Bath travel guide

Bath Tourism | Bath Guide

You're Going to Love Bath

Bath is an ancient city named after its famous Roman Baths that were built almost 2,000 years ago. The Romans named the city Aquae Sulis and were residents for almost 400 years when the baths were flooded by the River Avon. It was not until 1881 that the underground Great Bath was rediscovered. Today, it is impeccably restored to its former glory and represents a fascinating glimpse at ancient life in the region.

Narrow winding streets retain the city's charm, while modernization has become entwined with the old beautifully. Honey-colored limestone buildings from the Georgian era are most common in Bath. Wander around the city center and look up beyond the modern storefronts to take in the intricate designs.

Bath is surrounded by nature, from the winding River Avon to the many parks and the countryside beyond. Take a boat tour, wander through Parade Gardens, or visit Dyrham Park for a look at stunning beauty in the area.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Bath

1. See the Iconic Roman Baths

The 2,000 year old baths were built around one of the UK's few natural hot springs. Beautifully preserved, the baths are now part of a museum but still retain an air of serenity. The Great Bath is set below ground level and is overlooked by statues on the Terrace by the Great Abbey.

2. Visit the Jane Austen Centre

Bath was an important city for the world-famous author; she lived in the city for several years and also set two of her novels here. The center is located in a Georgian townhouse and is home to the Regency Tea Rooms, as well as information on Austen, recreated rooms, and costumes.

3. Admire This UNESCO World Heritage City

Bath is the first city in England to have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The prestigious title is usually given to individual buildings, bridges, or wonders of nature. The entire city of Bath has been deemed important enough for this honor, due to the plethora of architectural sights available to explore.

4. Experience Relaxation

Bath embraces its history as a center of relaxation with a plethora of modern spas. Taking inspiration from the Romans, spas, such as Thermae Bath Spa use hot water for their relaxing treatments.

5. Amazing Dining Options

Bath is home to three Michelin-starred restaurants: the Bath Priory, the Bybrook, and the Park Restaurant. The city also offers a selection of cuisines from British to French and Italian, from Nepalese to Caribbean and more.

What to do in Bath

1. Roman Baths: Most Romantic

Unsurprisingly, the city of Bath has long been known for its delightful thermal culture, and these baths are some of the finest around. Dating back thousands of years and renovated at the turn of the 20th century, the site now attracts upwards of one million visitors each year to bask in the romantic architecture. History is at your fingertips with a tour through these ancient halls, and the bubbling, naturally heated water brings a certain mysticism to the experience as well.

2. Royal Crescent: A Trip down Memory Lane

In a city of gorgeous buildings, Bath's architectural highlight is the Royal Crescent. These terraced houses are the epitome of 18th century Georgian design and are considered the greatest example in the United Kingdom. Arranged to look upon a vast open field, the facade is largely unchanged and bears plaques in commemoration of significant residents. Visit the little museum for even more context, or relax at the more contemporary Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.

3. Holburne Museum: Through the Ages

This delightful museum is filled with fine art, and cannot be overlooked on a trip to Bath. Walk through the grand Sydney Gardens as they set the tone for the epic art collection inside. The building itself is a gem of architecture, much like those found in the rest of the city, and the interior does not disappoint either. March through the regal front door and go looking for gems of British painting, masterpieces from the Renaissance, and other unique European treasures.

4. Pulteney Bridge: Timeless Elegance

Considered one of the most romantic bridges in the world, Pulteney draws spectators from far and wide as they appreciate its 18th century magic. The bridge crosses the River Avon with heavy footprints sinking into the water, which support a broad and heavy road. Shops were built along each side of the bridge, making it particularly unique and sister to the equally elegant Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

5. Bath Assembly Rooms: High Society

To continue the epic saga of gorgeous Georgian architecture in the city of Bath, the Assembly Rooms stand out with majestic importance. The peak of fashionable society in Bath is resurrected with a walk through these elegant halls - from the foyer to the glorious ballroom, you will be transported to another time. The Fashion Museum is appropriately housed in the basement section of the historical building, and offers even more context to let your imagination run wild.

Roman BathsRoman Baths
Royal CrescentRoyal Crescent
Holburne MuseumHolburne Museum
Pulteney BridgePulteney Bridge

1. Roman Baths: Most Romantic

Unsurprisingly, the city of Bath has long been known for its delightful thermal culture, and these baths are some of the finest around. Dating back thousands of years and renovated at the turn of the 20th century, the site now attracts upwards of one million visitors each year to bask in the romantic architecture. History is at your fingertips with a tour through these ancient halls, and the bubbling, naturally heated water brings a certain mysticism to the experience as well.

2. Royal Crescent: A Trip down Memory Lane

In a city of gorgeous buildings, Bath's architectural highlight is the Royal Crescent. These terraced houses are the epitome of 18th century Georgian design and are considered the greatest example in the United Kingdom. Arranged to look upon a vast open field, the facade is largely unchanged and bears plaques in commemoration of significant residents. Visit the little museum for even more context, or relax at the more contemporary Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa.

3. Holburne Museum: Through the Ages

This delightful museum is filled with fine art, and cannot be overlooked on a trip to Bath. Walk through the grand Sydney Gardens as they set the tone for the epic art collection inside. The building itself is a gem of architecture, much like those found in the rest of the city, and the interior does not disappoint either. March through the regal front door and go looking for gems of British painting, masterpieces from the Renaissance, and other unique European treasures.

