Bristol’s nightlife is legendary, and you don’t even need to be a penniless student to enjoy the city’s frenetic club scene!
There are a huge number of nightclubs, bars and pubs in and around Bristol. The city has a big student population, but there are plenty of upmarket venues and gastropubs to appeal to a more sophisticated clientele. In the summer, many people head down to the harbourside area, where there are several popular pubs and bars. The Pitcher & Piano is a well-known chain pub, but if you prefer quirky venues, you don’t need to travel too far to find them.
Bars and Pubs in Bristol
The Cornubia is an award-winning pub. Its claim to fame is that it never sells the same beer twice, so real ale fans will be in seventh heaven. There is even a nice beer garden outside, so you can sip your pint of obscure ale and listen to the sound of seagulls in the distance.
The landlord of the Bag of Nails is a self-proclaimed cat fancier, so you know immediately that this is no ordinary pub. Come to the Bag of Nails for top quality beer from obscure microbreweries. Ask for a pint of lager at your peril.
The Steam Crane is a work of art; literally. The old pub was a rather notorious watering hole, but since a change of ownership, the Steam Crane has undergone a miraculous facelift. Today you can enjoy tasty food, cask ales, a fantastic selection of bottled beers, and a great atmosphere.
Clubbing in Bristol
Bristol has a fair selection of nightclubs, ranging from unbearably cheesy to the type of venue where top DJs show up to do a set or two. Motion is the largest and best-known nightclub in Bristol. If you like big venues and a wide variety of music, this is the place to go. From the outside, the venue looks like a dodgy skate park, but once you get through the doors, you’ll have an epic night. Be warned, though, most of the big events at Motion are ticket only.
The other two super-clubs in Bristol are Oceana and The Syndicate, but if you can’t stand chart music, avoid them like the plague.
Motion is huge, but there are plenty of smaller, more intimate venues if you want to get down and boogie on a cosy dancefloor. The Island is a cool alternative arts venue inside a converted police station. Check when the next club night is on and make sure you go. Cosies in Portland Square is another good night out.
Theatre and Alternative Nightlife
If you fancy an evening at the theatre, check out what’s on at the Bristol Hippodrome – this is one of the best provincial theatres in the UK. Another great venue worthy of a visit is the Colston Hall, which regularly plays host to comedy nights, pop, classical and rock concerts.
Travelling to Bristol
Driving into Bristol city centre is still the most popular mode of transport despite many public transport initiatives in the city. There are a number of car parks in Bristol, which tend to empty out as the evening approaches, so you shouldn’t have any problems locating parking. If travelling by train you’ll most likely arrive into Temple Meads railway station. There are always taxis on hand ready to take you into the city centre. Finally, if you’re travelling from a large city like London why not give someone a lift share to Bristol. You can halve the fuel costs and have a little company for the journey.
Bristol has it all, so make sure you plan a weekend break to this amazing city.