Bristol’s top landmarks: Everything you need to know

Bristol is a vibrant city with a rich history and a wealth of interesting and beautiful landmarks to explore. From the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge to the stunning street art of Banksy, Bristol is a city that truly has something for everyone.

Discover everything you need to know about the top landmarks and attractions for the finest trip to the city.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge against blue skies

The Bristol Clifton Suspension Bridge spans the River Avon, connecting the Clifton and Leigh Woods neighbourhoods in Bristol. Renowned for its beauty, the bridge has been the subject of many paintings and photographs over the years. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge is a marvel of Victorian engineering and a symbol of Bristol’s industrial heritage. Visitors can explore the bridge and its surrounding area on foot, taking in the stunning views of the Avon Gorge and the city skyline. You can also take a guided tour or attend one of the events which take place throughout the year.

Bristol City Docks

Orange sunset over the water at Bristol City Docks

Located in the heart of the city, Bristol City Docks is a historic and vibrant area that offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors. The docks are home to a variety of museums, galleries, shops, restaurants and bars, with a unique blend of old and new architecture. Bristol City Docks offers the opportunity to explore the city’s history, with many of the original warehouses and buildings still standing, now converted into modern, vibrant spaces.  Take a stroll along the harbour and admire the view, or embark on a boat tour to see the docks from a different perspective.

Bristol Old Vic

© Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB /

Bristol Old Vic on a sunny day

Bristol Old Vic is one of the UK’s oldest and most historic theatres. The venue offers a unique and immersive theatre experience, with a diverse range of productions and performances taking place throughout the year. As well as enjoying world-class theatre productions, visitors to Bristol Old Vic can take a guided backstage tour to learn about the theatre’s fascinating history, architecture and technical equipment. There is also a café and bar on-site, where you can enjoy a drink or a meal before or after the show. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for a memorable night out, a visit to Bristol Old Vic is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Wills Memorial Building

Wills Memorial Building in the daytime

Completed in 1925, this stunning Gothic-style building stands tall at 215 feet and is one of the tallest buildings in Bristol. The Wills Memorial building is used for a range of events and exhibitions throughout the year. Climb the spiral staircase of the tower to the top where you can savour panoramic views of the city and beyond. Inside the building, visitors can explore the grand halls and admire the intricate details of the architecture, including stained-glass windows and ornate stone carvings.

Cabot Tower

Cabot Tower on a summer's day

The Bristol Cabot Tower is a great place to experience the city’s rich history and stunning views. Located in Brandon Hill Park, the tower is a popular landmark that offers panoramic views of Bristol and the surrounding countryside. Built in 1897 for the anniversary of John Cabot’s voyage to North America, the tower’s design was inspired by the Italian Gothic style, featuring intricate carvings and ornate stonework. Tourists can climb the tower’s winding staircase to reach the top, where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. On clear days, you can see as far as the Severn Estuary and the Welsh mountains.

Arnos Vale Cemetery

Memorial at Arnos Vale Cemetery

Bristol Arnos Vale Cemetery is a historic and peaceful cemetery covering 45 acres of stunning woodland, gardens and beautiful architecture. This Grade II listed site is considered one of the finest examples of Victorian cemetery architecture in the UK. The cemetery is home to an array of beautiful and intricate gravestones, tombs and memorials, each with its own unique story and significance. Take a guided tour or explore the cemetery by yourself, taking in the stunning views and peaceful atmosphere. There’s also a variety of events and activities held at the cemetery, such as outdoor cinema screenings and special exhibitions.

Windmill Hill City Farm

Baby goat climbing down from perch

Bristol Windmill City Farm is a charming community-led farm located in the heart of Bristol. It provides a unique opportunity to experience the joy of farm life in an urban setting. Visitors can explore the farm and see a variety of animals such as pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and cows. There is also a garden area where guests can learn about different plants and how to grow them. Alongside the farm animals and gardens, there is a café on site that serves delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients. The farm also offers various activities and workshops throughout the year, such as animal care, gardening and cooking classes.

Smoke & Mirrors Comedy & Magic Bar

Comedian performing on stage

Bristol’s Smoke and Mirrors Comedy Club and Magic Bar is a unique and entertaining venue that combines the best of both worlds – live comedy and magic performances. The club is located in the heart of Bristol and features a cosy and intimate atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic date. The performers at Smoke and Mirrors are highly skilled and put on a fantastic show, engaging the audience with their humour and impressive illusions. The club has a warm and friendly atmosphere and the staff are always on hand to provide excellent service. Overall, if you’re looking for a fun and unique night out in Bristol, Smoke and Mirrors Comedy Club and Magic Bar is a great choice. With its excellent shows, cosy ambience, and friendly staff, it’s sure to be a night to remember.

We the Curious

© Toms Auzins /

People walking past We The Curious centre

We The Curious is a science and technology centre in Bristol featuring over 250 interactive exhibits that encourage visitors of all ages to explore, question and experiment with the world around them. The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from space exploration and robotics to human biology and climate change. We The Curious offer a range of activities, such as attending live science shows, participating in hands-on workshops and interacting with the exhibits. There are also special exhibitions and events that take place throughout the year. The centre is a great place for families, school groups or anyone with an interest in science and technology. It offers a fun and educational experience that will inspire curiosity and a love of learning.

Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Sunset over the water where Brunel's SS Great Britain sits

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is a historic ship which has been converted into a popular museum and visitor attraction. Visiting the SS Great Britain is a unique experience that allows visitors to step back in time and learn about the ship’s history and significance. The museum features interactive exhibits and displays that highlight the ship’s engineering, construction, and voyages. Explore the ship’s different decks, cabins and even the engine room to get a sense of what life was like for passengers and crew during the ship’s heyday. There are also opportunities to dress up in period costumes and take part in hands-on activities, making it a great day out for families. In addition to the ship itself, the museum also has a café, gift shop, and outdoor playground, as well as regular events and exhibitions.