Bristol

For other places with the same name, see Bristol (disambiguation).

Bristol is the unofficial capital of the West Country of England. Famous for its maritime history it also offers a great and diverse range of attractions, hotels, bars and events. Bristol ranks fourth in England’s top visitor destinations, according to research in 2008, and the best time to visit is in the summer when major festivals are held in the city.

Although cursed by some horrible post war buildings and disfigured by a chaotic road system, Bristol is nevertheless an amiable, grooved, laid back city whose mellow vibe is reflected in the superb music of Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky, particularly the Massive Attack track "Lately" (from their brilliant debut album "Blue Lines") that perfectly captures the sultry, lean burn atmosphere of a warm summer's evening in this historic and cultured city.

Bristol Cathedral

Understand

Bristol is the United Kingdom’s eighth most populous city (approximately 421,000) and the most populated city in South West England, making it a core city in England. It received a Royal Charter in 1155 and was granted county status in 1373. From the 13th century, for half a millennium, it ranked among the top three English cities after London, alongside York and Norwich, until the rapid rise of Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester during the Industrial Revolution in the latter part of the 18th century. Bristol borders the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire and is also located near the historic cities of Bath to the southeast, Gloucester to the north and Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, to the northwest. The city is built around the River Avon, and has a short coastline on the estuary of the River Severn where it flows into the Bristol Channel.

The centre of Bristol seen from a balloon

Although often overlooked as a tourist destination, Bristol has a lot to offer of its own and is an excellent base for exploring the West Country, with relatively inexpensive accommodation compared to some of the main ‘tourist traps’ (such as nearby Bath) and a huge choice of bars, restaurants and shops. It is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in England, hosting a wide variety of visual arts, theatre, speciality shopping and live music.

Bristol's Millennium Square at night

In recent years, young people have flocked to Bristol thanks to the city's stunning and brilliant music scene - the likes of Massive Attack, Portishead, Tricky and Roni Size have contributed some of the most outstanding back catalogue of albums in the history of British music - not bad for a city which even in the early 80s was considered a backwater of the British music scene. Indeed, in 2010 Bristol was voted Britain's most musical city. The success of the Bristol music scene goes back to 1991 when Massive Attack released their magnificent opus "Blue Lines" which included the soaring "Unfinished Sympathy" and social critques such as "Safe From Harm" and "Daydreaming". "Blue Lines" was partly recorded in Bristol, at the Coach House studios in Clifton (now sadly defunct). Never has any album in British music captured the atmosphere and vibe of a specific city such as "Blue Lines" - particularly the track "Lately". This track, with vocals by Shara Nelson and a bass groove sample from "Mellow mellow right on" by Lowrell so perfectly captures the atmosphere of a summer's evening in Bristol - particularly on the Clifton Downs - that with its warm, laid back vibe is practically a signature song for the whole city.

A boat in the sunset at Bristol Harbourside

Orientation

Bristol is a large city with various areas in its centre; a map is helpful to get to know the layout. The free map given away at the Tourist Information Centre at the Harbourside is excellent for this. At Bristol's core is the Floating Harbour - a stretch of water that snakes along the city-centre which looks like a river in places but which is actually a dock. For centuries the Floating Harbour was where ships docked, bringing trade and prosperity to the city. It was created by diverting the River Avon in the early 19th century to the New Cut to the south, and by using various locks to create a non-tidal dock. Today, the industrial shipping has mostly gone and the Floating Harbour is a home for leisure, pleasure craft, upmarket waterfront apartments, and the occasional visiting sailing ship.

It's easiest to think about city locations as where they are relative to The Centre, or Central Promenade (it's called "The Centre" as it used to be the "Trams Centre", until Bristol's tram system was scrapped in the 1940s after bomb damage. Now it's more of a Bus Centre.). The Centre is a broad avenue running north-south with fountains and trees and shops, and traffic, reaching the Floating Harbour at its southern end. The Centre is a major interchange for most city bus routes - you can ask a bus driver for a ticket to "The Centre" from anywhere in the city and you'll get back there.

