Bristol Insight Open Top Bus Tours

Bristol Insight bus tours

Vivienne Kennedy takes an open top bus tour with Bristol Insight and learns all kinds of fascinating Bristol facts along the way.

Do you know that Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5’1? Or that he designed Temple Meads Station to look like a Tudor palace? If your surname is Tucker, Walker or Filer, do you realise that your ancestors probably worked in the woollen industry?

No? Well, next time you’re looking for something to do in Bristol after shopping consider taking an open top bus tour of the city with Bristol Insight. Whether you’ve lived in the city all your life or you’re just visiting for the day, you’re almost guaranteed to learn something new!

Bristol Insight open top bus tour

The tour

On a slightly chilly June day, I boarded the bus at stop 1, just behind the Tourist Information Centre and Watershed, but you can hop on or off at any of 17 stops. Choose 12 (by Debenhams on The Horsefair) or 13 (Top Shop, Cabot Circus) for Bristol Shopping Quarter.

The Bristol Insight bus tour lasts around an hour, depending on traffic. It takes in all the “must see” sights, which include SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge, and Temple Meads. If you were in any doubt how important a figure, albeit short in stature, Mr Brunel was to Bristol, you’ll be convinced by the time you get off.

Mike drove us around the city while his colleague Pete regaled us with stories about Bristol’s people, places and history. His delivery is light and there’s plenty to raise smiles or laughter from his audience on the top deck. He made sure we didn’t miss Morph, resplendent in the wrong trousers outside Aardman HQ.

Morph, seen from the Bristol Insight open top bus tour

How much does a Bristol Insight bus tour cost?

If you buy tickets on board the bus you’ll pay £15 for each adult and £9 for a child aged five or over. A family ticket, valid for two adults and up to three children, costs £44. If you are over the age of 65, or a student with valid ID, you will pay £13.

Passengers who buy their tickets online will save up to £4 per ticket.

Your tickets are valid for two days, which must be consecutive. You can hop on and off at any number of stops.

As you board remember to pick up a discount voucher for great offers from attractions on the route. These include £1 off entry to At-Bristol and 30% off admission to Bristol Zoo. You’ll need to show your bus ticket (and the voucher) to claim.

If you’d like more information, including the route and timetable, visit

Click HERE for other ‘after shopping’ ideas.