This arty, hipster city is a jewel of the south-west. It’s easy to have your best first dates in Bristol. Even if it doesn’t work out with you both long-term, you’ll have a great time in the process. Dating is a great excuse to see and do new things in your area. Grasp these opportunities and have some adventures.
Got a hot date coming up and unsure what – or where – to go to avoid the same old bars and cafes?
The best first dates in Bristol
With great choices and superb venues to suit every pocket, you’ll want to make it to the second, third and fourth date too. Here are our recommendations.
1. The Lanes
Bowling is a classic kitsch date night activity. Make like you’re in an American movie and do it in a cute boutique bowling alley. There are five retro lanes, as well as a karaoke room, pool tables and a diner – plenty to keep you both active, invested and giggling for hours. You can also catch regular live music gigs at The Lanes. If you want to make your date ultra-exclusive, you could even hire out the whole place.
2. The Love Inn
There couldn’t be a more appropriately named bar for a first date. Enjoy a late-night love-in at The Love Inn at Stokes Croft. Top DJs are on the decks till near dawn, the mixologists shake up some quirky house cocktails and the cosy decor is suitably funky.
The food menu is made up of ethical dishes created from locally sourced products and on Sundays, the team serves up a cracking roast.
Adventurous things to do in Bristol
If you’re up for adventure and the weather is nice, these are great places to take your date.
3. Bristol Lido
Whether the weather’s hot or cold, sunny or cloudy, combine a workout with a date as you take a refreshing dip together in Bristol’s own 24-metre heated lido.
Once you’ve completed your lengths, you can refuel with a tasty poolside meal, nibbles and tipples. This is a great option for those who prefer fitness and fresh air to a night on the town. You’ll feel like you’ve been away on holiday after an afternoon here.
4. We The Curious
Formerly the At-Bristol Science Museum, this fascinating attraction is filled with interactive exhibits. Far from being a formal, hushed space, noise, laughter – and of course, learning – are encouraged.
Think it’s just for kids? Think again. It does tend to attract families by day, but you can book one of their special After Hours adults-only experiences, which included a magical planetarium show.
5. Online speed dating in Bristol
Since the industrial revolution, Bristol has built a reputation as an innovative forward-thinking city. So why not date using a contemporary, cutting edge method? Online speed dating in Bristol connects you with other singles in the city. But you can do it from anywhere. You simply log in at the event’s start time and speed date attendees via video connection.
It’s perfect if you can’t leave home, are working away for a while, or are travelling. And with frequent events happening in this area, so you’re bound to make some matches.
First date ideas Bristol
Fancy impressing your date or partner with a fun night out? There’s no shortage of interesting, trendy and intriguing places to keep you and your date occupied in the region.
6. Bristol Balloons
For the ultimate impressive, romantic and grand gesture, take them on a bucket list hot air balloon ride. This long-established family-run company flies nearly every day March to October, from Ashton Court estate.
Get a birds-eye view of sights including the Clifton Suspension bridge and Bristol harbour, as you sip on champagne. It’s a peaceful yet thrilling old-world experience, but is reserved for those with a generous first date budget.
7. Smoke and Mirrors
Found in the theatre district, this traditional pub serves food and doubles as a 46 seater magic, music and comedy speakeasy. There’s a calendar of shows to choose from and if you dine on Wednesdays you can benefits from free, close-up magic at your table. You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed and you’ll be entertained from the moment you arrive, till the moment you leave.
8. The Clockwork Rose
The steampunk theme of this bar reflects the vibe of Bristol’s industrial, urban chic. It’s the fictional watering hole of the adventurer Captain Sebastian Commodore, with accounts of his travels translated into vintage style cocktails.
These tempting libations and elixirs take on a theatrical element, beautifully crafted and served in teapots, bone china teacups, copper tankards and cut crystal.
Free romantic things to do in Bristol
Looking for a fun, free day out in the city? Have a walk around the historic harbour or discover the abundance of fine art that’s on display in and around Bristol.
9. Bristol Harbour
If you’re looking for free and low-cost date options, take a walk at the bustling dockside. Pack a picnic and flasks of coffee, sit by the water and watch the world go by, followed by some ‘window shopping’ at the Sunday markets. The area is rich in history – once the scene of pioneering voyages, merchant activity and trade, it’s still a hub of activity.
There’s a wealth of great bars, cafes, shops and restaurants – from the fancy to the simple – with ample water-sports activities too.
10. Bristol Street Art
Supposedly the home of Banksy, Bristol is rich in left-field street art. You can discover it for yourself for free, with surprises found around many corners. Or plan your trip by downloading a self-guided route map.
If you prefer a more directed and personal approach, book onto an official tour with a knowledgeable local graffiti artist, to discover the secrets of this underground scene.
Where will your first date in Bristol take you? Do you have a favourite romantic spot in the city? If you’re seeking someone with whom you can share these delights, sign up for speed dating in Bristol.