The city of Bradford is a unique visit for many reasons. It is home to great cultural sites, independent shops and bars, and food for which folk travel from near and far to enjoy. These irresistible attractions of Bradford continue to evolve whilst the city retains its traditional Yorkshire character and multi-cultural inclusivity for which it is known. Only a short journey from Leeds and surrounding BD towns, and a convenient city to travel around, here are some of the great places to go when in Bradford city centre.
A centrepiece of the city, Bradford City Park is an inviting public space to relax at or stroll through. Next to the Grade I listed Bradford City Hall, and with the bars, restaurants, cafes and galleries of Centenary Square alongside, the city park’s unique appeal is a mirror pool that contains over a hundred fountains including the highest fountain in any British city.
Bradford is also home to the National Science and Media Museum. Here, you can explore 8 floors of exhibitions, galleries and cinemas, all celebrating visual and sound technologies in an interesting and entertaining tour. All topped off with an IMAX, this is a fun trip for all ages.
There is plenty of live entertainment in the city thanks to two wonderful old theatres. St Georges Hall on Bridge Street is a stunning Victorian Concert Hall that dates back to 1853 and continues to treat audiences to music concerts, comedy and family entertainment. The Alhambra Theatre on Morley Streets is regarded as the North’s premier receiving venue, and this beautiful building from 1914 brings large scale entertainment to Bradford, including local, national and international musicals, dramas and pantomimes.
In addition to all this, a new opening is coming to Bradford at the former Odeon Cinema. Bradford Live promises a 4000 capacity music venue that will attract national and international performers, as well as hosting an array of other events.
Head down to Bradford’s first ever underground retail complex for a truly unique and independent shopping experience. SunbridgeWells is a hidden gem that provides a cool atmosphere and a hot line up of shops, bars and eateries to discover.
More independent delights can be found up north, in particular on one street which homes the the likes of Bradford Camera Exchange and Bread + Roses. The former is a traditional store that has been specialising in cameras for 85 years, whilst the latter is a fresh creative co-working space and cafe in a welcoming and inclusive community environment.
Elsewhere, there are other excellent and eclectic specialist shops, from Mean Old Scene, an affordable art and vintage shop, to Rimmingtons Pharmacy, a Bradford institution which is over 180 years old and has even been awarded a blue plaque.
Two of the aforementioned independent areas are also the places to go for a drink. SunbridgeWells Bar adds to the underground world of SunbridgeWells, offering up excellent beers, wines and cocktails in this unique tunnel setting.
A strong set of bars line both sides of the street, where the likes of The Sparrow and The Record Cafe on North Parade have transformed this place into a top evening out. Quality craft beers and relaxed cool atmospheres make this a must visit when in Bradford.
There is more craft beer to be drunk at the nation’s leader of such things, as the Bradford branch of BrewDog is a fine beer hall that packs in the punters enjoying a Punk IPA or few.
The food of Bradford is rightly renowned for its authentic Asian cuisine, but there are other delicacies feeding the city too. For sweet treats, go through The Cake’ole in Centenary Square where you’ll be met with a warm welcome, colourful quirky decor and tasty cakes. Or for fresh locally sourced food, The Rooftop Cafe is the place to go, with their seasonal menus, super service and elevated setting.
But the main foodie attraction of Bradford are the city’s many amazing curry houses. Amongst the hundreds of restaurants are long time favourites such as Karachi, The Sweet Centre and International. At these and many more, like the city of Bradford itself, you’ll enjoy a proper experience.
Get there by bus! Download the First Bus App to plan your journey and buy your tickets.
Images: Bradford City Park, National Science and Media Museum, Alhambra Theatre, Cake’ole