Bristol has a well-deserved reputation among students for being one of the coolest cities to live and study in. Steeped with history and home to a vibrant cultural scene the city is full of landmarks, attractions and entertainment options to ensure there are always things to do in Bristol for students.

Whether you’re a new student looking to explore the city for the first time, or an established student who thinks you’ve seen all that the city has to offer, our list of student-friendly things to do in Bristol is sure to keep you coming back for more.

Smoke & Mirrors Comedy & Magic Theatre Pub

A one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of Bristol, Smoke & Mirrors is one of our favourite things to do in Bristol for students. On first appearance, this is a classic British pub with a range of beers, wines and spirits, alongside stone-baked pizzas on the menu. However, when night arrives, this venue transforms into a 1920s-themed theatre offering the best of the UK’s established and rising magicians and comedians.

The Toast Room

As eating and drinking is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Bristol, it’s only fair to include a top place to eat in the city. Top of this list is the independent café The Toast Room. Serving toast of every kind with a wide variety of toppings, head here to load up after a night out or to take a break from exploring the city. As well as toast and sandwiches, The Toast Room also offers muesli, breakfast bowls, fresh salads, pastries and cakes.



Coastal North Somerset 

On the doorstep of Bristol are miles of coastline and major seaside attractions. Whether its a day at the seaside, a pier-to-pier cycle from Clevedon to Weston-super-Mare, or a wander through numerous nature reserves, there are plenty of options for things to do near Bristol.



Bristol Dry Gin Distillery

If your ideal list of things to do in Bristol would include a tipple or two, pay a visit to the Bristol Dry Gin Distillery and take the opportunity to get to know a lesser-known attraction in the city. Hidden away in the basement of the Rummer Hotel, visitors can take a tour of the distillery and discover what goes into the famous Bristol Dry Gin, including learning about the ingredients and trying a few samples



Bristol’s Camera Obscura Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

If you’re a student in Bristol, it’s worth sticking around over the summer for the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta. An Instagram-worthy event if ever we saw one, the festival is actually Europe’s largest hot air balloon display. Held in the first week of August, the event is free to attend, and visitors can enjoy the spectacle of hot air balloons drifting across the sky, fairground rides, stalls and more. There are displays across four days, including a ‘special shapes’ category and enchanting lit-up balloons at sunset to a stunning soundtrack.



Chance & Counters

If your idea of the perfect Sunday afternoon is spent in the pub, you’ll love Chance & Counters. With nearly one thousand different board games available, it’s quirky pubs like this that truly put Bristol on the map as a great place to study. The pub also has some tasty food to sample, including seasonal dishes and even a vegan and gluten-free menu. What better way to escape exam revision than with a pint and a board game with your friends?



Bristol’s Camera Obscura

Next on our list favourite things to see in Bristol The Observatory and Camera Obscura. Offering sweeping panoramic views of the city, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and its surroundings, all from the top of an ancient windmill this is a must-visit for those who love an Instagram-worty view. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city to get some peace, quiet and perspective.



Party at Zed Alley

If a drink and a boogie are how you like to spend your Saturday night, this unusual underground bar on Host Street could be your new favourite spot. Zed Alley was originally brought to life by the band Hooper who transformed the warehouse themselves, and today holds live music events, open mics and student evenings. However, the band are keen to try and keep the venue low-key to maintain its hip vibe, so mum’s the word! If you like a night out but Zed Alley isn’t your scene, be sure to check out our list of the best nightclubs in Bristol.



Brunel’s SS Great Britain

Home to two museums, a dry dock and a historic dockyard, this is a fun-filled day out that offers an insight into “the ship that changed the way we travel forever”. Rated as Bristol’s number 1 visitor attraction, this is a perfect day out for students in Bristol who are looking to take a deep dive into the history of the place they call home.

From new food and drink spots to exhilarating cultural experiences, we hope our list of unusual gems in Bristol inspires you to explore the city’s hidden corners and try something new.



You & Meow Cat Café

A café with a twist, You & Meow Cat Café is sure to appeal to animal lovers who were unable to bring their furry friends to their student accommodation in Bristol. The café is inspired by Japanese culture and provides a peaceful haven where you can hide away for a few hours. Visitors to the café can enjoy afternoon tea or a slice of cake whilst watching and playing with the café’s feline residents. You can even book a zen meditation session, perfect for de-stressing during exam season. Have a look at the website for the different types of packages available.


From new food and drink spots to exhilarating cultural experiences, we hope our list of unusual gems in Bristol inspires you to explore the city’s hidden corners and try something new.

Student Accommodation in Bristol

We want to help students get off to the best possible start at university. That’s why we bring you practical guides with places to go and fun things to do, to help you make the most of your time at university. As well as our student news guides, our on-site teams will always be on hand to give you a warm welcome and offer top tips on getting to know your new home.

Collegiate offers stylish student flats fitted with all the amenities you could need, in an exceptional location in the heart of Bristol. And with an all-inclusive weekly rent, you can focus on studying, socialising and exploring. It’s just another part of our commitment to exceptional living for students.