Are you looking for the best photo locations in Bristol to spruce up your Insta feed? This picturesque city hugs both sides of the River Avon and is known as one of the cultural hubs of England.
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From the harbourside attractions, amazing street art, museums, and galleries to the many quaint eateries and buzzing restaurants, the city is not shy with its stunning photo opportunities.
If you’re looking for the best picturesque locations and viewpoints in Bristol, you’ve come to the right place.
There are many cool places in Bristol with endless Instagrammable qualities. To take advantage of these opportunities, head to these places with your favourite camera for Instagram in hand.
If you like to keep your Instagram on the edgier side, then visiting some of Banksy’s most formidable artworks is a must.
The famed artist has decorated the city with many of his best works, such as ‘The Girl with the Pierced Ear’, ‘Valentine’s Day Mural’ and his latest piece created during the pandemic, ‘Aachoo!!’.
If you’d like to add an artsy touch to your Instagram feed, then going on a street art tour of Bristol is a wonderful idea.
Not only will you get a chance to take photos of the artists’ great works, but you’ll learn about the history and political commentary that inspired them too.
Along with Banksy’s artworks, you’ll find many other awe-inspiring pieces by other Bristol artists worth capturing in photographs.
The Christmas Steps is an alleyway that dates back to the 13th century and gets its name because of its enchanting feel. The alleyway is strung with fairy lights, which give the street its magical touch.
The street is lined with restaurants, board game cafés, shops, galleries, and pubs – all of which are worth a visit. But the real attraction here is the street itself.
The quaint alleyway makes for a mystical and enchanting photo to add to your collection of Bristol pictures for Instagram.
While it makes for the perfect shot, that perfect picture is hard to get because the alley is used by commuters throughout the day.
Because of this, you’ll need to plan ahead. Visiting The Christmas Steps in the early morning will be your best bet at finding them free of people.
You can also visit in the evening when the twinkling fairy lights come on. Although there may be a few people in your shot, it will still make for a beautiful picture with its own Christmassy feel.
If you decide to visit in the morning to find the steps empty, be sure to fill your tummy with a hearty meal after trying to capture the perfect shot.
Next to the Christmas Steps is the very imposing Almshouses on Colston Street. With its red brick and black diaper work, limestone window dressings, door frames and pillars.
The architects Foster & Wood took inspiration from the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune in Burgundy, France. And designed Fosters Almshouses in the flamboyant Victorian Burgundian Gothic Revival style that was fashionable at the time. Which makes it stand out on this busy street.
The Almshouse was established through a bequest from John Foster, a 15th-century merchant, in 1492.
The building has been designated as a grade II listed building by the English Heritage.
If you’re looking for the best viewing point in the Bristol area, Cabot Tower is the place to go. The tower is free to visit and is located on Brandon Hill, which is the highest point in the city.
Getting there is a bit of a scramble, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers.
You’ll need to walk up the hill for a couple of minutes before reaching the tower. From there, you’ll enter the tower and climb the spiral staircase to the top.
While you might be breathless when you get there, the views over Bristol, the harbour docks, Clifton Village and Bath make the climb so worth it.
After resting for a moment to catch your breath, you will have the opportunity to capture some jaw-dropping pictures of the city below.
If you’re looking for Instagrammable things to do in Bristol, then finding the colourful houses that are sprinkled throughout the city is a must.
Not only do they brighten up the city streets, but they could be punctuating your Instagram account with their vibrant colours.
To start your journey for the perfect photo backdrop, head to the Bristol Harbour Docks and make your way to Cliftonwood Crescent. There you’ll find your first string of colourful houses in Bristol.
Tip: Try not to wear anything too bright on the day you visit the colourful houses, as your outfit might clash with the picture-perfect backdrop.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge is often thought of as the most popular landmark in Bristol, and it’s not hard to see why.
The bridge stretches over the River Avon and the Avon Gorge and can be captured from many different angles.
