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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 Fitzwilliam Museum


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University Arms, Autograph Collection £136
University Arms, Autograph Collection

University Arms, Autograph Collection

Regent Street, Cambridge, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Cambridge City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Parker's Piece, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Corn Exchange. Anglia Ruskin University and King's College are also within 10 minutes. Cambridge Station is 15 minutes by foot.

    Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel £120
    Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel

    Clayton Hotel Cambridge formerly known as The Tamburlaine Hotel

    Station Rd, Cambridge, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Cambridge, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge and Cambridge Arts Theatre. St Catharine's College and Church of St Mary the Great are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cambridge Station is only a 2-minute walk.

      ibis Cambridge Central Station £59
      ibis Cambridge Central Station

      ibis Cambridge Central Station

      2 Station Square, Cambridge, England
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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        Hilton Cambridge City Centre £138
        Hilton Cambridge City Centre

        Hilton Cambridge City Centre

        Downing Street, Cambridge, England
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Cambridge City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and Cambridge Corn Exchange. University of Cambridge and King's College are also within 10 minutes. Cambridge Station is 19 minutes by foot.

          Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge £119
          Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

          Hotel du Vin & Bistro Cambridge

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

            Located in Cambridge City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps away from Fitzwilliam Museum and University of Cambridge. King's College and Cambridge Corn Exchange are also within 10 minutes. Cambridge Station is 18 minutes by foot.

            Gonville Hotel £122
            Gonville Hotel

            Gonville Hotel

            Gonville Place, Cambridge, England
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cambridge City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Our Lady and the English Martyrs, University of Cambridge, and Anglia Ruskin University. Cambridge Corn Exchange and King's College are also within 15 minutes. Cambridge Station is 15 minutes by foot.

              The Varsity Hotel & Spa £115
              The Varsity Hotel & Spa

              The Varsity Hotel & Spa

              24 Thompsons Lane, Cambridge, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Cambridge City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pepys Library and Trinity College. King's College and Cambridge Corn Exchange are also within 10 minutes. Cambridge Station is 29 minutes by foot.

                Cambridge Hotel City Center on the River Cam
                Cambridge Hotel City Center on the River Cam

                Cambridge Hotel City Center on the River Cam

                Granta Place Mill Lane, Cambridge, England
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Cambridge City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The Backs and University of Cambridge. King's College and Cambridge Corn Exchange are also within 10 minutes. Cambridge Station is 23 minutes by foot.