If ever there was a city with a story to tell, it’s Bristol
There is so much going on in Bristol, and you should never get bored. In this article, lets see the top things to do to help you make the most of this amazing and dynamic city. Believe it or not, whether it is checking out world famous street art, a fantastic night-out, a Michelin dinning experience at Casamia or getting a new perspective from the top of the Suspension Bridge, there are plenty to keep you busy in this great and friendly city.
As people who live in Bristol or ever paid a visit to Bristol will know, Bristol is not flat. Even the Bristol Uni students who live in the center will have to climb the hill every day to access all facilities provided in the campus. All those massive mounds might make getting around town hard work on your claves, but they give the city much of its unique charm and, if you know where to go, plenty of amazing vantage spots from which to admire the panoramas. Believe or not, for all Bristol graduates, climbing the hills is the most annoying thing at the beginning, but it becomes the thing we miss the most! Head to Brandon Hill park, just behind Park Street, and climb the tight spiral staircase to the top of Cabot Tower to view the entire city! You won’t regret it
The Suspension Bridge:
Clifton Suspension Bridge is much more than just a masterpiece of design and engineering. Thanks to the Brunel’s greatest work, the Suspension Bridge is an internationally recognized icon of the city of which the Bristol people can all be proud. No matter how many times you have climbed up to the Clifton Village to take a look, the giant wrought iron structure never fails to inspire sheer vertiginous awe, whatever the weather or time of year. Whether you are new in the town or you have lived here for years, even there is no more impressive site in this city, but once you crossed the Bridge, you will be impressed and inspired again
Bristol Harbor View:
The waterways around which Bristol is built remain one of its greatest assets. There are numerous ways for you to hop on a boat and see the city from the waterline. Bristol Ferry Boats operate waterbus services 364 a year for locals and tourists alike, letting you jump on and off as you chose, from Temple Meads to the SS Great Britain. Bristol Packet Boats also offer guided tours around the harbor an even out into the Avon Gorge.
Street Art – graffiti
We could not have a list of things to do in Bristol without mentioning one of its most famous exports – graffiti. Scour the street of Bristol and you will find a cutting-edge piece of graffiti art decorating the city’s walls. Along narrow alleys, down side-streets and through under-passages, across building walls and boldly displayed on bridge, apiece of graffiti art soon jumps out depicting wry humor and subversive displays of pop-culture.
Festivals and Celebrations
Here in Bristol, you will be impressed by the vibrancy of this city again by all types of festivals and crazy celebrations. From Love Saves the Day right the way through to Tokyo World, via St Paul’s Carnival, Harbor Festival, Pride to the Balloon Fiesta and many more, the Bristolians are blessed with an excuse to party pretty much every weekend of the summer.
Food and Drinks
Lido Spa and Restaurant:
If the sun is out, who would not want a beautiful outdoor swimming pool with a great restaurant attached, hidden away on their sweet? Built back in 180, after closing for almost 20 years, Clifton Lido Spa and Restaurant re-opened in 2008, fully restored with spa facilities and a new restaurant and café. Lounge by the pool, regardless of treating yourself a dinner with the view or a massage, the experience is unlike any other.
Establish in 1999, Casamia is a family run restaurant serving a multi-course tasting menu within an intimate restaurant setting of just 9 tables. Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias and his team create dishes which are influenced by the individuality, multicultural and creative vibes of their home city of Bristol. The restaurant has some impressive accolades – a coveted Michelin star in 2009 and Peter was awarded Chef of the ear in the Good Food Guide 2018 in which Casamia was named number 10 restaurant. Situated at the General in the heart of the city, pre-book via their website for dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, and lunch Friday and Saturday. For a front-row seat to the exciting, innovative kitchen, the chef’s table may be booked for up to four guests.
Cabot Circus in Bristol is a uniquely-designed, modern shopping center based in the heart of Bristol Shopping Quarter. It is not easy to be wowed by the sheer size and design of the circus; the shell-shaped glass roof keeps you dry but the fresh air circulates to give a pleasant indoor-outdoor shopping experience. Here you will find all your high-street favorites such as Zara, Next, Monki and Victoria’s Secret. The west’s flagship House of Fraser expands all three floors and is an experience in itself.
