Photo of Bristol

About Bristol

Bristol is FAR more than just a cheap place to lay your head when you're visiting Bath. Firstly, Bristol's maritime and industrial history tells its own dramatic tale. Secondly, its architecture is incredibly impressive, with a particularly famous contribution by Brunel - the Clifton Suspension Bridge - and some lovely Victorian and Georgian set pieces. And thirdly, it's a particularly vibrant place to be - there's a healthy arts and music scene whilst the streets are packed with cutting-edge restaurants, bars and world-class museums. The range of accommodation is wide too, with the best places to stay in Bristol ranging from traditional establishments to chic guesthouses.

Once Bristol's docks had the look of being used up and discarded, as this city's great industries, shipbuilding, the railway and manufacturing, moved out.

But these days they've been polished up and this is where you can find some of Bristol's must-see treasures. One such example is the SS Great Britain, Brunel's great vessel, and the world's first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven, steam powered passenger liner. Almost 100metres long, she could manage the Atlantic crossing to New York in just 14 days. Next to the SS Great Britain, which is in dry dock, set upon a 'glass sea', is the Maritime Heritage Centre, also definitely worth a look in.

Bristol's new M Shed museum has been built inside a massive old warehouse by the docks, and it's also worth a visit - especially seeing as it's free. It's a social history museum about Bristol, which might sound a bit dry until you realise that quite a bit of interest has happened here, including the docking of slave ships and Wallace and Gromit.

As befits a city of this size, Bristol has great entertainment options, like leafy parks, a zoo and an aquarium. It's also got an excellent art gallery, an observatory, and an older part of town with beautiful architecture, markets and plenty of shopping.

As the home of Banksy, it's known for its excellent street art.

What Not To Miss

  • Be sure to head up the Cabot Tower, located just behind George Street and Park Street. It's free to enter and you'll love the spectacular views from the top!
  • Take in a show at the Old Vic which, despite not being the biggest theatre around, is wonderfully atmospheric and intimate. One of Britain's best known theatres, the quality of acting on display is always superb.
  • Spend an afternoon wandering around Brunel's SS Great Britain. Discover all about life aboard the ship in the Victorian age with their captivating displays and cabin reenactments (including authentic smells!). A fascinating visit.
  • The Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of Bristol's most iconic spots, is well worth taking in. As well as being architecturally impressive, it also offers splendid views of the surrounding area.
  • Bristol Cathedral, a wonderful example of Gothic architecture, boasts stunning interiors and oozes history, used as a location for the filming of Wolf Hall. A breathtaking spot,
  • Bristol Museum & Art Gallery has a wide range of exhibitions that'll be sure to please all members of the family - including one on the prehistoric Pleiosaurus!

So, as you can see Bristol has a very varied and meaty cultural life to get your teeth into! Many of the best places to stay in Bristol reflect this rich cultural atmosphere and offer accommodation that's a little different from the norm.

The Best Places to Stay in Bristol

The Best Places to Stay in Bristol for City Style

  • If you're looking for something a bit unique you'll be wanting No 38 Clifton, a stylish and intimate Geogrian townhouse in elevated Clifton, with stunning views over the city and countryside. No 38 also does spa breaks in conjunction with the famous Bristol Lido.
  • The Bristol offer stylish and contemporary accommodation as well as boasting its own waterfront restaurant. Situated in Bristol's cobbled harbour quarter, this is a chic city stay.
  • Paintworks, Bristol features five urban loft-style apartments designed in an ultra-modern style. With funky yet chic interiors and a wonderful sense of privacy, you'll love the ambiance of this place.

The Best Places to Stay in Bristol for Local Exploring

  • Brooks Guesthouse is located in the heart of Bristol's Old Town, around the corner from many of the main attractions. Choose between spending the night in a classically decorated bedroom or instead opt for a winnebago, a quirky alternative!
  • Bristol Harbour Hotel combines lavish style with contemporary comforts. Their rooms are elegant yet cosy, whilst you're also ideally situated to see all that the city has to offer. Plus, there's a lively bar and plush spa.

Prefer An Apartment?

