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Student City Guide: Bristol 2022
8 min

Student City Guide: Bristol 2022

Jun 23, 2021
8 min

Mesmerising sight of Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol
Bright and Beautiful Bristol


​​The city of Bristol is one of the most exotic and exclusive cities in South West England. Being the 10th-largest populated city in England, Bristol is one of the most visited cities in the UK after London, Edinburgh and Manchester. Bristol is amongst the UK's most vibrant and multicultural designations.

Every year, we get hundreds of emails from students with questions about studying abroad in Bristol, and we wanted to make sure we answered them all. So without further delay, let us start our student guide with the most common topic: the top colleges and institutions in Bristol for students.

Top Universities in Bristol

While it may be impossible to name every famous Bristol university, here are some of the most popular universities which offer the best education models at affordable packages.

University of Bristol

Founded in 1876, the University of Bristol is one of the UK's oldest public research universities. The university is renowned for its admirable teaching quality and latest curriculum and holds immense pride to cater to more than 27,000 students every year. Having served international students for over 145 years, the institution is a well-known name amongst all global universities.

The University of West of England

The University of West of England is an extended outreach institution built under the supervision of city Mayors to cater to local people and support them to learn newly updated industrial skills. The university is a one-of-its-kind university and offers courses designed to help international students adapt and progress to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

University of Law

UK's largest law institution, the University of Law is known to bring the inception of technical and skill knowledge of Law in Bristol. Founded in 1962, the University of Law, Bristol is organised into four law faculties- law degrees, specialist legal training, continuing professional courses for British barristers and solicitors, which all have been catering to top-notch personalities globally.

City of Bristol College

Another big name in the university community is the City of Bristol College. Being the biggest competitor of the University of Bristol, the City of Bristol College is the largest college in North East England and home to more than 14,000 students every year. As of May 2021, Newcastle University holds four extended offering universities and schools under its name, making it the city's biggest learning centre.


In the field of cultural diversity and heritage, BIMM or British and Irish Modern Music Institute will always keep up to its name. Originated in 2001, BIMM is the most important learning centre in Bristol regarding creative fields and has over 7,000 enrolled students at seven different locations, including London, Birmingham, Berlin and Manchester.

Best Localities to Live in Bristol


Clifton is a beautiful suburb in Bristol and is undoubtedly one of the best places for students to live. The area is filled with Georgian architecture and the streets are full of students and locals trying out new cafes and shopping at boutiques. With Clifton College located in the area, the suburb is popular among its student population. Students that live here can visit the Bristol Zoo or Clifton Cathedral on their days off. 

Sneyd Park

A quiet suburb, Sneyd Park is a great area for students who are looking for a cozy space to call home. The streets are full of trees and foliage, and has a great view of the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. Sneyd Park is also incredibly accessible with buses running to and from Bristol's city center. 


Home to the University of Bristol, Redland is an extremely popular locality for students. The suburb has the best of both worlds, with a mix of a large student population and a large number of families. Redland has a number of museums, castles, art galleries, sports stadiums, theme parks and fun fair for students to explore. 

Accommodation in Bristol

When it comes to living in the city students have a number of options to choose from.

  • On-campus: On-campus accommodation will give students the chance to live with their classmates and fully immerse themselves in their college experience
  • Off-campus: Students can also choose to live off-campus if they want to experience life in the city and live like the locals
  • Private Accommodation: Students can also choose to find their own private rentals in the city. Rentals can be found by the student themselves, or they can enlist the help of a broker.
  • Purpose Built Student Accommodation: Different from regular rentals, PBSAs can be found either on or off-campus and are specifically designed for student needs. While most rentals come unfurnished PBSAs will be fully furnished and have a range of amenities for students to choose from. All PBSA properties will also include wifi, electricity and hot water costs in the rent itself, so you won't have to worry about paying different bills each month. All properties even include laundry services and most even have gyms, parking, and building security and all PBSAs are CCTV secured.

There are also different room options for a student to choose from.

  • Studios: A studio will include a multi-purpose living space - that can be either single or dual occupancy, a bathroom and a kitchenette.
  • En-suites: An en-suite is equipped with a private bedroom space with an attached private bathroom, and the kitchen and living space will be shared among residents.
  • Non-en suites: A non-en suite is equipped with a bedroom - that can be either single or dual occupancy and the bathroom, kitchen and living spaces will be shared among residents.

Best Student Accommodation in Bristol

Zed Alley

Zed Alley is amongst the highly recommended student accommodation options in Bristol. The student housing service offers viable room services such as clean areas, spacious rooms, and 24×7 WiFi starting at £308/week. Zed Alley is present within a 10-minute walking distance from the University of Bristol and the University of Law, making it a tough competition to grab a vacant room here.

Hotwells House

Hotwells House is another name that pops up to mind while locating student accommodation in Bristol. Located within a 4-minute walk from the City of Bristol College and a 6-minute walk from Bristol University, Hotwells House offers an excellent reasonable location and comes with a variety of features such as a clean and sanitised room, fire alarm, double beds, and smoke detectors/emergency lighting, starting at £149/week.