The ferris wheel in Broadmead seen from The Galleries

To the east of The Centre is the core of historic Bristol - the Old City. Here major streets include Queen Square, King Street, Baldwin Street, and Corn Street. It has wonderful Victorian and Georgian buildings, historic and charming pubs, and many places to shop, drink and eat. To the north-east of the Old City is Bristol's main shopping area - Broadmead, centred on the Broadmead itself and related streets such as the Horsefair, Union Street and Penn Street as well as The Galleries shopping centre. At the east end of the Broadmead is the major new shopping centre at Cabot Circus and a related development of more boutique shops at Quakers Friars. If you go east of Cabot Circus and across the dual carriageway you get to the less affluent area of Old Market, while if you go north of it you get to the St. Paul's area, which is a hotbed of culture but is best visited during the day.

To the north of The Centre are areas occupied by the city's hospitals, the bus station at Marlborough Street, and the University of Bristol.

To the west of The Centre is the Harbourside area, much of which has been a scene of heavy urban regeneration since 2000 and includes parts of what used to be called Canon's Reach. Here you'll find eateries in converted warehouses, Millennium Square with its attractions such as At-Bristol, and offices and smart apartments in new developments. It's a great place to spend time by the water. It continues to the south of the Floating Harbour at the M Shed museum of Bristol life, along to the SS Great Britain.

To the north-west of The Centre, and up Park Street, you head for the West End with its smart independent shops, the City Museum and other attractions, and if you keep going along Queen's Road you get to the upmarket Clifton area, known for its suspension bridge and elegant Georgian architecture.

The Tourist Information Centre can be found in the Watershed, a converted warehouse just off The Centre, just on the west side of the inlet of the Floating Harbour (St. Augustine's Reach). Walking south down The Centre, where the dock begins head to your right and under the colonnade. The Tourist Info Centre is a little way along.

Aerial view of the Bristol International Airport

Get in

By plane

Inside Bristol Airport's terminal

Bristol Airport (IATA: BRS) is situated 8 miles south-west of Bristol city centre and offers scheduled flights from major European cities. It is a major base for both budget airlines Easyjet and Ryanair, as well as BMI Regional, with nearly 80 destinations including: Amsterdam also with KLM, Paris also with Air France, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan, Rome, Prague, Kraków, Bratislava, Kaunas and Riga (but not London).

There is no train link between Bristol's airport and the city, but there is a very useful 'Flyer' bus service (buses A1 and A2) that takes 30-45 min and has a frequency of up to every 10 min. It costs £11 for an adult return ticket (the second part of which can be used up to a month after the first), £7 for a one-way to the city centre or to Clifton, and £23 for a family return. There are student discounts on this service if you are a member of one of the local universities.. The Flyer bus is useful because route A1 takes you to Temple Meads station, then to the Bus Station at Marlborough Street. Route A2 takes you to Clifton (where many hotels are) before calling at the Bus Station.

There is also the cheaper bus less frequent 121 bus to the centre.

The alternative is to use one of the London airports or Birmingham airport and travel on to Bristol by train, car or bus. The most convenient are:

When coming from London, the cheapest way is generally by coach or rail.

Bristol Temple Meads station's frontage is quite unique

By train

Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.

Bristol Temple Meads station is located approximately 15 minutes walk from the city centre and has regular inter-city and regional train services from Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, London, Plymouth, Southampton, Swansea and York, as well as many other UK towns and cities. From London, trains depart from London Paddington station. Bristol Temple Meads is the oldest, continuously and still operating train station in the world. Today, it is run by the train operating company First Great Western, who provide the majority of services. If you have luggage or are too tired to walk, and need to get to the city-centre or Clifton, take bus no. 8 (operated by First West of England) from the bus stops at the station forecourt (try asking for a ticket to The Centre - about £1.70), or a taxi.

