Where to stay in Bristol


Bristol, a vibrant city in the southwest of England, is known for its rich maritime history, thriving arts and music scenes, and strong independent spirit. With iconic attractions like the Clifton Suspension Bridge, SS Great Britain, and Banksy's street art adding to its diverse cultural tapestry, Bristol appeals to many visitors. Choosing the right neighborhood to stay in is crucial and can greatly affect your experience of this multifaceted city. Bristol has something for everyone, from hipster hotspots with buzzing nightlife to quieter, more residential areas with picturesque views. This guide will help you navigate the city's eclectic neighborhoods and find the perfect base for your visit, whether you're here for the history and culture or simply to soak in the local vibes.

  • Clifton

    • 🥂 upscale
    • 🏛️ historic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🛍️ shopping

    Clifton is often associated with affluence, characterized by its Georgian architecture, chic boutiques, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It's a desirable area with upscale accommodations, making it more expensive than other parts of Bristol. Staying here means you're close to verdant spaces such as the Clifton Downs and the Ashton Court Estate. It's suited for travelers seeking a sophisticated and tranquil experience, though be aware that its upscale nature means everyday costs can be higher here.

  • Hotwells & Harbourside

    • 🌊 waterfront
    • 🍝 food
    • 🎭 culture
    • tourist

    The Hotwells & Harbourside area is a redeveloped space along the water with modern apartments and refurbished warehouses. It boasts fantastic views, waterfront dining, and a range of cultural attractions like the M Shed museum. It's popular among tourists for its central location and scenery, but it can be pricey. The area comes alive, especially in the summer with various festivals and outdoor activities. It's important to note that the Harbourside can get crowded and some areas may have a lively party atmosphere at night.

  • Old City

    • 🏛️ historic
    • 🍝 food
    • noisy
    • tourist

    The Old City is a hub of history and charm with its narrow alleyways, historic buildings, and the popular St. Nicholas Market. This area is fantastic for those wanting to immerse themselves in the city's heritage and enjoy local cuisine. Accommodations range from historic inns to modern hotels. Despite its charm, visitors should be aware that the bustle of the day can give way to a quieter night atmosphere, and the narrow streets can be difficult to navigate by car.

    Old City is a part of Broadmead.
  • Cotham

    • 🏘️ residential
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🥂 upscale

    Cotham is a quiet residential neighborhood known for its beautiful period properties and tree-lined streets. It's a great area for those seeking a peaceful retreat, yet it is still within walking distance of lively areas such as Clifton and the city center. Cotham lacks major tourist attractions, which contributes to its low-key atmosphere. Accommodation here is predominantly in the form of bed and breakfasts and Airbnb rentals. Ideal for a more relaxed stay, just be mindful that amenities like shops and entertainment are a short distance away.

  • Redcliffe

    • 🏛️ historic
    • 🧘 quiet
    • 🏙️ central

    Redcliffe offers a mix of business and leisure with its proximity to the city center and Temple Meads Railway Station. The area has a range of hotels catering to business travelers and tourists alike. Redcliffe is home to St. Mary Redcliffe Church and provides easy access to the Floating Harbour. While convenient, it lacks the charm of some of the more picturesque neighborhoods in Bristol. The ambience can feel quite commercial, and though central, certain parts may feel less welcoming at night.

    Temple is located within Redcliffe.
  • Temple

    • business district
    • transport hub
    • 🏛️ historical
    • 🏙️ modern
    • convenient
    • quiet at night

    Temple is an evolving business district situated in the heart of Bristol. Known for its accessibility, Temple is adjacent to the Bristol Temple Meads railway station, making it ideal for travelers who require convenient transport links. The area has seen significant regeneration, with modern office spaces and residential apartments springing up. However, this focus on development can mean the area feels somewhat lacking in traditional charm and can be quiet after office hours. It's a great option for business travelers or those who appreciate modern conveniences and proximity to transportation. Although not Bristol's cultural heartbeat, it offers its own understated vibe, with easy access to the rest of the city's attractions.

    Temple is a part of Redcliffe.
  • Old Market

    • 💅 trendy
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • lgbt+
    • 🏛️ historic

    Old Market is a gritty and authentic neighborhood with creative arts spaces and LGBT+ bars juxtaposed. It's less polished than other areas but has a character all its own, with various independent venues and vintage shops. Accommodations are usually more affordable, with a mix of guesthouses and hotels. It's worth noting that Old Market is at the edge of the city center, and the area can feel edgy at night. However, it offers a unique experience for the adventurous traveler looking for an alternative scene.

  • Ashley

    • 🕶️ hipster
    • 🍷 nightlife
    • arts
    • 🏘️ residential

    Ashley is known for its bohemian spirit and diversity, housing Stokes Croft, which is often referred to as Bristol's cultural quarter. Here, visitors will find a mix of independent shops, vibrant street art, and eclectic nightlife. However, this area can be quite busy and noisy, especially on weekends, which might not suit everyone. Accommodations here range from stylish apartments to boutique guesthouses. While Ashley is celebrated for its creative vibe, some may find it a bit rough around the edges.

  • Broadmead

    • 🛍️ shopping
    • urban
    • 👫 busy

    Broadmead is Bristol's primary shopping area, featuring the modern Cabot Circus shopping center and a host of high street retailers. Accommodations here are typically chain hotels located close to shopping and transport links. The area is very busy during the day and into the early evening but tends to be quieter at night. While it offers convenience, some may find Broadmead lacks the individuality and charm found in other neighborhoods. For shoppers and those seeking easy city access, however, it could be ideal.

    Old City is located within Broadmead.
  • University of Bristol

    • 🎓 student
    • 🕺 lively
    • affordable

    The University of Bristol area is vibrant and youthful, with students and associated energy. Plenty of affordable eateries, bars, and shops cater to the university crowd. The area is generally safe and well-maintained, but it can get boisterous, particularly during term time. It's a great spot for those looking to be part of a lively community spirit. Accommodations are mainly budget-friendly but expect a higher level of noise and activity.