Studio 58

If you are a fan of high skyscrapers but don't want to spend extra time seeing them, then Studio 58 is the perfect location for you. The place offers top-notch student accommodation in Bristol with amenities, including a rooftop terrace, karaoke rooms, and game rooms at a starting price of £205/week. Studio 58 is present at walking distance from University of Bristol and BIMM, so don't forget to book the location early.

The Depot

The Depot will cover our top recommendations of student accommodation in Bristol because it offers ample basic amenities and good service facilities to the students, including a separate bedroom, communal rooms, separate bathroom and kitchen to let yourself cook if needed. The Depot student housing place costs an average of £259 - £305/week, and no, we aren't joking!

You can always check all the top and available student accommodation places in Bristol here.

Bristol Living Costs

In the last few years, the Bristol council has narrowed down their focus on providing an affordable living to its population. Bristol is roughly 28% less expensive as compared to London. In addition, while both the cities are similar in terms of food and clothing prices, housing and transportation costs are considerably lower in Bristol. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the average monthly costs in Bristol.

  • Food and other eatery shopping - £80
  • Local Transport - £35-45
  • Books and stationery - £25-37
  • Internet and mobile phone - £45-55
  • Social and leisure activities - £80-100

Cost of Student Living in Bristol

When you're a student in Bristol, there are certain unavoidable costs that you will need to take into consideration when planning out your expenses.


All the utility services such as gas, electricity and water will be covered in your rent in A PBSA. However, those of you who seek rental studios or private halls of residence will need to set up these utilities yourself and make sure these bills are paid on time every month.


Stationery is an inseparable part of student lives. Pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, or extra assignment sheets are some of the essential stationery items you'll need for your classes.

Phone Bill

Phones are essential in this day and age, and are a great way to stay connected with friends and family back home if you're an international student. If you'll be moving to the UK from another country, make sure to get a functional sim card with you or buy one as soon as you arrive.

TV license

To stay entertained, students may also want to set up a TV. Having a TV connection in the UK requires you to buy a separate license and cable subscription. Instead of this, you can also try buying OTT platform subscriptions which can be purchased on a combined monthly or yearly subscription.

Best Restaurants in Bristol

Bristol has a number of great restaurants that students should check out like:

£5 Lunch at Three Brothers Burgers

No, we aren't kidding. The city's popular burger joint, Three Brothers Burgers, is famous for its one-of-a-kind recipe that makes finger-licking burgers slide into your fingers and a tasty bite at £5 only. The restaurant is based on a boat on the Welsh Back, delivering a great scenic view while eating your lunch.  

Global Snack Parade at St Nick's Market

If you're thinking of finding a place to make your hunger go away, look no further than the famous St Nick's Market. Present right next to Glass Arcade, St Nicholas Market is the oldest and best-loved market in Bristol, renowned for offering some of the best food in the city. You will find more than 60 local vendors specializing in top-notch dishes ranging from Mexican, Italian, and continental varieties.  

The Unforgettable Woky Ko: Cargo

If you're a Chinese food lover, like we are, then don't worry because Bristol offers the most well-liked Chinese restaurant in the area- the Woky Ko: Cargo. The place is full of Chinese traditional cultural diversity. The restaurant brings a wide range of Asian lunch, dinner and takeaway menus featuring Bao, Xiao sharing plates, noodle and rice dishes, and the most recent menu option: Salted caramel ice cream Bao in the dessert.

Don't Miss the Gelato from Swoon

Desserts are the most essential part of meals (don't you agree!). That's why, if you ever feel the craving to eat a delicious dessert meal, try visiting Swoon. The place is an astounding Gelato Bar where you'll find some of the most magnificent desserts, pastries, chocolate cakes, and world-renowned Coffee from local roasters. Extract makes this place a must-visit in Bristol.

In addition to these places, the city is known as the maker of the delicious 'Colston Bun', a sweet bun made of yeast dough and flavoured with dried fruits. Named after Edward Colston, a Bristol-born English merchant and original creator, the Colston Buns are available at every restaurant in the city.

Local Attractions on a Budget

Many students often strike this as the most common query during the initial days of their visit. However, besides international education being a hefty investment alone, making the most out of the local attractions at the lowest expenses could challenge many. That's why this time, we have included a new thread in our' Student guide Bristol' to help you explore the best local attractions of Bristol during your stay at the most affordable packages.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

This is the most popular place in Bristol. Built in 1864, the Clifton Suspension Bridge is a 702-foot long bridge that rises over a whopping 245 feet above the water level. The bridge is one of the most critical parts of the modern architecture in Bristol, boasting its Visitor Centre, which will give you an inside glimpse of the political war resulting in the Clifton Bridge.

The Harbourside

Ever wondered what Bristol would have been like 70 years ago? If you can't, you can see for yourself by visiting the famous Harbourside area of the city. Once a vital docking port of the town, The Harbourside is now a popular place where you'll find marvellous modern development filled, ships, famous statues and a plethora of restaurants, bars, shops and hotels to make up your whole weekend.

