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Bristol cultural attractions

Whether you prefer to visit a festival or a theatre, we’ve captured Bristol’s best arts and culture destinations and here are some of the best venues. One of the city’s largest cultural hubs is Colston Hall, which is more than 150 years old. Hosting an eclectic mix of jazz, classical, pop, rock, folk and world music, as well as stand-up comedy and other performances, the building is an iconic part of the city’s skyline and just around the corner from Colston Hall you will find the historic Bristol Hippodrome, a Grade 2-listed building best known for its touring West End theatre shows and annual pantomime.

Festivals and events are another big contributor to Bristol’s cultural scene and the most famous of all is Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, which happens over four days in August. Bristol Harbour Festival is another huge event celebrating the city’s maritime culture down by the Harbourside and in the Autumn, the Docks Heritage Weekend sees many of the historic cranes, trains and bridges spring into action. And finally Circus City, the UK’s biggest festival of contemporary circus, presents awesome shows from all over Europe, from aerial acrobatics and risky ropework to adult satire and children’s interactive play.

Our picks

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL

At Bristol Museum and Art Gallery you can explore the collections of art, nature and history on display in this beautiful building. Find out about the last billion years of Earth’s history, explore the region’s natural wonders and discover more about peoples’ lives, past and present. Visit website

M Shed

Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RN

See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of Bristol through the interactive displays. From prehistoric times to the present day, M Shed tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world. Visit website

The Georgian House Museum
The Georgian House Museum

7 Great George Street, Bristol BS1 5RR

At The Georgian House Museum discover what a Bristol sugar plantation and slave owner’s home might have looked like around 1790. Eleven rooms spread over four floors reveal what life was like above and below stairs, from the kitchen in the basement where servants prepared meals to the elegant formal rooms above. Visit website

St. James Priory
Church pews

1 Whitson Street, Bristol BS1 3NZ

St James Priory dates from 1129 and is the oldest building in Bristol. Founded by Robert Earl of Gloucester, it has been a feature of Bristol’s community for almost nine centuries. This award-winning building is a must-visit gem and has benefitted from a £4 million restoration, conservation and development. It also has an excellent cafe on site. Visit website

Bristol Blue Glass
Glass making

47 High Street, Bristol BS1 2AZ

Bristol Blue Glass was founded back in 1988 by James Adlington, with the help of glass maker Peter St Clair. The aim was to re-establish a tradition that had been lost for over 60 years, the art of glass-making. 27 years on, Bristol Blue Glass still endeavour to keep the tradition alive. Although they are most famous for the traditional Bristol Blue Glass, their work also includes the ruby range and in the studio shop you will find a wide variety of art glass in an array of beautiful colours and many stunning pieces of hand-made jewellery. Visit website

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Image credits: ©Bristol Culture/John Seaman/Quintin Lake/Bristol Museums; Colston Hall; Diyanadimitrova/

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