Bristol is regarded as the capital of the South West of England. Lively yet laid-back, Bristol blends its rich maritime heritage with an innovative, dynamic culture, making it one of the most cosmopolitan centres outside London.

Compact enough to get around on foot, yet big enough to boast an exciting line-up of entertainment, Bristol has much to offer. The city’s most celebrated sights include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the 19th century, and Brunel’s ss Great Britain in the thriving Harbourside.

 

There are fine museums and galleries, many of which are free to enter including M Shed, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and Arnolfini, one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts. Attractions such as Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol Aquarium and At-Bristol science centre, make Bristol a particularly family-friendly destination.

 Food and drink are taken seriously in Bristol. There are award-winning restaurants in the Harbourside, global cuisine in St Nicholas Market, and cafes on Park Street and Gloucester Road. There are also great places to stay to suit all budgets.

The city is a mecca for shoppers in the region looking for high street fashion and designer brands. The Bristol Shopping Quarter in the heart of the city centre has hundreds of shops including Harvey Nichols plus one of the country’s largest Primarks.

The elegant Bristol Zoo Gardens now has a luxury lodge(link is external) onsite. The unique stay includes a behind-the-scenes tour with a zoo keeper, a 4-course meal cooked by your personal chef, and in the morning – breakfast with the gorillas!

Bristol Zoo

Bristol is well-known for its vibrant music scene and nightlife boasting retro nightclubs, live music bars, friendly pubs, sophisticated cocktail lounges, underground clubs, a classical music hall, and popular gig nights.

There is also a daily line-up of live entertainment at the Bristol Hippodrome, the Old Vic and Colston Hall. Not to be missed is Bristol’s ever-evolving street art scene, made famous by the elusive graffiti artist Banksy whose work is scattered across the city.

Attractions and hosts one-of-a-kind events and festivals throughout the year, from Caribbean carnivals to ballooning spectaculars

SS Great Britain is a museum ship and former passenger steamship, which was advanced for her time. She was the longest passenger ship in the world from 1845 to 1854. She was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the Great Western Steamship Company‘s transatlantic service between Bristol and New York.

SS Great Britain is a museum ship and former passenger steamship (1845-1886)

While other ships had been built of iron or equipped with a screw propellerGreat Britain was the first to combine these features in a large ocean-going ship. She was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, which she did in 1845, in the time of 14 days.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge

The most iconic attraction is Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge – a treat to walk or cycle across. Then marvel at another of the engineer’s feats at Brunel’s ss Great Britain museum. The ship was the largest afloat when it was launched in 1843.

West front of Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is the Church of Englandcathedral in the city of Bristol, England. Founded in 1140 and consecrated in 1148,[2] it was originally St Augustine’s Abbey but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries it became in 1542 the seat of the newly created Bishop of Bristol and the cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol. It is a Grade I listed building.[3]