Bristol's Old City

Bristol's 'Old City' is its historic district with several Grade I & II buildings, trendy shopping, the bustling craft beer scene, and theatres.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Bristol
Bristol Harbour
Built with lock gates in the 18th century to address the tides of the River Avon, the waterfront has become a focal point for travellers and locals.
King Street
The newer part of King Street was developed in the 1660's, so walking down the street now is truly a time capsule of times past.
Corn Street
Corn Street used to serve as the administrative and commercial street for the city; today it is a street lined with Grade I and Grade II buildings.
The Exchange, Bristol
Designed by John Wood the Elder, whose other architectural masterpieces remain today in Bath and Liverpool, the Grade I listed building is now predominantly an administrative building.
Nelson Street, Bristol
When looking for the street art for which the city has become known, begin on Nelson Street and uncover the newest works on display.
St Mary Redcliffe Church
Known for its Gothic architecture, part of the remaining church dates back to the 12th century, though the first church in the location dates back to the Saxon times.

Related Tours

Highlights of Bristol: Private Walking Tour with a Pub Drink
Discover the multicultural city of Bristol in the South West of England, rich in maritime history, beautiful medieval and Georgian architecture as well as contemporary culture and street art by Banksy whose home town it is! On your private tour, you will:

  • Enjoy the personal attention of your private guide
  • Stroll the atmospheric streets of Bristol’s Old City, rich in medieval history and packed with maritime character, on the quayside where hauls of rum and sugar were stored.
  • Discover Bristol’s prosperous port heritage derived from domestic slaves captured in Wales or Northern England and sold to Ireland’s Viking chiefs.
  • See the church of St Mary Redcliffe, which kept a watchful eye over mariners, and guided merchant ships out of the Port of Bristol for 800 years.
  • Prepare to be wowed at the epic graffiti, and bold urban murals on Nelson Street. As the home of Banksy, Bristol has a global reputation for amazing street art
  • Admire beautifully restored warehouses that are now home to cosy cafés and restaurants. 
  • Wander around the chic wine bars that now occupy Corn Street’s former banks. 
  • Enjoy a pint or a glass of wine at one of Bristol's lively pubs, while your guide gives you recommendations for the best local recommendations for the remainder of your stay. 

Bristol is a thriving contemporary city with a unique creative identity and a rich maritime heritage that blend together seamlessly, as you’ll discover on your private guided tour. As the gateway to the beautiful coastal counties of Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall in the South West of England, it is a popular place to live for many working professionals. Bristol has a really creative atmosphere – and is the home of many bands and musicians, including Portishead and Massive Attack. It also spawned Banksy and the global eruption of the street art movement, and has a veritable cornucopia of architectural styles from medieval gothic spires, to elegant Georgian Terraces and the impressive Clifton Suspension Bridge. Most recently, Bristol has made global headlines with the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. 

On your privately guided walking tour, you will explore the historic centre, the old harbour, the elegant Corn Street and the Exchange, which retains its mercantile buzz, and King Street learning about the maritime trade and industry of the city - and see how the old warehouses have now been converted into amazing artisanal workshops, boutiques and bars. You’ll also walk past the cultural hub of Bristol with its many museums and galleries like MShed. Strolling through the Old City evokes an era when ships would arrive from all over the world at Bristol port, laden with cargo. You can visit the Church of St Mary Redcliffe, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, which guided ships out of the Port of Bristol for eight centuries with prayers for safe passage. 

Then, on Nelson Street, the creative vibe is entirely different from the home of Bristol’s bold, colourful street art. Banksy is Bristol-born yet the transformation of the drab 1960s grey frontings to the city’s beating artsy heart owes much to a dozen or so cutting-edge graffiti maestros. There are loads of Banksy’s in Bristol – and you’ll see many of them, including the famous ‘Well Hung Lover’ before ending your tour in a traditional local pub for a pint or a glass of wine with your guide. 


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