Going out

Chatting in the Boston Tea Party café

Boston Tea Party Café


Caffeine – the student’s friend – is in plentiful supply all over Bristol, with hotspots clustered around the University precinct. You’ve got your tried-and-trusted international chains, of course, and regional outlets like the Boston Tea Party, but there are also smaller-scale, more local affairs that fly the flag of independence: Café Sazz in Bedminster, Café Kino in Stokes Croft, and dozens of others.  

DJ plays at Motion nightclub

DJ plays at Motion


To say that clubbers are spoiled for choice in Bristol would be putting it mildly. Close to the University precinct is the Bunker, open six nights a week and almost always packed to the rafters. Closer to the city centre is Motion, something of a legend on the underground scene and responsible for an autumn-long season of live music and DJ sets.


Gloucester Road

Gloucester Road

Pubs and bars

Bristol’s nightlife has been going strong since at least the early 17th century, when pubs such as the Llandoger Trow and The Hatchet Inn first opened. Younger establishments have sprung up in every quarter, from the classy hangouts on Park Street and the Harbourside to the older, wood-panelled pubs on St Michael’s Hill, Gloucester Road and elsewhere.

The Thali Café



Bristol’s eateries are as diverse and international as its inhabitants: the city’s neighbourhoods often spring surprises on you in the form of funky little outposts of world cuisine. Fancy trying Greek, Polish, Nepalese, West African, Lebanese...? Close to the University are a gamut of restaurants, including famous names such as Jamie Oliver’s Italian, Wagamama, Ask, and Pizza Express.

Rise live

Live performance in Rise record shop

Live music

Whatever your musical bag, Bristol has a venue for it. Some, like the Bristol Folk House or the Old Duke jazz pub, specialise in particular genres; others cover the whole spectrum. Foremost among the latter is Colston Hall, which since 1867 has hosted the likes of Sergei Rachmaninov, Paul Robeson, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Portishead.