Things to do for free in Bristol

After the inevitable expensive Christmas period your pockets might be feeling a little lighter than usual, but fear not as Bristol has an abundance of free things to do around the city centre. There’s also some fantastic budget friendly lunch deals to keep you fuelled up whilst you’re out and about taking in the sights. Check out just some of them here…

Bristol Cathedral

The monumental 12th century cathedral is impossible to miss, taking centre stage on College Green in the very heart of the city. Open to the public seven days a week, this gothic building is as breathtaking inside as it is outside and is well worth a visit on a rainy day. If you make that day a Tuesday there’s also plenty of nearby restaurants offering deals such as Mission Burrito’s two stamps on your loyalty card, Pizzarova’s pizza and a pint for £10 or The Stable’s pizza, side salad and a drink for £10.

Banksy Walking Tour

Whilst you can pay for guided tours around the city to see Banksy’s work, if you’ve got a decent chunk of time to fill why not go rogue and discover them at your own pace? It’s easy enough to find the locations of all of his pieces online, or if you’re feeling really adventurous simply head out into the city and keep your eyes peeled! You can also find great lunch deals everywhere if you know where to look, such as Bambalan’s £6.50 burger and fries, Hy Brasil’s burger, fries and a drink for £9 and Slug & Lettuce’s £5 lunch deal.

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Alongside the permanent art, nature and history displays, there’s an ever-changing roster of exhibitions and events to explore at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. This month catch exhibitions such as Fabric Africa and Masters of the Japanese Print among many other incredible displays. For nearby lunches and treats that won’t break the bank, head to Wahaca for their street food smaller plates, Woky Ko who have a cracking £6.95 express lunch deal or, if you’re in the mood for something stronger, head to Be At One during happy hour for their two for one cocktails.


A Bristol institution that is going through a “year of transition”, Arnolfini is an arts house, gallery, book shop, café and bar all rolled into one. The downstairs ‘front room’ is a public workspace that transforms to host talks and special events throughout the year so keep an eye on their website or sign up to their mailing list to be kept up to date on what’s going on. Just across from the front room you’ll find the Bristol Beer Factory bar and café which serves up everything from coffee and cakes to lunch, cocktails and of course plenty of delicious BBF beer. Of course you can also eat in the Arnolfini cafe too!