Bristol has a second main railway station in Bristol Parkway, which is located several miles north of the city centre deep in suburbs (and is in fact not technically within the city!). Although this station also has frequent services to many of the same locations as Temple Meads, it is principally aimed at suburban residents and is unlikely to be useful to visitors.

From London, you travel from Paddington station. There are several through trains an hour, the fastest of which takes one hour and ten minutes. Train times (from any location) can be found on the National Rail Planner or by calling 0845 748 4950 from anywhere in the UK. Alternatively, there is Megatrain, a budget train service running out of London Waterloo to Bristol Temple Meads, with one or two trains a day taking just over two and a half hours.

Most long-distance buses to Bristol arrive at the Marlborough Street Bus Station

By bus

National Express operate services to Marlborough St Coach station, located in the city centre, from cities throughout the UK including London. The journey from London to Bristol takes about 2h30min. Tickets are much cheaper if booked in advance online.

MegaBus also operate budget coach services from London Victoria coach station to a stop outside the Colston Hall in Colston Street (Behind Flavourz restuartant formerly Yates Winelodge City Centre) or UWE. Tickets must be booked online and fares are demand responsive but can be very cheap (£1.50 if you book far enough in advance). The journey to London takes about 30 min longer than by National Express.

By car

The M5 and M4 motorways intersect near Bristol and the M32, a motorway 'spur', brings traffic directly into the city centre. The M4 links London with Bristol with a driving time of less than two hours.

The city also has 3 Park and Ride facilities, A4 Portway, Long Ashton and A4 Bath Road sites, for more information see The Bristol City Council website

Map of Bristol

Get around

Maps

Visit Bristol, the official tourism website for Bristol has free maps of the city for visitors. Distinctive blue A3 tourist maps which cover the city centre, the Harbourside and Clifton, are available for free from the Tourist Information Centre on the harbourside and also from locations such as libraries, shops, Temple Meads railway station, hotels and the YHA hostel. These really are excellent maps and you should obtain a copy or two. They indicate main streets and attractions as well as hotels and areas of the city in the central area and in Clifton.

You can also buy commercially-produced maps before you leave from sites such as Amazon. The pocket-sized "Bristol Pop-Out Map" is useful, as are the pocket-sized A-Z maps.

Detailed maps for other districts within the city (such as Fishponds and Lockleaze), cycle, bus and a very detailed harbourside map are available from the City Council.

Bristol is also home to a branch of Stanfords, a very large supplier of maps and tour guides (e.g. their store at Covent Garden in London is the largest such store in the world). Maps of Bristol with all the city centre street names and destinations marked sell from £1.50. Stanfords can be found at 29 Corn Street, and the staff double as local travel experts.

By foot

Most locations in central Bristol (the Harbourside and Old City areas) are reasonable easily walkable, and there are plenty of attractive walking routes along the quaysides and in the pedestrianised central streets. The main rail station (Bristol Temple Meads) is a little further (about 15 mins walk) but still accessible by harbourside walkways or by bus. Bristol walking directions can be planned online with the walkit.com walking route planner.

By bicycle

Bristol has plenty of bike paths and routes and is at the centre of the National Cycle Network. Sustrans, which manages the network, is based in the city, and has a shop and information centre on College Green, next to the Marriott Hotel. The staff can provide information on cycle routes throughout the UK. Free cycling maps for the Avon Cycleway, Bristol and surrounding council regions (South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Bath and North-East Somerset) can be obtained from the four councils' cycling website, BetterByBike.info.

By train

Despite being voted one of the most picturesque railway lines in the United Kingdom, the line from Bristol to Severn Beach also runs through the industrial area of Avonmouth. At St Andrews Road, a coal silo dwarfs the station.

Bristol Temple Meads offers direct trains to many UK cities including London (Paddington). Local train services include the Severn Beach Line, and stopping services which serve Bedminster, Parson Street and Filton Abbey Wood.

