Where to Stay in Bristol: Bumper Bristol Accommodation Guide
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It’s no secret how much I love Bristol – I’ve been around the world (I’m repressing the urge to break into Lisa Stansfield lyrics here) and it’s still my favourite city. Yes, from travels over all six continents, Bristol still comes out number one.
It might have some sentimental attachment for me, but trust me, many people will tell you that Bristol is absolutely awesome. Whenever I’m travelling and people ask where I’m from, they’re never excited if I say London but if I say Bristol everyone’s a lot more interested. (BTW I’m not from Bristol at all, but I did live there for 4 years, so it’s adopted me).
Whether you’re a Brit on a weekend away or international traveler incorporating Bristol into your British travels, it’s a city well worth your time.
Anyway, I’m guessing you’ve already reached that conclusion, as you’re wondering where to stay in Bristol. And I’m more than happy to answer your questions with this bumper Bristol accommodation guide, with pointers on the best area to stay in Bristol for all ages and types of travellers.
The best thing about Bristol is it’s like lots of different towns, each with their own character, put together. Each neighbourhood has something different to offer and will appeal to various travelling styles. That means that you’ll certainly find one that suits you!
I’ve included lots of recommended hostels, guesthouses and hotels; there are only four decent hostels in Bristol, which is just about enough choice for budget travellers but I’m hoping that more will open in the city soon.
Bristol is home to a lot of chain hotels (think Marriott, Holiday Inn, Raddison Blu) so I’ve incorporated the best of these alongside privately run places. Chain hotels are sometimes a great idea because you can guarantee high quality, but Bristol loves its independent businesses so some of its smaller, quirkier hotels might be worth checking out too.
Where to Stay in Bristol: A Rundown
For a very quick rundown, here are the best areas to stay in Bristol according to travelling types.
- Best Place to Stay in Bristol for Families: Clifton
- Best Place to Stay in Bristol for Backpackers: Stokes Croft
- Best Place to Stay in Bristol for a Local Vibe: Gloucester Road/ Totterdown
- Best Place to Stay in Bristol for Tourist Attractions: Harbourside
- Where to stay in Bristol for Nightlife: Stokes Croft
- Where to Stay in Bristol for Shopping: Cabot Circus
- Where to stay in Bristol on a budget: Filton
And here are what I deem to be the best hostel, mid-range hotel and luxury hotel in Bristol (click straight through for more details).
- Best Chilled Out Hostel in Bristol (good for families as well) – The Bristol Wing
- Best Party/ Social Hostel in Bristol – The Full Moon Backpackers
- Best Mid-Range Hotel in Bristol – Brooks Guesthouse Bristol
- Best Luxury Hotel in Bristol – the Avon Gorge Hotel
Or read on for the full Bristol neighbourhood guide showing you exactly where to stay in Bristol.
Best Area to Stay in Bristol: Bristol Neighbourhoods
The waterfront area is located in the centre of Bristol, and it’s one of my favourite parts of the city. Home to the River Avon, Bristol’s Science Museum and many other art galleries, the waterfront is the best place to stay in Bristol for those who want to be right in the thick of it.
For night owls, the Harbourside is a short walk to Stokes Croft and other nightlife areas; however it’s not a loud area, so is also great for families and people who want to sleep. During summertime evenings there are quite often events and shows taking place around the harbourside area, but nothing that’s too noisy or goes on too late.
The famous Park Street ascends from the Harbourside area, with Bristol Cathedral at the bottom and the beautiful Wills Building (a University of Bristol building) at the top. Park Street is also the home of the Bristol Museum. So you’re in a fantastic position here to enjoy Bristol’s museum scene and the rest of its main attractions, as well as being close to every other neighbourhood.
Hostels and Hotels at Bristol Waterfront
This has gotta be the most unique hostel in Bristol. You get to stay literally on a boat on the River Avon, right between the SS Great Britain and the M Shed Museum. There are shared and private cabin accommodations available, and a deck where you can watch the river and world go by. It’s a bit on the pricey side for a hostel, but the novelty makes it worthwhile.
Home to a fantastic harbour view, the 18 floor Radisson Blu is modern city living at its finest. With 24-hour room service, comfy beds and high-speed WiFi, you’ll be in complete comfort here. The hotel offers a restaurant, bar and fitness centre.
Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
Located in College Green, at the bottom of Park Street and right next to Bristol Cathedral, there’s no better setting for your hotel in Bristol city centre. All rooms are kitted out to Marriott standard, with luxury en-suite bathrooms with bath and shower and comfy beds with warm linen. There is a bar, restaurant and fitness centre on site.
One of the (many) things I love about Bristol is how it effortlessly twins old and new. The old city still has its medieval layout and features many historic landmarks – you’ll literally feel like you’ve stepped back into the 1400s when staying here.
The Old City backs onto the river, where there are several bars on boats which are worth checking out. The Old City area encompasses the picturesque Queens Square and is less than five minutes’ walk from the Harbourside – but as it looks completely different and has an almost contrasting atmosphere I thought I’d give the Old City its own section.
You’re just a stone’s throw from Bristol’s main attractions here, so it’s a great place to stay if you don’t want any travel time.
Hostels and Hotels in the Old City
D’ya know, I never knew that hostels have star ratings. Apparently YHA’s is ‘four star’, so you can rest assured that it’s a great place to stay – especially as its quality adheres to international YHA standard.
They have a funky decorated interior and spacious, clean dorm rooms; each bunk gets its own power outlet. You might even be lucky enough to nab one of the double bottom bunk beds – I got this before in a hostel in Byron Bay and it was just fabulous. Choose from one of the private rooms (they range from single to five beds), or sleep in a 5 bed dorm.
The Bristol Hotel
With reviews entitled “If you want to stay in a good hotel, this is the one” and “I would certainly do this again” you bet that the customer satisfaction levels of The Bristol Hotel are sky-high.
They have friendly staff, good parking, views over the city and river and a great restaurant. Rooms are furnished in a classy yet charismatic style and offer all the facilities that you’d want in an upmarket city centre hotel room.
Brooks Guesthouse Bristol
Located in St Nicholas’ Market – Bristol’s favourite marketplace – Brooks Guesthouse is a contemporary hotel offering boutique-style accommodation. Opt for one of the rooms within the guesthouse, or – for something truly different – stay in a metal caravan on the rooftop! It’s basically glamping, in the middle of the city – how cool?
The caravans don’t compromise on luxury; each has a double bed, eco-heating, their own bathroom and LED disco lights, as well as offering one of the best views of the Old City. Rooms inside Brooks also enjoy city views, modern facilities and tasteful decor. Whichever accommodation type you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the most unique hotels in Bristol when staying here!
Bristol centre is made up of two parts: Harbourside and erm, non Harbourside (I may have just made this up). Basically, anywhere north of Harbourside but south of the end of the M32 is still the centre.
The centre of Bristol is convenient to access other neighbourhoods – but the actual area isn’t too exciting for tourists and very few people actually live here. Nonetheless, it encompasses Bristol Temple Meads Station where you will likely arrive into, Bristol Coach Station and the entire Cabot Circus Mall and shopping area.
This means it’s a great place to stay in Bristol if you’re visiting the city for shopping (although more unique shops can be found on Gloucester Road). It’s also perfect for staying in if you want to be close to the train or bus stations and if you just can’t decide which Bristol neighbourhood to stay in! It borders Stokes Croft, St Pauls, the Waterfront and other less-touristy areas like Cotham and Kingsdown.
Hostels and Hotels in Bristol Centre
Rock N Bowl Hostel
One of the reasons I’d stay in the centre is for Rock N Bowl Hostel – how cool is it that you can actually stay in a vintage bowling alley?!
The Lanes is Bristol’s most famous bowling alley and it is on the same site as Rock N Bowl. There’s also a vintage store there as well – so you can really get into the Bristol vibes! You’ll also be able to make use of the on-site bar, kareoke club and eat some of the famous Ray’s Pizza without needing to leave the building. It’s a great place to make travel mates and meet locals.
Side note: I once went on a first date to this very bowling alley. I suck at bowling and my date beat me by well over 100 points – I actually ended up throwing the ball backwards at one point. I’m 90% sure there were backpackers just sitting and laughing at me. But I can attest that it’s great fun here!
