Great Britain

Things to do in Bristol

Bristol, located in the southwest of England, is known for its prosperous maritime history but in recent years its former city-centre port has been transformed into a buzzing cultural hub.

Bristol is a city like no other and you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice of things to do and see when you visit. Whether you’re planning a fun day out with the family, a romantic getaway for two, or a weekend jaunt with your friends, you certainly won’t be disappointed by all this exciting city has to offer. And as the UK’s first official ‘cycling city’, it’s the perfect place to visit with your bike – you’re in for a great workout when you navigate Bristol’s hilly streets on two wheels!

If you’re looking for a bit of culture you’re in for a treat – known for being the home of the notorious Banksy, all you need to do is walk around the city to admire some of its famed street art. Bristol is also known for its cutting-edge music scene and music lovers will certainly feel at home here thanks to the many clubs and bars, as well as regular gigs and music festivals that occur annually.

For some more family-friendly fun then look no further than Bristol’s wonderful hills and green spaces, which offer amazing views and great spots for picnics or a relaxing riverside walk. You also won’t want to miss a chance to visit some of the fantastic museums, galleries, and historic houses this wonderful city has to offer.

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Calais Port

DVR

Dover Port

Morning

03:30

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Midday

13:10

Afternoon

14:45

Evening

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Bristol in Great Britain

Things to do in Bristol

Banksy Walking Street Art Tour

Possibly the most famous street artist in the world, Banksy had surprisingly humble beginnings growing up in 1970s Bristol. He became involved in the wave of street art that took the city by storm in the 1980s and his notoriety quickly spread throughout the whole country. Today, examples of his work have been found in London, Los Angeles, and New York!

There are online maps that you can print off yourself or download a handy app to help guide you on your tour. You can even schedule in a few breaks at some of Bristol’s famously eclectic and independent cafés, bars, and restaurants on your way. Some works in the city centre that you’ll definitely want to include on your tour are: The Grim Reaper, The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum, and the fantastic 2011 mural ‘You don’t need planning permission to build castles in the sky’. We recommend researching his pieces beforehand so you can make sure to include all your favourites on the tour.

Street Art Walking Tour Bristol

Photo: Marcus Loke on Unsplash

Great Britain Bristol Wharf

Museums and galleries

If you’re interested in the history of this fantastic city then a trip to the M Shed Museum is a must. Located on Bristol’s historic wharf, this fascinating museum is housed in an old 1950s transit shed, and features exhibits ranging from prehistoric times up to the 21st century which tell stories about what it was like to live in Bristol through the centuries. Another great spot for history buffs is Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first ocean liner which has been accurately restored to resemble its original interior. Here you can explore the lavish First-Class area to the cramped Brig and Galley, offering a fantastic immersive experience for the whole family.

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is a magnificent space featuring 19 galleries with thousands of artefacts which explore everything from ancient civilisations to wonders of the natural world. There’s a great interactive family area as well as an under-7s play area and arts and crafts activities, so this is a great spot to bring the kids. For more hands-on fun for all the family, why not check out We The Curious, which features the UK’s first 3D Planetarium so you can discover the universe in a completely mesmerising experience. 

Outdoor adventures

Named as the UK’s first official Cycling City, Bristol is fully geared-up for getting around on two wheels. It also features the country’s first major bike rental network, so don’t worry if you haven’t brought your own bike as it’s easy and affordable to rent one here. There are special bike lanes all around the city to make it safer when cycling on the roads, or you can choose to head off into the wilderness on one of the many special trails which take you to Bath and beyond.

With so many hills and the beautiful surrounding countryside of the Cotswolds, Bristol is also a great place to go rock climbing and bouldering. If you’re a seasoned climber you’ll love the challenge of the Avon Gorge, but there’s plenty of opportunities for newbies to try their hand at this exhilarating sport too, such as indoor climbing centres. The countryside and coastline around Bristol are also packed full of beautiful green golf courses, and, if the weather isn’t so nice, there’s even an indoor golf simulation facility in the city centre where you can practice your swing.

Cycling by the river in Bristol, England

Female DJ Club Bristol Night Life

Music and nightlife

Bristol was awarded Purple Flag status which means that the management of its night-time economy surpasses the standards of excellence, a legacy which is easy to see on a night out in this dynamic city. The Bristol music scene is the stuff of legend, with festivals such as Love Saves The Day and Bristol Harbour Festival (to name just a few) bringing in thousands of visitors each year.

Bristol parties from dusk ‘til dawn with its diverse selection of clubs and bars, from well-known super clubs like Przym to more underground venues such as Motion and Lizard Lounge, popular among students and hedonists alike. The craft beer scene is huge in Bristol thanks to the liberal residents and visitors it attracts and the city is also famous for its cider, both of which can be sampled at the many speakeasies and cocktail bars dotted around the city centre.

Bristol is a city like no other and you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice of things to do and see when you visit.

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