Things to see and do in Bristol: our top picks

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

The scenic city of Bristol offers so many exciting things to see and do, it's difficult to pick just a few. Check out our top picks.


Nestled amongst vast expanses of remarkable countryside, Tyntesfield has been in the hands of The National Trust in 2002. This extraordinary Gothic mansion boasts an intricate network of rooms waiting to be discovered. Delight in the awe-inspiring library, billiard room, and opulent Anglican chapel, or meander through the scenic grandeur of the gardens and estate.

Aerospace Bristol

Experience the wonders of Aerospace Bristol and embark on a voyage through a century of remarkable aerospace accomplishments. Discover the rare opportunity to board the last-ever flying Concorde and relish its legacy. The expansive exhibition showcases over 8,000 artefacts, narrating the captivating tale of aviation history spanning two world wars, the space race, and modern-day advancements.

Hit the shops

A trip to Bristol cannot be complete without some serious retail therapy at Cabot Circus. Shop ‘til you drop at more than 120 shops, including major flagship stores such as Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, and the wonderful bookshop Foyles.

St George’s Bristol

Open for lunchtime concerts, St George’s Bristol is acclaimed for its wonderful acoustics and exciting programme of international artists. Built in the 1820s, this Greek Revival-style church is the perfect setting for a bit of culture. Book tickets early and enjoy the best in classical, chamber, world, folk and jazz music.

People shopping at Quakers Friars

Cabot Circus – Quakers Friars

Watch Glass blowing

The world-famous Bristol Blue Glass has been in Bristol since the 17th century. With a vast collection of predominantly blue glass on display, visit the factory, visitor centre and shop and watch the glass blowers in action.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Embark on a captivating journey aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Undeniably one of Bristol’s premier attractions, this splendid vessel awaits you at the Harbourside, right where it was originally constructed and set sail. Crafted by the ingenious Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this ship stands as a maritime marvel and an absolute essential on any visit to Bristol. For an immersive experience, the ‘Go Aloft’ adventure enables tourists to step into the shoes of Victorian sailors and ascend the rigging.

The docked SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain

Enjoy a Boat tour

The best way to see the city sights is by boat. Scheduled tours (complete with commentary) include a scenic summertime trip from the Harbourside to the Avon Gorge cruising under the splendid Clifton Suspension Bridge and through Brunel lock.

Festival fever

Bristol plays host to a number of great festivals throughout the year. Bristol Sounds is a multi-night midsummer gig series on Bristol’s iconic Harbourside which takes place in June. The amphitheatre is an incredible setting for live music. Bristol Harbour Festival is a free dance, music and arts extravaganza and the Balloon Fiesta is another popular event on the Bristol festival calendar and attracts more than 500,000 visitors over four days.

Get creative

Whether it’s an exhibition at the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery; modern art at Arnolfini or the Royal West of England Academy; a private viewing at Spike Island or an exhibition at M Shed, there is plenty to keep inquisitive minds happy in Bristol.

Bristol Lido

For a touch of luxury, make a trip to Bristol Lido. Dating back to 1849, the Lido now includes a modern heated outdoor pool, a spa, a poolside bar and a beautiful restaurant. Overlooking the pool, the first-floor restaurant has a sliding glass wall to enhance viewing pleasure as you sip your drinks.

Read more

Fun festivals and events in Bristol

Bristol’s best cultural venues

Getting to and around Bristol

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Image credits: ©Aerospace Bristol; Hammersons; Paul Daniels/; Plaster Communications/Bristol Harbour Festival; Royal West of England Academy; Max McClure/Brunel's ss Great Britain; National Trust Images/John Millar/

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