From Egyptian mummies to a stuffed gorilla and works by Old Masters, this museum explores life on Earth from its earliest days.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is a treasure trove of artifacts that celebrate worldwide history from all corners of the globe. Thousands of exhibits and 19 galleries bring life to the halls of a magnificent Edwardian building at the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Learn about ancient civilizations, see dinosaur skeletons and marvel at the talents of some of the world’s most acclaimed artists.
The fun starts the moment you step foot inside the building and are greeted by the Bristol Boxkite aircraft suspended above the lobby. Mummies and sarcophagi take you back to Ancient Egypt while stone reliefs provide an insight into the Assyrian Empire. Get acquainted with the aquatic wildlife native to South West England.
Go to the first floor and come face-to-face with taxidermy displays of endangered, extinct and unusual animals. Among them is Alfred the Gorilla, who once lived at Bristol Zoo, and a Tasmanian tiger. The Scelidosaurus, which is the largest dinosaur found in Britain, is one of several Jurassic-era exhibits. Study the evolution of the city of Bristol via a collection of maps. See gemstones, fossils and minerals such as the 200 million-year-old Bristol Diamonds.
The museum’s top floor is dedicated to the arts. Highlights include paintings by Giovanni Bellini, Jacob van Ruisdael and other European Masters in addition to pieces from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Find a gallery dedicated to British crafts such as tin-glazed pottery and glassware. There are also paintings by members of the Bristol School of Artists.
Check the museum’s official website or ask at the entrance about special events. These range from exhibitions by the Bristolian graffiti artist Banksy to artist talks and theatrical shows. Stop by the café to sample sandwiches, salads and pastries from the organic menu. The museum shop sells a variety of souvenirs related to the exhibitions.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday and admission is free. It’s located 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) west of Bristol Temple Meads train station. Several city bus lines stop outside the museum.