World-Class Historical and Art Collections at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Bristol is one of the countries capital of culture and history, so how about taking a trip to find out why – at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, admire beautiful collections of art, dive into the nature and history of our Earth and explore the lives of people past and present in this stunning building. And it’s all free!

Is Bristol Museum free?

Yes! You can enjoy one of the UK's best and most extensive museums for free. You'll find Bristol Museum & Art Gallery just a 10 minute walk from the city centre on Queens Road, just off Park Street. Bus numbers 1, 2, 4, 8, 9 and 72 all travel past the museum, while Clifton Down train station is a 15 minute walk away with bus stops outside. The two closest car parks are West End (BS8 1EH) and Trenchard Street (BS1 5AN), both about a five minute walk away.

Bristol Museum & Gallery’s history dates back two centuries, all the way back to 1823 when it was originally founded as the Bristol Institution for the Advancement of Science and Art. This beautiful, neoclassical building was designed by Sir Charles Robert Cockrell, who also built St. George’s Hall in Liverpool. The museum has hosted world-renowned exhibitions in it’s time, including the world-famous Banksy exhibition of 2009! It is now one of the sixteen Arts Council England Major Partner Museums – some of the finest museums in the world.

Through exploring 19 fascinating galleries across 3 floors, you’ll immerse yourself in the story of our world, from the beginning of time up to the present day. Discover captivating cultures that you may never of heard about, marvel at the workings of ancient civilisations, be amazed by the wonders of modern inventions and creativity, all displayed by a world-class collection of thousands of objects and artefacts.

On the ground floor, step back in time to discover the wonders of Ancient Egypt and the lost middle-eastern civilisation of Assyria, from long-lost mummies to intriguing archaeological discoveries and world cultures at the Curiosity Gallery. Learn about variety of wildlife closer to home at the South West Wildlife gallery, displaying the natural wonders of Bristol and the surrounding region.

Head up to the first floor to take a billion year journey through the history of the Earth in the Geology Gallery, where you’ll discover astonishing fossils that have preserved creatures that have been long extinct, as well as a sparkling world crystals and gemstones. Meet the best-preserved dinosaurs ever found in the UK, and explore the diversity of the animal kingdom, including rare wildlife from around the UK and across the globe.

Explore exquisite craftsmanship and masterful artwork on the second floor, from stunning paintings made by world-famous artists, the incredible ceramic and glass galleries to the Eastern Art Gallery, with an extraordinary collection of ceramics and carvings from ancient China and Japan.

Whether you’re a history buff, a keen admirer of the arts or just looking for a way to spend the day in Bristol, the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a fantastic trip out for the whole family!

  • Open daily 10am to 5pm, closed Mondays.
  • Free entry for all!
  • Accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Enjoy homemade refreshments at their café.
  • Keep an eye on their What’s On page for exhibitions, family events, workshops and tours.









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