Bringing the harbourside to life
Bristol harbourside

Bristol harbourside

Welcome to Bristol Aquarium, the city attraction located right in the centre of the world famous Bristol Harbourside. With a nautical heritage dating back to the 13th century, Bristol harbourside was the original port of Bristol. Today Bristol Harbourside is one of Europes premier cultural and tourist destinations; home to museums and galleries, theatre, the Bristol Harbour Festival and of course Bristol Aquarium – The Harbourside Attraction.

Local Information

Unlike other attractions your entrance ticket to Bristol Aquarium lasts all day so come and go as you please and discover what the Harbourside has to offer

The rich and eventful history of Bristol as a port stretches back over many centuries. The original town was listed in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1051 as a port trading regularly with Ireland. Bristol played an extremely important role in sea trade for hundreds of years following this, but as the scale of business and trade grew in the city, so did the need to develop the narrow and relatively small harbour.

Walking along Bristol’s ancient harbour, it’s easy to imagine the tall ships with their sails whipping in the wind and the shouts and cries of sailors preparing to head out to sea. Bristol’s strong links with the ocean, and its key role in the profitable trade of slavery and tobacco, inevitably lead to the city’s involvement with piracy. Laws at the time stated that piracy was illegal – however the practice of privateering was not. Privateers were meant to have a ‘letter of Marque’ from their government allowing them to attack and steal from merchant ships of certain countries.

Bristol’s most famous pirate, Blackbeard, was allegedly born in the city, near the old harbour. Also known as Edward Teach, the infamous sailor led a reign of terror over the Caribbean Sea and the islands that inhabit it.

Bristol’s rich maritime history has inspired stories of exploration and daring voyages. Robinson Crusoe is allegedly based on Alexander Selkirk, a shipwrecked sailor, whom Daniel Defoe met in The Llandoger Trow in King Street. The Hole in the Wall in Queen Square is said to be the basis for The Spyglass in Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island.

For further information on the city Visit

Discover Bristol

Bristol Aquarium is also a close stop for the Bristol Ferry boats so why not join them for a trip down the river before the start of your next talk.

Bristol Aquarium is also pleased to be a stop on the city sightseeing open top bus so why not have an open top bus tour before returning to the aquarium for a shark feed!

Bristol is home to some truly spectacular sites, the most Iconic of which is the Clifton suspension bridge built by the world renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel which can be viewed on the city sightseeing.

Directly Behind Bristol Aquarium is the stunning Bristol Cathedral which can also be viewed as part of the sacred Bristol walk .

The new city Museum M-SHED is also set to open in June on the Harbourside so why not combine your aquarium visit with a look inside


Bristol is Proud to boast a number of fine hotels which can be used for your visit to the city.
The Radisson Blu situated on the Harbourside is only a few minutes walk from the Aquarium

Clifton Hotels group offer stunning properties in the highly desirable area of Clifton, just 5 minutes walk away from the aquarium. ‘We treat every guest as an individual, and strive to provide the highest service standards throughout all of our operations. Our focus on quality, personal service, and our unique accommodation range, are what makes our Hotels special’.

Arnos Manor is part of the Forestdale chain of hotels. Situated in Bristol itself, close to the Bristol Aquarium

For more accomodation information visit