Frequently asked questions
Due to a fire our building is closed until at least January 2023.
In the meantime, we're running free activities for all out on our squares.
We're also out and about visiting every postcode in Bristol, so you'll find us popping up at community events and city festivals across the city.
Do sign up to our mailing list for the latest news!
When things go back to normal, we'll be open as follows:
We're open Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm during term time, and Monday to Sunday 10am-5pm during Bristol school holidays.
At the moment this is for pre-booked visitors only.
We’ll be running slightly differently than before, with timed slots for arrival every 30 minutes, with a limited capacity in our building throughout the day.
Our shop and café are both open from 10am-5pm.
Everyone, including our members, will need to book online in advance. Unfortunately it will no longer be possible to walk-up to the venue and book tickets on the day.
This is really important. All visitors will need to pre-book tickets for the venue and the Planetarium online. This way we can make sure that our visitor numbers are kept at a safe level. We won’t be able to add on Planetarium tickets to your booking once you’re at the venue, so make sure that you’ve booked everything before you come.
Yes, even if you’re a Member, we still need you to book your visit in advance online.
As we only have a limited number of tickets available each day, please book as soon as you can but only if you fully intend to come. No-shows have a direct impact on our finances as a charity.
Concessions include over 65s, students, those receiving Universal Credit and disabled people. Child concessions cover those with registered disabilities and any children who are in foster care. We will ask you for proof of status when you arrive, so please have this with you.
Yes of course. To book, please contact our team here. Please bear in mind that it will take us longer than a few days to get back to you.
We’re doing our best to respond to calls and emails as quickly as we can, but we have a small team, so we’ll get to your enquiry as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.
No, your tickets will be emailed out to you. When you arrive, you’ll need to scan your phone to allow entry. You can also leave and re-enter using the same scanners if you need to pop out.
If you don’t have a smart phone, please make a note of your order number and our Visitor Experience team will be able to help you.
Please think of the environment and don't print out your tickets.
As a charity, we don't offer refunds. By purchasing a ticket you are supporting our charitable projects, as well as the running of our venue. We rely heavily on income from tickets and donations as well as fundraising.
If you’ve made an error in your booking we’ll require a minimum notice period of 72 hours to allow us to try and re-book you into the correct booking time slot. If we are unable to re-book your visit or you have contacted us within the 72 hour notice period we may not be able to move your booking.
To move a booking please contact us through this form
Our immersive Planetarium features 360° digital 3D, 4K Ultra High Definition and incredible 7.1 surround sound - and is the only one of it's kind in the UK!
All our shows are presenter-led and specially created for you by our expert team using the latest technology and scientific discoveries. Planetarium tickets can only be purchased along with general admission.
Adults and children over 2 - £4
Concessions - £3
Members - £2
We offer both 2D and 3D shows daily. Please note 3D shows are unsuitable for under 6s due to health restrictions.
Our team have been working really hard to make sure that you have a COVID-safe experience, whilst still giving you a really great visitor experience, and giving you time together doing what you love. Here’s what you can expect:
Our venue floor remains free-flow to enable people to interact with the things that spark their curiosity. We ask parents and carers to supervise children in these spaces and wait until exhibits become available. We’ve substantially reduced the capacity to allow for this.
The vast majority of our exhibits are still available, but some have been temporarily removed.
Some spaces and activities where there are staff-led activities are available to one family or support bubble at a time, and you’ll see signage at the entrance to these spaces.
We’ve increased cleaning throughout the venue (including exhibition floor and toilets).
Our foyer looks a bit different, with self-scan tickets points and the main desk and till points moved.
Our staff are testing regularly.
Our staff will be wearing face coverings
You’ll see lots of hand sanitiser stations around the venue.
When it’s time to leave, we ask that everyone exits via the official exit route. We’ve moved the shop around slightly, so that you can visit it at any time during your visit – please do follow the one-way system in the shop
All the main venue floor and Planetarium are open. We have removed a small number of exhibits which include Rope Tangle, Sound Bite and Identify That Smell which means that the vast majority of our exhibits are still available.
We'd really appreciate it if you could wear a face covering unless you're exempt or under 11.
We welcome everyone and recognise there are circumstances where, for health, age or accessibility reasons, some visitors will not be able to wear face masks or coverings. We ask that fellow visitors are respectful and mindful of individual circumstances.
