Welcome to the city of bridges, balloons, boats, bikes, Brunel and Banksy. Whether you’re looking for a great day out for all the family, a romantic break or a little adventure, there’s a fantastic range of things to do in Bristol.
Bristol is the second largest city in the south of England. Its two biggest icons are graffiti artist Banksy and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This sums up this contemporary city well – creative, cultural, vibrant with a rich maritime heritage.
Bristol is a eco-friendly sustainable city. This is why it was recently chosen as European Green Capital 2015. Not only is it the UK’s first cycling city, Bristol is also a Fairtrade city, which sees us trading fairly with nearly five million workers in 58 developing countries. There are many cycle routes around the city, Harbourside and neighbouring country. You can even get to Bristol on the Bristol-to-Bath cycle path.
By the water
Explore the historic Harbourside, packed with cafes and bars offering delicious locally-sourced food & drink at venues such as Bordeaux Quay, Riverstation and Severnshed. Enjoy a dockside walk or river ferry trip to discover great attractions including Brunel’s ss Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean-going liner, At-Bristol Science Centre, a stunning interactive science centre and planetarium or contemporary art at cutting edge galleries such as the Arnolfini and Watershed.
Bristol is a great shopping destination for high fashion, vintage, retro, fashion and high street brands, bric-a-brac, exquisite home furnishings. There’s a large number of independent shops too. In the city centre, Bristol Shopping Quarter is home to Cabot Circus, Quakers Friars, The Galleries and Broadmead, which together have over 500 stores. With two covered shopping centres, easy access and a lot of parking, Bristol's city centre is a hive of high street and big brand fashions with the odd independent thrown in for good measure.
Clifton Village is one classy part of town and is the place to be for small boutiques, antiques shops and cafes. Park Street is steep. Not in price. In slope. Don't let that stop you from discovering the trendiest independent clothes and curios shops in the city. Flying the flag for the indie spirit as well, is Gloucester Road, Europe’s longest street of independent shops. Locals love it for its organic foods, clothes and antiques. And the street art.
Bristol has three all-year markets (and some seasonal ones too) within a short walk from the city centre where you can buy local produce from South Gloucestershire and Somerset and exotic products from around the world.
As well as At-Bristol Science Centre and Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bristol is also home to the world’s third oldest zoo. There’s also the iconic Clifton Suspebnsion Bridge, which is jaw-dropping whether you walk across it or are looking at it from across the Gorge. Cabot Tower offers views across the city. Stokes Croft, as well as being a hub of graffiti and street art, has an unquenchable independent spirit, offering up the quirkier side of Bristol life. Bristol is known for its nightlife. As well as its wealth of bars, restaurants, pubs (most stocked with locally-sourced ciders, beers and ales), you can find live music and DJs in most places, be it the super-club, Motion, or something smooth, like jazz at the Old Duke.
Bristol festival city
There’s a festival or party happening almost every weekend throughout the year in Bristol. And its never the same. Be it the spectacular Harbour Festival and Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta, or the quirkier Festival of Puppetry or even the world-famous Slapstick Festival, Bristol’s residents are well-catered for. There are music festivals too, some down by the water, others in Ashton Court, hosting local and world-famous bands as well as family-friendly ones. Bristol’s concert halls, theatres, parks and gardens, pubs and cinemas guarantee some of the best and most diverse range of events and entertainment in Britain.
Bristol is one of the nicest cities in the country and this has a lot to do with its family-friendly atmosphere. As well as festivals and events for all the family, there are exhibitions and galleries that cater for all ages at M Shed, Bristol Museum, At-Bristol Science Centre and Brunel’s SS Great Britain. There's also plenty of family friendly places to stay in Bristol.
It's really easy to get to Bath from Bristol. Regular train services run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa station with a journey time of around 12 minutes. If you're driving, take the A4 from Bristol or leave the M4 at junction 18 and follow the A46 into the city. For those who are feeling a little more energetic, the Bristol and Bath Cyclepath offers a dedicated cycleway through glorious countryside.
The Bristol Tourist Information Centre is for visitors and locals alike, and offers everything from help with bus timetables and accommodation booking to souvenirs and and gifts.
Tourist Information Office E Shed, 1 Canon's Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX
Open Sun – Fri 11am – 4pm and Sat 10 am – 4pm.
Telephone: 0906 711 2191 (calls cost 50p per minute plus network extras)
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if wishing to call from abroad please call us on 0044 333 321 0101. For comments or complaints about our service please call: 0333 321 0101.