We may be biased in our love for Bristol but if you’ve ever visited, we’re sure you’ll understand. Bristol is a vibrant city with a great music scene, fantastic food on every corner, and plenty of green spaces for all to enjoy.
If you’re making the move to Bristol or perhaps you’re considering it, we’ve listed five things that make Bristol so great, if you needed a little convincing.
Vibrant Music Scene
Bristol has a rich music history with genres ranging from trip-hop to drum and bass. There are many music venues where you can catch a variety of music genres such as the well-known O2 Academy, which hosts performances by top artists. Over the years, big names such as Kendrick Lamar, Kings of Leon and Amy Winehouse have all performed there.
Bristol is also the hometown of famous musicians Massive Attack and Portishead.
The city’s underground music scene became a cultural movement in the 1980s, due to a lack of mainstream venues catering to the emergence of hip-hop music. Thankfully, this is not the case now and music enthusiasts can find a venue that suits their music taste with ease.
A study from Visit Bristol found that Bristol’s live music venues generated £123m of revenue to the Bristol economy in 2015 – pretty impressive!
If theatre is more your thing, there are some fantastic venues such as Bristol Old Vic and the Hippodrome, which show everything from popular productions that hit London’s West End to independent plays, shows and comedy acts.
Bristol is famous for its vibrant street art and almost every available surface of the city has slowly become a canvas for artists. Turning the walls of Bristol into an outdoor exhibition.
World-renowned artists like Banksy, Inkie and Cheo adorn the city’s walls, along with many smaller artists. Banksy, who is believed to have started his career in Bristol, has left behind several of his iconic pieces around the city, including the “Well Hung Lover” mural which can be found opposite College Green on Lower Park Street.
UpFest, Europe’s largest street art and graffiti festival, has become a highly anticipated event on the Bristol calendar, supporting and shining a light on street arts’ freshest talent. According to Bristol City Council, street art attracts over 1 million visitors to the city each year. To learn more about Bristol’s street art, there are a few guided and self guided tours you can do, which is a great way to spend a sunny day in the city.
Bristol is full of picturesque spaces from Clifton Downs to the sprawling Ashton Court Estate. Bristol is a city of parks, starting from the city centre and spreading to the outer suburbs. And with over 400 of them to enjoy, you’re sure to find your favourite.
The city centre offers spaces such as Castle Park, Brandon Hill and Queen Square, all of which are filled with people during the summer months, enjoying picnics, playing sports or reading in the sunshine.
The city also has a large number of community gardens and allotments, providing great opportunities for residents to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
For those who enjoy the outdoors, yet love the hustle and bustle of city living, Bristol couldn’t be a more ideal city to reside in.
Bristol’s food scene is booming, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and street food markets, offering a diverse range of cuisines. Because of Bristol’s diverse and inclusive culture, you can find something delicious from almost every corner of the world.
For those that enjoy a little fine dining, the city is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Cassamia and Bulrush, each offering dishes made with the very best seasonal and local produce.
But for a more relaxed dining style, you have the Harbourside Food Market or the indoor food market at St Nick’s, not to mention the 100s of other restaurants in and around the city centre. There are also a number of food festivals throughout the year, such as the Bristol Food and Drink Festival and Wings Fest.
The food and drink sector in Bristol is worth around £2.5 billion and employs over 70,000 people, according to a study by Barclays. Bristolians are big on supporting local independent businesses and its thriving food and drinks scene is a testament to that.
Bristol is big on sustainability and in recent years has made commitments for clean energy. It is the second UK Gold Sustainable Food City, the first Cycling City as well as a former European Green Capital title holder.
The city even influenced international policy at the UN climate change summit in Paris in 2015, sharing insights on best practices and ambitious sustainable action.
There are also many green activities one can do in Bristol. From strolling through its parks and woodland, visiting attractions such as We The Curious (a science centre), or one of our City Farms such as Windmill Hill City Farm, where you can get hands-on with growing plants, rearing animals and learning all about sustainable living.
So, there you have it, a list of just some of the things that make Bristol so wonderful. Of course, there are plenty of other hidden secrets in and around Bristol but you’ll have to discover these yourself!
Take a look at some events to look out for in Bristol this year.