We’re continuing to significantly reduce the number of people that can visit us on any given day and are carefully managing the flow of visitors into and around the building.
This means there's plenty of room inside the venue to give you space to explore and spend time with the exhibits.
On a day-to-day basis we’ve got additional staff keeping the toilets, lunch spaces and communal areas clean, and you’ll see our teams keeping the venue and exhibits clean too.
All visitor access areas will be supplied with fresh air from outside the venue via our air handling units, these units have been adjusted to increase circulation throughout the venue.
Yes. There are plenty of hand sanitiser stations positioned at key points throughout the venue. Signage is displayed to make them easily identifiable and we encourage the use of this product before and after our interactive experiences.
We’re using alcohol-based sanitiser which is effective against COVID-19 as recommended by the World Health Organisation. Please remember to follow Government guidance on regular hand washing.
Just bring confirmation of your booking, ideally on a smart phone – you can then scan your phone to gain entry.
If you don’t have a smart phone, our Visitor Experience team will be able to help you, just make a note of your order number.
If possible please also bring a face covering for each member of your group aged over 11, unless you're exempt.
You’ll need to make sure that you arrive within 30 minutes of the time slot you've booked. We can’t let you in to a different time slot unfortunately. Please aim to arrive on time for your slot, rather than early - that way we can avoid any queuing and get you in nice and promptly.
Yes of course! If you need to pop out for any reason, all you need to do is follow our exit signage and re-enter via the foyer where you can scan your ticket again.
At the moment late entry tickets aren't available. We hope to reintroduce them at some point the future,
If you’ve visited us before you’ll know that we can be busy at peak times. As we're sticking with significantly reduced capacity and timed entry for now, it means that even on weekends and school holidays it won't feel that busy.
If you choose to visit in the morning during the week, please bear in mind that you will be sharing the venue with school groups - although significantly fewer than previously.
Project What If is our brand new exhibition, it's the first major science centre exhibition in the UK all about the curiosity of a city.
Project What If uses questions asked by real people as a springboard to delve into the real world of science which is creative, collaborative, inspiring and has never been more important.
Over the past three years, we’ve gathered over 10,000 questions from people in every postcode of Bristol - both in our venue and out in the city with our silver Curious Cube.
With the help of some of our community partners, staff and volunteers we whittled the list down to just seven final questions, covering themes such as happiness, the universe, invisibility, illness and time. Each question is be explored through a 'constellation' in the Project What If exhibition space.
With Project What If we're aiming to open up science by putting people at the heart of it. As well as the exhibit constellations, on the exhibition floor you'll find 'Open City Lab', a ground-breaking area where you'll be able to take part in real scientific research as it happens and the ‘John James Theatre of Curiosity’, which will explore visitors’ questions in new and unexpected ways.
For the latest news, please sign up to our mailing list
Entry to our new experience Project What If is all included in general admission tickets.
The installation of Project What If means a radical transformation of ground floor and foyer. You'll be able to enjoy loads of exciting new exhibits and installations, but it does mean that many of our old exhibits are changing.
We know that lot of the exhibits on the ground floor were really loved, so our Projects Team have worked hard to try and keep as many as possible.
24 of our much loved exhibits from the ground floor have been re-homed in the rest of the exhibition.18 are being stored for later use and 14 stripped for spares and recycled.
Only if the children are aged 12 or over. Children aged 11 or under need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 16 or over - you wouldn't want them to have all the fun would you?!
An average visit takes 3-4 hours as there’s so much to see and do. If you're catching a Planetarium show as part of your visit, you should allow about 30 minutes for this.
As we're currently operating with limited capacity in our building throughout the day, you will need to book a timed entry slot for your arrival.
Our later afternoon slots are best suited to members and those looking for a quick dose of curiosity.
Planetarium tickets can only be purchased in conjunction with venue admission tickets, and must be booked online in advance.
Yes we do. If somebody in your party requires a carer, personal assistant, support worker, or if you are entering as a foster parent then you can book a personal assistant ticket. These are free and can be added onto any booking that contains a paid concession ticket. This is valid for both general admission and Planetarium admission.
Personal Assistant tickets can now be booked online
We welcome all guide and assistance dogs, but pets are sadly not allowed in the venue.
Yes, the Café is open offering a great range of freshly prepared, sustainably-sourced dishes and drinks, and can be accessed with or without a ticket to We The Curious.
