What to do in Bristol

This is not a comprehensive guide of what to do in Bristol, however, it’s a collection of some of our favourite places and we think you’ll love them too!

Bristol is a city impossible to be bored in. With the sheer number of restaurants, bars, activity centres and cultural hotspots, all you need to do is step outside your door, pick a direction and walk, and you’re sure to find something interesting to do.

As locals, however, we’re in a unique position to give you some insight into our favourite spots to hang out in Bristol. Whilst we can’t cover all of the amazing things on offer in Bristol, we’re confident you’ll be able to figure some of those out yourselves.

The Brunch Spot:

Cafe Kino, 90 Stokes Croft, BS1

Nestled in the heart of Stokes Croft, Cafe Kino is an area stalwart and one of Bristol’s many vegan offerings. Serving an array of sustainably-sourced bites for nearly 25 years, Kino has long been a brunch-time favourite amongst the local crowd. its location on Stokes Croft’s busy main street and communal vibe make it the perfect place to take some time out from the rat race to people watch.

Cafe Kino

The Art Spots:

Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, BS1

An international centre for art and design, Spike Island hosts award winning artists from around the globe, as well as curating a busy programme of intimate artist talks, book readings and film screenings.

Spike Island

The Market:

St Nicholas Market, The Exchange, Corn Street, BS1

Home to the best record shop in Britain, Wanted Records, and a smorgasbord of local delights and pop up restaurants, including the now famous Grillstock (Grillstock Festival in July is also well worth a look). From innovative street food to quirky clothing stalls selling reclaimed vintage biker jackets, there’s plenty to occupy your time in this indoor market.

The Speakeasy:

Hyde & Co, 2 Upper Byron Place, BS8

The recent trend for twenties-inspired speakeasies continue to permeate Bristol’s bar culture and Hyde & Co is a firm favourite. As is typical of prohibition spots, it’s not easy to find – indicated only by a small black fedora signpost jutting out of the wall. And although some might call it a little pretentious, the cocktails are more than worth the whole song and dance.

The Architecture:

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Suspension Bridge Road, BS8

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is Britain’s own Golden Gate. Standing at 300 ft tall this iconic Western landmark boasts some of the best views in Britain. And with free guided tours at the weekends, feel free to quench your architectural thirsts without denting your budget. Plus, but nothing beats a picnic overlooking the bridge from Observatory Hill on a sunny afternoon.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

The Georgian Houses, Clifton, BS8

Buildings from most of the architectural periods of the United Kingdom can be seen throughout Bristol. Parts of the fortified city and castle date back to the medieval era, as do some churches dating from the 12th century onwards, however, Bristol is probably most well known for Clifton’s grand Georgian terraces.

The Kitchen:

Canteen, 80 Stokes Croft, BS1

For those seeking to savour Bristol’s independent culture, head to Canteen. Part of Stokes Croft’s creative community project, Hamilton House, Canteen is the city’s answer to ethical and vegan-friendly dining, with the added bonus of live music every night of the week. It’s an eclectic line up too, with Latin-funk orchestras and Jazz violinists to name a few local acts to take to the stage.

Canteen 80

The Spa:

The Lido, Oakfield Place, BS8

A hidden treasure in the heart of Clifton’s quiet residential streets, the Lido offers a piece of serenity in the centre of the city. Combines an outdoor pool and spa with its award-winning restaurant and tapas bar, if you’re looking to soak away your troubles whilst sipping sangria, this is an absolute must-visit.

Bristol Lido

The Natural Site:

Cheddar Gorge, Cheddar, BS27

Britain’s biggest gorge, with a dramatic drop of a staggering 450 ft, is an astonishing natural beauty and educational site. As you admire the views from the stunning stalactite cliff top walks or gorge tour buses, you can participate in conservation lectures, and, if you’re the more adventurous type, cave explorations. Unleash your inner nature nerd and get hiking!

Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge

The Historical Spot:

SS Great Britain, BS1

The world’s first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam-powered passenger liner, built by Brunel in 1843 and now preserved in a dry-dock alongside the floating harbour. Winner of the Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year 2006 – the Biggest Arts Prize in the U.K.

SS Great Britain

SS Great Britain

The Club:

Thekla, The Grove, BS1

Picking just one club out of the multitude that make up our eclectic nightlife was hard. From multi-storey super clubs to intimate underground bars, there’s something to suit all tastes. And although we’re huge fans of the intimate venues that line Stokes Croft, Thekla is an all-round must visit. This boat-cum-discotheque is docked in the city’s centre and not only regularly host gigs for some of the UK’s most talented musicians, but also transforms into one of the city’s most vibrant nightclubs.


For more information on Bristol, read our guides: