Bristol, a thriving city in South West England, seamlessly melds historic grandeur with a hip, cutting-edge vibe. The city’s rich maritime history, iconic landmarks, impressive street art, and cultural centers make it an appealing destination for a range of interests. If you’re wondering about the best things to do in Bristol, you’re in for a treat.

1. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Photo: Google Maps/Caroline Taylor

First on our list is a visit to the Clifton Suspension Bridge. An iconic symbol of Bristol, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a marvel of 19th-century engineering. Designed by the ingenious Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge spans the picturesque Avon Gorge and offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding landscapes.

Walking across the bridge is a must for visitors, offering both an appreciation for Brunel’s design and panoramic views. It’s particularly striking at sunset or at night when it’s beautifully lit. The visitor center is also worth a visit, offering deeper insights into the history, construction, and Brunel’s life.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Bristol BS3 2JX, United Kingdom.

2. Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Photo: Google Maps/Peter Farrow

As we delve further into our things to do in Bristol guide, we cannot miss Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Situated in the city’s historic docks, this revolutionary 19th-century ship combines history with interactive exhibits. Known as the world’s first great ocean liner, the SS Great Britain provides a fascinating glimpse into maritime history.

Visitors can explore the beautifully restored ship, from the grand dining saloon to the compact crew quarters. Interactive displays and captivating stories bring to life the experiences of the passengers who sailed on her during the Victorian era. The dry dock where the ship resides also houses the ‘Go Aloft’ experience, where the more adventurous can climb the rigging for an unforgettable view.

Entry Fee: GBP 22; Location: Check Map
Address: Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Rd, Bristol BS1 6TY, United Kingdom.

3. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Photo: Google Maps/Charls Karawita

Rounding off our list of things to see in Bristol is the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. This museum is a treasure trove of art, archaeology, geology, and natural history. The building itself is a work of art, boasting Edwardian Baroque architecture.

The museum houses a varied collection that caters to all interests. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the fine art and eastern art collections, including works by Pissarro, Renoir, and Bellini. History buffs will be captivated by exhibits of Egyptian mummies and Bristol’s own Jurassic dinosaur. For those with a geological interest, the museum has a vast collection of minerals and rocks. Children and adults alike can enjoy the interactive displays that make learning fun and engaging.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Queens Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1RL, United Kingdom.

4. Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral
Photo: Google Maps/Carriere Top Model

Our journey continues with the Bristol Cathedral. Dating back to the 12th century, this stunning example of Gothic architecture stands proudly on the city’s College Green. The cathedral is renowned for its beautiful arches, intricate stained glass, and unique “hall church” design.

Visitors can explore the awe-inspiring nave and choir, witness the intricate cloisters, and marvel at the stunning Chapter House. The cathedral also hosts regular concerts, offering a truly enchanting way to appreciate its acoustics. Moreover, Bristol Cathedral is a living church, welcoming all for worship and reflection.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: College Green, Bristol BS1 5TJ, United Kingdom.

5. St Mary Redcliffe Church

St Mary Redcliffe Church
Photo: Google Maps/Ricky

The St Mary Redcliffe Church is yet another architectural marvel that tops the things to do in Bristol. An Anglican parish church, it has been described by Queen Elizabeth I as “the fairest, goodliest, and most famous parish church in England”.

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Its soaring spire, grand interiors, and the beautiful cliff-side location give it an undeniable presence. Visitors can appreciate the intricate detailing of its Gothic architecture, wander its peaceful inner chapels, and explore fascinating historic artifacts. The church also offers spectacular views of Bristol’s harborside from the churchyard.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: The Parish Office, 12 Colston Parade, Redcliffe, Bristol BS1 6RA, United Kingdom.

6. Brandon Hill Park and Cabot Tower

Brandon Hill Park and Cabot Tower
Photo: Google Maps/Hans Wolfgang Schulze

For those seeking a respite from the city’s bustle, Brandon Hill Park and Cabot Tower should be on your list. Brandon Hill is Bristol’s oldest park, offering a green oasis in the city center. Visitors can enjoy the park’s wildlife, pond, and extensive network of paths.

Towering above the park is Cabot Tower, a 105 feet tall structure built in the 1890s to commemorate John Cabot’s voyage from Bristol to North America. A climb to the top of this historic tower rewards you with panoramic views of Bristol, making it a favorite spot for photographers and sightseers alike.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Park St, Bristol BS1 5RR, United Kingdom.

7. M Shed

M Shed
Photo: Google Maps/Treve Jenkyn

Concluding our things to see in Bristol is a visit to the M Shed, a vibrant museum nestled on the harborside. This modern museum tells the story of Bristol’s history from prehistoric times to the 21st century, through exhibits, artifacts, and personal accounts.

