Discover Bristol: Things to Do in the Vibrant British City

Martyna Bober
February 2
Written by Elena Kostas

Find out what to see in Bristol - from historic landmarks to hidden gems, Bristol has it all. Plan your visit with our Bristol guide.

Looking for things to do in Bristol during your trip to England? Look no further! Bristol is a vibrant city with a rich history and culture, offering a wide range of activities and sights to explore. Whether you're into breathtaking architecture, fascinating museums, or the thriving art scene, Bristol is sure to impress.

One of the must-see attractions in Bristol is the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge, which offers stunning views of the Avon Gorge and beyond.

If you're a history buff, make sure to visit the SS Great Britain, a historic steamship that is now an interactive museum. It's fascinating to learn about life aboard this 19th-century vessel and dive into the maritime history of the region.

Bristol also boasts a lively cultural and artistic scene. Don't miss out on visiting the M Shed, a museum that tells the city's story through interactive and engaging exhibits. You can also enjoy theater performances, live music, and the vibrant street art murals scattered throughout the city.

1. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Historical Monuments and Architecture
brown bridge over green trees
Clifton Suspension Bridge / Jarred Kyle, Unsplash

Discover the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. This impressive bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge, offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding area. With its elegant design and historical significance, Clifton Bridge is one of Bristol's top tourist attractions.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, built in 1864, is one of the most famous examples of Victorian engineering. Its iron and stone structure soars over 75 meters above the gorge, creating a stunning sight. Visitors can walk across the bridge and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit Clifton Suspension Bridge during your stay in Bristol. It's a unique experience that offers the perfect combination of history, architecture, and panoramic views. Make sure to bring your camera to capture unforgettable moments!

2. SS Great Britain

Historical Monuments and Architecture
grey metal pipe with gauge
SS Great Britain / Ben Garratt, Unsplash

The SS Great Britain is a must-visit tourist attraction in Bristol. This iconic ship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is considered one of the great achievements of British naval engineering.

Constructed in 1843, the SS Great Britain was the first vessel propelled by a combination of steam and propeller. Its innovative design marked the beginning of a new era in maritime navigation, revolutionizing the way ships crossed the oceans.

Today, the SS Great Britain has been restored and transformed into an interactive museum. Visitors can explore the ship's historic interiors, admire multimedia exhibits, and learn about life onboard this historical marvel.

3. M Shed

Museums and Art Galleries

M Shed is a museum located in the historic Bristol Harbour, in England. This impressive building houses a vast collection of historical objects that narrate the city's history and its importance as a maritime port.

Inside M Shed, you'll find interactive exhibitions, photographs, videos, and testimonies that will immerse you in Bristol's history. From the city's Viking origins to its role in the industrial revolution, every corner of the museum holds fascinating stories.

You can't visit Bristol without stopping by M Shed. With its rich cultural offerings and lively atmosphere, this tourist attraction is perfect for understanding the history and essence of the city. Don't miss the opportunity to explore it!

4. Bristol Cathedral

Historical Monuments and Architecture

Bristol Cathedral is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Bristol. With its imposing Gothic architecture, it is a must-visit location during your stay in the city.

Built in the 12th century, the cathedral has witnessed countless historical events over the years. Its interior is as impressive as its façade, with colorful stained glass windows, intricate stone details, and a feeling of peace and serenity.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore the gardens surrounding the cathedral, where you can enjoy moments of tranquility and admire the beauty of its surroundings.

5. Stokes Croft

Entertainment and Pop Culture

Stokes Croft is one of the most vibrant and exciting neighborhoods in Bristol, full of street art, independent shops, and a lively nightlife.

What makes Stokes Croft unique is its incredible street art scene. Its streets are filled with colorful and thought-provoking murals, created by local and internationally recognized artists. Every corner is an open-air art gallery, where you'll find a variety of styles and messages.

In addition to street art, Stokes Croft is also home to a multitude of independent shops, vintage boutiques, and artist studios. Here, you can find unique and original pieces that you won't find anywhere else.

7. Bristol Old Vic

Entertainment and Pop Culture$$$

Things to do in Bristol

Bristol Old Vic is a must-visit for theatre and history lovers. Built in 1766, it is an architectural gem that has stood the test of time. In addition to being a theatre, it also houses a museum that allows you to explore its rich history.

Enjoy theatrical performances

Bristol Old Vic offers a wide variety of theatre productions that range from classics to contemporary works. Immerse yourself in the magic of theatre and enjoy top-notch performances at this iconic venue.

A glimpse of history in Bristol

Bristol Old Vic has witnessed countless historical events over the years. Since its opening, it has been a gathering place for Bristol's artistic community and has left an invaluable cultural legacy in the city.

8. Bristol Zoo Gardens

Natural Spaces and Parks

Explore nature at Bristol Zoo Gardens

At Bristol Zoo Gardens, you can enjoy a wide variety of animals from different parts of the world. From towering elephants to small reptiles, here you will have the opportunity to learn and marvel at the diversity of wildlife.

Learn while having fun

Aside from being a perfect place to enjoy a day outdoors, Bristol Zoo Gardens also aims to educate and raise awareness about the importance of species conservation. Through their programs and exhibits, you will learn about the lives of animals and how we can protect their natural habitats.

An unforgettable experience for the whole family

Whether you are visiting Bristol with friends or family, Bristol Zoo Gardens offers a unique experience for all ages. Take a stroll through the lush gardens, enjoy interactive exhibits, and dare to get up close to some of the most amazing animals in the world.

9. Banksy Street Art in Bristol

Museums and Art Galleries

The Banksy Street Art in Bristol is one of the city's main tourist attractions. Bristol, considered the birthplace of street art in the UK, is home to a large number of works by the famous urban artist.

Banksy's street art, known for its distinctive style and impactful messages, has gained worldwide recognition. The streets of Bristol become an open-air art gallery, where you can appreciate the genius and wit of Banksy.

Explore the streets of Bristol and immerse yourself in graffiti culture as you admire Banksy's striking works. From political murals to ironic and humorous pieces, each artwork tells a story and invites you to reflect on different themes of modern society.

10. Brunel's ss Great Britain

Historical Monuments and Architecture$$$

Brunel's ss Great Britain is a must-visit attraction in Bristol. Designed by the famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this iconic tourist site combines impressive architecture with a fascinating history.

When visiting Brunel's ss Great Britain, you can explore the interior of this iron ship and discover what life was like on board during the 19th century. Take a stroll through the various decks and admire the details of its innovative design.

Don't miss the opportunity to learn about Bristol's maritime past and its contribution to navigation and the naval industry. Brunel's ss Great Britain is a historical gem that will transport you back in time.

11. Bristol Harbour

History and Cultural Heritage

Bristol Harbour is a historical gem located in the heart of the city. With its rich history and lively atmosphere, it offers an unforgettable experience to visitors. Situated on the banks of the River Avon, this historic port has witnessed centuries of trade and maritime activity.

Discover Bristol's turbulent past through the numerous buildings and monuments surrounding the harbor. From old warehouses and shipyards to beautiful churches and bridges, every corner tells a fascinating story.

Explore Bristol Harbour's attractions and immerse yourself in the city's charm. Stroll along the quays, enjoy the panoramic views, and admire the maritime architecture. Additionally, the harbor is home to a plethora of bars, restaurants, and shops, where you can savor the delicious local cuisine and take home unique mementos of your visit to Bristol.