Anyway, the actual hostel has a range of dorm sizes – from 4 bed to 20 bed – all with sturdy bunks with their own powerpoints. There’s also a kitchen and common area on site and room rates include breakfast. It can be a bit of a party place, although isn’t too in-your-face.
The Bristol Wing
Another hostel option in the centre, The Bristol Wing is owned by Bristol YMCA and is a great ethical and evironmentally friendly place to stay in the city. They opened in January 2018 with an eco-friendly building (it used to be the police headquarters, but has been well refurbished) and a portion of their profits goes to support young homeless people in Bristol – the rates of which are unfortunately very high.
Side note: if you want to give something back to Bristol and donate to a local charity, The Julian Trust is a fantastic homeless shelter. I volunteered here for a couple of years and they offer so much support to homeless people in Bristol.
The hostel is clean, spacious, and has a calm atmosphere. They cater for both backpackers and families, so there won’t be any raucous parties here – but it’s ideal for somewhere to chill out. It’s located in a Grade II-listed building and offers dorms, private rooms and family rooms.
Holiday Inn Express Bristol City Centre
A great value hotel in Bristol City Centre, the Holiday Inn offers no-frills rooms and make for a great place to rest your head after a busy day exploring the city. The rooms offer everything you’d expect in a hotel – private bathroom, free toiletries, a flat screen TV and free WiFi – and all rates include a complimentary breakfast.
Hilton Garden Inn Bristol City Centre
If you want to stay in luxury in Bristol City Centre, look no further than Hilton Garden Inn. Maintaining the high standard of Hilton hotels worldwide, the Bristol branch features comfy, spacious and clean rooms, free WiFi, a bar and restaurant, parking and a fantastic breakfast.
I, along with many inhabitants or ex-inhabitants of Bristol, am obsessed with Stokes Croft. Yes, it’s super hipster, but it’s also very chilled out, has an amazing outdoor art gallery and just oozes liberalness (is that a word?). It’s home to many local businesses (there’s even a huge mural urging visitors to boycott Tesco) and is my favourite place in Bristol for a night out.
With countless bars – many with different themes and vibes – that stay open until 2 or 3, you’re not spoilt for choice when it comes to partying in Stokes. But if that’s still too early for you, there’s two spots where you can two-step until the sunrise; Lakota and Blue Mountain.
Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend Stokes Croft if you’re wondering where to stay in Bristol with kids! But it’s great for backpackers or groups of friends.
Hostels and Hotels in Stokes Croft
The Full Moon Backpackers
This hostel, with local murals decorating every wall, is the epitome of Stokes Croft. It’s connected to the Full Moon Pub and Attic Bar (which is one of the best clubs in the UK, according to the Guardian!) and guests at the hostel get free entry to all events.
There’s also a wood-fired pizza oven and late night noodle bar on site. And if you happen to have a bicycle, there are places to lock one and even a resident bicycle mechanic to help with any repairs needed.
The hostel has all of the features that you’d need: free WiFi, laundry facilities, a kitchen, a common room and a courtyard. Guests can choose from twin or double privates and dorms with between 4 and 10 beds. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the place is clean.
Due to the onsite bar, it’s not the place to stay if you want a quiet night, but if you want to meet people, it’s among the best cheap accommodation Bristol has to offer.
Hampton by Hilton Bristol City Centre
This hotel is a fantastic Bristol accommodation option if you want to experience the vibe of Stokes Croft but still would like a decent night’s sleep. Including a hot breakfast, rooms are modern, tastefully furnished and feature Bristol-inspired art and massive flat-screen TVs. The staff are very accommodating and helpful.
Out of the madness that is Stokes Croft, Gloucester Road retains the chilled out, anti-establishment vibe; it’s actually home to the longest line of independent stores in Europe. As well as independent shops, it’s also home to attractions like a Buddhist meditation centre and a World Peace Café.
As it’s quieter than Stokes Croft, it’s one of the best places to stay in Bristol with kids. It’s also great for people who want to enjoy Stokes Croft (which is in walking distance) but would rather sleep somewhere quieter. It’s not too far from the centre, but also feels a little less urban.
