Guide to Portsmouth - travel, accommodation and attraction information

Portsmouth travel guide

Portsmouth - the waterfront city

At the heart of the city is Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Here you can explore Lord Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory and tour Queen Victoria’s battleship, HMS Warrior 1860. You visit the Mary Rose Museum and trace the history of the Royal Navy at the Royal Naval Museum.

Memory of Portsmouth

“My favourite thing about Portsmouth is its people. They are always cheerful and helpful and justly proud of their great city. There seems to be a permanent 'buzz' about the city and with this great atmosphere, and so much to see and do for all ages, it is a perfect holiday destination.”

Ray Fairbank, Lincolnshire

Culture & heritage

With 11 inspiring museums, Portsmouth has a great story to tell. Discover more about its naval heritage at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the Royal Marines Museum. Hear about Portsmouth’s role in WWII at the D-Day Museum and learn more about famous author Charles Dickens at the very place he was born.


The Spinnaker Tower is a great place to begin your visit to Portsmouth. Standing 170m high with the city laid out before you, you’ll be able to see how compact the city is. Watch the bustling harbour in action and dare to step out onto Europe’s largest glass floor.


Portsmouth is a shopping haven, with three distinct areas offering something different. Portsmouth’s City Centre has all the big names you’ll recognise. Enjoy the indoor mall at Cascades and a street market dating back centuries. Southsea boasts an impressive range of specialist retailers plus two department stores. Or head to Gunwharf Quays and discover more than 95 designer outlet stores.

Top daytime must-do's

Top night time must-do's

Visit 3 of the most important ships ever built – HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory and The Mary Rose – at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard .

Enjoy a taste of Portsmouth at one of the city’s fabulous restaurants - Portsmouth, eat and drink .

Get the best view of the city from the top of Portsmouth’s iconic Spinnaker Tower .

Listen to the best in live music at Portsmouth’s famous Wedgewood Rooms, The Cellars or Portsmouth Guildhall .

Shop ‘til you drop at all three of the city’s shopping areas – Gunwharf Quays , City Centre and Southsea

Join a Dark Encounters Ghost Tour or Paranormal Investigation to discover a darker side of Portsmouth

Walk along Southsea's seafront promenade, backed by gorgeous green spaces

Catch a show at one of the city’s beautiful Matcham theatres, the New Theatre Royal or the Kings Theatre .

Check out the ‘A Study In Sherlock’ exhibition at Portsmouth’s City Museum .

Sample some local ale at one of Portsmouth’s traditional pubs - Portsmouth, eat and drink .

Food & drink

Portsmouth boasts a number of award-winning restaurants and is home to two of its very own food festivals. With regular farmers' markets and plenty of establishments offering a taste of local food, Portsmouth is becoming the South’s newest foodie haven.


Head to Fratton Park to catch the Premier League’s finest in action and some of the most passionate fans in the country.

Every October Portsmouth is host to the Great South Run, Europe’s leading 10-mile road race.

Music & nightlife

The legendary Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea is the best place to catch the emerging Portsmouth talent and popular acts on tour. Gunwharf Quays is home to more than 30 bars and restaurants so perfect for a night on the tiles!

Buy before you fly

There are so many great things to see and do in Portsmouth, so don’t waste time. Visit our online shop to get discounts on attractions and services. For great offers, go to VisitBritain Shop .

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Portsmouth Facts

South East England
Closest airport
Football club
Portsmouth Football Club
Famous locals
Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling,...
Local food
Fresh fish, local real ale
Nearest towns / cities
Southampton, Winchester, Chichester
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