Nightlife in Bristol is legendary. From its huge clubs hosting top DJs to underground live gigs, plus all manner of bars, glamorous speakeasies, comedy nights, magic and karaoke bars, this is a city that knows how to have fun. Let’s look at the top-rated clubs in Bristol!
Bristol’s Harborside is an attractive, modern development filled with restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. From pizza and steak to Asian street food, the Harborside serves up a global platter of flavors. There are many bars and restaurants around the Harborside and Millennium Square, including Steak of the Art, a gastro gallery of great food, cocktails and art. The Stable serves award-winning pizzas and more than 60 types of cider while locally-brewed beer can be sampled at venues including The Grain Barge, Watershed Café Bar and No.1 Harborside. The modern River Grille restaurant at the Bristol Hotel offers fantastic views across the Harborside, as does Britain’s biggest restaurant, Zaza Bazaar, which serves up a variety of buffet-style global cuisine inspired by the atmosphere and buzz of Asia’s night markets.
Five years ago, Motion was nothing more than a skatepark hidden away in an industrial complex behind Temple Meads train station. Today, the enormous multi-room venue isn’t just Bristol’s biggest nightclub, it’s regularly polled as one of the very best in the world.
There aren’t many cities in the world the can boast a nightclub on a boat, but then as we all know, Bristol isn’t like many other cities. Originally brought to the Mud Dock area back in 1982 as a floating theatre and art gallery, the Thekla became a nightclub in the early-90s, providing a platform for early performances from the likes of Massive Attack and Bristol’s then-booming D&B scene. Taken over by the owners of Nottingham’s Rock City back in 2006, Thekla repositioned itself as both a nightclub and venue for live gigs, helping make the old boat a firm favorite of Bristol’s indie and dance crowds alike
If you fancy a few drinks with your mates in a nice intimate venue, then it’s probably best to give Lakota a swerve. But if you want to go to a three-room mega rave and have a good old skank, then it should definitely be on your agenda. Back in the heady days of 1990s super clubbing, Lakota was one of the most famous clubs in the UK, regularly inviting superstars of house, techno and jungle from across the UK and world to come play in one of its many rooms.
Here’s all the info on Bristol’s public transport network, including rail, road, bus and even floating harbor ferry!
It’s easy to get around Bristol by bus, with plenty of fast and convenient services available from all key locations. You can find out more about Bristol bus routes and timetables here .
If you are already in Bristol and need help with finding bus stations and routes, the Tourist Information Center on the harborside is on hand to help. You can buy day, season and multiple journey tickets direct from them too. Don’t forget to show your Uni card for the student discounts1 Another way to explore the city is through a guided tour on-board a City Sightseeing Bus. Let the expert driver tell you all about the sights and scenery along the way and hop on an and off as many times as you like. Tickets are on sale at the Tourist Information Center.
Bristol is at the hub of the national rail network in the West of England. Great Western Railway and other major train operators run local, regional and inter-city services from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station and Bristol Parkway Railway Station. Bristol is roughly 1 hour and half away from London, and 3 hours away from Manchester by train.
Coach (National Express)
The national Express coach is one of the most popular ways to travel within the UK or even the Europe! The Bristol Coach Station is located at the heart of the city and it takes 3 hours to travel from Bristol to London (Victoria Coach Station), 2 hours to Birmingham, and 5 hours to Manchester (Center Bus Station). To visit Paris, you can take the coach to Victoria Coach Station (London) first and then transfer another coach to your destination – Paris! For more information, please visit the National Express Website
Bristol has its own international airport. Popular destinations include: New York, Toronto, Paris, Santorini, Venice etc. For more destinations, click here
You can travel from the Bristol City Center to Bristol International Airport by Airport Flyer Express. (Only 7 pounds for one-way journey) For more information, please visit www.bristolairport.co.uk
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