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21 Things to do in Bristol

Bristol is a city bursting with an abundance of things to do to keep you entertained and especially as we've been locked up for what feels like a lifetime, here's our top suggestions of the best 21 Things to do in Bristol in 2021 below...

It’s very easy to spend so much time pottering around the city of Bristol with no idea what you're missing out on, however, with such a wealth of options, it doesn’t hurt to go in with a plan. Here are 21 of the best and well-known things you can do in Bristol next time you’re visiting the city...

Visit Clifton Suspension Bridge

Visit Clifton Suspension Bridge

About: An icon of the city is Clifton Suspension Bridge, whenever you see a photo of the bridge you associate it with our beautiful city of Bristol and you simply cannot visit here without making a trip to this momentous landmark. Spanning across the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset, the bridge opened in 1864 and has since been operating as a toll bridge.

Top tips: Be sure to bring a camera as you simply do not want to miss the stunning photo opp!

Address: Suspension Bridge Road Leigh Woods, Bristol BS8 4AP England

Take in Bristol's Best Graffiti Scenes

Take in Bristol's Best Graffiti Scenes

About: We couldn’t publish a list of the 21 best things to do in Bristol without mentioning one of its most famous cultural exports – street art. From fiercely protected murals on shop shutters and public walls to chrome-and-black ‘throwies’ and tags on vans and windows, Bristol is covered in graffiti. While everyone knows about Stokes Croft and Nelson Street, if you’re looking for even more top-quality street art, you can head to Dean Lane skatepark in Bedminster. 

Top tips: Take a look beneath the M32 flyover, here you’ll find huge pieces by local and visiting artists. 

Address: Various

Spend the day in Gloucester Road

Spend the day in Gloucester Road

About: Gloucester Road in Bristol is home to the longest road of independent shops, restaurants, cafes, you name it anywhere in the UK and is know as the Indie Shopping District of Bristol. So whether you're looking to do a spot of shopping, to wine and dine in one of the many swanky restaurants, or enjoy the nightlife in one of Bristol's quirkiest areas, Gloucester Road has it all and that is the place you should be visiting.

Top tips: Save up your pennies to spend some money and support the many indpendent businesses.

Address: Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NN

Tour the Iconic Harbourside

Tour the Iconic Harbourside

About: Once known as a busy dock where sailors and merchants would trade goods and set sail for voyages of discovery, Bristol's Harbourside is now an attractive, modern development filled with restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. The area is alive with the buzz of Sunday markets, waterside restaurants and bars and a whole host of sports and activities including yachting, paddle boarding, cycling and rowing. Stroll around the water’s edge and you will find Millennium Square.

Top tips: Bristol Ferry Boats operates waterbus services 364 days a year, letting you jump on and off while taking in sights of the harbourside.

Address: Bristol

Tick Off the Cities Best Museum & Gallery

Tick Off the Cities Best Museum & Gallery

*Reopening on Tuesday 18th May*

About: Located inside a beautiful Edwardian building at the top of Park Street; Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is home to a variety of world-class collections of art, archaeology, geology and natural history. A free attraction to the public, this is a place that holds real history that you simply cannot miss when visiting the city!

Top tips: Take a camera with you to capture the fantastic history and art on offer!

Address: Queens Road, West End, Bristol, BS8 1RL

Monkey around at Bristol Zoo

Monkey around at Bristol Zoo

About: Immerse yourself in the amazing world of animals at Bristol Zoo, this award winning attraction is one of the best days out in Bristol whatever the weather. You can discover over 400 species of exotic and endangered animals from across the globe at Bristol Zoo Gardens, all set within award-winning gardens spanning over 12 acres. Journey into an amazing animal kingdom and meet famous faces as well as some unusual creatures you never even knew existed!

Top tips: Check their site for offers and discounts on tickets for your visit!

Address: Guthrie Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 3HA

Discover at We The Curious

Discover at We The Curious

*Reopening on 22nd May*

About: With hundreds of hands-on exhibits to explore, live shows and a Planetarium, We The Curious is one of the UK’s biggest and most exciting interactive science centres. We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. It's about asking questions, getting creative and testing things out. Science is collaborative, living and a vital part of culture - and the exhibits, events and activities aim to stoke curiosity in all of us. We The Curious is a must-see for all ages and takes you on an incredible journey exploring the inner workings of the world around us.

