Welcome to Bristol

The largest city in South West of England, Bristol has a reputation for innovation, from the launch of Brunel’s steam ship Great Britain to the first flight of Concorde. It’s a popular student destination and the city buzzes – from its friendly people and fantastic music scene, to its vibrant harbour-side, green spaces and modern city centre. With the atmosphere of a fast-paced, dynamic and modern metropolis, it is home to a year round programme of events, festivals, music and clubbing venues and restaurants and shops.

Bristol combines the tradition of a historic port city with the atmosphere of a fast-paced, dynamic and modern metropolis.

The Millennium Square forms one of the centrepieces of the redeveloped Harbour-side, forming part of the At-Bristol complex.  Several pieces of public art grace this piazza, including several large water sculptures and statues of Bristol legends such as Cary Grant and William Tyndale. Dominating the space is the At-Bristol Planetarium, a giant mirrored sphere. The large plasma screen often shows sporting events and live arts performances - for example, from the Royal Opera House.

A short walk down Park Street brings you to College Green, Bristol Cathedral, and the Centre. Broadmead and Cabot Circus offer a comprehensive shopping experience, and the Bristol Hippodrome presents touring productions of West End hits.

One of the oldest streets in Bristol, Corn Street is dominated by an 18th-century building called the Exchange. Always a centre for the city's traders, the Exchange now houses St Nicholas Market, a large community of independent shops named by the Guardian as one of the ten best markets in the UK. Outside are four 17th-century tables called the Nails, on which merchants used to transact their business (and giving rise to the expression 'cash on the nail'). Corn Street is also the location of Bristol Farmers' Market, the Nails Market, and the Slow Food Market.

In the Stoke Croft area of the city, an alternative hub of music, street art, and community action can be found. Home-grown shops and cafés sit alongside small music venues and art galleries. This is where you’ll find Banksy’s mural ‘The Mild, Mild West’, voted Alternative Landmark of Bristol.

Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

View of Wills Memorial Building

View of Wills Memorial Building

The city of Bristol is an ideal place to be a student - from its friendly people and fantastic music scene to its vibrant harbour-side, green spaces and buzzing centre. Best of all, Bristol is the perfect size, offering all the excitement of a big city packed into an area you can easily explore on foot or by bike. 


The University of Bristol and the University of the West of England are the main universities in Bristol.

Getting Around

Walking and cycling are the easiest ways to get around the city which has good cycle tracks and has been named as the UK's first Cycling City.  Government grants are in place to further improve cycling networks and facilities.  There is an extensive and reasonably priced bus network with travel cards available, and the Studentlink bus service operates during the week.

London is 1 hour 45 minutes away by train. National Express operates coach links to many UK destinations. Bristol Airport offers low-fare flights to many popular European destinations.


Bristol's city centre boats nearly 500 shops. Cabot Circus offers over 120 high street retail stores, 15 major flagship stores (including Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser), restaurants, and cafes.  The surrounding city centre shopping area has been refurbished and improved and the Galleries Bristol offers all of the popular shops, stores and restaurants that you might expect on the high street. On the northern outskirts of Bristol is The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, which has 135 shops all under one roof. Park Street is useful for music and second-hand clothing.  The Exchange building houses St Nicholas Market, a large community of independent shops named by the Guardian as one of the ten best markets in the UK.


Bristol has an excellent range of pubs and clubs from the traditional to stylish late-night bars. Student nights are offered at city-wide venues throughout and a particularly vibrant scene can be found on the famous Park Street, Whiteladies Road and Habourside areas. Bristol has been awarded Purple Flag status for the second year running for safety in the city at night.

The city is also well provided with cinemas, both multi-screens and independents. Showcase Cinema de Lux in Cabot Circus, Bristol's shopping and leisure quarter, features 13 screens and state-of-the-art facilities, including an exclusive Directors' Lounge and an in-seat ordering service.

Restaurants and eating out

There some amazing restaurants in Bristol – from award-winning restaurants, authentic Italian, restaurants on boats; cafés and gastro pubs, to laid-back coffee shops and greasy spoons - Bristol has it all when it comes to indulging in café culture.