This means you have the choice of shooting the bridge with multiple different backdrops. A picture taken from above from the Clifton Observatory will allow you to capture the bridge with the River Avon running rapidly underneath.
From the same spot, you can also snap a picture of the bridge with the cliffs and luscious green vegetation in the backdrop.
If you head down to Bristol Harbour Docks, you can capture this Bristol landmark with the sky providing the perfect backdrop for this photo.
So, if you’re looking to populate your Instagram account with a whole lot of content, then getting photos of the bridge from multiple angles is also an option.
The Bristol Harbour Docks are certainly one of the most picturesque locations in the city and offer endless Instagram worthy photo opportunities.
You’ll find many quaint little boats decorated with flowerpots. Small bridges criss-cross the water, and colourful houses work as a backdrop for the harbour.
You could quite literally spend hours taking photos in the harbour, and when you get tired, there are pubs, restaurants, and cafés that offer a fine selection of refreshments.
There are a multitude of other attractions worth visiting when you’re done with your photo shoots for the day.
Pop into the Arnolfini Arts Centre, one of the museums, or head to the SS Great Britain and The Matthew ship to take a trip through Bristol’s history.
The St Nicholas Food Market is located inside an old Georgian building which offers an absolutely beautiful setting.
The building is covered in glass windows, letting in plenty of natural light. There is also a collection of old signs and ancient clocks that make for a stunning photo.
While you’re at the market, be sure to taste test some of the delicious food on offer. The market is often buzzing during the lunch period, so be sure to satisfy your cravings before moving on to your next photo location.
If you’re looking for a highly unique attraction in the heart of Bristol, head to the end of Broad Street for a photo opportunity not afforded to many.
The Church of St John the Baptist was founded in the 12th century and is the only church still standing of the five that lined the city wall.
These churches once acted as a defense for the city, but now only the Church of St John the Baptist remains.
The church itself is built with intricate architecture and has an immaculate clocktower, all of which are photo-worthy. But it’s the archways that stand on either side of the clocktower that really make this worth the visit.
When you enter the archway, you’ll find a wonderful gold and blue mural painted on the inside of the archway.
Not only is it an impressive work of art, but it makes for a wonderful backdrop for one of your many photos of Bristol.
Montpelier Station is actually a train station, so you may not have expected it to appear on a list of the most Instagrammable places in Bristol, but here it is.
Montpelier is a neighbourhood in Bristol that’s known for having its very own unique and quirky style.
It’s a colourful area with plenty of cultural attractions, including a whole heap of street art, so the area in itself is rather photogenic. But head to the station if you want to see the real star of Montpelier.
In recent years, Montpelier Station was decked out with its own mural to inspire young people to report crimes that they knew about.
But it makes for a wonderful backdrop for an Instagram photo. Whether you are an influencer, model or photographer – you’ll find a great shot here.
Bristol Cathedral is a Norman temple that features Gothic Architecture, making it an excellent place to take photos. Both on the inside and on the outside, there are many different photo opportunities that this ancient building presents.
If you stroll through the inside, you can enjoy light streaming into the building through stunning stained-glass windows.
If you are a photographer or model that likes to play with light, this is an ideal setting to try something new.
The College Green is located right opposite the Bristol Cathedral and is a great place to photograph the outside of the building.
The park is filled with a mix of grassy areas and wildflowers, which will add another dimension to a great Instagram picture.
The M-Shed is located in the Bristol Harbour Docks and is a museum that is free to visit. The museum is all about the history and culture of Bristol, so expect to see many antiques and collectables with which you can take fantastic, themed photos.
One of the main attractions for those looking to take whimsical photos for their Instagram accounts is the hot air balloons that hang from the ceiling.
There is also an old bus and a few arcade machines on the floor that make for good backdrops.
If you simply want a photo to commemorate the city, then head out onto the balcony and look down on Bristol Harbour Docks. It makes for a truly picturesque scene!
