The world-famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, spans the Avon Gorge and the River Avon, linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods and Ashton Court Estate in North Somerset.
Brunel is considered to be one of the greatest engineers in history and one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering, including the SS Great Britain, which you can visit on Bristol’s historic Harbourside.
The Harbourside is home to an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafés and bars, including one of the most recent and exciting additions to the city’s already flourishing independent food and drink scene, Wapping Wharf. Bristol Aquarium, Bristol history museum M Shed and state-of-the-art, interactive visitor attraction We The Curious can all be found in the area.
If balloons are your thing then Bristol’s International Balloon Fiesta is a must. It is Europe's largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 hot air balloons from across the globe. They take to the skies for four days every August.
Bristol is an eco-friendly city that is proud of its green credentials – it was the first UK city to be named European Green Capital in 2015 and it’s also the UK’s first cycling city. Bristol is a hub of national cycling routes - you can even get to Bath on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path or hire a bike from Cycle the City for themed, guided cycle tours.
Banksy is now a world-famous artist, but once he was just a kid on the streets of Bristol with a can of spray paint. You can see some of his work as well as that of other top graffiti artists on ‘must-do’ expert-led and self-guided street art walking tours of the city. Contemporary art can also be found at galleries such as Arnolfini and Spike Island.
With its wealth of independents and mix of High Street and prestigious stores like Harvey Nichols, Bristol is a fantastic shopping destination. Hunt for fashion staples in Bristol Shopping Quarter, browse classy Clifton Village boutiques or shop for vintage and retro clothes on Park Street and Gloucester Road. The city is also renowned for its street food markets. For brand favourites all under one roof, head to The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.
Bristol is also home to the world’s fifth oldest zoo, whose 180-degree view gorilla house allows visitors to watch the animals pace above their head. There are also extraordinary up-close encounters to be had with exotic animals at sister attraction Wild Place and their safari-style glamping venture, Camp Baboon.
So whether you’re looking for a great day out for all the family, a romantic break or just a little adventure, there’s a fantastic range of things to do in this vibrant city.
Bath and Bristol are so closely located, you can explore both cities in one trip, with the two connected by a twelve-minute train journey. Discover an insider guide to culture, arts and heritage in Bath, Bristol and beyond at Go Bath Bristol.