The M Shed explores all aspects of the city’s history, from its role in the slave trade to its industrial achievements, cultural developments, and social history. The museum is also home to several restored industrial cranes and other large objects from Bristol’s past. Offering a wealth of learning experiences, the M Shed provides a deeper understanding of the city and its people.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN, United Kingdom.

8. Bristol Aquarium

Bristol Aquarium
Photo: Google Maps/Rahmet Valentín

Diving deeper into our exploration, we next visit the Bristol Aquarium. This immersive attraction is an aquatic treasure trove, presenting a variety of marine life from around the globe in a collection of creatively themed zones.

From the tropical coral seas teeming with colourful fish to the mesmerising UK native waters, the Bristol Aquarium offers fascinating insights into the underwater world. The giant botanical house, replicating a jungle environment, and the underwater walk-through tunnel are particular crowd-pleasers. The aquarium is a great visit for families and marine enthusiasts, offering both entertainment and education.

Entry Fee: GBP 17.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Anchor Rd, Bristol BS1 5TT, United Kingdom.

9. Bristol Harbour

Bristol Harbour
Photo: Google Maps/Chris T

Bristol Harbour, situated at the heart of the city, is a bustling hot spot teeming with culture and history. The harbour’s waterside area is home to restaurants, bars, and shops, offering the perfect setting for a leisurely stroll or dining al fresco.

One of the best ways to experience Bristol Harbour is from the water itself. Numerous boat tours can take you around, giving you unique views of the city’s waterside landmarks. Numerous events take place around the year, the most notable being the Bristol Harbour Festival. It is a lively event full of music, dance, and maritime history, making the harbour a must-visit in Bristol.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Welsh Back, Bristol BS1 4SP, United Kingdom.

10. Aerospace Bristol

Aerospace Bristol
Photo: Google Maps/David Fuller

Aerospace Bristol offers a high-flying addition to the things to do in Bristol. This fantastic museum offers a journey through more than a century of aviation history. The centrepiece of the museum is the iconic Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last of the supersonic jets to be built and flown.

The exhibits offer interactive learning about the advancements in aviation technology, Bristol’s contributions to aerospace design, and the people who made it happen. From the earliest days of powered flight to modern space exploration, Aerospace Bristol captures the spirit of adventure that drives scientific discovery and human ingenuity.

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Entry Fee: GBP 19.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol BS34 5BZ, United Kingdom.

11. Bristol Zoo Gardens

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Photo: Google Maps/Rowena Meaden

Completing our things to see in Bristol is the Bristol Zoo Gardens. Nestled in Clifton, it’s not just a zoo but a paradise for nature and animal lovers. The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from all over the globe, including gorillas, penguins, lions, and many more.

The zoo focuses heavily on conservation, offering informative displays and talks that raise awareness about the world’s wildlife and their habitats. The botanical garden is a beautiful attraction in its own right, with many rare and beautiful plant species. The indoor exhibits and play areas make the zoo an all-weather attraction, a perfect day out for families and animal enthusiasts.

Entry Fee: GBP 19.50; Location: Check Map
Address: College Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA, United Kingdom.

12. Bristol Old City

Bristol Old City
Photo: Google Maps/Mart W.

As we continue our guide of things to see in Bristol, a trip to the city isn’t complete without exploring Bristol Old City. This area is a labyrinth of historic buildings, cobbled streets, and charming squares. It gives visitors a glimpse into what Bristol was like in medieval times and the significant events that have shaped the city.

Take a wander around St. Nicholas Market, brimming with independent stalls offering food, arts, and crafts. Explore the historic architecture, including the Bristol Old Vic, one of the oldest continuously running theatres in the world. The Old City also offers an array of cafes, restaurants, and pubs, perfect for a leisurely break.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Bristol, Great Britain.

13. Blaise Castle House

Blaise Castle House
Photo: Twitter/Brian Morrall

Next on the list is the Blaise Castle House. Situated in the beautiful Blaise Castle Estate, this 18th-century mansion houses a museum exhibiting various collections, from toys to household items, which present a picture of domestic life in the past centuries.

The estate offers a lovely day out with its vast parkland, deep gorge, and ancient woodlands. The highlight of the estate is the folly castle atop the hill, offering panoramic views of Bristol and the Severn Bridges. Whether you’re interested in history or nature, Blaise Castle House has something for everyone.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Bristol BS10 7QT, United Kingdom.

