With a youthful arts and entertainment scene, international festivals, as well as family-friendly attractions, Bristol is one of the liveliest cities in Britain today. And that’s all on top of the locally brewed beers, ciders and museums and historical sites.
The River Avon is the lifeblood of Bristol and the harbour is a great place to start your visit. The harbour was a centre for shipbuilding; now it’s been given a new lease of as the city’s hub for culture and entertainment. It’s the location of the annual Bristol Harbour Festival, one of Britain's biggest festivals, and home to the steamship SS Great Britain. Buy a ticket, get on board to learn and more about the history of this storied ship and why it was considered a marvel in its time.
In the centre of town is the St. Nicholas Market. Spend a morning or afternoon browsing the stalls selling everything from old records and handmade jewellery to hot sauces. On Wednesday there’s fresh local produce at the Farmers Market and you can enjoy tasty snacks made with local ingredients. Wash your food down with a Somerset cider or beer from a local brewery.
In the evenings Bristol has a wide range of entertainment, from classical music and theatre in the Colston Hall in Bristol Old Vic and the Bristol Hippodrome, to quirky bars and great underground clubs playing the best in electronic music.
With attractions such as At-Bristol, Bristol Aquarium, Bristol Zoo Gardens and M Shed, there’s plenty for the kids to do where they get to learn something too. Check out the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which is just a short drive from the city centre, giving incredible views over the region. Families will appreciate the city’s festivals such as the Bristol Festival of Nature; the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Europe's largest event for hot-air balloons; and the Bristol Festival of Puppetry.
Bristol is one of the warmest and sunniest cities in Britain thanks to its location in the south and the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Outside the warm season, which runs from May to September, you‘ll find cheaper deals than during the summer months.
It is easy to travel around Bristol and the city thanks to its great public transport. Make use of the excellent bus or rent a bike and discover why this city is considered so bike friendly.