The Severn Beach Line passes through Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road in the East of the inner city, and then, Montpelier, Redland and Clifton Down in the north before heading north-west to Avonmouth and Severn Beach. The line has been voted one of the most scenic in the world by Thomas Cook. The line has two fare zones: Temple Meads to Clifton Down, and Clifton Down to Severn Beach. Trains run at approximately 40 minute intervals from 0600 to 2200hrs, Monday to Saturday, with a reduced Sunday service. Be aware that normally only one train in three goes to St Andrews Road (which is a request stop) and Severn Beach, with most terminating at Avonmouth. See council website on train services for more info.

Clifton Down railway station is close to Bristol Zoo and the Clifton shopping district. Beyond here, the line runs in a tunnel under Durdham Down, emerging in the Avon Gorge. You can see one of the tunnel's chimneys on Durdham Down. The station at Sea Mills is next to the River Trym and the remains of a Roman harbour, and is also a good place to start walks. The line later runs through Avonmouth Docks, and beyond that alongside the River Severn Estuary. At Severn Beach, you can walk along the banks of the Severn and see the picturesque suspension bridges - the Severn Bridge and the Second Severn Crossing. All other stations along the line are in primarily residential or industrial areas.

By bus

CitySightseeing offer open top bus tours with commentary during the summer months. 24hr and three day passes are available. The circular route takes in most of the major visitor destinations including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Zoo, City Docks, Temple Meads, old city and city centre.

Most bus services in Bristol are operated by First Bristol. Visitors should be warned that by and large the buses are unreliable, so if possible check the bus times on the First website as the times on Bus Stops may be dated and incorrect. As most of Bristol's hotels and places to visit are located near the city centre or are in the upmarket suburb of Clifton, First Bristol's number 8 and 9 buses are probably the most useful for visitors. They follow a route from Temple Meads station to Clifton, passing through the main shopping area (Broadmead), the city centre (also handy for the harbourside) and the West End on the way. Single-trip tickets vary but for short journeys (e.g. Clifton to The Centre; Temple Meads station to The Centre) it will be about £1.70. Not widely advertised is the fact that on the 8 & 9 you can get a return within the same fare zone which will save money. The zones can be confusing; ask the driver. First buses in Bristol give change.

Visitors planning on using the bus service for anything more than one short return journey may wish to purchase a FirstDay ticket. This will allow unlimited travel within zones 1 and 2 on most bus services for a one-off fixed fee. Currently, a FirstDay ticket will cost £4.00.

Other bus operators include Wessex Connect, Buglers and Abus.

By boat

The "Matilda", one of a fleet of ferries which provide transport around the Bristol Docks.

Because of the way the city centre is intimately interwoven with the old 'floating harbour', a boat is a good way of getting around as well as seeing a lot of interesting sights. Bristol Ferry Boat runs several ferry services around the harbour, stopping at various quays on route, and even providing a commuter service between the city centre and the main rail station.

The Bristol Packet offer city docks tours with commentaries daily during school holidays and at weekends throughout the year. They also run regular excursions to riverside tea gardens on the Avon towards Bath and Avon Gorge cruises under the Clifton Suspension Bridge to Avonmouth and back.

Number Seven Boat Trips also offer a ferry service during the summer months.

Bristol City Council offers a useful walking and public transport journey planner. Bristol is quite a hilly city, but if you don't mind walking up hills the walk can be pleasant on a fine day.

By car

Driving is probably the best way of seeing the surrounding region. A couple of the routes into Bristol during peak hours operate a car pool lane for cars with more than one occupant.

The centre of Bristol follows a one way city system, which can be frustrating and confusing for those not used to it. However with patience and practice and a lot of circling around the same areas numerous times, it does become easier.

Parking

There are plenty of NCP car parks, and street parking. The cheaper street parking is in short supply in the centre, however Queen Square can usually be counted on to have a few spaces at off-peak times.