  • If you'd rather the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, booking.com.

Travel Information

  • You're probably best off visiting between April and September, when the weather's fairly temperate and the city's full of festivals and many other events to keep you entertained.
  • The best months weather-wise to visit are definitely July and August, with an average temperature of 18°C. That said, this is peak tourist season so expect there to be a fair number of tourists and accommodation will be more expensives.
  • Bristol Airport serves a wide variety of international destinations and is served by direct flights from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and Belfast with Easyjet, as well as from Dublin with Aer Lingus.
  • To get to the city centre, you can hop on the Airport Flyer Express which runs every ten minutes - costing £7 for a single and £11 for a double. If you're heading onto somewhere else via rail then the bus stops directly outside the train station.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure where to book?


Monthly Weather in Bristol

Best Hotels in Bristol

  • Backwell House Bristol (Backwell) 9 rooms from £86

    Great walks  -  Stroll through the Avon Gorge National Nature Reserve or Bristol Zoo Gardens, both just 5 miles from Backwell House
    Short break  -  Backwell House is located just 2 miles from Bristol Airport
    Sights nearby  -  Go see Bristol Cathedral, The Roman Baths or Bath Abbey
    Airport transfer  -  Extra cost
    RestaurantGardenNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    An adults only getaway in the quiet countryside outside Bristol. This Georgian country house features a mix of accommodation - some rooms country-chic in style, others classically traditional. Gorgeous meals served up in their 2 AA Rosette restaurant. A first-rate sophisticated retreat! See More

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  • Brooks Guesthouse Bristol (Somerset) 27 rooms from £89

    Local exploring  -  Right in the thick of it, you are walking distance from some of Bristol's main attractions
    Great walks  -  Cross the Clifton Suspension Bridge and visit some of the olde world pubs and shops
    Local markets  -  St Nicholas Market is on your doorstep
    Restaurant  -  Breakfast is served
    RestaurantViewsNo pets

    Located in Bristol's Old Town, Brooks Guesthouse enjoys an excellent location. Choose from novel winnebago accommodation or classically decorated bedrooms - all fitted with mod-cons such as i-pod docks, TVs and DVD players. Superb locally sourced breakfasts are served each morning. A great stay. See More

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  • Berkeley Square House Bristol 10 rooms from £90

    City Style  -  A boutique property located on a pretty Georgian square conveniently near to the city centre.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll along the scenic Kennet and Avon canal path.
    Sights nearby  -  View the iconic Victorian Clifton Bridge.
    No pets

    A small hotel located in the centre of Bristol in a pretty Georgian townhouse. Cleanly designed rooms feature crisp white linen, beamed ceilings, pops of colour coming from the soft furnishings and contemporary bathrooms. A convenient base for exploring the city. See More

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  • The George, Bristol Bristol (Backwell) 7 rooms from £95

    Short break  -  Ideally positioned for a night's stay when coming or going to Bristol Airport.
    Great walks  -  Head out of the village and explore the picturesque Somerset countryside.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    A charming Inn with seven individually styled rooms located in a village just outside Bristol. Contemporary styled throughout, rooms feature crisp white linen, patterned bed throws and smart bathrooms. An atmospheric restaurant and bar serves hearty British fare. See More

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  • Berwick Lodge Bristol 14 rooms from £100

    Sights nearby  -  Take a trip into Bristol and explore the city's sights and lights.
    Great walks  -  The surrounding gardens and countryside are perfect for walking.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.

