Things to Do in Bristol

Whether you’re spending just a few days in Bristol or a few weeks, this vibrant town has plenty of things to see and do.

1. Brunel’s ss Great Britain

One of the top attractions in this historic city, the Brunel’s ss Great Britain is an important piece of history. Launched in 1843, the ss Great Britain is considered the “great-great-grandmother” of modern ships.

From 1845-1854, she was the longest passenger ship on the planet, and provided service between Bristol and New York.

Now, the ss Great Britain serves as a museum ship, and receives up to 200,000 visitors each year.

The ship is open to guests 362 days a year. While you’re there, stop in at the Dockyard Café Bar to grab a bite to eat.

2. Cabot Tower

Situated in the parkland of Brandon Hill, the Cabot Tower is an historic tower built in 1897 to celebrate John Cabot’s journey from Bristol to North America in 1497.

Brandon Hill, which surrounds the tower, offers stunning views of the city as well as a play area, two outdoor exercise areas and a nature conservation area.

The tower is open daily, and admission is free.

3. Clifton Suspension Bridge

Considered one of the world’s great bridges, the Clifton suspension bridge is a must-see when visiting Bristol.

Open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, the bridge offers free guided tours on the weekends and Bank Holiday from Easter to October. If you’re lucky enough, you may see a volunteer “Explainer” on the bridge. These volunteers wear orange high-vis jackets, and are more than happy to share information about the bridge’s history.

4. At-Bristol

If you’re traveling with children, At-Bristol is a great family-friendly outing. This two-floor science centre offers a variety of activities for kids as well as interactive exhibits and live shows.

Located on Anchor road, At-Bristol is open from 10 am to 5 pm during the week, and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends and holidays.

From planetarium shows to live science shows and workshops, there is always something going on at At-Bristol.

5. Bristol Cathedral

Located at College Green, Bristol Cathedral was the filming location of Wolf Hall and Sherlock. The church is still in use today, and is open every day of the week.

This historic church was founded in 1140 and consecrated in 1148. It was originally known as St Augustine’s Abbey, but became the seat of the Bishop of Bristol after the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII.

During your visit, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop, café and garden.

Featuring tall Gothic windows, Bristol Cathedral should be at the top of your must-see list if you’re a fan of architecture and history.

6. Bristol Zoo Gardens

Take a walk on the wild side at the Bristol Zoo Gardens at Clifton Down. A family-friendly adventure, the zoo is home to over 175 species of animals. As the fifth-oldest zoo in the world, Bristol Zoo Gardens has welcomed more than 90 million guests since it opened its doors in 1836.

The zoo is easily accessible via bus, bike, train or car, and is open from 9 am to 5 pm, 364 days a year.

7. Puzzlair Bristol

Want to try your hand at an escape game? Puzzlair is the real life escape game, with six games to choose from. Each team has 60 minutes to figure out how to solve a puzzle, unlock clues and break out from the escape room.

Clues are hidden in each room, which leads team members to the key and code that unlocks their freedom.

Puzzlair is a great activity for friends, families and co-workers. Located on Midland Road, the facility is open Monday-Friday 12 pm to 10:30 pm, and 10:30 am to 10:30 pm on weekends.

8. St Mary Redcliffe Church

Situated on Colston Parade, St Mary Redcliffe Church is an 800-year-old church that’s just a hop, skip and jump away from Bristol Temple Meads.

Built from the 12th and 15th centuries, the church is renowned for its Gothic architecture, and is listed as a Grade I building.

St Mary Redcliffe is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm on weekdays, and 8:30 am to 5 pm on Saturdays. Services are held on Sundays at 8 am, 11:15 am, and 6:30 pm.

9. Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Located on Queens Road in Clifton, the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is about 0.8km from the centre of town, and is free to visit.

From the history of Bristol to Eastern art, geology and industry, guests can enjoy a wide range of exhibitions at the museum.

The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Sunday.