Affordable Living in Bristol: Budgeting and Cost-Saving Tips

The cost of living crisis has taken its toll on the finances of many households across the UK, with statistics from January 2024 showing that approximately one third of all adults are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent payments

Housing in Bristol

Data from April 2024 shows that the average private rent for a property in Bristol stood at £1,756 per month, which represented a 7.6% increase on the same period in 2023.

Property prices in Bristol have risen considerably as the city is now one of the most popular locations in the UK to live. However, there are still a number of more affordable areas of the city, including Avonmouth, Bedminster Down, and Hengrove. When searching for your ideal property in Bristol, it can be hugely beneficial to work with a trusted estate agent, such as Hopewell, who is familiar with the city and can help you to settle on the best area for your needs.

Low-Cost or Free Entertainment and Cultural Activities in Bristol 

From notable landmarks to entertaining attractions, there is plenty to see, do and enjoy in Bristol that doesn’t come with a huge expense, including: 

Parks and Green Spaces 

Bristol is home to a plethora of green spaces offering respite from the bustling streets and tall buildings.

Castle Park can be found between the Harbourside and Bristol Shopping Quarter and is an ideal place to sit and relax whilst looking out over the water. The remains of a vast medieval castle can be appreciated in Castle Park, as can the remains of St Peter’s Church, which sustained considerable damage during World War II.

If you’re keen to explore a wildlife haven in the heart of the city, Brandon Hill Nature Park is an excellent option. There’s plenty of space to sit and enjoy a picnic, and you can even venture to the top of Cabot Tower to soak in panoramic views of Bristol city centre if you’re willing to brave the climb to the top. 

Museums and Galleries 

Many of Bristol’s museums and art galleries have free entry, with others waiving entrance fees at certain times. 

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery is free to enter and has a dynamic programme of events and exhibitions, showcasing everything from natural history to geology, archaeology and art. Step back in time to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt before embarking on a whistlestop tour of the last billion years of history on planet Earth, including getting up close and personal with some impressive dinosaurs. 

Spike Island is an exciting creative hub located in the Harbourside area of the city and is home to a gallery space, cafe, and a selection of working artists and creative businesses. The year-round programme offers an array of family activities, events and exhibitions, plus an annual event where artists open their studios to offer visitors a glimpse into their creative practices. 

The Arnolfini can also be found in the Harbourside area of Bristol and offers free entry to its contemporary art, performance, and music exhibitions. There’s also a cafe which overlooks the waterfront, which is an ideal spot to enjoy a drink and a snack. 

Walking Tours 

With a long and rich history, joining a walking tour is an excellent way to learn more about some of the important events that have happened in Bristol across the centuries. 

The Ultimate Bristol Walking Tour is one of the most popular and covers two miles over the course of two hours, taking in everything from Long John Silver’s Inn to underground rivers. Tickets cost £12 for adults and just £5 for children, for which you’ll learn all about Bristols’ 1,000 year history from local artists and historians. 

Between Easter and October, it is also possible to join a tour of Clifton Suspension Bridge on weekends and bank holidays. These tours operate on a ‘Pay What You Think’ basis, but just a £5 donation is recommended. Tours last for around an hour and are a great family-friendly activity.

If you’re keen to see as much street art as possible, you can also complete the free, self-guided Banksy Walking Tour, which will also help you to discover a variety of affordable independent cafes, eateries and shops that are well worth exploring.

Support For Bristol Residents 

For residents experiencing debt or difficulties with managing finances, there are an array of organisations and support schemes that can help. You may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction, or benefit from help from services such as Citizens Advice.