Park and Ride

There are three Park and Ride schemes operating in Bristol, with an additional Park and Ride for the busy Christmas period based at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Frenchay. The main park and rides are at Brislington, on the A4 opposite St Brendan's school. Another is in Shirehampton and a third is at the end of the A370 Long Ashton Bypass. These are recommended due to their cheaper fares and ease of access to the busy city centre. For more information, see the Bristol City Council website.

By taxi

Due to the heavy traffic, taxis in Bristol can be quite expensive – and don't forget to allow extra time on your journey when taking a cab. There are about 700 licensed taxis (Hackney Carriages) and these can be distinguished as they are all painted a distinctive blue. Meters charged at a rate set by the council. There are a similar number of private hire vehicles (without roof signs) that need to be pre-booked. All legitimate taxis and private hire vehicles should have a predominantly yellow council-issued plate at the front and back of the vehicle. More information on taxis and private hire vehicles and a cab rank map can be found at Taxis and Minicabs in Bristol.

See

Bristol is a very diverse city. From the historic Old City and Harbourside to Georgian Clifton, there is something to be found for everyone. Every neighbourhood has its own attractions and sights.

Part of the Harbourside development at night. It can be well worth a walk along the dockside after dark!

Harbourside

The floating harbour is the jewel in Bristol's crown, and many of its attractions are on or close to the harbour:

Isambard Kingdom Brunel's steam ship the SS Great Britain was built in Bristol, and is now preserved in dry dock.
Millennium Square, part of the At-Bristol complex, an interactive science museum.

Old City

Within walking distance from the bustling shopping district of Broadmead, is old town Bristol where the town originated from. You'll discover old buildings and hidden alleys whilst walking along cobbled streets. Highlights include:

West End

The book 'Pero, the Life of a Slave in Eighteenth-Century Bristol' (C Eickelmann and D Small) is for sale at the museum.

Clifton

The old and up-market suburb of Clifton contains several more places of interest, as well as much of the city's student population:

The aquarium at Bristol Zoo features an underwater tunnel

Eastside

Bristol's Eastside is the multicultural centre of Bristol and offers visitors a refreshing alternative side of the city, made up of a colourful collection of neighbourhoods that boast independent retailers from all around the globe. The wonderful thing about this side of town is simply walking around it - and most of the good things to do and see are free!

Avonmouth

Avonmouth used to be a small village on the outskirts of Bristol. Today, it is dominated by the massive Avonmouth Industrial Estate and large wholesale and retail superstores catering for the greater Bristol area. Activity at the port, which first opened in 1877, is now focused on the import of fruit, vegetables, coal, animal feeds, grain and cars.

Churches

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta takes place at Ashton Court

Parks

Bristol has many open spaces reasonably accessible from the city centre. The more notable include:

Details of other city parks can be found on the city council website.

Nearby

Do

Special Events

The Bristol Balloon Fiesta is held every year in August at the Ashton Court Estate, and features mass ascents of balloons, a night glow and fairground attractions.
Fireworks as part of the Bristol Harbour Festival.

Bristol has a widespread range of festivals throughout the year. The most significant include:

Listings

There are various websites publicising these events, but probably the best thing is to pick up a copy of Venue Magazine (analogous to London's 'Time Out') from a stockist . Venue is no longer weekly and paid, but has been merged with the 'Folio' free monthly lifestyle magazine, and new editions are usually available on the last Friday of the month. Saturday's edition of the Bristol Evening Post has a free pull-out supplement called Seven that lists much of what is on offer in the city during the following seven days. Alternatively you can check out Bristol Music & Theatre listings online on Bristol Music which also house's contact details for all local venues and music contacts and reviews.

Headfirst is a local website and mobile app that offers detailed listings of what's going on in many of the bars and late night venues around the city, with an emphasis on live music.

Cinema

Theatre

Music

Pubs offering live music of some sort are extremely numerous in most areas of the city.

