13 fascinating Bristol facts
- The Sunday Times Best Places to Live Guide chose Bristol as the best city to live in Britain in 2017.
- 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 was celebrated again as the Greenest UK City in 2020.
- Bristol is a top tourist destination. Named best European city breaks list in 2017, 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 back in 2017 Pigsty on Wapping Wharf and the Coconut Tree mini-chain got mentions. 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 home to 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 sweet-tooth favourites Ribena and the chocolate bar?
- Bristol’s a big hitter when it comes to tech and innovation. At the heart of the Silicon Gorge Triangle, we’re #5 in Europe when it comes to top tech, innovation and research 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 – one of the closest live accents to ancient English – and includes some unique words and phrases including: smooth (pronounced ‘smoove’, to stroke a pet), gurt 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 city of record breakers. Residents have built the world's tallest tower of dominoes; bounced the furthest on a space hopper, made the largest paper bag, held the largest gathering of people dressed as astronauts – and performed the world’s first bungee jump. From the Bristol Suspension Bridge no less.
- 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.