Where city and greenery combine to create a distinctive hub of alternative culture and creativity, bold Bristol is a muse in its own right.

Banksy 

The world's most famous graffiti artist first made his mark in Bristol's underground scene.

Second year student, University of the West of England

It’s such a cool and arty city [from] Stokes Croft and its raving scene, to Clifton with the beautiful suspension bridge. You can dress how you want and be who you want, and no one will batter an eyelid. It has so many different characters and an amazing music scene, specifically for drum and bass.

Bike-friendly

Once England's first 'cycling city', Bristol really is built for two wheels.

 

 

Second year student, University of the West of England

Bristol has a massive nightlife scene. Depending on the music you like, there's always something for you, with the main venues being Motion, Blue Mountain, Lakota, [and] Black Swan. Bristol also has clubs, like PRYZM. Bristol always feels pretty safe, when you're out. If you don't drink, there are so many amazing places to go and eat and chill, including multiple escape rooms. Gloucester Road is the place to be. This is where most students live when they’re not in halls, and it's massive! It's full of pubs and student areas.

Green

In 2015, Bristol was the first British city to receive the European Green Capital title.

Student life in Bristol

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
St Nicholas Market to grab some cheap (but yummy) pitta and falafel, and browse the market stalls. You can find some real bargains. (Second year student, University of the West of England)
Friday feeling
Lizard Lounge, Gravity, SWX, Thekla, Lola Los, or Lakota will always have something on. I've really enjoyed Brass Pig, or Mr Wolf’s for a bar/jazz night. (Second year student, University of Bristol)
When family visit
The Harbourside is a great place to go when family visit, with an array of nicer restaurants to choose from if mum and dad are paying. (Second year student, University of Bristol)
Sunday chilling
There’s an old railway line that was transformed into a bike path. It takes you all the way into Bath. The views are wonderful, and it’s something you could do as a flat or house together. (Second year student, University of the West of England)
Feeling cultural
The Hippodrome is the theatre where lots of West End shows tour. The Everyman cinema is a nice cinema, with sofas and beds instead of seats. (Second year student, University of Bristol)
Catch up with mates
If there's one thing Bristol isn't short of, it's cafés and cool places to discover. Mrs Potts Chocolate House is my personal favourite for an amazing hot chocolate. (Second year student, University of Bristol)
Treat yourself
Cabot Circus is the place to go to shop till you drop! It's a large shopping centre full of your favourite high street shops, and upmarket shops such as Harvey Nichols. (University of Bristol student)
Grab a bite
Bristol is known for its wide vegan options. Any restaurant you go to will have at least two different alternatives. My personal favourite is Eat a Pitta – they have the best falafels in town. (University of the West of England student)

Bristol Cathedral 

Open all year round and with free entry, why not visit this historic landmark?

Second year student, University of Bristol

While there are a large array of clubs down in the city centre, the arguably better clubs are on the Clifton Triangle. Whether you’re into drum and bass, or cheesy songs you can belt out on the dance floor, there’s something for everyone. The live music scene in Bristol is also great, with venues such as The Fleece and The O2 Academy, as well as Thekla – a club and music venue on a boat!

Station Square

Home to Bristol Temple Meads, the city's largest and oldest railway station.

Second year student, University of Bristol

Clifton Village is one of my favourite places in Bristol. While it’s slightly more expensive than other regions, it’s out of the way from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, and is a two-minute walk from Clifton Suspension Bridge. There’s a Co-op in the village which is really handy, as well as a range of independent cafes and delis. From my house, it’s a 15-minute walk to my university building, and the number 8 bus runs straight from Clifton Village, through the city centre, and to Temple Meads train station, making it super easy if you’re travelling home for the weekend.

Queen Square

A magnificent Georgian park in the heart of Bristol, Queen Square provides a relaxing retreat from the city.

Second year student, University of Bristol

[Redland] is a very popular place to live in second and third year. It’s a very safe and quiet place to live, quite close to uni, but with enough room for larger houses for bigger groups. It’s also close to the most popular bars and clubs. Houses in Bristol are really pretty because of the city's history, but it's very expensive to live in compared to lots of other uni cities. All of Bristol is hilly, but Redland isn't too bad.

The Floating Harbour

Visit for a cultural stop with harbour tours, river cruises and museums – or for nightlife with bars and clubs.

Living in Bristol

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Average weekly rents*
  • Private landlord
  • £80 - £145
  • Pricey
Housing value for money*
  • Poor deal
Local transport*
  • £13.25
  • Bristol Zone weekly student ticket (online, mticket, or shop)
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Clifton
  • Redland
  • Fishponds

*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

 

Student money tips

Down Gloucester Road, there are plenty of independent bakeries and veg stalls, which are great places to go to for cheap food. (Second year student, University of the West of England)

Go on your own Banksy walking tour and Instagram away!

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Bristol with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.