Replete with history and rich architecture, university campuses often make for some of the most rewarding experiences for tourists. Check out our list of the top 10 most beautiful campuses around the world to witness some of the grandest libraries, museums and take in that incomparable student vibe that’ll probably take you back to some of the best days of your life.
1. Oxford University
Historic buildings, lush parks and gardens, some of the world’s oldest museums, libraries and waterways straight out of a picture book, Oxford University requires an itinerary all its own. The world’s second oldest surviving university, comprising 38 colleges, makes for a visit you won’t forget in a hurry. But if you’re short of time, we recommend visiting the Christ Church College (made even more famous by the Harry Potter series), the Bodleian Library and Ashmolean Museum.
2.University of Cambridge
Founded in 1209, this university campus can be taken in walking, cycling or in the most traditional way possible – punting on the River Cam. Usually a 45 minute tour, you can soak in back views of seven colleges and cruise by the famous Bridge of Sighs. The other absolute must do’s at Cambridge? A visit to the King’s College Chapel and the Cripps Building at St John’s College and, of course, no trip to Cambridge is complete without a drink at one of its many atmospheric pubs.
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3. Aarhus University, Denmark
Located in the centre of Aarhus city, this university gives the entire city a youthful & vibrant vibe. Relatively new, Aarhus University is considered one of the most significant architectural landmarks in Denmark. The university’s uniqueness lies in the yellow bricks and tile roofs that are a part of every building in the campus, juxtaposing beautifully with the rolling greens around it.
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4. Princeton University
Spread across over 500 acres, this Ivy League University is all gothic architecture, stone buildings, massive gardens and walkways. Places of note include Nassau Hall, the university’s oldest building, the Princeton Art Museum, which houses a whopping 72,000 pieces of art and the Princeton University Chapel that is used by students and faculty till now.
5. University of Cape Town
Popularly known as UCT, this erstwhile highschool for boys was founded in 1829 and is today the oldest university in South Africa with over 26,000 students. Red roofs and walls covered with ivy give this university’s buildings, situated on the slopes of the Devil’s Peak mountains, a picturesqueness all their own. Most visitors take in views of the Cape Flats and spend some time on Jammies Steps, a popular student hangout.
6. Peking University
If you want a break from the frantic activity of Beijing, step into Peking University, an oasis of calm in one of the most populous cities in the world. Some of the most popular sites within the university include the Learned Tower and the Peking University Library, which holds the distinction of being the second largest library in China.
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7. Moscow State University
One of the seven skyscrapers built in the Stalinist style in the Russian capital, Moscow State University’s main building remained the tallest building in Europe till not so long ago. At 32 stories, this building is the main attraction of the 800-acre Moscow State University while the square in front offers some spectacular views of several historical sites. The University is even more stunning when lit up at night.
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8. Berry College, Mount Berry, Georgia
This one’s a campus for leisurely strolls, hikes and bicycle rides. Voted by Travel & Leisure as one of the most beautiful campuses in the US, Berry College is spread over a staggering 26,000 acres, integrating seamlessly with fields, parks, forests and mountains. The liberal arts college offers several spots for lazy picnic lunches.
9. University of Washington
Best visited in the spring when the Yoshino cherry blossom trees are in full bloom, the University of Washington also offers grand views of Mt Rainer and is one of the more popular tourist destinations in the city. The university’s Central Plaza, also known as the Red Square, is the main gathering place for students while the liberal arts quadrangle, also known as the “Quad”, is probably the one that shows up in most tourists’ pictures.
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10. Sydney University
This Australian Public Research Library often makes it to the list of most beautiful campuses in the world. With its neogothic architecture, this prestigious university gives visitors a feeling of being transported to a Harry Potteresque universe, with a large part of its inspiration coming from Oxford University.
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