Bristol Landmarks

We know that the first thing people want to do when they visit is see famous landmarks, and in Bristol we have plenty for you to tick off your list.

We've pulled together our recommendations for the key sights to see while you’re visiting Bristol. We know that it can be difficult to know where to start when exploring a new city, so here are a few of the unmissable landmarks to make sure you get a true flavour of our history, culture and beautiful green spaces.

Bristol and Brunel

If you’ve heard of Bristol, the chances are that you’ve heard the name Brunel mentioned in the same sentence. The legacy of celebrated engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel runs deep in the city where he created some of his most ambitious and famous works, from the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge to the world-first SS Great Britain.  

Wherever you look, you’re never far from a Brunel masterpiece – Temple Meads Station and the Great Western Railway, the novel sluice systems at Underfall Yard and nearby swivel bridge in the Floating Harbour.

Icons of the city

Another name synonymous with Bristol is Banksy, the mysterious artist who hails from the city and has returned many times to surprise fans with new artworks and murals. Banksy took over Bristol Museum & Art Gallery in the summer of 2009 for a special exhibition, and his ‘Paint-Pot Angel’ is still on display in the museum. Take a tour of Banksy’s artworks around the city and learn more about Bristol’s world-famous street art scene.

Bristol was the departure point for Italian navigator and explorer John Cabot in 1497 aboard The Matthew, who made landfall in North America several weeks later. A replica of The Matthew is now moored outside M Shed and is open to visitors; you can also book cruises around the harbour and along the Avon Gorge throughout the year. You’ll find a statue of Cabot wistfully looking out towards the docks outside Arnolfini, and his impressive voyage is also commemorated with the beautiful Cabot Tower in Brandon Hill Park, built in the 1890s to mark 400 years since the journey across the Atlantic.

Other famous faces you may spot on your travels around the city include the statue of Cary Grant in Millennium Square - he was born and raised in Bristol and you can join a walking tour about his life.

Bristol’s most historic buildings

With such a long and rich history, Bristol is full of interesting buildings. Don’t miss Bristol Cathedral which dates from the 12th century or the impressive gothic church of St Mary Redcliffe, which opened in 1442.

Many of Bristol’s museums and cultural venues have a fascinating story to tell. See a show at Bristol Old Vic, which is one of the world’s longest-running theatres, or check out the latest exhibition at Grade II-listed Royal West of England Academy, which has been bringing world-class art to Bristol since 1844. You can also take in spectacular views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge from the cafe terrace at Clifton Observatory, which is also home to a museum, caves and one of only three working Camera Obscuras in the UK.

Green spaces natural wonders

Landmarks aren’t limited to buildings – Bristol also has more than its fair share of stunning landscapes, parks and gardens. Walk through the the tree-lined paths and take in the gorgeous Georgian architecture in Queen Square, take a boat trip along the impressive Avon Gorge, or journey out to Cheddar Gorge for awe-inspiring cliffs, before heading to nearby Wookey Hole for legendary caves.

Looking for more tips while you’re here?

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