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Experience the Vibrant Life in Bristol

When studying abroad, many of us will face the problem of “unfamiliarity” and need to adapt to the new environment quickly to support our lives. To help all new students better adjust to the new environment, I have specially compiled a super practical Bristol life strategy for you. I hope it can be helpful to your study life.

Bristol is quite a pleasant city to live in! They say it always rains in the UK, but Bristol is often sunny. It has four seasons and just the right amount of humidity. Bristol’s cityscape is also very British. It is less crowded and high-rise than London but has a perfect blend of historical and modern buildings, elegant and chic. In your spare time, you can go to Clifton Bridge to see the sunset, go to Cabot Tower to watch the night view, go to Harbor Side to take a walk, go to the big lawn in front of the City Hall to sunbathe or go to Cabot Circus to shop. There is no dense crowd or traffic rush here, and people’s lives are more relaxed.


Brunel House

Regarding accommodation, from personal experience, I stayed in the Brunel House student accommodation, which was very lovely and well-serviced. The Bristol student housing internal facilities are excellent. The kitchen is cleaned once every fortnight, but usually, it’s up to my flatmates to keep it tidy and hygienic. As for the bedrooms, I was fortunate enough to be given a larger room, which was bright and airy.

Most importantly, the beds in the dormitory are very comfortable, with just the right amount of hardness and softness, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep. In the common area of the dormitory building, there is a quiet public study room, billiard table, ping-pong table, arcade game machines and other recreational facilities, and a place for us to have a party. The washing machines in the laundry room are also easy to use and are clean and hygienic.



Getting around in Bristol is mainly on your legs; you can only walk anywhere for up to 30 minutes and take public transport to go slightly further afield. You must take a bus or train to get to other cities. Many uphill and downhill walks characterise Bristol, and the University of Bristol happens to be on a hill, so you’ll have to walk uphill a few times a day to get to school.


There is no metro in Bristol. Buses are the most convenient form of indoor public transport, excellent for travelling to the city centre, suburban attractions, and to and from the airport, and cheaper than Uber. To get a bus in the UK, download First Bus. It’s worth noting that the A1 is the Bristol bus that travels exclusively to the airport, and a student ticket also costs £6 each way.

Bristol Unibus1


Trains are one of the most convenient forms of public transport between cities in the UK, being fast, flexible and cheap. Always remember to buy a 16-25 Railcard before you buy a train ticket. It can leave you with a lot of money for your transport expenses for the year.

By Plane

Planes are more of an option for students travelling to neighbouring countries. Because of cheap airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair, flights from the UK to famous cities in other European countries can sometimes cost as little as 200 RMB, even less than a domestic flight to a foreign province. Bristol also has its airport, and Bristol airport can fly directly to many popular cities. People no longer need to get up early to catch a flight to London.


Dine Out

They say Britain is the land of dark cuisine, but Bristol is an exception, and plenty of great restaurants exist here. Let’s start with the foreign-flavoured restaurants. You can get a very traditional English breakfast at the Bristolian. In the city centre, there is an Italian restaurant called Caro, where you can get delicious lobster pasta; there is also a steakhouse called OX, which is always full, and you must make a reservation to eat there. Bristol also has some popular eateries, such as Catch22, famous for its fish and chips, and Swoon, an Italian ice cream parlour, where pistachio-flavoured ice cream is exceptional.

Bristol delicious food

As Chinese students, we miss Chinese food. On the way from the hostel to the Wills Memorial Building, there are two Chinese restaurants, 113 and DuoDuoMian. I want to highlight 113’s Roast Duck Rice and Spicy Hot Pot! On the way to the city centre, you will pass a Chinese shopping mall with restaurants upstairs and downstairs. Downstairs is mainly Cantonese BBQ pork and roast duck. Upstairs is Cantonese dim sum and other kinds of small fry. Both can come to eat fast food and with friends and classmates in small gatherings, which is very good!

Cook at home

You can buy various ingredients and spices from supermarkets if you want to cook your meals. Local supermarkets include Sainsbury’s, Tesco, M&S and Waitrose. Tesco’s are all over the place and very convenient, Sainsbury’s is good value for money, M&S has a wide range of desserts, Waitrose has better fruit, and if you want fresh ingredients, you can go to the big Waitrose in the countryside. Supermarkets also have a wide range of fast food options.

Tesco in Bristol

Apart from local supermarkets, there are also many Chinese supermarkets. The biggest ones are Chinese House and 168, where you can buy various ingredients and seasonings from the north and south of China and across East Asia, China, Japan and Korea. As long as you’re good at what you do, you won’t be afraid of not being able to eat the flavour of your family’s meals. In addition, there is also Ocado, an online supermarket where you can shop without leaving your home and have your goods delivered to your doorstep the next day, which is very convenient.


In terms of shopping, Bristol’s shops can cater for most of your daily needs. Bristol has two central shopping districts; one is Cabot Circus, located in the city centre and closer to schools and hostels. There is also Cribbs Causeway, which is about 20 minutes away from the school and hostel by car and 40 minutes by bus, which is generally not a preferred shopping destination. The brands in both districts are more or less the same, but the city centre has more variety.

cabot cirus

Harvey Nicholas 27 Philadelphia Street, Bristol BS1 3BZ
Bristol light and luxury buyer’s shop

Garment Quarter 23-25 Penn St, Bristol BS1 3AU
It’s Second and third-tier luxury buyers, mainly Moschino, West Queen, Versace and off-white.

John Anthony Bristol 3 Philadelphia Street, Bristol BS1 3BZ
It’s a menswear shop that has been getting better and better lately.

5 Pointz 18 Nelson St, Bristol BS1 2LE
A trendy menswear shop, also stocking men’s and women’s shoes.

Size? 98 / 100 The Horsefair, Bristol BS1 3JS
The shoe shop also has some clothes, and shoes from Nike sneakers will also be available here.

Urban Outfitters 25 Penn St, Bristol BS1 3BF
The UK’s favourite fashion shop for young people

JD sports Su12, Bristol BS1 3BF
The UK’s big chain of sports shoes and clothes shops

DW Sports Stores Cabot Circus, 49A The Circus, Bristol BS1 3BD
Functional sportswear


What makes Bristol a vibrant city to live in?

Bristol is known for its diverse music scene, street art culture and independent businesses, making it an exciting place to explore and call home.

How is the food scene in Bristol?

The food scene in Bristol is constantly evolving, offering a mix of traditional British cuisine and international flavours. There’s something for every palate, with options ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to street food markets.

Is Bristol a family-friendly city?

Absolutely! With plenty of green spaces, parks, museums and family-friendly events, Bristol is a great place to raise a family. Plus, the city has excellent schools and childcare options.

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