The city’s underground movement counts Banksy as one of its own, and the artist’s visual legacy can be seen throughout the City.
With a population of just under half a million, Bristol is by no means one of the biggest cities in the UK, but with so much going on, you should never get bored.
Where to start? Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre company, based out of the Theatre Royal, was named by Daniel Day-Lewis as the most beautiful theatre in England.
On the outskirts of the city centre, you will find the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, which runs a programme of free and paid events throughout the year, and is up there as one of Bristol’s leading tourist attractions.
A cultured mix of Egyptian artefacts, prehistoric exhibitions and an art gallery featuring paintings, pottery and glass awaits, but make sure you take a look at their What’s On page before your visit.
Located in the genteel part of the City called Clifton lies a hidden secret, a beautifully restored Victorian outdoor swimming pool. Clifton Lido reopened in 2008 with spa facilities and a restaurant and cafe, making this the perfect urban oasis to relax and unwind.
Also, make sure you don’t miss the spectacular Clifton suspension bridge. Completed in 1864 and designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, this world famous architectural wonder is simply a must see.
Finally, there are no fewer than seven works by Banksy (that we know about) that can be seen on Bristol’s streets. There are walking tours you can book onto, but we recommend cutting lose and discovering them for yourself.
Bristol is the hometown of DJ Eats Everything and trip hop innovators Massive Attack, and its live scene continues to thrive. The Guardian named Lakota as one of the mainstays of Bristol’s clubbing scene, and its regular rotation of house, hardcore and techno DJs rivals anywhere in the UK.
For live bands, look no further than The Louisiana, where Coldplay returned twice following a debut performance in early noughties, and where Muse indulged in a six-month residency. Meanwhile, St George’s concert hall hosts more than 250 events every year, attracting some of the world’s finest classical performers.
You can take a piece of the scene back with you, too. Take a look at Wanted Records at St Nicholas Market for everything from 60s reggae and soul, to 90s EDM.
In the heart of the old west country, Bristol is known for its cider and its harbourside bar, The Apple, was ranked as the best cider bar in the UK just four years ago.
But the city’s affection for fruity tipples tells only part of the story.
For classy cocktails in a stunning setting, look no further than The Milk Thistle on Colston Avenue.
Spread across four stunning floors, this Prohibition Bar is wildly popular, so call ahead and reserve a table, or risk not getting in.
Hyde & Co at The Basement offers that same ‘speakeasy’ experience, or for a more stripped-down, intimate vibe, check out Red Light on Union Street.
Pass through the graffiti covered doorway and press the button on the payphone to gain access to a unique late-night drinking den. It’s one of the most unique places to visit in Bristol.
A staple of every great getaway, your dining experiences can make or break any trip out of town. And Bristol won’t let the side down.
Wilks Restaurant on Chandos Road serves creatively crafted cuisine in a relaxed setting. Wilks is a true champion of the city, serving local ingredients on its tables and showcasing local artists on its walls.
The menu fuses classical flavour combos with traditional and modern cooking techniques.
Over in Wapping Wharf, The Wild Beer Co’s reputation for its food probably outstrips its already high standing on the Bristol bar scene. We recommend their fish and chips, prepared with Japanese panko breadcrumb.
Or for a cheaper eat, Flour & Ash on Cheltenham Road serves up award-winning sourdough pizzas that can’t be missed.