Oxford is always busy, so it is strongly recommended to book your accommodation before you travel. You can sample Oxford life by staying in one of the colleges, or there are plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) in the city centre, even including a converted prison (now the Malmaison hotel in the Castle Quarter).
University Rooms provides a booking service for rooms in colleges and other University-owned accommodation at reasonable rates, particularly during the University vacations. Rewley House, home to the University's Continuing Education Department, also has guest rooms available for short stays.
You can book a hotel or B&B through the Oxford Visitor Information Centre, either online or in person at their office on Broad Street. The Oxford University Gazette advertises visitor accommodation and short-let properties.
A downloadable version of the official University map will help you find your way around, or you can download the Mobile Oxford app. The University has also created a virtual video tour.
All the main tourist sights are within walking distance of the city centre. You may like to follow a suggested itinerary from the Oxford City Guide which includes themed trails and children's activities. The Know your Oxford audio tour introduces the University and city from a student perspective, or this article from the New York Times picks out some of the local highlights.
If you would like to see further afield, you could take an open-top bus tour or a river cruise. In the summer, you can hire a punt (with optional chauffeur!) for a leisurely afternoon on the River Cherwell.
Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance.