With so much entertainment on offer, Bristol is a great city to live in as a student. But if you are not quite sure where to start your journey, here is a student city guide providing some insider information on how to best enjoy Bristol as well as its hidden gems.

How can I get around?

When exploring Bristol, it is almost certain that you will travel all around the city. The great thing about Bristol is that the University and most entertainment is in close proximity and, therefore, within good walking distance. However, for those days when you just don’t fancy walking, here are some of the easiest ways to travel.

Hop on a Bus

The majority of buses you will see around the city are First Buses. The bus routes cover areas all the way up from Stokes Croft to down Temple Meads Train Station. The best way to save money is to get your ticket before you get on the bus. First Bus also have great deals for students, and if you think you will be an avid traveller, you can purchase one of their Freedom Travel passes which for £100 you can hop on an unlimited number of buses for a month. To check out various tickets and see up-to-date bus routes, visit First Group online or download the First Bus app.

Grab a Train

bristol public transport
Source: Network Rail Media Center

With Bristol being a hub for various rail networks in the South West, getting the train is also a great public transport option. Taking a train from Bristol Temple Meads also gives you the option to visit other areas of the UK such as Bath, which only takes a mere 10 minutes. Be sure to purchase a railcard before coming to university as you will gain massive discounts – for instance, you can grab a train from Clifton Downs to Bristol Temple Meads for as low as 90p!

Order a Taxi

bristol taxis
Source: V Cars

It is no secret that after a night out when the buses and trains are no longer running, we like to get a taxi home. A cheaper option which everyone knows of is of course, Uber –most fares around Bristol cost around £7.

However, if you are a fresher, there is an even better taxi service on offer. Anyone travelling to a first-year accommodation at the University of Bristol or the University of West England will get a 10% discount. All you need to do is download the V-cars app and order a taxi.

Where is a good place to live?

With Bristol being such a diverse city, no area is the same. So, be sure to move around the city during your time at university to experience completely different living environments and delve into the different things Bristol has to offer.

Clifton Village

where to live in bristol
Source: Bristol For Europe

Clifton Village is a great place to live if you want to experience Bristol’s Georgian history and spend some time in a calmer scene. The village features beautiful architecture and is home to many independent shops, cafes and restaurants.


where to live in bristol
Source: Ocean Estate Agents

Redland has become renowned for being a student area. This means that during your time at university you will most probably find yourself at a house party here. If you like the sound of being at the hub of student housing, Redland is the place for you.

City Centre

where to live in bristol
Source: Visit Bristol

Want to live right amongst the hustle and bustle? If so, you should move to the city centre where all of Bristol’s entertainment – whether that be clubs or cafes – will be at your fingertips. Just get ready to have some sleepless but memorable nights!

Where should I study?

As a student, there is no doubt that you will be spending a lot of time in the library. So, to spice up your study sessions, why not try out these different libraries.

Bristol Central Library

libraries in bristol
Source: Bristol Post

Address: College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL

Bristol Central Library is a beautiful library situated right by College Green. Its location means that it’s a great way to pop out and lie on the grass to enjoy the sun whilst on your break. They also offer free wifi and have computers available for public use. What’s more, there is a small café on the ground floor offering homemade cakes – great for your break on a rainy day.

Wills Memorial Library

libraries in bristol
Source: University of Bristol

Address: Queens Rd, Bristol BS8 1QE

If you get motivated by studying in a picturesque library, make sure to go to University of Bristol’s Wills Memorial Library. You will definitely feel like you have been transported to Hogwarts.

Arts and Social Sciences Library

bristol libraries
Source: Oxford Architects

Address: 5 Tyndall Ave, Bristol BS8 1TJ

Are you that student who studies long into the night? If that is the case, head over to the University of Bristol’s Arts and Social Sciences Library, as they are open 24/7. They even have a room full of bean bags if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere to study.

Redland Library

bristol libraries
Source: Twitter

Address: Whiteladies Rd, Clifton, Avon, Bristol BS8 2PY

For those students who live further up from the city centre and want to go to a library closer to home, why not try out Redland Library.

Where can I shop?

To the students who love a bit of retail therapy, are on the lookout for something specific or are just interested in consuming sustainably, here are some great unconventional shops to check out.

Chaplins Fancy Dress

Address: 9 St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UT

There will be at least one point in your student life where you get invited to or buy a ticket to a fancy-dress event. If you find that you have left making or buying your costume to the last minute, there is no need to worry as Chaplins is super close to the city centre and offers a great selection of costumes.

Vintage Clothes Shopping

vintage clothes shopping bristol
Source: Time Out

Address: Park Street Bristol, BS1 5NF

If you love to thrift, then Bristol is the city to be in. With the city having a reputation of being the home to vintage fashion, there are certainly many options to choose from. Head down to Park Street, where there are numerous vintage and charity shops to choose from, providing all types of looks from street to chic.

St Nicholas Market

where to shop in bristol
Source: Bristol Live

Address: The Corn Exchange, Corn St, Bristol BS1 1JQ

Built in 1743, St Nicholas Market is the oldest market in Bristol. Consisting of 60 stalls, the market offers everything from trinkets and music records to cooked meals and farmers’ produce. With it even being chosen as one of the ten best markets in the UK, it has to be added on your to do list.

Reg the Veg

shopping in bristol
Source: Bristol Live

Address: 6 Boyce’s Ave, Clifton, Bristol BS8 4AA

Reg the Veg is a family run local grocer providing only the best fresh fruit and vegetables. One reason to love them is because they do a great deal where you can order a large box of fruit or veg for only £20 and with free delivery! Why not check them out on https://www.regtheveg.co.uk/ – it’s an amazing way to support a local business.

Where is the best place for a night out?

There is no doubt that a large part of student life is going out. So, to make the most of it, here are some of the best bars and clubs.

London Cocktail Club

bars in bristol
Source: London Cocktail Club

Address: 37 Triangle W, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1ER

If you find that you are looking to go somewhere which is a good in-between of a bar and club, then head over to the London Cocktail Club. The bar has a groovy interior decked with ornaments such as a crocodile statue on the wall and blasts the latest tunes so you can bust out some moves whilst sipping on a cocktail. As students, we know you love a deal, so make sure to go when they are doing their 2 for £12 deal during happy hour every day until 8 pm.

Brozen Bar

bars in bristol
Source: Bristol Food Union

Address: 43 St Nicholas St, Bristol BS1 1TP

Brozen Bar is a great quirky bar to visit if you fancy something different. All of their cocktails are mixed with liquid nitrogen, so you can eat them in the form of gelato or sorbet. A one of a kind cocktail bar where you get to feel that your night out has been elevated – what more would you want?


clubs in bristol
Source: Thekla

Address: The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol BS1 4RB

Thekla is THE most Bristol night out you can experience. Situated right on the Harbourside, Thekla is a club inside a floating boat! And there is no need to worry about seasickness, so you can feel free to enjoy their weekly events of pop confessional and drum n bass.


clubs in bristol
Source: Licklist

Address: 1-2 Frog Ln, Bristol BS1 5NF

OMG is Bristol’s most popular gay and lesbian club. You will not be left wanting more entertainment as you will be treated with the moves from drag queens. If you have already blown most of your student loan on nights out, then make sure to go on their Wednesday student night for free entry and cheap drinks.

What entertainment is there?

If you fancy doing an activity that doesn’t always involve alcohol, these are some great options to do with your new friends.

Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf

things to do in bristol
Source: Trip Advisor

Address: Cabot Circus, Glass Walk, Bristol BS1 3BQ

Whether you are a group of friends or trying to find some fun date night ideas, crazy golf is an exciting activity to get stuck into. Jungle Rumble Adventure Golf offers a jungle-themed golfing experience with two 18 hole courses. If your adrenaline is still rushing after the game, then you can also have a go on their arcades and table tennis.

University of Bristol Botanic Garden

things to do in bristol
Source: Great West Way

Address: Stoke Park Rd, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1JG

We are well aware that as a student, you cannot always afford to spend money on a good day out. What is great about Bristol is that there are certainly many free options to choose from. An unexpected activity is to visit the Botanical Gardens. Owned by the University of Bristol, the garden houses many succulents and tropical plants such as the Giant Amazon Waterlily. If you love to admire nature, be sure to head over.

M Shed Museum

museums in bristol
Source: Visit Bristol

Address: Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN

Another completely free activity for those history-loving students is the museum M Shed. Originally a 1950s transit shed, M Shed exhibits over 200 years of Bristol’s history. If you are also interested in recent political events, you may be excited to know that they are showcasing the Colston Statute.

Where is the best place to eat?

Are you a foodie looking for some hidden gems? Here you go!

Wapping Wharf

where to eat in bristol
Source: Visit Bristol

Address: Wapping Road, Bristol, BS1 4RW

What on the outside looks like a normal set of cargos, go inside, and you will discover something which is far from normal. Wapping Wharf is a vibrant area where there are bundles of restaurants to choose from. So you can eat your heart out at places including Woky Ko (a personal favourite), Pizzarova and The Athenian whilst soaking up the view of the harbour.

Clifton Observatory

where to go in bristol
Source: Visit Bristol

Address: Litfield Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3LT

The Clifton Observatory is a really romantic spot to enjoy some food and drink on a date night. You can have some amazing luxury hot chocolates there too, where past flavours have included everything from S’mores and biscuit toppings to raspberry. The rooftop terrace there is also one of the best views of Bristol you could imagine.

At Clifton Observatory, you can also visit a small museum with an historic Camera Obscura that is almost 200 years old, along with the Giant’s Cave. It’s only £3 to visit the museum or £5 for full access, so a pretty decent price for students on a budget!

Plus, if you happen to be there when Bristol International Balloon Fiesta takes place, you’re in the best place to see the hot air balloons take off. The café and rooftop terrace open early for the 6AM launches and have sunset parties on the rooftop terrace for the Friday & Saturday 6PM launches.

Mrs Potts Chocolate House

what to eat in bristol
Source: Deliveroo

Address: 50 Park St, Bristol BS1 5JN

Recently moved and revamped, Mrs Potts Chocolate House is a must for dessert lovers. They specialise in all things chocolate, and a personal favourite on their menu is their fudge brownie milkshakes, where they really use a brownie – pure heaven!

This student city guide only touches the surface of what Bristol has to offer. Nonetheless, it’s a great selection to start your student life in the city. Enjoy!