The café is only accepting card payment.
Yes, picnics are welcome. Our picnic area is open with a limited capacity unless it’s in use by schools. You can also picnic in other areas around the venue if you can find a suitable space. If the weather is nice, you’re welcome to use our open spaces on Millennium and Anchor Square.
There is a cash point just outside the main entrance to We The Curious – just ask any one of our Visitor Experience team for directions. Plus we accept cash payments in Bristol Pounds – the closest access points are just around the corner at the Tourist Information Centre and No. 1 Harbourside.
The toilets are all open, including our Changing Places toilet and All Access toilets. All toilets are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
Yes, we welcome all major credit and debit cards (apart from American Express and Diners cards) at the admissions desk and in the shop, café and car park. There is no minimum spend anywhere on-site.
Yes we do. You'll find them next to the Picnic Area on Level 0. You'll need to insert a £1 coin to use them, which you'll get back when you empty the locker.
Please note that large bags aren't allowed in the venue.
We also continually conduct random bag searches on entry to the venue, to help keep everyone safe.
We are breastfeeding-friendly throughout the venue, and a private space can be made available upon request – please just ask any member of staff. There are plenty of highchairs located in both the café and picnic area, and the café also has bottle and food warming facilities. Baby changing facilities are located on both floors of the venue, and there are buggy park areas available also.
Yes the shop is open. Inspired by our exhibition floor, our shop specialises in pocket-money treasures and quirky curiosities. Every purchase helps support our charitable mission and our future.
We’ve moved the shop around slightly to allow for social distancing and also provided an alternative exit route from the exhibition floor to reduce traffic through the shop.
You can access the shop at any time during your visit, and you can also pop in without visiting the rest of the venue. If you feel more comfortable, you can also shop online
If you're able to leave your buggy at home that would great, but you can park your buggy in our designated spaces if you need to. Please keep anything valuable with you at all times!
Due to a fire our building is closed until at least January 2023.
Our city centre locations means there are a whole host of ways for you to visit us!
Bike - Get your heart pumping and get on your bike! There’s a pump available just outside We The Curious and lock ups around the city centre.
Walking - Wander down & explore your local area together.
Bus – We The Curious is just a short walk from many city centre bus stops. Visit firstgroup.com for timetable information or download their app.
Park & Ride – With secure parking from Brislington and Long Ashton, We The Curious is just a short bus ride away if you hop on a Park & Ride bus. Visit travelwest.info/park-ride for more information.
Train – Rediscover the joy of train travel. Visit gwr.com for timetable information.
The ferry – Take to the seas and get on a local ferry - oh arr! Check out Number Seven boats and Bristol Ferry Boats for more information.
By Car – Millennium Square car park is located at the back of Millennium Square and is open 24hrs seven days a week.
Using Sat Nav? Please use the following postcode as your destination BS1 5LL. Find out more about Millennium Square car park
Other city centre car parks close to We The Curious are:
We love it when you take photos of your friends or family in We The Curious. For anything on a larger scale we need to hear about in advance. That’s so that we can inform our staff who can then make our visitors aware that photography is happening and that they have the choice to opt out.
As an educational charity, we do charge for commercial photography in the venue. Photographers are also asked to make sure they have specific model-release forms and permission from anyone they’re photographing, especially for anyone under 16 years old. If you have any questions please send over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers is of utmost importance to us, and we would like to reassure all of our visitors that security measures are in place for all events and activities here in We The Curious.
The following security procedures are in place:
- We reserve the right to conduct random bag searches.
- Bags any larger than a rucksack will not be permitted in the building, so please do not bring suitcases or other large bags.
- We The Curious has 24-hour security on site, which covers We The Curious, Millennium Square carpark, Millennium Square and Anchor Square.
- There is CCTV on site.
- We have increased security personnel on site for the duration of the summer period, which includes lots of busy outdoor festivals.
- We work closely with Avon & Somerset Police to constantly review developments and procedures.
At-Bristol Science Centre has changed! After 17 years of “making science accessible to all”, At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in Sept 2017, with a new direction and focus to “create a culture of curiosity”.
Want to find out more? Curious about what we’re doing? Here’s some FAQs which might help with any questions that you may have:
In a nutshell:
At-Bristol relaunched in September 2017, with a brand new direction, name, visual identity and mission!
We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre, our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit. As an educational charity, we’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.
