Bristol Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing
(Bristol, England, UK)
The city of Bristol has a lot to see and enjoy, and you really do need to plan your time well if you intend to see all of the main tourist attractions during your time here. Guided tours of the city allow you to get a feeling for the overall layout, as do boat trips around the harbourside and hot-air balloon trips from Ashton Park.
Located close to the city's zoological gardens, the Bristol Clifton Observatory and Caves may also be of interest, together with the nearby Avon Valley Steam Railway at Bitton. After a day spent sightseeing, tourists will find that a number of additional attractions present themselves, such as seasonal Shakespeare plays at the Bristol Old Vic, musical productions at the Hippodrome, and scheduled comedy gigs and concerts at the Colston Hall, where in the past the likes of the Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Cyndi Lauper and the Rolling Stones have all performed.
Guided Bus Tours
Open-top hop on / off Bristol sightseeing guided bus tours operate throughout the day at regular intervals in the city centre. These bus tours provide an easy way of sightseeing in Bristol and with daily hop on / off tickets, they are also a very useful way to travel around, since you can leave the bus to explore and get back on when you are ready. The tours connect all of the major points of interest, including numerous tourist attractions, landmarks and monuments in the city.
Address: The Annexe, Wildscreen Walk, Harbourside, Bristol, BS1 5DB, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 926 0767
There are a number of walking tours around Bristol and these provide tourists with a real insight into some of the city's most interesting and historic attractions, landmarks and streets, including walks across the Clifton suspension bridge. Tours are available at the Tourist Information Centre, Harbourside by At-Bristol. Walking tours should usually be booked in advance to ensure your place.
Champagne Balloon Flights
Address: Winterstoke Road, Bristol, BS3 2NP, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 963 7858
Champagne Balloon Flights are available from Ashton Gate Park throughout the summer on fine days. The balloons mainly take off early in the morning and again in the evening, and provide one of the most spectacular ways to view the city of Bristol. Balloon flights last around one hour and need to be booked in advance. Most Bristol balloon pilots provide champagne and souvenir photographs.
Address: Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6UN, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 926 8157
Bristol boat trips are one of the most exciting and memorable ways to enjoy the many sights and sounds of Bristol's vibrant harbourside area and the River Avon. There are a number of boat options available, including yellow and blue ferries, which often travel under the famous Clifton suspension bridge. Nearby are numerous tourist attractions, bars, cafés, restaurants and shops, all of which are easily accessible from the landing stages.
Address: St. Augustine's Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ, England
Tel: +44 (0)870 607 7500
The Bristol Hippodrome is Bristol's main theatre and is a historic building, with many period features. Attractions include major West-End productions, musicals, children's shows, pantomimes and spectacular theatrical productions.
Address: Colston Street, Bristol, BS1 5AR, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 922 3682
The Colston Hall is Bristol's largest concert venue and many famous pop and rock artists regularly perform here. Other attractions at the Colston Hall include comedy events and classical music extravaganzas.
Bristol Old Vic
Address: King Street, Bristol, BS1 4ED, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 987 7877
The Bristol Old Vic is home to one of the country's best known and most successful theatre companies, producing an enormous range of modern classic, Shakespeare plays, musicals, children's shows and much more besides.
Best known for attracting many famous and exceptional actors, other attractions at the Old Vic include interesting guided tours of the backstage areas.
Bristol Blue Glass
Address: 5 Three Queens Lane, Redcliffe, Bristol, BS1 6LG, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 929 8900
Bristol Blue Glass has been made since the 17th century and today, the glass is still free-blown and handmade at this popular tourist attraction. The historic glass factory has a number of attractions, including glass making displays, a viewing gallery, a visitor centre and a factory shop, selling vases, jugs, glasses and bowls. As well as the famous blue glass, the factory also produces Bath Aqua and Exmoor Cranberry glass.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 09:00 to 17:00
Bristol Clifton Observatory and Caves
Address: Clifton Down, Bristol, BS8 3LT, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 1242
Situated next to the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Bristol Clifton Observatory was actually converted from an old windmill in 1829 and houses the only surviving example of a 'camera obscura' in England - a Victorian group of lenses that project and reflect images of the surrounding land on to the interior of the tower. Other attractions for tourists and visitors at the Clifton Observatory include the nearby Giant's Cave, which can be reached through a small tunnel and features a viewing platform, with spectacular views across the Avon Gorge.
Open hours: Summer, Monday to Friday - 11:30 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:30 to 17:00, Winter, daily - 12:00 to 16:00
Bristol Karting Centre
Address: 214-224 Broomhill Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 5RG, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 977 0600
The Bristol Karting Centre is one of the city's most popular sporting attractions and opened in 1992. Situated in the Brislington area of the city, the Karting Centre features a large racing circuit and race karts, which are both easy to steer and race. Other attractions here include a bar / café area with views of the racing track, team photographs and champagne for the winner.
Open hours: daily - 11:00 to 23:00
Avon Valley Steam Railway
Address: Longwell Green, Bristol, BS30 9YZ, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 932 7296
The Avon Valley Steam Railway is located in Bitton, close to Bristol, and is a popular attraction for train lovers and steam enthusiasts in the area. Attractions for tourists and visitors to the Avon Valley Steam Railway include steam-powered locomotives travelling 6 km / 4 mile round trips every Sunday, a gift shop and café area. There are also special train events throughout the year, including the Friends of Thomas the Tank Engine Day and a Santa Claus train service at Christmas time. Nearby, the Steam Centre is home to a large collection of steam and diesel trains.
Open hours: May to September, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and families
Bristol Architecture Centre
Address: Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4DA, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 922 1540
Located in the Harbourside area of the city, the Bristol Architecture Centre opened in 1996 is housed in a grand 18th-century building. Attractions include many different exhibitions, visits to some of the most outstanding buildings and places of interest within the city, workshops, children's activities, lectures, evening classes, guided tours and a gift shop.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 11:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00
Create Environment Centre
Address: Smeaton Road, Spike Island, Bristol, BS1 6XN, England
Tel: +44 (0)117 925 0505
The unique Create Environment Centre is large complex, situated next to the River Avon, in the Hotwells area of Bristol. The centre has a number of exhibitions about waste and recycling, including some educational exhibits. Other highlights at the Create Environment Centre include an art gallery, a demonstration area, open days, lectures, an auditorium, meeting rooms and an excellent café, with scenic views of the river.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 08:30 to 17:00