There aren’t too many places to stay in the Southern part of Gloucester Road, but at the top are two great pub-hotels. If you want to stay somewhere with a bit of character (that look very British!), they’re a great shout.
It’s about a half-hour walk to the bottom of Glossie Road from here, 45 minutes – 1 hour to the centre, and buses ply the route day and night.
Hostels and Hotels on Gloucester Road
The Crafty Cow
A must if you’re after a cosy country style pub in the city, the Crafty Cow (what a name!) is an awesome place to stay on Gloucester Road. Rooms are clean and well facilitated, and some complimentary drinks and snacks are provided.
With friendly staff and a homely atmosphere, this is definitely one of the best places to stay in Bristol for those seeking something different from the centre’s chain hotels.
With friendly staff, pub meals on site, and lovely garden rooms, The Wellington is a great option if you’re searching for quiet places to stay in Bristol. The rooms are clean and comfortable with unique furnishings including french shutters and walk-in showers! They also have new windows installed which eliminate traffic noise from outside.
Although rooms are very high quality, the prices are low, making The Wellington one of the best value hotels in Bristol.
Walking around the charming neighbourhood of Clifton doesn’t feel like you’re a ten minute drive from Bristol city centre; but indeed you are. It’s home to Victorian buildings, dozens of cute cafes and restaurants, grassy expanses and of course, the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. This is possibly Bristol’s most famous attraction, so even if you don’t stay in Clifton, you’ll definitely end up hitting it up while you’re here.
Clifton Village is perhaps the best area to stay in in Bristol for international travellers; as it’s very unmistakably British. But Brits alike will love the quaint atmosphere of upmarket Clifton, where it’s quite easy to spend a day or two just ambling about, café hopping, looking at the buildings and admiring the spectacular views from the bridge and observatory. If you’re lucky enough to be in Clifton during British summertime, the downs are a great spot for a BBQ or picnic.
Clifton Village is also one of the best places to stay in Bristol with kids, as it is a lot quieter than the city centre and is in relatively close proximity to the waterfront’s attractions.
Hostels and Hotels in Clifton
The Clifton Hotel
This classy hotel leaves no stone unturned when it comes to excellent customer service. They include lots of extra touches like loose leaf tea, biscuits and fruit, as well as towels folded into swans! The breakfast is not included in the rate bus is delicious with a variety of options (including a vegan choice).
Rooms have heating, a private bathroom, comfy beds and free WiFi and there is a bar on site. It’s a really good value place to stay; perfect if you are travelling as a couple or solo.
The Rodney Hotel Bristol
Located in a Georgian building, this hotel is located in Clifton Village. The hotel has 31 uniquely furnished rooms, each with their own character. There is an AA Rosette Winning Restaurant on-site, as well as a bar and outdoor terrace.
All rooms enjoy a Freeview TV with 80 channels, tea and coffee making facilities, fresh fruit and biscuits and free Wifi.
Would you like to stay in a luxury townhouse? Then look no further than Number 38, which just oozes Clifton-ness (I may have made that word up).
This intimate hotel has just 12 bedrooms, meaning that the staff are very attentive and helpful with any needs. The hotel endeavour to provide a ‘home away from home’ atmosphere and wish to be a refreshing change to the many chain hotels in Bristol City Centre.
The boutique-styled rooms are clean and classy, featuring amenities like a stand-alone bath tub, city views and luxury bedlinen. A delicious breakfast is included in the room rate and there is a bar on site.
Avon Gorge by Hotel du Vin
Probably one of the most famous hotels in Bristol, the Avon Gorge Hotel is worth staying at just for its spectacular views over, guess what… The Avon Gorge.
You’ll get a phenomenal view of the Clifton Suspension Bridge from here (the Bristol icon that we all know and love). The connected pub, the White Lion, gets very busy especially during summer – but there is a cocktail lounge within the hotel as well.
The staircases and hallways exude glamour and the bedrooms are tastefully decorated with period pictures. Every room has a comfy bed, a minibar, a flat screen TV and a deluxe en-suite bathroom.
Filton isn’t the most exciting of neighbourhoods, but hotels here are generally cheaper and it’s not far to the centre. It’s home to the main UWE (University of the West of England) campus, where I attended for four years, but unfortunately, this campus isn’t exactly one of Britain’s prettiest. (My original university campus was located in nearby Fishponds and looked like Hogwarts, but sadly it ceased from being a campus in my third year).