The SS Great Britain is now a museum, but it was once a great ship that sailed the high seas. It was first launched in 1843 and was the very first ship of its kind.
Just a few years after the creation of the ship, it was lost off the coast of the Falkland Islands. It was only returned in 1970, where it retired and became a museum.
The ship has now been returned to its former glory, and a tour on board will help you learn about what life was like for those who stepped aboard.
The best photo opportunities can be found on deck, where your camera will glimpse flags, as well as the Bristol Harbour Docks themselves.
There is another photo opportunity as you are walking toward the ship, where they have recreated a scene from the old docks.
There you’ll find old barrels and posters that make for an authentic backing to any photo.
Graffiti in Stokes Croft Area
Stokes Croft is a vibrant area in Bristol has become known for its graffiti. Street art started to appear more frequently on the side of buildings, gates and tunnels when the people moved out of the area and boarded up their former homes during the 1980s. Since then, it has flourished with tags and murals.
Perhaps some of the most striking works include a series of science fiction style mannequins, which appeared on factory buildings after being vacated and left to rot. And the famous Mild Mild West by Banksy at Canteen.
Every year a local graffiti competition is held on the streets of Stokes Croft that invites all artists from Bristol and beyond to take part. The event has been running for more than ten years and offers prizes at the end of the show.
This urban art form has made Bristol unique and earned it the title ‘City of Murals’.
Leonard Lane Bristol
Leonard Lane in Bristol is one the most well-known places to find street art, with almost every part of its wall space covered by spray paint or ink drawings. In fact, there are so many pieces of artistically presented art on Leonard Lane and the surrounding streets that walking down these roads is like taking a trip to an art gallery.
The street art on Leonard Lane can be divided into 2 categories: traditional pieces created by spray painting or drawing with ink. Other pieces such as stickers are more challenging to see than paintings but add another level of creativity to this area’s walls.
The once-neglected Lane has since been revitalised due to the Human Nature’s project. Launched by artist Charlotte Webster and focused on our relationship with the environment.
In Bristol’s Old City, Leonard Lane off Corn Street is now officially Europe’s longest environmental art thoroughfare.
Leonard Lane reminds me of Shoreditch Streets in London.
Murals on Quay & Nelson Street
The mural artwork at Quay Street and Nelson Street was started in 2012 as part of the “See No Evil” festival hosted in 2012 in a bid to promote arts and culture in Bristol.
Around the Nelson Street area, you’ll be able to find some impressive large-scale murals from artists like Nick Walker, Mariusz Waras, Stik, Aryz, Pixel Pancho and more.
Murals You’ll see on Quay & Nelson Street in Bristol are:
Nick Walker’s mural in Quay Street
Mariusz Waras’ mural in Nelson Street
“Clothed With the Sun” (2011) – Mural by El Mac
See No Evil by Aryz on Nelson Street
A Mechanical Beast by Pixel Pancho on Nelson Street
And the famous “Welcome to Bristol” mural.
Located on the top end of Park Street, this hidden gem offers a two-in-one experience, providing both delicious food and great photo opportunities.
The café is draped in plants from floor to ceiling, creating an indoor jungle-like experience. But if you want the real treat, you’ll need to head to the top floor.
There you’ll find a stunning flower wall that’s lit up in pretty pink. And you’ll be happy to know that the photo opportunities don’t stop with the decor.
The cocktails made at the bar are very elaborate, which adds just one more photogenic layer to this awesome experience.
If you like the idea of Instagrammable eateries and bars in Bristol, here are a few more options to add to your list:
- East Village Café
- Jamaica Street Stores
- Albatross Café
- Little Victories
If you’re hoping to take photos of Bristol, or photos of yourself in Bristol, then let this post be your guide.
Take a day or two out of your trip to head to these incredibly photographable locations.
This way, you’ll be making a memory that you can hold in your hands (or on your phone) for many years to come. After all, nobody wants to forget their trip to such an iconic city.