Comedy

The Bristol to Bath Railway cycle path

This showcase cycle path runs on a disused railway line from central Bristol to Bath. With its traffic free tarmac, gentle gradients, and only two minor road crossings on its 22 km stretch, it is ideal for cycling. At a leisurely pace the journey to Bath takes a good 2h through green suburbs and some attractive countryside. If you are too tired to cycle back, you can take your bicycle free of charge on one of the frequent trains from Bath Spa to Bristol temple meads station. The journey takes 10-15 min.

From Bath, you can continue cycling along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal all the way to Bradford on Avon, taking another hour or so. Though not paved and somewhat narrower than the Bristol to Bath cycle path, the towpath is still traffic free and the scenery even more beautiful. There are two or three places to stop and eat or drink on the way. The aqueduct at Avoncliff is worth seeing. From Bradford too there are direct trains back to Bristol that carry bicycles. You can view a PDF map at Bristol and Bath Railway Path.

Work

The largest independent employers in Bristol are the two Universities, the Orange telco, Airbus, Rolls Royce, Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, AXA and various media companies including BBC Bristol (famed for its natural history department), ITV West Country and Endemol. The Ministry of Defence has a large site employing around 5000 people in Filton towards the north of the city.

Casual work, usually supermarket, call centre, bar and restaurant work is fairly easily available in Bristol. Many employment agencies are located in the city centre. Bristol has the second highest job ratio of the eight English core cities (after Manchester) making it very good for employment opportunities.

Buy

Malls & Shopping Centres

The Cabot Circus shopping centre.

Broadmead and Cabot Circus are the two major precincts within the city's central shopping district.

Cabot Circus, Central,  +44 117 952-9360. A large and architecturally impressive shopping centre in central Bristol, opened in 2008. The name was chosen by public vote after it was decided that the name 'Merchants Quarter' brought with it too many connotations to Bristol's slave trade past. It is a large, and mostly under-cover shopping centre, containing over 120 shops including House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, 'Apple', Hollister, Boss, Ted Baker, Fred Perry as well as a Cinema Du Lux.

Broadmead remains a pretty dire indictment of post war planning and architecture; it contains the The Galleries, Bristol's city centre mall. It is large and has a good range of shops, although many chains have moved their premises to Cabot Circus. Most of the major department stores can be found in the streets outside. Department stores in Broadmead include Primark and Debenhams. Other high street stores include Lush, BHS, Next, New Look, River Island, Marks and Spencers, Waterstones, HMV, Currys, H&M, Miss Selfridge.

Areas

Christmas Steps

Bristol also has quite vibrant district shopping centres. The best of these are probably:

Markets

There are also a number of markets in and around the city. St Nicholas Market in the center, near Corn St. is a permanent fixture and has stalls selling jewellery, books, CDs and fresh food. It also hosts the 'Nails' market on Fridays and Saturdays and a Flea Market on Fridays, as well as various special markets around the end of the year. There are a number of farmers markets (and similar events) held at different venues around the city. These include:

Eat

Bristol has a huge choice of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. There are many around the Harbourside and The West End's Park Street and Whiteladies Road, but do not be dissuaded from trying those outside the centre as many are superior to those that attract passing trade due to their location. After a night out, or if your hotel allows food delivery, you will also be able to find many takeaways in Bristol, with different varieties of food.

Budget

St. Nicholas Market

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

The fact that it's the home to around 44,000 students probably says a lot for the quality of the city's nightlife. Surprisingly, though, it's relatively expensive, with prices similar to those in London. Mainstream nightlife centers around 3 main areas - Corn Street in the 'old city', Park Street / Whiteladies Road, and the Harbourside. These areas get extremely busy, if not rowdy, at weekends, however there are plenty of places in Bristol where you can have a good time without mixing with more student type crowds. drinksinbristol is a good source of information, as is Venue magazine.. The eastern end of King Street in the old city provides a slightly more relaxed, but popular, outdoor drinking area on sunny summer evenings, surrounded by historic pubs such as the 17th-century Llandoger Trow (reputed to have been the haunt of pirates and the model for the Admiral Benbow in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel "Treasure Island").

