A Complete Guide to Living in Bristol

If you are looking to relocate to a creative city with eco-conscious credentials, plenty of independent businesses, bustling nightlife scene and a touch of quirkiness, then Bristol could be the ideal place for you to call home.

Located in the South West, Bristol is the only European Green Capital in the UK and is widely regarded as one of the best places for young people to live outside London. Data from 2019 placed Bristol as number 7 on the list of the UK’s most-visited cities (at the time of writing), ahead of the likes of Cambridge, Oxford and York. So, it’s clear that increasing numbers of people are starting to appreciate everything that Bristol has to offer.

The Best Bristol Areas

Clifton is one of the most talked about areas of Bristol and it’s not difficult to see why. In addition to bars, bistros and boutique shopping, Clifton also offers spectacular views, leafy residential streets, and attractions such as the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Clifton Observatory.

Stokes Croft, St Pauls, and Gloucester Road have a similar vibe with an array of bars, restaurants and independent shops to enjoy. These areas are also known for their cultural and music events, so it’s no surprise this is where the cool kids hang out.

For a more laid back atmosphere that is ideally suited to family life, Redland and Cotham can offer everything from spacious Victorian properties to cosy pubs, independent bakeries, and access to a number of the city’s most popular schools.

Rental and Property Prices in Bristol

As it has so much to offer, it should come as no surprise to learn that Bristol is one of the most expensive places to live in the South West.

In the last year, properties in Bristol fetched an overall average price of £398,706, which is 19% higher than in 2020. Properties within the ‘Golden Triangle’, which encompasses the areas of Cotham, Redland and Clifton, command the highest prices, with beautiful Georgian and Victorian townhouses often selling for upwards of £600,000.

Rental costs are also high, with data showing that some are putting as much as 35% of their monthly income towards rent. In December 2022 the average rental property in Bristol cost £1,254 pcm. Again, properties in the likes of Clifton, Redland, Cotham, Montpelier, and Horfield command the highest rental figures, however, there are plenty of more affordable areas which sit slightly outside of the city centre, including Emersons Green, Fishponds, Totterdown, Southville, and Bedminster.

Transport in Bristol

Bristol is an incredibly well-connected city, with London just two hours away and the stunning scenery of Devon, Cornwall, Wales and the Cotswolds within easy reach. The city is served by two large railway stations and has easy access to the motorway network, including the M4 and M5, which offer direct routes to locations such as Birmingham and Exeter. Bristol is also home to its own airport, which is served by a number of airlines, including EasyJet.

When it comes to getting around the city itself, most people choose public transportation as Bristol has an excellent bus network and is incredibly cycle friendly.

Bristol’s Arts Scene

Bristol has produced an array of creatives and artists from a range of disciplines, including street artist Banksy and musicians IDLES, Massive Attack, and Portishead. So, it’s no surprise that the city has a thriving arts scene to enjoy.

The Bristol Old Vic has been showcasing live theatre for more than 250 years, building an international reputation along the way. The Arnolfini and the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery house an array of impressive artworks and host a vibrant programme of cinema, dance, poetry, lectures, and experimental music events throughout the year.

Music lovers also won’t be disappointed, as the city is home to an array of independent venues, including the Trinity Centre, O2 Academy, Motion Bristol, The Canteen, and Thekla, the latter of which is a cargo ship moored in the Mud Dock section of the city’s Floating Harbour.

Bristol’s Festival Scene

Despite being just down the road from the iconic Glastonbury festival, this isn’t Bristol’s only claim to festival fame as the city hosts a number of festivals throughout the year, including Upfest, which is the largest street art and graffiti festival in Europe.

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is one of the most popular events each year, which gives crowds the chance to see more than 100 colourful hot air balloons ascend in unison from the Ashton Court Estate.

Whether you’re interested in films, music, art, beer, comedy, food, Shakespeare or anything in between, Bristol definitely has a festival that’s perfect for you which means you won’t need to work hard to surround yourself with a new community of friends in your new home city.

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