Bristol is a city located in the south-west of England and is the largest city in the region.
The city has a long and rich history, dating back to the Roman era.
It was an important trading port during the medieval period and was one of the cities heavily involved in the English Civil War.
In more recent times, Bristol has become known for its vibrant music and local artists, as well as its blend of architecture, and its contribution to the arts and sciences.
Bristol is famous for its Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Bristol harbour festival, and it’s important history.
Despite its relatively small size, Bristol punches well above its weight when it comes to culture and attractions.
The city is home to a number of world-renowned museums and galleries, as well as a number of historic landmarks.
Bristol is also a popular destination for tourists, with a wealth of things to see and do.
Things To Do In Bristol
1. Clifton Suspension Bridge
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks.
The bridge spans the Avon Gorge and links Clifton village to Leigh Woods on the opposite side.
The bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was completed in 1864.
It is a grade I listed building and has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Clifton Suspension Bridge is a must see when visiting Bristol.
The Bridge is open 24 hours a day all of the year and there is a small toll for motor vehicles but it is free of charge to pedestrians and cyclists.
Address: Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bridge Rd, Leigh Woods, Bristol BS8 3PA
2. Brandon Hill Nature Park
Brandon Hill Park is a small park located in the centre of Bristol and is a haven for wildlife.
This green space is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, squirrels and hedgehogs.
In the middle of Brandon Hill park there is the Cabot Tower, this is a 105 feet tall tower that provides stunning views of the city.
Climbing the Cabot Tower and entry to the park is free.
The park is a popular spot for family picnics and has a dog-free play area for under 12s.
Address: Brandon Hill Park, Park St, Bristol, Avon BS1 5RR
3. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a large museum located in the city centre.
The museum houses a fascinating collection of art, archaeology, geology and natural history that are displayed inside a beautiful Edwardian building.
The museum also has a number of interactive exhibits and some good family friendly activity areas, including the under 7s play area.
The ground floor hosts Egyptian mummies, South West Wildlife, the Exhibition Gallery and more.
The first floor is where you’ll learn all about dinosaurs, rocks and wildlife.
On the second floor visitors can explore the art galleries with paintings, pottery, glass and more.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is free to enter and you can pre-book or turn up on the day.
Address: Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RL
4. Bristol Cathedral
Bristol Cathedral is a large cathedral located in the centre of Bristol.
The cathedral has a long and rich history, dating back to the 12th century.
The cathedral is home to a number of important artefacts and works of art, including a 15th century tapestry and a 13th century stained glass window.
Admission is free, and visitors are able explore the interior and look around.
Address: Bristol Cathedral, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TJ
5. Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a large zoo located in the Clifton area of Bristol, close to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The Zoo is set within 12 acres of beautiful grounds and award-winning gardens.
It is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, gorillas and penguins.
Bristol Zoo Gardens also has a number of interactive exhibits, educational talks and keeper experiences.
For kids there’s also an adventure playground.
Great for a family day out, Bristol Zoo Gardens is one of the best things to do in Bristol.
Address: Bristol Zoo Gardens, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA
6. Brunel’s SS Great Britain
Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a large ship located in the harbour area of Bristol.
The ship was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and was launched in 1843.
The ship has been restored to its original condition and is now open to the public as a museum.
There are also two interactive museums, a historic dockyard and a dry dock to explore.
Tickets can be booked online for the easiest way to step on board Brunel’s SS Great Britain.
Address: Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY
7. Cabot Tower
Cabot Tower is a large tower located on Brandon Hill.
The tower was built in 1897 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of North America by John Cabot.
John Cabot’s voyage under the commission of Henry VII of England is the earliest-known European exploration of coastal North America.
The tower has a viewing platform which offers panoramic views of Bristol and the surrounding area.
There is no charge for admission.
Address: Cabot Tower, Brandon Hill Park, Park St, Bristol BS1 5RR
8. We The Curious
We The Curious is a large science centre located in the harbour area of Bristol.
The centre has a number of interactive exhibits, live shows and educational talks.
The centre is also home to a planetarium, an IMAX cinema and a 4D cinema.
With hundreds of hands-on exhibits to explore the museum is a great day out for all the family in the heart of Bristol’s historic Harbourside area.
Address: We The Curious, One Millennium Square, Anchor road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB
9. M Shed
M Shed is a large museum located in the harbour area of Bristol, a five to 10 minute walk from the city centre.
