Visiting Bristol is like browsing an outdoor urban gallery. Tour the city’s streets and you’ll struggle not to find a brightly coloured, cutting-edge piece of spray can art embellishing the walls.

The birthplace of Banksy, Bristol’s constantly-evolving graffiti culture has made street art one of its most famous attractions and hunting it out is an exciting way to discover the city and tap into its independent creative culture.

Plan a graffiti-hunting adventure around the city with this list of Banksy tours and street art hotspots in Bristol.

Banksy in Bristol

One of the greatest enigmas of the art world is Bristol-born graffiti artist Banksy. His identity remains one of the best-kept secrets and topics of interest across the globe and the second the media hears wind of a potential new ‘Banksy’ piece, it immediately makes headlines.

Thanks to his Bristol roots, the city is home to many of his early works and he has twice returned to hold extraordinary exhibitions – one at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and one in Weston-super-Mare, Dismaland.

Banksy versus Bristol Museum in 2009. Credit - Tangent Books
Image - Banksy vs Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, credit Tangent Books

How to find Banksy artworks in Bristol

Where The Wall

Where The Wall runs Bristol Street Art Walking Tours on weekends throughout the year and weekdays during the holidays, offering insights into the world of Banksy and other iconic graffiti artists who have worked their magic with a can on Bristol’s facades. All proceeds from the Bristol street art tour go towards creative projects promoting the creative culture of Bristol.

You can also follow Where The Wall's self-guided A Piece of Banksy tour, which is narrated by global street art authority John Nation, who was a central figure in the Bristol and Banksy story of the early eighties. Or have a go at creating your own masterpiece on one of the street art spray sessions, suitable for all ages and abilities. 

A group having a go at creating street art on the Where the Wall tour in central Bristol - credit Where The Wall
Image: Where the Wall, credit Anna Kilcooley

The Banksy Bristol Trail by Cactus Apps

This smartphone app helps you find Banksy artworks dotted around the city, with an option to visit the older, less visible pieces too if you want to be thorough. The app is packed with in-depth features on Banksy and his formative years in Bristol in the 1980s and 1990s street art scene. 

Blackbeard to Banksy - The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour 

Learn about Bristol’s fascinating history, dating back 1,000 years, while you look for the city's best street art on a Blackbeard to Banksy The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour (tours start at 11.30am and run most days of the week). The two-hour tour guides visitors around medieval areas of the city, old pirate hang-outs and Bristol’s buzzing Harbourside. 

Tour group looking at street art
Image: Blackbeard to Banksy Walking Tour

Free self-guided walking tour

Our free self-guided Banksy Walking Tour of the city is yet another way to get your Banksy fix in Bristol. Make a day of it with pitstops for food, drinks and attractions in between mural-hunting. 

Graft

If you're feeling inspired by all that graffiti spotting, get your hands on the cans with Graft. Their graffiti sessions are often held at The Island, a former police station, where you learn street art history, styles and techniques in the cells. 

A group of people taking part in one of the street art workshops at Graft Bristol - credit Yuup
Image: Graft, credit Yuup

Where to see Bristol's best street art

Stokes Croft

The epi-centre of street art in Bristol, this nonconformist neighbourhood boasts an eclectic selection of graffiti. Many of the businesses in the area commission street artists to paint their buildings, so entrenched is the art form in the community.

The Canteen has Banksy’s ‘Mild Mild West’ on their outdoor space. A tribute to Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid, who stood on the empty Colston plinth on the day the statue was toppled, painted by Mr Cenz can bee seen on the wall opposite. 

Banksy mural with teddy bear throwing molotov cocktail - credit Paul Box
Image: Banksy's Mild Mild West mural on Stokes Croft, credit Paul Box

Southville and Bedminster

Bedminster is Bristol’s Art District, with every nook and cranny of this famously working class area daubed in paint by some of the world’s most prolific street artists.

As the site of Europe’s largest graffiti and street art festival Upfest, a large percentage of the walls around North Street in Bedminster have been decorated with incredible pieces of street art, all within a short walk of each other. From Redpoint Climbing Centre to the side of The Tobacco Factory, the murals here are given a makeover during each edition of the festival, so you’re sure to see something new even if you’ve been here before.

Book on to the Graffiti Stories and Street Art Walking Tour with experience curator Yuup to be guided around some of Bedminster's best art. You’ll hear about Bristol's own street art story and the history of Upfest, while taking in a mix of the globally acclaimed and lesser-known Upfest pieces. 

'The Six Sisters' artwork at the Upfest street art festival on North Street, Bristol - credit Hannah Judah
Image - The Six Sisters artwork on North Street in Bedminster, credit Hannah Judah

Nelson Street

Once a fairly mundane central Bristol backstreet, Nelson Street was transformed during the See No Evil urban art festival in 2011 and 2012. Several pieces still remain and they're pretty difficult to miss! Nick Walker's suited man makes a statement at 20 metres in height, as does the striking mother and child mural by Walker, Aryz and El Mac. Bristol-born artist Inkie also recently repainted his See No Evil mural, which was partly removed by a jet washer just months after it was originally painted during the festival. 

Various pieces of street art on the side of buildings in Nelson Street, central Bristol - credit Blackbeard to Banksy Bristol Walking Tour
Image - Murals on Nelson Street, credit Blackbeard to Banksy Walking Tour

Park Street

One of the most recognisable (and hilly!) shopping streets in Bristol, Park Street is no stranger to street art. In the summer of 2009, Banksy paid Bristol City Council £1 to hire Bristol Museum & Art Gallery at the top of the hill for the 'Banksy versus Bristol Museum' extravaganza, which generated tens of millions pounds for the local economy. One of the exhibits can still be seen inside to this day – Banksy Graffiti Paint Pot Angel.

Banksy's 'Well Hung Lover' on Park Street, central Bristol
Image: Banksy's Well-Hung Lover on Park Street

Further down Park Street, best-viewed from the small bridge that crosses Frogmore Street on Park Street near College Green, is Banksy’s Well-Hung Lover. And, if you wander all the way down Park Row (just off Park Street) towards the Bristol Royal Infirmary, keep your eyes peeled for Banksy's 'Police Sniper'.

It's not all Banksy here either. The area is also home to a beautiful piece called 'The Florist' by Bristol artist Jody, who is known for his realistic murals.  

Bristol Harbourside

While not so much a street art ‘hub’ as some of the other places listed here, there are still a couple of great pieces to see along the waterfront. Banksy’s ‘Girl with the Pierced Eardrum’ can be found on the Harbourside walk, just along from Brunel’s SS Great Britain, and M Shed museum is currently a temporary home to Banksy’s Grim Reaper.

Banksy's 'The Girl With The Pierced Eardrum' street art on Bristol's Harbourside - credit Visit Bristol
Image: Girl with the Pierced Eardrum, Banksy

Further along the harbour in Cumberland Basin are a number of other murals along the side of the Create Centre and around the Cumberland Piazza.

Upfest

Europe’s largest street art festival is a visual spectacle that takes over the streets of Bedminster. Artists from all over the globe descend on south Bristol to create eye-popping murals while onlookers watch. A family-friendly event, there are always plenty of activities to keep kids entertained, plus street food markets and live musical entertainment to accompany the art. And who’s to say Banksy isn’t also in the crowd?

An artwork at the Upfest street art festival on North Street, Bristol
Image - Mural by street artist Aches painted on North Street during the 2022 edition of Upfest

 

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