Bristol is a town and ceremonial county in England. With a population of 463,400, it is the most populated region in the South West of England. The metropolitan population of 670,000 is the 11th highest in the United Kingdom. The town sits between Gloucestershire in the north and Somerset in the south. One of the most famous tourist attractions in the UK, Bristol was chosen in 2009 as one of the top ten cities in the world by international travel publishers, Dorling Kindersley, in their Eyewitness collection of travel guides. The Sunday Times called it the best city in Britain to reside in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the European Green Capital Award in 2015. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Bristol.
Must-Visit Places in Bristol
Bristol is often characterised as being founded on seven hills by its inhabitants. Local hills include:
- Red Lion Hill
- Barton Hill
- Lawrence Hill
- St. Michael’s Hill
- Black Boy Hill
- Constitution Hill
- Staple Hill
- Brandon Hill
- Windmill Hill
- Marlborough Hill
- Nine Tree Hill
- Brook Hill
- Granby Hill
Bristol has a vibrant contemporary and historical art scene. Many of the state-of-the-art venues and new interactive production firms have combined with legacy production companies located in old buildings across the area. The city was a finalist in 2008 for the European Capital of Culture, but the title was given to Liverpool. The city was declared a “City of Film” by UNESCO in 2017 and has been a part of the Creative Cities Network since then.
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Places to Visit in Bristol
There are several best places to visit in Bristol with live music facilities, the biggest of which is the 2,000-seat Bristol Beacon, formerly Colston Hall, named after Edward Colston. Others include the Bristol Academy, The Fleece, The Croft, The Exchange, Fiddlers, Victoria Rooms, Rough Trade, Trinity Centre, St George’s Bristol and many bars, from jazz-oriented The Old Duke to Fleece rock and indie bands in Louisiana.
The Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery contain a selection of natural history, archaeology, local glassware, Chinese ceramics and art. The M Shed Museum opened in 2011 at the location of the old Bristol Industrial Museum. All are owned by the Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, which still contains three ancient buildings—the Tudor Red Lodge, the Georgian House and the Blaise Castle House—and the Bristol Archives.
The Watershed Media Center and the Arnolfini Gallery (both in dockside stores) showcase modern sculpture, photography and film, and the oldest of the city’s galleries is the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton.
Bars and Nightlife | Best Places to Visit in Bristol
Bristol has been awarded Purple Flag status in many of its districts, which shows that it fulfils or outperforms the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
DJ Mag’s top 100 club list rated Motion as the 19th best club in the world in 2016. Motion is host to some of the world’s top DJs and leading producers. In 2011, Motion was converted from a skate park to a rave place today. Motion is an ongoing series that takes place every fall and offers 12 weeks of music and dance. Party-goers will hear everything from disco, dance, techno, grime, drum and bass to hip hop, depending on the time. Other clubs in the city include Lakota and Thekla.
The Attic Bar, one of the best places to visit in Bristol is situated in Stokes Croft. Equipped with a sound system and stage that is used every weekend for concerts in all genres, The Guardian, a British national newspaper, ranked the bar and the Full Moon Pub as one of the best ten clubs in the UK. Located in Bristol’s harbour, The Apple is a cider bar that launched in 2004 in a renovated Dutch barge serving a variety of 40 different ciders. The Great British Pub Awards in 2014 ranked The Apple as the finest cider bar in the UK. Bristol is also home to the Pieminster pie chain, which began in the Stokes Croft region of the region.
Sightseeing in Bristol | Top-Rated Tourist Places in Bristol
Bristol is a British town with stunning hilly views and plenty of old sites to visit. Anyone involved in ships will have a blast on Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner, and Matthew, a recreation of the ship John Cabot sailed to America in the 15th century. Another must-see is the graceful Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The SS Gt Britain has still, very properly, been Bristol’s biggest tourist attraction. Get back in time when you’re on board Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Discover the real tales behind the ship that has changed the globe. Experience colours, sounds and smells of living on board for Victorian passengers and staff alike. Descend underwater under a bottle of ‘ocean’ to explore the world’s first big ocean liner.
Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the best places to visit in Bristol was designed by the young engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1836, this 702-foot-long, 250-foot-high suspension bridge gracefully crosses the Avon Gorge between Clifton and Leigh Woods.
Cabot Tower, the highest point in Bristol, with fantastic 360 views of the capital, is certainly worth a tour. With a free entrance to the tower, children would love to ascend and admire the views. The nearby gardens are really beautiful and have a fascinating background.
We The Curious was formerly known as the At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with the goal of making science available to everyone opened in 2000 and attracted over 5 million people in the last 17 years. At-Bristol was relaunched as We The Curious in September 2017, with a fresh mission that is dedicated to building a community of curiosity.
Bristol Ferry is a non-profit organisation providing cruise trips across Bristol as well as boat parties, immersive tours, nature watching & storytelling, weddings and wedding parties.
Explore the free sculpture, nature and history collections on view in this magnificent home. Find out all about the last billion years of earth’s evolution, visit the natural wonders of the area, and learn more about people’s lives, past and present.
Discover more than 400 varieties of rare and threatened animals from across the globe in the Bristol Zoo Gardens, all located inside 12 acres of award-winning gardens. Travel to an amazing animal world and get connected than ever before with incredible sensory experiences.
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