossing it on their way to take exams. However, it is actually named in honor of the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which is also covered. 

The bridge connects the New Court building with the Third Court structure across the River Cam. The students and professors that live and work at the illustrious university cross the bridge daily and you may be able to spot them from below. The bridge is not open to the public and the best ways to see it are as part of a guided tour of the university. Check with tour operators before departing as entry is often restricted. 

For a memorable experience, take the chauffeured river tour instead. Appreciate the majesty of the bridge as you glide underneath it and take note of its grand arches and spirals. Listen to fascinating and humorous tales from the guide about the bridge and the river. One such story centers on a bizarre prank that students pulled twice in the 1960s, by hanging a car off the bridge by a rope. 

Take photos of the site from the river or one of the nearby halls. There are also great photo opportunities from the bridge itself, with views downriver of the gardens and neo-Gothic architecture.

The Bridge of Sighs is in St. John’s College in the center of Cambridge. To get here, take a short walk from the campus or city center. Nearby features include the St. John’s College Playing Fields and the Jesus Green.


Guide to Exploring around Bridge of Sighs


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Lodging Near Bridge of Sighs

See all 371 Properties near Bridge of Sighs
Tamburlaine $134
Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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Tamburlaine

Tamburlaine

Station Rd, Cambridge, England
     
    4.6 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0

    A really nice,stay,the bed was extremely comfortable and the room bright and airy.

    The Gonville Hotel $151
    Reviewed on May 12, 2019
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    The Gonville Hotel

    The Gonville Hotel

    Gonville Place, Cambridge, England
       
      4.5 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Great location, clean hotel. Friendly staff. Looking forward to returning when I next visit Cambridge.

      The Varsity Hotel & Spa $145
      Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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      The Varsity Hotel & Spa

      The Varsity Hotel & Spa

      24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England
         
        4.3 of 5
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Loved the rooftop bar and restaurant. Absolutely delicious food and great views of the city

        Arundel House Hotel $101
        Reviewed on Apr 5, 2019
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        Arundel House Hotel

        Arundel House Hotel

        Chesterton Road, Cambridge, England
           
          3.8 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Staff friendly. Restaurant good. Rooms clean and comfortable.

          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre $187
          Reviewed on Apr 29, 2019
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          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre

          DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre

          Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge, England
             
            4.2 of 5
            4.0 out of 5.0

            Location is excellent and the outdoor terrace space is a beautiful amenity.

            Hilton Cambridge City Centre $129
            Reviewed on May 21, 2019
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            Hilton Cambridge City Centre

            Hilton Cambridge City Centre

            Downing Street, Cambridge, England
               
              4.3 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Great location, friendly staff, excellent breakfast, clean rooms with amenities. I appreciated the early check in at 11am!!

              ibis Cambridge Central Station $77
              Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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              ibis Cambridge Central Station

              ibis Cambridge Central Station

              2 Station Square, Cambridge, England
                 
                4.4 of 5
                3.0 out of 5.0

                The quirky but great idea of reception staff meeting you in an informal manner at the entrance....

                Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge $142
                Reviewed on May 12, 2019
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                Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

                Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

                15-19 Trumpington Street, Cambridge, England
                   
                  4.2 of 5
                  4.0 out of 5.0

                  Great location, lovely breakfast spread and very friendly and helpful staff. We had an issue with our washroom and they came and fixed it in 2 minutes. Amazing.