Filton is also close to Bristol Parkway Train Station. While I’d highly recommend arriving into Temple Meads, if for some reason you are getting into Parkway staying in Filton is a good bet. It’s also got its own rail station so is easy to get into town this way.
Filton is also a good place to stay if you’re in the city for Love Saves the Day. This is Bristol’s biggest festival – but it’s no camping, so festival-goers must sort out their own accommodation. It’s held at nearby Eastville Park.
Hostels and Hotels in Filton
The Elms Guest House
This small B&B is the perfect place to stay if you want to feel like a Bristolian, as it’s set in a residential house. However, it maintains a high hotel standard: it is spotlessly clean, has comfortable beds and a very friendly owner. Choose from double or twin rooms, and you have the option to use a shared bathroom or have an en-suite.
Village Hotel Bristol Filton
One of the most contemporary hotels in Bristol, Village Hotel has bright colours, jazzy facilities and a hip atmosphere. With a bar and fitness centre, the hotel provides first-class facilities at a small price compared to the city centre hotels.
The rooms are comfy and clean and very spacious. There is also an on-site restaurant and Starbucks.
The other side of Temple Meads Station is Totterdown, an up and coming area. If you get a hotel here, you’ll be close to the attractions of the centre and in walking distance of Temple Meads, while staying somewhere a little more residential.
However, while Totterdown is a quieter area, cool things do happen there on the regular. The DJ Eats Everything once played a set in a chip shop there, and vintage kilo sales (where you pay by the kilo) occur at the event space Paintworks every month or so.
It’s also very close to Motion, Bristol’s most famous and largest underground music venue.
There are also, of course, restaurants, bars and cafes – and Bristol city is just a 20-minute walk away.
Hostels and Hotels in Totterdown
Novotel Bristol City Centre
For a tried and tested Bristol City Centre hotel, you can’t go wrong with Novotel. It’s located close to the city centre/ Totterdown boundary. Rooms at the Novotel adhere to globally expected standard, with comfy beds, luxury linen and all the technology you’ll need.
On-site is a gym and bar. The price makes it good value for couples.
If you’re after your own space, then why not rent a holiday home in Bristol? Totterdown Townhouse gives you your own pad, but is still walking distance from the city centre.
The house has three bedrooms and can sleep up to five guests. The house was only built in 2017, so you can be sure that it makes use of all the cutting edge technology and amenities such a place requires: high-speed WiFi, a SMART TV, kitchen facilities, Egyptian cotton linen, two rooftop balconies and a garden.
The hosts are attentive and responsive, happy to answer any questions that may arise during your stay.
You’ll really be able to engage in the artsy, alternative vibe of Bristol while staying at Paintworks Apartments. With inspiration from New York City loft-style apartments, these are a super chic place to stay. There are only five apartments available, so book quickly to avoid disappointment.
You can choose from the River Loft which includes a roof garden, the Scandi Loft with Nordic furnishings, White Loft which is all in white (could ya guess?), Brick Loft (with lots of exposed brick) and The Loft – feautring some awesome murals. All apartments are decorated individually, yet feature a uniform standard of quality furnishings and features.
They’re definitely one of the coolest places to stay in Bristol, great for special occasions and will add a fresh, unique touch to your stay!
Hotels Near Bristol Airport
Many hotels near Bristol Aiport are built for just that function. However, the area around is very rural and pretty, with the Mendip Hills in the background. Once you’ve seen the city, you might want to stay here for a couple of nights to enjoy a dose of Somerset countryside – or of course, if you have an early morning flight.
Many people only stay at Redhill for a night, but you might never want to leave; it enjoys individually decorated rooms with some four poster beds, stand alone bathtubs, luxury bedlinen and spectacular views over the Mendip Hills. The staff are friendly and happy to help with any questions – they’re also very used to check ins and check outs at strange times!
There is a spa and gym on site and breakfast is included. Although the hotel is quite isolated, a pub is just five minutes’ walk away. And after spending time in Bristol city centre, a couple of nights in the countryside might be exactly what you need.