12 fascinating Bristol facts
- The Campaign for Better Transport’s Car Dependency Scorecard ranked Bristol as the second best city for walking and cycling as an alternative to using cars. The investment continues as a £9.4 million Cycle Ambition Fund finances work to improve the area's cycle routes.
- Bristol is the first major European City to elect a mayor of black African heritage. Marvin Rees took the helm in 2016 and has declared Bristol A City of Hope, built on ambition, inclusion and social justice.
- Banksy put Bristol on the map for street art and now the city – and our visitors – wholeheartedly embrace it. We host the biggest street art festival in Europe, Upfest, and we’re all pretty used to finding stunning artwork around every corner.
- Bristol is a world leader in alternative energy innovation. It is no surprise that Bristol was the first UK city to be awarded the status of European Green Capital for 2015, and named as one of the greenest cities in the world in 2020. Bristol was also awarded Gold Sustainable Food City status in May 2021 by the UK's independent, Sustainable Food Places Board.
- Bristol is a top tourist destination. Named one of the best European cities to visit in 2019 it also made the Rough Guide top 10 cities list. There’s lots to explore, from the obvious spots like the famous Suspension Bridge to our lively vegan dining scene. We’re the World’s Vegan Capital according to the Independent/Chef's Pencil.
- Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Creature Comforts were all made in Bristol, home of the Oscar award-winning Aardman. Creature Comforts was inspired by Nick Park's visits to Bristol Zoo Gardens and features the voices of local Bristolians.
- Eating out on a budget is a big part of student life. And Bristol does it brilliantly. OFM Best Budget Eats notables include The Bank Tavern’s legendary roasts and the Coconut Tree mini-chain have got mentions in the past too. We can boast one of The Guardian's Britain’s 10 best budget eats too, Edna's Kitchen.
- Birthplace of trip-hop and drum and bass and legends Massive Attack and Roni Size, Bristol’s musical pulse beats day and night. And there are festivals to suit every taste, from Love Saves the Day to Bristol Harbour Festival.
- Bristol is famed for engineering innovation from the SS Great Britain to Concorde, but did you know our city is also the birthplace of the sweet-tooth favourite Ribena?
- Bristol’s a big hitter when it comes to tech and innovation. At the heart of the Silicon Gorge Triangle, the city ranked fifth in the UK when it comes to tech growth and brands including Just Eat, Sony, Amazon and Oracle call our city home.
- Bristol has its own language. Well, accent, anyway. Bristolian is a very special dialect and includes some unique words and phrases including: smooth (pronounced ‘smoove’, to stroke a pet), gert lush (very good), and cheers drive (to thank a bus driver). There’s even a road called Cheers Drive to celebrate it.
- Bristol is a hub for ethical business. From Triodos Bank to the Soil Association to Sustrans, our city attracts good eggs. And green start-ups grow and flourish here too. From packaging-free shops through to ethical options for everything from burgers to men’s grooming, we value our values.