City Guides Editor's Pick

One Day Itinerary in Bristol

Bristol is a great city with so many things to see, do and eat – it is a real foodies hotspot. If you’re planning a day trip to Bristol, this is the perfect guide for you!

Bristol’s History at Harbourside
SS Great Britain, M Shed & Wapping Wharf

Start your day in the centre of Bristol by the harbour. It’s a gorgeous place to walk around, especially on the sunnier days, and plenty to see, do and places to eat or drink.

One of the most popular attractions in the city is the SS Great Britain. It’s a must-see during a day in Bristol. The SS Great Britain was one of the largest passenger ships in the world back in the 1840s. You can explore inside the ship, and then visit the museum where you can find more about how things worked and looked on the ship when it was in use.

Walking down from SS Great Britain you’ll walk into Wapping Wharf where you can grab a bite to eat and enjoy people watching or rowing by the river.

To get an understanding of the history of Bristol, you must pay a visit to the M Shed museum. It covers the stories of the city and the people from prehistoric times to the 21st century.

Shopping in the City

Bristol is a great place to do a bit of shopping, especially if you’re looking for something more vintage.

St Nicholas’s Market is the oldest market in the city and always has a great atmosphere, especially on weekends. The streets are filled with market stalls, musicians are bustling, and there’s so many good food options around.

Walking up Park Street, you’ll spot many different shops, from bookshops to pre-loved clothing stores, and plenty of choice of restaurants or cafes. Keep an eye out for the incredible graffiti art off of the main street, and you may spot a Banksy piece on the bridge at the bottom of the street.

If you had some extra time for shopping, walk up Gloucester Road for some bargain hunting in all the charity shops, or take a look in some of the independent shops like Iota, which is a little gift and clothing store.

A hidden but picturesque gem is the Christmas Steps. You’ll find a mixture of independent shops, bookstores, cafes, and galleries all within this cobblestone alleyway.

Street Art of Bristol

If you didn’t know already, Bristol is home to the iconic Banksy, so it’s no surprise that the city is filled with incredible graffiti. You can either book a tour where they’ll show you all the beautiful artwork around the city, or you can spot them as you’re walking around. Some are very well hidden, like the Girl With The Pearl Earring.

A View of the City

As you’re heading up north of the city towards Clifton, make sure you stop off at Cabot Tower. You’ll be greeted with some of the best views of the city here.

The tower was built in 1890 and is free to walk up to between 8am and 5pm. It’s worth the short climb for a great view.

Explore Clifton Village & Suspension Bridge

Clifton Village feels like a little hub in the city with its own identity, separate from the rest of the city. The whole neighbourhood stands out for its beautiful Georgian architecture, independent businesses, local market stalls in the heart of the village, and of course for the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

It’s well worth the visit as you feel a slightly slower pace in the village and it’s a good place to unwind with a cup of coffee and a tasty pastry from Mercy Mercy Mercy or East Village Cafe. If you want to stay here for dinner, Kibou, Clifton Sausage, Milk Bun, and The Albion are great options. You’re spoilt for choice!

After you’ve explored the streets of the village, you can walk up to the Clifton Observatory where you will get one of the best views of the Suspension Bridge. Walk along the bridge to get a view from both sides and you can enjoy the sunset from the top of the hill too.

If you’re feeling a little hungry by this point, I’d recommend the White Lion purely for the views you are greeted with of the Suspension Bridge. It’s probably the best view you’ll get from a pub in Bristol.

Nightlife in Bristol

In summer, and before the sun fully sets, you may be treated to the hot air balloons in the sky. Keep a look out as they go up as much as they can in the summer!

If you have a couple hours left of the day at night, walk back down to the harbourside and enjoy the nightlife that Bristol has to offer. You can even walk to the infamous Kings Street to grab a drink, or visit one of the bars on the river, maybe The Apple or Under The Stars.

Getting Around

Apart from some of the steep hills, Bristol is actually a very walkable city, especially in the city centre. If you’re heading north of the city, I’d recommend grabbing a bus, uber or you could always make your day more fun with the electric scooters!

And that’s your perfect itinerary for a day in Bristol! There is so much more to the city which you’ll end up seeing and exploring when you’re here. It’s a great city with so much going on all the time, especially in the summer. You’ll leave wanting to plan another trip as soon as possible!

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