Top tips: Check their website or offers and discounts on tickets for when you visit!

Address: Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB

Dive in and Discover Bristol Aquarium

Dive in and Discover Bristol Aquarium

*Reopening on Monday 17th May*

About: Located in the famous Bristol harbour, Bristol Aquarium is a must see attraction for marine enthusiasts. Embark on a fascinating journey; dive in and discover the wonders of the deep in Bristol’s colourful aquarium, right in the heart of the city. Explore more than 40 naturally-themed displays and spot the thousands of amazing aquatic creatures, including rays, seahorses, puffer fish, piranhas, and so many more.

Top tips: Keep this attraction in mind for all weather.

Address: Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol, Avon, BS1 5TT

Break a Leg at the Theatres

Break a Leg at the Theatres

*Could be reopening late May*

About: Delving into dramatics is easy in the city of Bristol, from internationally acclaimed touring shows at the grandiose Hippodrome and Bristol Old Vic, to cutting-edge theatrics at the Redgrave and Tobacco Factory, to intimate performances at the Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol has it all down. If you don't fancy the big shows, you can always head to the many independent theatres that Bristol has to offer to support those upcoming artists.

Top tips: Head to one of Bristol's best nearby pubs or restaurants after the show for a bite to eat and to quench your thirst!

Address: Various

Bowl Around Ashton Court Estate

Bowl Around Ashton Court Estate

About: Once the majestic home of the Smyth family, The Ashton Court Estate is now a historic park near the centre of Bristol. The estate covers 850 acres of woods and grasslands. There are two 18-hole pitch-and-putt golf courses, with stunning views across the city. Orienteering and mountain biking are catered for with special trails, and there is plenty of open space for family games and picnics.

Top tips: You can bring your furry friends along for a nice long walk around the estate.

Address: Long Ashton, Bristol BS41 9JN

Lose Yourself on The Downs

Lose Yourself on The Downs

About: Stretching from the top of Whiteladies Road all the way to the Suspension Bridge, is the huge open green space known as the Downs. This huge area has been helping Bristolians feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre life for generations. There’s more than enough room for whole teams of sports and Sunday leaguers to kick a ball around without bothering each other.

Top tips: The area known as the Sea Wall in the south-west corner of the Downs is the perfect spot to admire the jaw-dropping views of the Avon Gorge and Suspension Bridge.

Address: Clifton, Bristol

Shop till you drop at Cabot Circus

Shop till you drop at Cabot Circus

About: If you're planning a day out shopping in Bristol then Cabot Circus should be at the top of your places to stop. Located in the Bristol Shopping Quarter, Cabot Circus has over 90 different stylish shops to explore meaning that you are certain to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. 

Top tips: When you’ve finished perusing the shops, why not head for something to eat at one Cabot Circus’ restaurants or watch a film at the in-centre cinema?

Address: Glass House, 25 Penn St, Bristol BS1 3BX

Visit Bristol Cathedral

Visit Bristol Cathedral

About: If you're looking for a spot of history when visiting Bristol then the Bristol Cathedral is a place you must visit! Bristol Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is the Church of England cathedral in the city of Bristol and is located on College Green in the West End of the city. And what better to know that it is completely free to visit and is open to the public 365 days a year

Top tips: If you fancy visiting, here are times of opening and prayers here:

  • 8am - 5pm Monday to Saturday, unless you wish to attend Choral Evensong or Evening Prayer at 5.15pm
  • 8am - 3.15pm Saturday and Sunday, unless you wish to attend Choral Evensong at 3.30pm

Address: College Green, West End, Bristol, BS1 5TJ

Blast off to Aerospace

Blast off to Aerospace

*Keep up to date with their reopening here*

About: Aerospace Bristol tells the incredible story of Bristol’s amazing aviation achievements and gives you and your family the chance to step aboard Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last of the supersonic jets ever to fly. There's so much to discover at Aerospace Bristol, starting from first powered flight, through to today’s cutting-edge aerospace technology. You'll see aeroplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites, engines and more as well as lots of interactive exhibits for all ages.

