Things To Do in Bristol: Our Top 10 Things To Do in Bristol
Bristol's a popular destination for tourists both on stay-cations within the UK and venturing further afield, so there’s lots of things to do in Bristol; places to visit, sights to see, food to eat and experiences to enjoy.
The tenth largest city in Britain, Bristol sits upon the Rivers Avon and Frome, and is situated in the heart of the west country, bordering Bath and Gloucester and facing Wales just across the Severn estuary. Known affectionately as ‘Brizzle’, it’s home to two major football clubs and is the domain of celebrities such as Banksy, Stephen Marchant, Russell Howard, Brian May and Maisie Williams.
Our Top 10 Picks of Fun Things To Do in Bristol
The Bristolian community is so passionate about promoting their local area and businesses that they even have their own currency: the Bristol Pound! It’s currently the UK’s largest alternative to the standard British Pound Sterling and is to be used only on local attractions and at local businesses in order to help the city’s economy thrive. If you’re looking for things to do in Bristol, you may find that those activities you try out when you arrive accept the famed Bristol pound – so get involved and do your bit to ‘shop local’ while you’re there!
One thing’s guaranteed: you’ll have a great time in Brizzle and may even find yourself returning time and time again..! If you’re looking for fun things to do in Bristol today, tomorrow, this weekend or in the future… read on!
1. Take part in West Country Games
Bristol’s most fun and perhaps hectic activity, the West Country Games is a day full of physical activities ideal for groups – be it stags, hens, birthday celebrants, wedding guests or visiting tour groups. The games are more absurd than athletic and everything is Bristol-themed.
All activities can be adapted to suit any age, appetite or ability, both indoors and outdoors at a farm just five miles from the city centre. West Country Games needs to be booked in advance as they’re very popular – they’re Bristol’s top-rated activity on TripAdvisor!
2. Booze cruise down the River Avon
Sitting at the converge of the Rivers Avon and Frome, there’s lots of river cruises available from the Bristol Harbourside area; travelling both into the city and out of it, or looping out and back.
River cruises travelling around pre-set routes with sights along the way allow for on/off-boarding as desired if you’d like to take the tourist-y option, or you can book out a whole boat for your group with a bar to drink your way around the town… by water!
3. Sample some Somerset Cider
West Country style cider is just one of those available if you’re ‘in-the-know’ on your booze, so it’d be rude to not sample some while you’re in the area!
Take a full cider school class at The Stables pub as a group and learn about different styles and fruits alongside enjoying some delicious stone-baked pizzas and sharer plates.
Classes last between 2-3 hours and make for an informative (and fizzy fun) afternoon.
4. Take a bird’s eye view at the Balloon Fiesta
The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, with over 130 in one place – you’ll have never seen so many! For four days a year, you can attend the fiesta for a festival on the ground with the opportunity to take to the skies too.
The fiesta is a unique photo opportunity and requires no interest in hot-air balloons at all (what’s a hot-air balloon enthusiast called anyway?!), but makes for a great day or two out for people of all ages. It’s completely free to attend, with just charges for parking.
5. Party at the Harbour Festival
The Festival takes over the whole of the Harbourside area and those looking for a real variety of things to do in Bristol will favour this event – it really does have something for everyone and offers a great mix of free and paid-for activities.
Some events are ticketed and will need booking advance, and there may be age restrictions in place.
6. Explore Bristol’s Underground Secret Cave Network
One of Bristol’s best-kept secrets is the Redcliffe Cave Network, a series of man-made caves that were hand-dug back in the Middle Ages! The total size and extent of the caves still isn’t known, but the accessible areas cover about an acre of land. You can take tours of the overground and underground sites, and it’ll be a visit you’ll never forget.
The caves are so impressive that they’ve been used for photoshoots and as film sets, so you’ll want to take along a camera. Book ahead to avoid disappointment, as if you’re looking for things to do in Bristol today, you’ll probably find that they’re fully booked up.
7. Meet the animals at Bristol Zoo
One of the most fun things to in Bristol that suits all ages is to visit the zoo! Bristol Zoo is home to over 300 animals and over 50 species.
A zoo that’s more interactive than just somewhere to visit, there are constant exhibitions, activities and games on for visitors. Group discounts are available if booked in advance and for something really special, various experiences and workshops are on offer.
8. Catch a gig at Britain’s Best Club
Motion is a series of converted warehouse spaces alongside a terraced outdoor space and a riverside area.
One for party animals, Motion will round off your weekend away on a real high.
9. Dine on Bristol’s exclusive Floating Restaurant
For something extra special during your Bristol trip, a visit to Glassboat, the city’s exclusive and highly-rated floating restaurant is a must-visit!
A boat converted into a restaurant serving fine European cuisine with unbeatable service, the Glassboat is a staple on the river and has been pride of place for over 30 years.
You’ll need to book in advance, particularly for large groups, but if you’re looking for things to do in Bristol today, it still may be worth phoning ahead to check for cancellations.
10. Work your way round Bristol’s Free Museum
The M-Shed is a totally free and brilliantly interactive museum on the harbourside looking back at Bristol and its communities through the ages.
Worth nipping in for a few hours, the M-Shed makes for a great distraction for a few hours no matter the size or type of your group.
There’s no need to book and the schedule of events changes continuously so there’s always something different to see or do.
Booking up your Bristol Itinerary
There are plenty of fun things to do in Bristol and a quick Google search will bring up lots of ideas. Whatever it is you choose to do however, stay mindful that the city often has lots of tourists and so attractions and sights do get booked up in advance.
For groups, it’s usually beneficial to either phone ahead or book online. Putting together an itinerary of activities for each day offers your trip guests different things to choose from and allows people to dip in and out of what they like with no pressure.
Bristol is a beautiful city with lots on and friendly locals that are always on-hand to offer hospitality that is second-to-none. Finding fun things to do in Bristol won’t be difficult so plan ahead as best you can and ensure you get everything you can into your trip!
Making the most of things to do in Bristol
Some attractions are seasonal and for the most part, the festivals are held on set dates every year. Check online in advance and remember that if you do wish to attend something specific, tickets may need to be booked in advance – some more popular events do sell out a long time ahead!
For any specific requirements; dietary, ability or anything else, most venues will go out of their way to help accommodate you. For peace of mind, contact venues ahead of time to let them know, but rest assured that Bristol’s attractions are governed by the same equality laws as elsewhere in the UK and so reasonable adjustments will be made where they can be.
West Country Games are particularly good at this and have lots of experience in creating and delivering bespoke events – so we recommend them as something that truly caters for everyone!