Discover everything you need to know about visiting Bristol for the first time in this compact guide, including when to visit and how to get around the city. Often people choose Bristol as a destination due to its reputation as a modern metropolitan city and also as it is the UK’s only European Green Capital.
Alternatively, many travellers choose to settle permanently in Bristol with the colourful houses of Totterdown or Southville, Bristol’s Notting Hill, possible destinations to relocate to, and websites such as renthero.co.uk offer many rental accommodation options for all needs and budgets. An easy-to-use interface with several filter options allows you to find the ideal property for you. Living in Bristol offers many opportunities, from its vibrant food scene and iconic waterfront to world-famous landmarks and everything in between.
This guide will lead you through the best Bristol offers, ensuring that your first visit is a memorable experience.
Best Time to Visit Bristol
Generally, April to June is considered the best time to visit Bristol as the weather is often pleasant. However, temperatures range approximately between 5ºC (41°F) in winter and 18ºC (64°F) in summer. In addition, rainfall happens for an average of 13 to 18 rainy days per month, with January and August being the rainiest months.
Getting to and Around Bristol
Travelling to Bristol is very straightforward, thanks to the excellent transport links around the city. Direct train routes from London and other major UK cities and coach services from companies like National Express and Megabus run regularly.
Driving to Bristol from London is equally straightforward and should take approximately 2 hours via the M4. In addition, Bristol has an international airport with excellent transport links to the city centre, especially the 24-hour bus service to Bristol Bus & Coach Station with stops along the way.
Walking around Bristol is the best way to discover the city centre. However, you can use First West of England buses to get around.
The Best Things to Do and See in Bristol
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
The Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is a must-visit for those who love their art and culture. With a diverse collection of art and historical artefacts, including ancient Egyptian mummies, there’s something for adults and children to enjoy.
Also, the museum is free! Although, donations are always welcome. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and current event listings can be found online.
Cabot Tower and Brandon Hill
Enjoy the panoramic views from Brandon Hill, the oldest park in Bristol. Brandon Hill features something for the whole family: beautiful paths, a nature conservation area and a children’s play area.
In addition, Cabot Tower is a picturesque tower built in 1897 and was designed by well-known Bristol architect William Venn Gough. Moreover, if you are feeling energetic, you can walk up the hill and climb the spiral staircase of the 105-foot-high tower. Moreover, if you are feeling energetic, you can walk up the hill and climb the spiral staircase of the 105-foot-high tower.
This historic harbour offers lots to do for every type of traveller. Take a leisurely stroll across the waterfront and soak in the maritime atmosphere. In addition, there are numerous attractions, such as the innovative M Shed Museum or the underwater adventure that is the Bristol Aquarium, to name a few.
Bristol Sports and Fitness
Bristol offers a lot for sports and fitness fanatics, including various cycle paths for avid cyclists. One popular cycling route is from Bristol to Bath Railway Path, a 13-mile trip through the scenic countryside.
In addition, Bristol has two professional football clubs, Bristol City and Bristol Rovers and first-class cricket side Gloucestershire C.C.C. for those who like to watch and soak in the atmosphere of top-class sports.
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Visit one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks, the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Designed by renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this masterpiece offers breathtaking views of Bristol and is perfect for fantastic photo opportunities or a peaceful stroll. The bridge is free of charge for those on foot or cycling. However, motor vehicles have a toll of £1 (approximately $1.20).
Visiting the beautiful and historic Bristol Cathedral is a must for history buffs. Dating back to the 12th century, this stunning example of Gothic architecture. Bristol Cathedral is free to visit; however, there are additional guided tours, including 200 steps up a spiral staircase, to enjoy your visit truly.
Bristols Food and Drink Guide
Bristol has many fantastic restaurants dotted around the city with options for all budgets. Notably, Bristol is the home to two restaurants that have each received a coveted Michelin star. These are Bulrush, located in Cotham and Paco Tapas, located in Redcliffe.
In addition, Bristol has a burgeoning craft beer scene, with approximately 15 craft breweries in the city. These include Arbor, New Bristol and Wiper & True, to name a few.
There’s much to do at night in Bristol as there’s a lively nightlife scene with many bars and clubs including Motion, a former skatepark that is now one of the UK’s top venues for world-renowned DJs. For live music, the O2 Academy and Thekla are popular music venues in the city.