Photo of Bristol
Photo of Bristol

Regularly voted the UK’s best place to live and study, Bristol is a proud and friendly city, and even boasts its own currency to support local businesses. Multicultural and diverse, this is a city that likes to have fun, with lots of festivals and cultural attractions.

If you’re relocating to Bristol as a graduate or apprentice, we’ve put together this guide to Bristol life, to help you make your money go further and enjoy all that the city has to offer.

Where to Live

Bristol is a very popular place to live, and property is snapped up quickly, both to rent or to buy. There’s a good number of up and coming areas that offer great value, so take some time to explore and see which places you like best.

Clifton and Redland offers Georgian terraced houses and very cool places for coffee and food, but property can be expensive. Emersons Green and Downend both offer good amenities, shops and travel links. Cotham and Horfield, are both just off the popular Gloucester road, which has lots of independent boutiques and food shops, and the areas of Montpelier and Stokes Croft offer good value property and are within easy striking distance of the city.

House sharing is a cost effective way to get to know a new location. And if you move in with people who’ve been in Bristol for a while then you can pick their brains for the best value places for groceries and eating out. House sharing also makes sense financially as everyone shares the bills, which could even help you to save a little money towards a place of your own. And of course keeping the house clean and tidy is easier when everyone pitches in.

Before you decide where in Bristol to call home, visit for a few days and explore the city and some of the areas we’ve mentioned.

Where to Fill your Fridge and Eat Out

Like any major city, you can choose from the usual big brand supermarkets and their cheaper cut- price competitors. However, Bristol truly supports its local businesses, and food is no exception. All across the city you’ll find butchers, fruit and veg shops and small supermarkets packed with international foods. There’s also lots of markets to choose from. Whiteladies Road Market offers seasonal food from local suppliers and has a great atmosphere. Tobacco Factory Market has around 40 stalls with a mix of ethical and eco-friendly arts, crafts, food and drink. Bear Pit Market is a great place for street food in the city centre, and with the Harbourside Market on Wednesdays and Thursdays as well, there’s no excuse not to shop local and support independent suppliers.

Where to Drink

Being a city with a big student population, Bristol has plenty of bars to choose from. Cider is a firm local favourite and there’s some very cool and quirky venues to enjoy.

The White Lion is a legendary bar for Bristolians, and is located in Clifton with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Suspension bridge. The Gallimaufry and Blue Lagoon, found on Gloucester Road, offers local ales and ciders and supports local music and art. Kongs of King Street is as quirky as it sounds, with arcade games to play, ping pong, table football and great craft beers. For cocktails, head to The Bootlegger for the fantastic happy hour, and live music too. Or why not try and find Her Majesty’s Secret Service cocktail bar on Whiteladies road, which is loved by the locals!

Where to Shop

Cribbs Causeway is an enormous shopping centre with every big-name brand you can think of. It’s open 7 days a week and has lots of live events and a range of restaurants. Alternatively, Cabot Circus which is in the heart of the city has over 90 shops, a cinema and plenty of places to dine. Bristol High Street is also great for major retailers, whilst the Saints area is home to a wide variety of independent shops and boutiques, as well as being one of the oldest parts of the town. The independent shops that run along St. Nicholas Street and St. Peters Street team-up regularly as The Saints Artisan and Craft Markets. The cafés and restaurants get involved too, so it’s a great mix of food, clothes, gifts, homeware and art.

Bristol has so much to offer, it’s no wonder it’s become such a popular place to live. We hope this brief guide to living affordably in Bristol is useful. Ask your colleagues for their tips and ideas, too, and you’ll soon feel at home.

If Bristol sounds like a place for you, why not apply to our graduate roles or apprenticeship roles

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