Top tips: No need to take a pack lunch, they have a shop and a cafe located within the complex to grab a bite to eat!

Address: Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5BZ

Cycle round Bristol

Cycle round Bristol

About: Known as the UK's first cycling city, Bristol is home to many fantastic cycling routes. This is great for getting round the city and still taking in all sights just by a different mode of transports! Whether you're a pro cyclist, commuter or just enjoy a brisk cycle here and there, there are so many fantastic routes for you to visit when in the city to take in every aspect of it!

Top tips: Check out our top 6 cycling routes round the city here.

Address: Various

Ride a Wave

Ride a Wave

About: If you love a spot of surfing but can't get to the beach, Bristol can bring that to you! The Wave is the first inland-surfing destination of its kind, where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can experience the joy of surfing and its many physical and mental health benefits. But it’s not just about surfing. It’s about getting back to nature, improving health and well-being, connecting with other people, enjoying great food and drink, and having a load of fun in the process!

Top tips: Visit their website prior to your visit to watch their health and safety video!

Address: Washingpool Farm ,Easter Compton, Bristol BS35 5RE

Aboard! the SS Great Britain

Aboard! the SS Great Britain

About: Step aboard the most extraordinary time-machine. Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner, is Bristol’s no.1 attraction. Rescued from a wreckage in 1970, and since been restored to her Victorian hey-day, a visit to the SS Great Britain allows you to step back in time and explore true stories from the opulent First-Class to the cramped and quarrelsome Steerage. Each kitchen and cabin, dining room and doctor’s surgery emanates authentic sounds and smells which bring the ship and its history to life. 

Top tips: Located on the iconic harbourside, you can grab a bite to eat after your voyage in one of the many restaurants on offer!

Address: Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6TY

Visit a National Trust Property

Visit a National Trust Property

About: There are many stunning National Trust properties located in and around Bristol and what a fantastic addition they are for the community. The National Trust was set up to preserve all the beautiful old buildings, gardens and estates for the public to see. They are the perfect escape for a long walk with the family or your furry friends or even picnics on the beautiful grounds.

Top tips: If you want to know where the nearest National Trust property is to you, check out our guide here.

Address: Various

Visit the New Developments at Wapping Wharf

Visit the New Developments at Wapping Wharf

About: Head to Bristol’s historic harbourside and explore the city’s newest quarter, Wapping Wharf, where local Bristolians and visitors alike can shop, eat and relax by the glistening waterfront. An eclectic mix of trendy independent bars, restaurants and cafes, Wapping Wharf is an exciting new addition to the city’s already thriving food and drink scene. There’s plenty to tempt everyone’s taste buds including delicious street food, fish and chips, artisan ice cream and sourdough pizzas.

Top tips: Visit our Eating & Drinking guides to find out what restaurants are in and around this area.

Address: Wapping Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW

Watch Planes Take Off at Bristol Airport

Watch Planes Take Off at Bristol Airport

About: If you're a keen plane spotter, Bristol is surprisingly home to a few spotting locations for you to find and watch the planes take off from the Airport. There are a number of spotting locations at Bristol Airport in which to spot and photograph landing and departing aircraft, some of these are non-official and some are official.

Top tips: Visit their website here, to find out the best spotting locations.

Address: Bristol Airport, Bristol, BS48 3DY

Take Off in a Hot Air Balloon

Take Off in a Hot Air Balloon

About: The Bristol national Balloon Festival is held annually in England. Teams from the UK and other parts of the world bring their hot air balloons to the site and participate in mass ascents where as many as 100 balloons may launch at a time. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta will return to Ashton Court on 12th - 15th August 2021. The spectacular free event sees over 100 hot air balloons taking off at dawn and dusk as well as the famous Night Glows when the balloons light up the sky in time to the music.

Top tips: Get your tickets here now!

Address: Ashton Ct Estate, Bristol BS41 9J Bristol, UK

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