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Nightlife & Entertainment in Bristol

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Bristol is, unquestionably, the nightlife capital of southwest England. With hedonistic live music venues, beautifully preserved historic pubs, elegant cocktail bars and pumping nightclubs, you’ll be hard-pressed to sample more than a fraction of what’s on offer over the course of a single visit.

 

Nightclubs

 

In Bristol you’ll find everything from cutting-edge, underground DJ bars, to plush and ostentatious superclubs. There’s also an array of venues that work hard to attract students with cheap drinks and entry fees, so a night out need doesn’t have to do too much harm to your bank balance.

 

The Syndicate

 

It’s not exactly cool or edgy, but this big and brash club is a guilty pleasure for many a Bristolian. Set over cavernous floors, it plays host to the most extravagant Saturday night out in town, complete with pyrotechnics, aerial artists, confetti cannons, and some of the UK’s biggest DJs. Unbeatable drinks offers, banging dance tunes, and bargain-price VIP tables add to its decadent charms.

 

15 Nelson Street, Bristol BS1 2JY. Tel:+44 117 945 0325

 

The Syndicate website
Motion

 

Set in a warren of converted warehouses, and serving as a skatepark by day, Motion is no ordinary club venue. Dark nooks and neon-drenched spaces form a labyrinth of hedonism where cutting-edge DJs belt out throbbing house tunes for the revellers who jump up and down into the early hours. Motion is aptly named, as you won’t stop moving once you’re here.

 

74-78 Avon Street, Bristol BS2 0PX. Tel:+44 117 972 3111

 

Motion website

 

Pubs

 

Bristol’s centuries-old history as a port town, and reputation as the epicentre of cider, ensures that there’s a plethora of atmospheric historical pubs and drinking dens to pick from.

 

Llandoger Trow

 

Having first opened its doors in 1664, this Bristol landmark was one of the city’s last timber-built constructions. Steeped in mythology, it’s said to have been once frequented by pirates, and served as inspiration for the Admiral Benbow pub in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. It’s also been claimed that author Daniel Defoe met the legendary sailor and castaway Alexander Selkirk here, which prompted him to write Robinson Crusoe. Today it serves hearty pub grub and a fine array of draught beers, all at reasonable prices.

 

King Street, Bristol BS1 4ER. Tel:+44 117 926 1650

 

Llandoger Trow website

 

Cocktail bars

 

While there may be an abundance of traditional drinking dens, Bristol’s boozing scene is in no way stuck in the past. There’s some rather chic cocktail bars and innovative gastropubs, perfect for whenever you feel like a spot of indulgence.

 

The Milk Thistle

 

Housed in a historic abode, this seductive venue prides itself on serving innovative variations on classic drinks – treat yourself to a Bootsy Collins, made with tea-infused gin, or a rum Old Fashioned mixed with orange blossom honey and peach syrup. The interior is just as tasteful, with stained glass windows, vintage leather armchairs, and handsomely restored fireplaces.

 

Quay Head House, Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 1EB. Tel:+44 117 929 4429

 

The Milk Thistle website

 

Live music

 

The city’s legendary underground music scene has spawned artists like Massive Attack, Portishead, and Tricky, and continues to be a major draw for visitors from all over the UK. Whatever you’re into, you can expect to find compelling live performances across Bristol.

 

The Louisiana

 

This Spike Island institution is indisputably the best place in town to catch the next big things in indie, rock and folk, in an intimate setting. Over the years it’s played host to the likes of Coldplay, The Libertines, Kasabian, Kings of Leon, The Strokes, and The White Stripes, and it’s still a place to catch the rock gods of tomorrow.

 

Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 6UA. Tel:+44 117 926 5978

 

The Louisiana website