14. Wild Place Project

Wild Place Project
Photo: Google Maps/Luke

For those with a love for wildlife and adventure, the Wild Place Project is a fantastic addition to our things to do in Bristol. This conservation park, run by the Bristol Zoological Society, offers an exciting chance to see animals from across the globe, including wolves, giraffes, cheetahs, and lemurs.

The Wild Place Project also offers a variety of experiences, such as animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours. The park has a strong emphasis on conservation and education, making it a great place for families and wildlife enthusiasts.

Entry Fee: GBP 21.45; Location: Check Map
Address: Zoo Project, Blackhorse Hill, Bristol BS10 7TP, United Kingdom.

15. Wake the Tiger

Wake the Tiger
Photo: Google Maps/Ian Bateman

Finally, for a taste of Bristol’s vibrant music scene, we recommend Wake the Tiger. A popular venue in the city, Wake the Tiger showcases a wide range of live music and DJ sets, from jazz and funk to electronica and world music.

The venue itself exudes a warm and intimate atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to enjoy the city’s pulsing rhythms. Whether you’re a dedicated music lover or simply looking for a fun night out, Wake the Tiger is a must-visit in Bristol.

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Entry Fee: GBP 19.50; Location: Check Map
Address: Wake The Tiger, 127 Albert Rd, Bristol BS2 0YA, United Kingdom.

16. St George’s Bristol

St George's Bristol
Photo: Google Maps/St George’s Bristol

Topping our list of things to see in Bristol is a visit to St George’s Bristol, a converted Georgian church that now serves as a leading concert venue. Renowned for its exceptional acoustics, it hosts a diverse range of music performances, from classical concerts to jazz nights, folk music to stand-up comedy.

Not just a place for music, St George’s Bristol also hosts a variety of talks, from scientific discussions to literary evenings. With its beautifully preserved architecture and landscaped gardens, it’s a cultural hub that leaves visitors inspired and entertained.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Great George St, Bristol BS1 5RR, United Kingdom.

17. Watershed

Photo: Google Maps/Paul Hennessy

Watershed, located on the harbourside, is a film and digital media centre that cannot be missed on our visit. It hosts a variety of independent, foreign, and classic films across its three cinema screens, making it a haven for film lovers.

In addition to its cinema, Watershed houses a vibrant café/bar with views over the harbour, making it a great place to socialise or simply relax. It also runs numerous events and festivals throughout the year, covering everything from virtual reality to robotics.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: 1 Canon’s Rd, Bristol BS1 5TX, United Kingdom.

18. Llandoger Trow

Llandoger Trow
Photo: Google Maps/Daniel Hill

Historic and characterful, the Llandoger Trow is a legendary pub that adds a unique touch to our things to do in Bristol. Dating back to 1664, it is one of the oldest pubs in Bristol, with an intriguing history and connections to famous literary figures like Daniel Defoe and Robert Louis Stevenson.

The pub offers a range of local ales and traditional pub food, within a charming, old-world ambiance. Whether you’re a history buff, literary fan, or just in search of a good pint, the Llandoger Trow provides a fascinating visit.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Bristol BS1 4ER, United Kingdom.

19. Arts Mansion

Arts Mansion
Photo: Google Maps/Vladimír Rendek

The Arts Mansion, located in the beautiful grounds of Ashton Court Estate, is an engaging creative hub. With a variety of interactive installations and exhibitions, workshops, and events, it’s a perfect place for those who appreciate contemporary art.

Artists use the space to collaborate, experiment, and share ideas. The aim is to push the boundaries of creativity and invite visitors to participate in a dynamic conversation about art and culture, making it a must-visit in in Bristol.

Entry Fee: -; Location: Check Map
Address: Ashton Court Estate, Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN, United Kingdom.

20. Ashton Court Estate

Ashton Court Estate
Photo: Google Maps/Tom Seaman

Wrapping up our things to see in Bristol is the Ashton Court Estate, a spectacular park covering 850 acres of woods and grasslands, just on the outskirts of Bristol. The estate provides ample opportunities for leisure activities like walking, cycling, and even hot air ballooning.

The magnificent Ashton Court Mansion, although not currently open for public, adds to the grandeur of the place. The estate is also home to a deer park and a miniature railway, and it hosts numerous events throughout the year, including the famous Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN, United Kingdom.


From engineering marvels and maritime history to captivating art and interactive museums, the list of things to do in Bristol offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a local rediscovering the city or a first-time visitor, Bristol invites you to explore its intriguing history and vibrant contemporary culture. As you walk the streets of this dynamic city, remember that every corner turned reveals a new layer of Bristol’s rich and fascinating tapestry.