4. Pulteney Bridge: Timeless Elegance

Considered one of the most romantic bridges in the world, Pulteney draws spectators from far and wide as they appreciate its 18th century magic. The bridge crosses the River Avon with heavy footprints sinking into the water, which support a broad and heavy road. Shops were built along each side of the bridge, making it particularly unique and sister to the equally elegant Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

5. Bath Assembly Rooms: High Society

To continue the epic saga of gorgeous Georgian architecture in the city of Bath, the Assembly Rooms stand out with majestic importance. The peak of fashionable society in Bath is resurrected with a walk through these elegant halls - from the foyer to the glorious ballroom, you will be transported to another time. The Fashion Museum is appropriately housed in the basement section of the historical building, and offers even more context to let your imagination run wild.

Roman BathsRoman Baths
Royal CrescentRoyal Crescent
Holburne MuseumHolburne Museum
Pulteney BridgePulteney Bridge

Where to Eat in Bath

Restaurants in Bath serve a wide variety of cuisine from around Europe and the rest of the world. Sotto Sotto is an Italian restaurant set in a basement near the Roman Baths, while Raphael Restaurant focuses on modern French food. A three-course meal will generally cost around £40 per person. For a cheaper meal, try a classic British cafe, such as Wild Cafe, for a meal for less than £10.

When to visit Bath

Bath in August
Estimated hotel price
$143
1 night at 3-star hotel
Bath in August
Estimated hotel price
$143
1 night at 3-star hotel

Summer is the best time to visit Bath for warm days and pleasant evenings. July, August and even into September are the warmest months with little-to-no rain.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Bath

Plane

The nearest airport is Bristol Airport (BRS), which is just under 20 miles from the city center. The onward journey into Bath takes approximately 45 minutes by road. A taxi will cost around £40 and an Air Decker bus ticket will cost £14 one-way or £20 for a return ticket.

Train

Trains arrive at Bath Spa Railway Station from London stations and around the country. Tickets from London start at around £30, the journey takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Car

Bath is 117 miles from London, and the journey by car takes around 2.5 hours. The route is very simple, just head west on the M4 and then take the A46 into Bath.

Bus

Private bus companies, such as Megabus and National Express, run regular services into the city. Buses stop at Bath Spa Railway Station. The route from London takes up to three hours and tickets start at £15.

Airlines serving Bath

Lufthansa
Good (2,365 reviews)
KLM
Good (356 reviews)
Air France
Good (436 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,583 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,160 reviews)
SWISS
Good (488 reviews)
Iberia
Good (965 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (595 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (342 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,825 reviews)
Vueling
Good (397 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (156 reviews)
Aer Lingus
Good (467 reviews)
easyJet
Good (631 reviews)
Aegean Airlines
Excellent (195 reviews)
Virgin Atlantic
Good (372 reviews)
GOL
Good (290 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (419 reviews)
Kenya Airways
Good (44 reviews)
Wizz Air UK
Okay (43 reviews)
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Where to stay in Bath

City Center - right in the heart of the city where everything is within walking distance. Wander the streets and take in the beautiful architecture of the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey.

Popular Neighborhoods in Bath

Riverside - the River Avon meanders through Bath offering picturesque views and idyllic routes for walking. Pulteney Bridge is lined with quaint stores and restaurants. It is one of only a few of its kind in the world.

North Bath - to the north of the city are extensive gardens and parks, including Royal Victoria Park, which has Botanical Gardens and a replica of a Roman Temple.

Where to stay in popular areas of Bath

Most booked hotels in Bath

The Gainsborough Bath Spa - Small Luxury Hotels of the World
Excellent (8.7, 2355 reviews)
$219+
Apex City of Bath Hotel
Excellent (8.5, 6434 reviews)
$114+
The Z Hotel Bath
Excellent (8.3, 14167 reviews)
$56+
Grasmere Court
Excellent (8.3, 504 reviews)
$87+
Lansdown Grove Hotel
Excellent (8.1, 4115 reviews)
$80+
Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel
Good (7.9, 5054 reviews)
$168+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Bath

Public Transportation

An open-top double decker tourist bus offers a 'hop on, hop off' service that allows you to go wherever you want, whenever you want. A single adult ticket starts at £2.20. The City Sightseeing Bus Tour is another way to get around town; tickets cost £14.50 for adults and £9.00 for children aged 5-15.

Taxi

Traveling within Bath by taxi should cost no more than £10 per journey. Taxis are available from stands at the train station, the Abbey, and several other locations.

Car

A rental car from Hertz and Europcar will typically cost upwards of £75 per day. Driving is not needed in Bath as it is a small city with transport options. The small, twisting roads often become congested, and there is very little parking available in the city. Park and ride services offer free parking at various locations on the outskirts of the city. The 10-minute bus ride into the center costs around £3.00 for a return ticket; children 15 and under go free.

The Cost of Living in Bath

Shopping Streets

Shopping in Bath offers brand-name, high street stores, as well as independent boutiques selling jewelry, souvenirs and clothes. Prices are generally higher than in the US, but there are bargains to be found starting from £1. The London Road area and Walcott Village are known as the Artisan Quarter, famous for vintage clothes and antiques. Milsom Street is home to designer boutiques, such as Robert Welch Designs and Chanii B.

Groceries and Other

Larger grocery stores tend to be located on the outskirts of the city center, however, there are several smaller stores in the center, such as Sainsbury's, Tesco Express, and Co-op. Prices in the UK tend to be slightly higher than in the US: expect to spend around £1.50 for a loaf of bread, £2 for eggs, and £1 for milk.

Cheap meal
$12.66
A pair of jeans
$74.37
Single public transport ticket
$2.78
Cappuccino
$3.23