Things to do in Portsmouth

A historic coastal city that’s given the world some incredible authors including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling, Portsmouth is a fascinating blend of history and culture, of museums and modern-day entertainment. Check out our hotels in Portsmouth for the best place to stay during your visit, putting you right at the heart of the action. The city’s museums cover everything from the D-Day landings, centuries-old ships and the birthplace of Charles Dickens, while the cultural and event scene is dominated by the New Theatre Royal and the Guildhall, two amazing venues that have hosted The Beatles, Laurel & Hardy and Jimi Hendrix. For modern entertainment, look no further than Gunwharf Quay, an amazing shopping and leisure space home to over a hundred stores, a cinema, bowling alley, casino and nightclub, ensuring you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Portsmouth. The best way to view it all is from the 170-metre tall Spinnaker Tower nearby, which offers stunning views over the Solent and beyond to the Isle of Wight. And there are few finer places to enjoy a sunny day than strolling along one of Portsmouth’s beaches, ice cream in hand.

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Attractions

With castles, cathedrals, churches, historic parks, nature reserves, boating lakes and a Premier League-standard stadium, Portsmouth is a city full of attractions and sights to see.

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Shopping

While the impressive Gunwharf Quays might dominate the city’s shopping scene as one of the best examples of Portsmouth’s shopping centres, there’s also a varied market scene to explore, including lots of antiques and vintage stores.

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Activities

From beachside fairgrounds to aquariums and cycle routes to guided ghost walks, there’s so much to see and do. Whether you want to stay inside or explore the great outdoors, we have all the information you need.

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Beaches

Whether you’re in the mood for a lazy ice cream and a sunbathing session or fancy exploring endless sand dunes and miles of open beaches, life really is a beach in Portsmouth.

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Culture

Discover the best art galleries, festivals and museums in Portsmouth with our guide – from food and music festivals to museums covering Charles Dickens and the D-Day Landings, you’ll need another holiday to fit it all in.

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Entertainment

Whether you’re visiting the city for live music, West End musicals, cutting-edge theatre, stand-up comedy or a range of sports, you’ll find it all in Portsmouth’s exceptional selection of entertainment venues.

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Places to eat

Head to Osborne Road to try out some of the best restaurants in Portsmouth, spanning tapas, Indian, Turkish, Greek and more. Our guide will also round up some of the city’s best cafés and food markets to discover during your stay.

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Nightlife

Historic pub crawls, classy cocktail joints, pop and heavy metal nightclubs – Portsmouth’s nightlife has it all! Read our guide to see the best places to head to once the sun goes down for a tipple and a dance or two.

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Historic Dockyard

Celebrate Portsmouth’s incredible naval history at the Historic Dockyard, an incredible hands-on experience that covers everything from Nelson’s last stand to modern day submarines.

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Portsmouth Guildhall

A truly historic live music venue that’s hosted The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The xx, Portsmouth Guildhall is a 2,500-capacity venue in the heart of the city that puts on some of the biggest gigs in the region.

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Fratton Park

Home to Portsmouth Football Club, the most successful south coast team, Fratton Park is a 21,000 capacity Premier League-standard ground. Get all the details you need to plan your visit in our guide.

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Getting around

Just 20 minutes from an international airport, and with strong road and rail connections across Hampshire and beyond, as well as one of the busiest ferry ports in the UK, Portsmouth is a well connected city.

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Our video guide to Portsmouth

Our map of Portsmouth

Portsmouth Map