    Just to west of Bristol, Berwick Lodge is a magnificent Manor House Hotel. Ornate and elegant, the rooms are decorated with luxurious beds and tasteful artwork. The Lodge's 2AA Rosette restaurant is excellent and focuses on seasonal British cuisine. See More

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  • Hotel du Vin, Bristol Bristol (Narrow Lewins Mead) 40 rooms from £119

    City Style  -  Loft style rooms, a fantastic French restaurant and a great location.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll along the scenic Kennet and Avon Canal.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    A stylish converted warehouse in the heart of Bristol. Loft style rooms are spacious and moody with fabulous contemporary bathrooms. A fantastic bistro and invariably good wine list are worthy of a visit alone. See More

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  • No 38 Clifton Bristol (Clifton) 11 rooms from £130

    Views  -  Wonderful views over both Bristol and the surrounding countryside
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith, CN Traveller

    Stylish and intimate townhouse accommodation in Bristol – a real home from home. The elevated position provides stunning views over city and countryside alike. A classy spot for relaxing city break or base for exploring the area. See More

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  • Beech House Bristol 16 rooms from £133

    Self catering  -  Units are equipped with the essentials including a high-end kitchen, a washing machine, and a dishwasher — ideal for long stays
    Families  -  Two-bedroom apartments or the option to add beds into one of the smaller units makes this a good choice for independent families
    Local exploring  -  Well located in popular Clifton with many of Bristol's attractions within walking distance
    Sights nearby  -  Head to Bristol's vibey harbourside to visit the Arnolfini Gallery, SS Great Britain, and the M-Shed Museum

    A chic collection of self-catering apartments in popular Clifton. Units vary in size but each has the essentials such as washing machines and well-equipped kitchens. Interiors blend original features and antiques with fresh modern fabrics and pale wood floors. Ideal for independent travellers. See More

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  • The Bristol Bristol 187 rooms from £136

    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance of theatres, art galleries and much more
    Restaurant  -  Choose from either the River Grille or the Shore Cafe
    Views  -  Book a room with a harbour view
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled accessViewsParking

    A large yet discreet, contemporary hotel in a quiet, central location with a waterfront restaurant, gym and free parking. Recommended for both business and social occasions. See More

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  • Paintworks, Bristol Bristol 5 rooms from £144

    City Style  -  Contemporary luxury in the heart of the city.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the 32 meter Cabot Tower dating back to 1897.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    RestaurantGardenParkingNo pets

    Five urban loft-style apartments make for an unusual alternative to Bristol's rather conservative accommodation. Spacious, self-contained and oozing contemporary style. Young couples and creatives will love the funky vibe. See More

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  • Artist Residence Bristol Bristol 23 rooms from £149

    City Style  -  Bohemian-chic at its best with beautifully styled rooms and a happening bar — this is the place to be in Bristol
    Sights nearby  -  View the SS Great Britain steam liner housed in Bristol's lovely harbourside
    Full of character
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Air conditioningPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays

    A very stylish small boho-chic hotel set in an up-and-coming Bristol neighbourhood. Rooms vastly differ in size (and cost) meaning there is something for all. However, each is impeccably styled with modern art, upcycled furniture, and vintage finds. With a buzzy cocktail bar, this is a hip stay. See More

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  • Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin Bristol 78 rooms from £154

    Local exploring  -  Set in the popular Clifton area, there are plenty of boutique stores and good restaurants and bars nearby
    Romantic Break  -  Pick one of the suites with twin in-room freestanding baths set in a bay window for a romantic base
    Sights nearby  -  Enjoy views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, visit the impressive Bristol Cathedral, or stop by the S.S. Great Britain
    Restaurant  -  The restaurant, Goram & Vincent, has fabulous views and serves very good steak
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendly

    A historic hotel boasting fabulous views of Clifton Suspension Bridge. Beautifully styled rooms and suites are designed with a modern take on traditional style. Think moody hues, rich fabrics, tongue-in-cheek artworks, and luxe bathrooms. With a popular steak restaurant, this is a luxury stay. See More

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  • Bristol Harbour Hotel Bristol 42 rooms from £158

    City Style  -  With an award winning restaurant, a plush spa and knockout cocktails it's the perfect hip base for exploring Bristol.
    Local markets  -  Only a two minute walk from St Nicholas Market.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.
    Spa  -  HarSpa in the old bank vaults
    SpaRestaurantNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A hip statement hotel in the centre of Bristol. It has its own award-winning Jetty restaurant serving fabulous seasonal fish dishes, funky elongated bar with live DJs and cavernous spa in the bank’s former vaults. Bedrooms are comfortable and chic and staff are welcoming. See More

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