Discover the 1970's Brunel's SS Great Britain Ship

Take a real-life tour of the 1970s Brunel's SS Great Britain Ship, which was rescued from the rust and wreckage in the early 20th century. Here, you'll find an underwater glass observatory, a portrayal of the inside parts of a naval ship and a deep-sea view from the inside. Moreover, to help you out, the city council has arranged enough games and adventure activities to cover you for the best student experience.

Meet the Local Wildlife at Bristol Zoo Gardens

For those of you who like sitting around exotic animals, birds, reptiles and other wild animals, this is the place for you. From flamingos to gorillas, you can encounter 400 incredible animal species from across the globe at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The area is the world's fifth oldest zoo and is spread across over a 12-acre land and boasts habitat-themed areas of parkland filled with wildlife.

Take an Air Trip to Bristol Air Balloon Rides

You wouldn't believe us but the very first modern hot air balloon in Britain came from Bristol. Named after the city, "The Bristol Belle" sailed in the air on July 9, 1967, carrying mails and taking care of export/import through the town. To relive such magnificent memories, don't forget to check out the city's local Air Balloon Ride Agencies, which offer long hour rides in the mountains and above the city skyline at pocket-friendly prices.

Travel in Bristol

Our student guide Bristol would have been incomplete if we hadn't discussed how you would be traversing in and out of the city. As a part of the prestigious UK transport system, Bristol hasn't been out of its bound to provide a cheap and affordable transportation system. These systems are well-furnished and join all local and prominent parts of this enormous city. Here are some of the most common ways to travel in Bristol:


Bus services in Bristol are run by Stagecoach Bus Services, Wessex Bus, and First West of England, three of the prominent Bristol bus service providers. More than 150 buses run 24 hours a day throughout the roads and highways, making it possible to spot a bus on every corner of the town.


Bristol is home to the MetroWest, one of Britain's earliest light rail systems, and dates back to 1987. The city has a suitable suburban and underground railway system currently joining the Bristol City Centre to every surrounding metropolitan borough. The city plans to expand this system with a more significant number of stations in the upcoming months.

Bristol Packet Boat Trips

The city is based upon the Harbour, which would have been evident for anyone to deduce the city's water transport system. The city has a great deal of water travelling system that connects the Bristol Ferry boat system with nearby ports and a great deal of travelling experience for students.


The Bristol council has also provided their citizens with a local taxi system that quickly books taxis via their mobile apps. The best perk about Bristol's taxi system is that the city's average fare charges are far lower than in the neighbouring parts of the UK.

Part-time Jobs in Bristol

Till now, you may have already gotten the idea that Bristol isn't as costly as its neighbouring cities like London or Birmingham. But living away from home can come hefty if your expenses aren't managed well. While you can always take a safe deposit of cash from your family, doing some side hustles to gain an extra income won't be as hectic as it seems.

Part-time Tutoring

Teaching young minds is one of the most lovable part-time jobs that one could ask for. As the job requirements are essential and require no additional degree or course, students can engage in tutoring students and can earn fair basic wages, side by side.

Become a Web Writer

The advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has left people using their smartphones now more than ever. This has left the content writing industry to work even more than before. Thus, by writing guest blogs or doing ghostwriting, not only can you earn a respectable amount for every article, but you can hone your communication skills alongside.

University Application Mentor

A university application mentor is hired by each institution every year. Their role includes providing guidance to sophomore students and hearing out their course preferences and queries regarding academic and social grounds, thus making sure they feel more comfortable in a new environment.

Student Ambassador

Ever heard about a student union leader? Well, that is who the student ambassador is. A student ambassador's role is to resolve conflicts between students, cater to their daily needs in and out of university, and control the student panel during functions or events. Such positions are assigned to someone who can handle groups, work under pressure and manage other students without difficulty.


Some useful apps for students in Bristol are:

Wriggle: This app lets you find the best discounts on food items.

Headfirst: This allows you to explore and buy tickets to any musical events going on in the city.


How to manage your finances?

Going outside your native region brings a list of spending, starting from tuition fees to food and other supplements. The tip here is to be cautious and save anywhere possible. You can also look up to second-hand shopping centres or discounted shops where you can buy reusable items at lower expenses. At last, aim towards making a monthly budget and go through it once in a while.  

What to do in case of emergencies?

For starters, if any student is put under such stress of rental fraud or tenet misbehaviour, you are advised to contact the legal authority at the earliest. Furthermore, you can also communicate with the university administration to help you out with your problems. If not, an aid from your senior's side for briefing you about the city's council and verified city agencies will be ample to care for your student accommodation in Bristol.


For starters, if any student is put under such stress of rental fraud or tenet misbehaviour, you are advised to contact the legal authority at the earliest. Furthermore, you can also communicate with the university administration to help you out with your problems. If not, an aid from your senior's side for briefing you about the city's council and verified city agencies will be ample to care for your student accommodation in Bristol.