Amongst the hundreds of brilliant venues in the city, there are four outstanding areas:

If you're a tourist in Bristol, you may enjoy visiting one of the city's pubs and bars with historic and literary connections.

The Llandoger Trow

Notable Pubs include;

City Centre

The bar is laid out over the top floor of a traditional Georgian building and spans four interconnecting rooms. It has a great intimate vibe as it creates the feeling that you are drinking, not in a bar but in someone’s house. The décor reflects this mood as there are contemporary yet comfy armchairs and sofas dotted around.

Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road

Clifton

Hotwells

There are a number of traditional pubs located around the City Docks, such as The Cottage at the Hotwells end of the Floating Harbour, Grain Barge and the Nova Scota. These pubs can be accessed by foot or by harbour ferry.

Surrounding area

Yellow stone church tower above other buildings of the same stone. In the foreground is a grassy field with cows
The hilltop parish church of St Michael the Archangel in Dundry, built from yellow, oolitic limestone and commanding views for miles around


Bars with Live music;

Bristol's a gay-friendly city, on the whole, with a rounded and rich gay scene. Flamingo's on West Street is probably Bristol's biggest gay club with a 900-person capacity. The Pineapple on St George's Road is a sociable and well-established pink pub, and just down the road, the QueenShilling on Frogmore Street is a long-standing club that holds the Bristol heats of Mr Gay UK. And Club Wonky, held at Warehouse on Prince Street on the last Friday of the month where sleazy electro hits are cut with pop classics.

Non-alcoholic venues include:

Sleep

There are a large number of hotels and guest houses in the Bristol area. A selection is listed below.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Like many other big cities in the UK, Bristol has its rough areas. Use common sense while getting around.

Isolated drunken brawls can occur in the centre of town on Friday and Saturday nights as pubs and clubs close, especially near the waterfront area, the Centre, taxi queues and fast food joints. This has been reduced somewhat by a heavy police presence and security guards monitoring the taxi queues.

Avoid Baldwin Street at the 11PM and 2AM kickout times. Go somewhwere else to hail a cab from some of the smaller, less busy ranks.

There are also specific areas that have a reputation after dark. The inner city districts of St Pauls and Easton are said to be rife with drugs and gangs but should not pose any danger to people outside the narcotics trade. The areas are as safe as anywhere else during the day. Pay attention to what is around you, and you should encounter no difficulties.

Also, some outlying suburbs such as Southmead, Knowle West and Hartcliffe have a bad reputation, but it is unlikely that a visitor to the city would travel to these parts.

The main problem is beggars as many will approach you on the street to ask for money.

Also, you may find people offering you drugs in return for cash. Those people have no drugs and will instead give you a bogus parcel (such as balls of cellophane or matches wrapped in newspaper) and run off with your money. They often have knives so avoid the people in the first place.

Stay healthy

Connect

Phone

Bristol's landline area code is 117. Dial 0117 from within the UK or +44 117 from outside the UK.

Internet

Bristol has easy internet access like most cities, and as a city, has the advantage of broadband being easily accessible both to install and use. Bristol also has an abundance of internet cafes available for all to use. The council has also recently installed the internet in most of the main libraries in Bristol. Providing you are a member of Bristol Libraries you can book internet use although be prepared to wait if visiting the library during school term-times as students from the nearby school and college frequently use the facilities. A network of free wi-fi hotspots called StreetNet is being deploying in central Bristol. It is currently available around the Watershed and along Queen's Road. An up to date map of pubs, bars and cafe's in Bristol with free wifi is available here

Many small "i" stations can be found in and around the centre, allowing you to surf certain approved sites such as job search pages, visitor information, transport links and entertainment guides for local clubs and venues. You can also send emails with media attachments: for example you are able to film a message for someone to send alongside your regular email.

Go next

Towns and cities

Outdoor activities

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.