Immerse yourself in a thriving underground arts and music scene; spot famous street art by Bristol local Banksy and discover the places that influenced Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky.
Bristol’s history stretches back centuries and the best way to get a flavour of it is with a stroll along the Harbourside, still home to illustrious Victorian Engineer Isambard Brunel’s SS Great Britain – the world’s first great ocean liner and now one of many top family attractions in the city. Afterwards, catch a ferry from the Floating Harbour to Arnolfini – one of Europe’s leading contemporary arts centres which also hosts outdoor music events on the Harbourside during summer.
Treat yourself to lunch at one of Bristol’s award-winning restaurants, including three Michelin starred venues; The Pony & Trap, Casamia and Wilks. Alternatively, opt for lunch on the water, stepping aboard the Riverstation, near the Arnolfini, for sophisticated European dishes in the light and airy surroundings of a dockside police station. Next, hit the shops to find a killer outfit for your big night out. From Harvey Nichols to the high-street bargains of Bristol Shopping Quarter, the city is a hotspot for shopping. Shop for vintage clothes on Park Street and Gloucester Road, browse a wide-selection of vinyl at Rise on Queen’s Rd near Clifton or spend a few hours at Cabot Circus shopping complex.
Sing your heart out at Kobe on Nelson St which houses five private luxury karaoke rooms for music lovers to sing their hearts out. All rooms are individually designed, sound proofed and feature the best karaoke systems available, with a call button for instant service from friendly staff – VIP treatment guaranteed! Carry on your rock ‘n’ roll escapades at Motion, recently named one of the best nightclubs on Planet Earth, although it retains its street cred by occupying a converted skate park. Other famous nightclubs worth adding to your list include Przym which has seven themed rooms and Thekla, Bristol’s iconic boat night club.
Break away from the crowds by ambling through Clifton Village, stopping off for a relaxed brunch at Primrose Cafe and popping into various boutiques. With its sweeping Georgian crescents this leafy pocket of Bristol could be mistaken for the nearby city of Bath. No trip to Bristol is complete without a selfie in front of Brunel’s masterpiece, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the best place to take it is The White Lion Bar whose sizable heated terrace has unbeatable views of both the bridge, and the dramatic gorge it straddles.
Browse through a plethora of stalls and devour some of the city’s best street food at St Nicholas Market and then spend the remainder afternoon soaking up the bohemian vibe of Stoke’s Croft, where trip-hop flows out of bars, eye-popping graffiti decorates street corners and hip cafes serve up vegan milkshakes. Many of Banksy’s early artworks can be spotted here, and you can discover them all on a self-guided Banksy Walking Tour across the city.
Finish your trip in style by dipping into some of Bristol’s best bars and music venues. Both the Canteen and the Full Moon Pub and Attic Bar in Stokes Croft create a festival vibe nearly every weekend, and have an eclectic music policy showcasing a variety of home-grown talent. Elsewhere, along the harbourside, hop onboard Under the Stars, a 1920s-style speakeasy for classic cocktails, before carrying on the clandestine theme at Milk Thistle, hidden in one of Bristol’s finest historical buildings.
We Love…Start the Bus, a top spot for burgers, craft beer and late-night DJ sets
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