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Bristol and beyond
Bristol and the surrounding areas can be grouped into eight: Bristol City Centre, North Bristol, East Bristol, Coastal Somerset and Rural Somerset, and Gloucestershire and the South Cotswolds.
When you're planning a visit, you might want to spend most of your time in the city centre. If you're sticking around for a little longer or want to enjoy some wildlife and nature, head out to the coastal and rural parts of Somerset, Gloucestershire and the South Cotswolds surrounding Bristol.
Exploring the Harbourside
The city is famous for its beautiful harbour, which was once a busy dock where sailors came and went, and merchants sold and traded goods. Today, Bristol Harbourside is a cultural hub with many modern restaurants, bars, shops and hotels. Waterside restaurants serve the freshest seafood, while various watersports and activities are fun for participants and spectators alike. Millennium Square sits at the heart of Bristol Harbourside. Start here and enjoy some of the unique attractions that this area offers.
Brunel's SS Great Britain
Visiting the world's first great ocean liner, Brunel's SS Great Britain is easily one of the top things to do in Bristol. The iconic steamship was rescued in 1970 and restored to its spectacular Victorian condition. Visitors today can step back in time and explore different parts of the ship, from its lavish first-class to the cramped lower deck.
We The Curious
Another of Bristol Harbourside's leading attractions, We The Curious, is a science museum and interactive space, an ideal choice for a family-friendly activity in the city. The centre is home to various permanent and changing temporary exhibitions and hands-on experiences for all ages. Far from a stuffy, conventional museum, We The Curious is a playful space where excitement and laughter are encouraged.
Another attraction in Bristol Harbourside? It's Bristol Aquarium, a colourful space that brings visitors face to face with aquatic creatures. From stingrays and seahorses to sharks, octopuses and piranhas, there are many unique species to discover here. No aquarium would be complete without an underwater tunnel filled with tropical fish - there's a mesmerising one at Bristol Aquarium. Explore the wonders of the deep in this beautiful aquarium, a great day out for families visiting Bristol.
A blend of old and new
Head away from Bristol Harbourside to explore the central streets and charming Old City. There's plenty to enjoy here, including unique history and modern culture, shopping and food.
Bristol's shopping quarter is home to over 500 shops, including high-street favourites and independents, all concentrated in the heart of the beautiful city.
Get lost in the Old City
Bristol's charming Old City is known for its winding lanes and historic buildings. Today, Old City storefronts are occupied by contemporary eateries and craft beer bars, boutiques and vintage stores. It's a great place to spend a day exploring - you never know what you might find.
This part of the city is home to many of its oldest buildings and most fascinating historic architecture. Take a walk around to discover what remains of Norman Bristol and its city walls before nestling into a cosy coffee shop to rest and watch the world go by.
Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world, constructed in 1766 and running ever since. It's been restored to its stunning Georgian prime. Still, it uses all the latest technology to host world-class performances of iconic and contemporary plays. Take a look at the programme to find out what's on while you're in town and enjoy a night of entertainment unlike any other.
The best restaurants in Bristol right now
If you're planning a city break in Bristol, you might be wondering what to eat to make the most of your experience. There's plenty of great food and drink around, including an impressive 15 Michelin-awarded spots in the City of Bristol.
Michelin star and guide restaurants
Want to dip into the city's best cuisine? You'll have plenty of choice with these Michelin starred and Michelin Guide-worthy restaurants around Bristol.
Bristol's Michelin star restaurants include Bulrush, an atmospheric neighbourhood restaurant serving seasonal and foraged ingredients in original menus. Casamia offers an enormous 20-course menu with no alternatives. All guests are served at the same time, so don't be late! Paco Tapas is a buzzy bar offering Michelin starred skillfully prepared Spanish classics.
Michelin Guide restaurants in Bristol include Klosterhaus, Adelina Yard, Marmo, Tare, Rootand Pony Bistro.