Our vision is of a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired by science to build a better world together.
We’re really proud of everything we’ve done as At-Bristol, and this new direction now builds on everything we’ve achieved and done in the last 17 years.
So what changed?
- Our name – We The Curious highlights our intention to create a culture of curiosity, with a collaborative inclusive mission where We is everybody, our city and beyond.
- Our visual identity – we had a new logo, colour palette, new signage around the venue, and a new photography style.
- Our vision, mission and values all centred around our organising thought to create a culture of curiosity. Our vision is of a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired by science to build a better world together.
- Physically, our foyer, café & shop were revamped and opened out, to create a welcoming public space.
- You’ll see a brand new feature exhibit on the ground floor opening in summer 2020 – just the start of our new story on the exhibition floor.
Why did you change?
At-Bristol’s aim to ‘make science accessible to all’ was no longer unique. The advancing pace of technology has changed access to and understanding of science in a way that means that we need to innovate, progress and move forward with our audiences.
Curiosity is an innate trait everyone is born with, so it’s something everyone can identify, engage and connect with. People can often feel like “science isn’t for me”, and learning from visitor research, people want us to be more challenging for a range of ages.
Science will absolutely still be at the core of what we do, but with our new vision to create a culture of curiosity we are not just aiming for more people to access science but to completely shift how people see it. It is messy, creative, collaborative, living and for everyone – an integral part of culture.
Why did you choose this name? Was it tested?
Yes! The initial audience survey consulted with staff, volunteers and visitors, as well as 3 online surveys working with our Members and also members of the general public (which ran through Bristol 247). We also conducted some offline surveys with some of our community partners (including Barton Hill settlement), and face-to-face interviews with key stakeholders both in the city and in the science/museum sector.
The name ‘We The Curious’ and a mixture of other potential names, was then tested in a number of locations (including At-Bristol, Park Street and Cabot Circus), and the results came back at 96% positive, with the other 4% either neutral or rating it as bad.
The name itself is just one part of our new vision to create a culture of curiosity; the initial results came back to 'be more challenging', 'take a stance' and 'be for everyone', and our new name is a reflection of our movement to remove boundaries between science, art, people and ideas. In short, it’s all of us – everyone.
Why didn’t you ask us?
We did! We did heaps of research over the past 2 years, including online surveys with members, visitors and non-visitors (run via Bristol 247), staff and volunteer workshops and face-to-face interviews with key partners in the city.
The results came back that people wanted us to be ‘more challenging’, ‘take a stance’ be ‘for everyone’ and ‘change the name’.
Is it still for me? Is it still interactive?
Absolutely – we’re still an educational charity, and we’re still a brilliant venue where you can access all sorts of amazing science experiences and activities. And, we’re still super hands-on and interactive.
We will absolutely still be making science accessible to all in part of what we do, but our new vision will aim to make it even more accessible, by attempting to remove barriers and be more inclusive to wider audiences.
Why have you spent loads of money changing your name when you are a charity?
Internally, we’ve been working on this for the past 2 years; there has been a lot of planning, research with visitor (and non-visitor), staff and key partners, development and board input to bring us to where are now. Any concerns raised (have we done enough research, have we spoken to the right people, are we spending too much money) were challenged and resolved during this process. All costs are audited by our board of trustees and the audit committee, so we’ve been sure to make every penny count – it’s a relaunch on a budget!
We recognise that it’s a bold move, but as a charity, we have to move with our audience to remain relevant, and achieve our aims.
I don’t know anything about We The Curious, what is this place?
We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol will be relaunching as We The Curious in September 2017, with a vision of a future where everyone is included, curious and inspired by science to build a better world together.
We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit. We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.
Will this impact on the Millennium square and Big Screen?
No, Millennium Square and Big Screen Bristol will still continue as part of our spaces – we’ll still be running free film screenings, and using the outdoor spaces for events and activities.
Are you still going to do your Hello community weekends? And school visits?
Yes, we’ll still be running our Community Engagement programme, and we’ll still be welcoming schools visitors exactly as we were when were At-Bristol.
What's happening to the Planetarium?
It’s still there, and it’s still the UK’s first 3D digital Planetarium! We’ll still be creating and running our amazing presenter-led shows for all our audiences, as well as Planetarium Nights shows just for adults.
What's happening to the animation centre?
It’s still be there!