The museum tells the story of the city of Bristol and its people.
The museum has a number of interactive exhibits, as well as a cafe and a shop.
M Shed is a relatively small museum but has a lot of interactive displays for all ages.
Address: Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN
10. Oakham Treasures
Oakham Treasures is a large museum located in the centre of Bristol.
It is one of the largest privately owned museums of retail and farming history in the UK.
Some of the highlights are the impressive displays of vintage tractors and farm equipment.
The museum also has a number of interactive exhibits and educational talks.
Address: Oakham Treasures, Oakham Farm, Portbury Ln, Portbury, Bristol BS20 7SP
11. Bristol Harbour
Bristol Harbour is a harbour in the city of Bristol that covers an area of 70 acres.
Bristol’s floating harbour was completed in May 1809 with the water in the harbour remaining at a constant level that is not affected by the tides of the River Avon.
By cutting the harbour off from the tides of the River Avon it ensures that the water level and current remain safe and stable for boats, as well as acting as a flood defence for the city.
The harbour hosts the Bristol Harbour festival that is based in the streets and squares around Bristol’s historic floating docks.
This annual free dance, music and arts extravaganza features family activities, live music, food markets, street food and visiting vessels.
Address: Bristol Harbour, Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4SP
12. Wills Memorial Building
The Wills Memorial Building is a large building located in the centre of Bristol.
The building was completed in 1925 and is home to a number of departments of the University of Bristol.
The building also has a number of historic features, including a war memorial and a clock tower.
A tour lets visitors experience the splendour of the Great Hall, Council Chamber and ornate libraries.
Tours are available every Saturday at 11 am and 1 pm and last between 60 and 90 minutes.
Address: Wills Memorial Building, Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1RJ
13. Ashton Court Estate
Ashton Court is a large estate located in the north of Bristol.
The estate is home to a number of historic buildings, including a Tudor manor house and a Victorian mansion.
Ashton Court also has a large park which is home to deer, sheep and a variety of birds.
There are also two pitch-and-putt golf courses, a miniature railway, and orienteering and nature trails.
Address: Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN
14. Leigh Woods
Leigh Woods is a large wooded area located in the north of Bristol.
The woods are home to a number of walking and cycling trails, as well as a number of historic features.
The woods are also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, foxes and badgers.
Leigh Woods has amazing views across Bristol and the surrounding area, it’s also the perfect place to walk and enjoy nature.
Address: Leigh Woods, Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3QB
15. Bristol Street Art Tours
Bristol’s street art scene is world-renowned, and there are a number of tours available which will take you to see some of the best pieces.
You’ll get to see works done by legendary street artist Banksy, as well as other world-famous artists such as 3D Joe and Max.
There are over 50 street art paintings and art installations to enjoy on this tour where visitors can explore over 30 years of street art and graffiti art history.
Address: Bristol Street Art Tours, Bristol
16. Millennium Square
Millennium Square is a large public square located in the centre of Bristol.
The square is home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year, as well as a number of restaurants and bars.
The square also has a number of historic features, including a war memorial and a fountain.
Address: Millennium Square, Bristol
How many days do you need in Bristol?
Bristol is one of the most fun, vibrant and relaxed cities in England.
Although a weekend is probably enough time to experience the best things to do in Bristol, three or four days is a preferable amount of time to spend exploring the city.
Does Bristol have a city centre?
Bristol’s city centre is known for its maritime history, Banksy street art and the sprawling Shopping Quarter.
Where are Bristol’s colourful houses?
The colourful houses of Bristol make it one of the most vibrant cities in the UK.
Cliftonwood Crescent is a long road where all the houses are a different bright colour and lots have vibrant doors.
How big is Queen Square Bristol?
Queen Square is an attractive Georgian square in the centre of Bristol that is about 5.9 acres.
What area is good for shopping in Bristol?
Clifton is a suburb of Bristol that is located five-minutes from the city centre.
The main shopping areas in Clifton Village are The Mall, Princess Victoria Street and Boyces Avenue.
Clifton Village has a mix of independent shops, boutique’s, clothing shops, gift shops and many good restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Can you visit St Mary Redcliffe church, Bristol?
Visitors to St Mary Redcliffe can take a guided tour of the church, once referred to by Queen Elizabeth I as “The fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in England”.