Bristol is a city rich in cultural heritage and culture and encompasses everything from art and history to music, sport, theatre, and of course, our people. Stroll through streets covered in art, admire centuries old artefacts or explore Bristol’s music scene.
Bristol’s history goes back thousands of years and no matter which period of time you are interested in there is something to be discovered here in the city and surrounding areas. Bristol is lucky to have so many highly-renowned and cutting-edge art galleries which regularly showcase both classic, well-known and emerging artists’ work.
Within a short walk or cycle you can see contemporary art, historic art, an ever-changing and lively programme of exhibitions, as well as theatrical art & performance.
Colston Hall is Bristol’s largest concert hall, presenting concerts and entertainment by major names in rock, pop, jazz, folk, world and classical music, stand up comedy and light entertainment, as well as local choirs, orchestras and schools. Their audiences have been enjoying music here since 1867 and the building remains at the heart of cultural life in the city. Some of the world’s biggest music and comedy stars have performed on its stage, including The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Motorhead and Bob Dylan.
The Old Vic Theatre
Built in 1766, Bristol Old Vic is the oldest continuously working theatre in the English speaking world, and remains a place of joy, discovery and adventure to this day.
The Old Vic is mercurial: it can transform into a theatre in the round, a space for live music and comedy, has played host to opera, dance, cinema, music hall, classical dramas, variety, big spectacles and novelty acts. It was the original home of the English National Opera, the Sadler’s Wells dance company and the National Theatre. It’s also been a tavern, a college, a coffee house, a lecture hall and a meeting place.
The Bristol Hippodrome, the city’s very own West End theatre, opened its doors on 16 December 1912 when the curtain rose for the first time on what was generally agreed to be Oswald Stoll’s most magnificent provincial theatre. It is a superb example of the grand architecture of the late Victorian era and is one of the masterpieces of design by Frank Matcham, the most eminent theatre architect of his time.
The Royal West of England Academy (RWA), England’s only regional Royal Academy of Art, is Bristol’s finest art gallery. Its magnificent Grade II* listed building hosts five naturally-lit galleries acclaimed as one of the best exhibition spaces in the country. Its lively programme of exhibitions celebrate the best of historic and contemporary British art, including artists from Turner and Constable to Fedden and Nash, and work by its own Academicians, who include some of the country’s leading artists.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery tells the story of our world in every display, from the beginning of time to the present day.
19 galleries over 3 floors reveal fascinating cultures, ancient civilisations, human invention and creativity, as well as showcasing our beautiful and fragile natural world. With thousands of amazing objects on display, one visit just isn’t enough!
Arnolfini is a centre for contemporary arts based on Bristol’s harbourside in the heart of the city. Founded in 1961, the organisation is dedicated to producing and presenting visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, underpinned by a commitment to a dynamic civic role in the city.
Situated on the historic Harbourside, M Shed is the history museum of Bristol that tells the story of our city. The 1950s transit shed, originally called M Shed, on Bristol’s historic wharf has been transformed into a museum. Thought-provoking and fun, M Shed challenges the perceptions of what it has meant to live here over the centuries through the recollections of the people who shaped the city.
Bristol’s professional sports teams offer a range of sports for you to watch – cricket, football, rugby, basketball – or you can catch the road races that take place over the course of the year. The city also hosts international fixtures, last year hosting fixtures in the Rugby League World Cup and this year welcoming the women’s Ashes series.