The nightlife in Bristol has got to be among one of the most culturally diverse, inclusive and exciting in the whole of the UK. From traditional speakeasies and live jazz venues to trendy cocktail bars and underground dance music clubs, every taste is catered for here.

    Whether you’re heading to the UK’s South West for the world-renowned St Paul’s Carnival or you’re just planning a weekend away with friends or your partner, you can’t possibly miss out on the chance to experience the energy and charm of the city once the sun goes down. So, here’s where to head when you’re there for the best nightlife in Bristol.



    Soak up the buzzing atmosphere in a stunning waterfront setting

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Couples

    Harbourside is an attractive and modern development in Bristol’s city centre, just across from the exciting Wapping Wharf neighbourhood. Built along the picturesque waterfront, there are shops and attractions to explore by day and myriad bars and restaurants to see you happily into the night. 

    Catch a movie at the Watershed arthouse cinema before dining on European dishes to the sound of live music at No.1 Harbourside. Or why not watch the sunset over the water while sipping a cocktail at the likes of Revolución de Cuba Bristol? There’s no better spot to end the day in the city.


    Stokes Croft

    Spend the whole night exploring this trendy hub

    • Nightlife

    Stokes Croft is a main road running north out of Bristol’s centre, known for its trendy and hipster vibe. The whole road and surrounding area are lined with bustling cafés, bars and clubs, meaning you can enjoy a fun and varied night out in this area alone. 

    You’ll be hard pushed to experience all that the nightlife around here has to offer, but we can point you in the direction of some of the best. The Crofters Rights is a great pub serving craft beers on tap and good pub grub. The Canteen is an excellent live music bar next to a famous Banksy mural. Alternatively, if underground dance music is more your scene, the legendary Lakota nightclub is a must.


    photo by Ian Capper (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    The Old City

    Experience Bristol’s traditional speakeasies and jazz venues

    • Nightlife
    • History

    Bristol’s Old City is awash with historical buildings and quaint narrow lanes, with an equally charming nightlife to reflect its traditional vibe. It’s here that you’ll find some of the city’s best speakeasies and jazz clubs, as well as exceptional restaurants and street food options to be found on every corner. 

    Cider and perry fans will love The Apple – a magnificent converted Dutch barge moored on the waterfront, serving up the world’s finest range. For a fascinating gem of a clandestine cocktail bar, head to The Milk Thistle, where you even have to buzz to get in. For fantastic live jazz, blues and rock, get the pints in at the ever-popular Old Duke.


    photo by Stevekeiretsu (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Park Street

    Party the night away into the early hours

    • Nightlife

    Bristol’s Park Street previously made the shortlist for the ‘UK’s hippest street’, so it comes as no surprise that it’s home to some of the city’s best nightlife. Boasting eclectic bars and late-night clubs, it draws the city’s students and younger crowds visiting for an unforgettable night out... or forgettable, you could say. 

    For a unique tipple in historic surroundings, seek out the iconic neon sign of the Art Deco-themed Mauretania Public House, built in 1870. For a retro-style speakeasy, check out the cocktails at Red Light. And for a failsafe club to dance the night away in, make your way to Forty Eight.


    Whiteladies Road, Clifton

    Enjoy a concentrated array of trendy bars and restaurants

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife

    Whiteladies Road is a bustling shopping area through the picturesque suburb of Clifton, lined with superb bars and restaurants. It’s well worth exploring by day, but it’s just as lively at night when the shoppers trade places with partygoers and those looking for a relaxing nightcap in stylish surroundings. 

    Tuck into a succulent steak at The Cowshed to set you up for the night, before heading for a drink on the terrace of the popular Bar Humbug. End the night at Her Majesty’s Secret Service, a hidden British-themed speakeasy serving creative cocktails and quirky quenchers. Good luck finding the entrance – it’s via a rather inconspicuous phone box!


    photo by Lewis Clarke (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    St Paul’s

    Visit the home of the world-famous carnival

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    St Paul’s is undoubtedly one of Bristol’s most famous areas, known throughout the world for its incredible annual carnival. On the 1st Saturday of July each year, the streets erupt with colour, music, dance and parades as the city unites to celebrate Afro-Caribbean culture. It’s one of the biggest street parties in Europe, with the revelry continuing way into the night. 

    Carnival aside, the strong sense of community and culture remains year-round. Begin your evening with a bite to eat at the vibrant and delicious Baba Ganoush Kitchen. Then, make your way to the legendary Jamaican-themed Star and Garter pub (frequented by the likes of Damian Marley and Roni Size), ending the night in the intimate cellar bar, Cosies.


    Old Market

    Discover the city’s historic and colourful gay village

    • Nightlife
    • History

    Bristol’s Old Market area is historic, bohemian and a popular hangout for the LGBTQ+ community. Found just to the east of the Bristol Shopping Quarter, it was the first area of the city to be built around the castle and is wholly independent, with no corporate businesses or big chains in sight. 

    There are monthly events and 5 LGBTQ+ festivals held here throughout the year, but when these aren’t on, you’ll still have countless bars and clubs to choose from. The Gin Palace is open 365 days a year and hosts multiple cabaret shows a week. To The Moon is an atmospheric bar and shop selling beer, cocktails and sustainable fashion. And the nearby Phoenix pub is an all-round favourite. 


    photo by Geof Sheppard (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    Explore one of the most popular areas of the city

    • Photo
    • Food
    • Nightlife

    Southville is a vibrant yet laidback residential area of the city, occupying the southern bank of the River Avon. Home to colourful street art, vivacious street parties and mouth-watering street food, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular places to live in Bristol. But visitors love it here, too, with plenty of trendy pubs and bars serving excellent craft beers and cocktails. 

    The lively North Street is at the heart of the Southville community and the famous Tobacco Factory with its bar, café and superb theatre is a must-visit. The Bristol Beer Factory is a great spot for trying a freshly-brewed pint and The Spotted Cow has an awesome beer garden for those warm summer evenings.


    photo by Anthony O'Neil (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Theatres in Bristol

    Indulge in an evening of culture and entertainment

    • Nightlife
    • History

    When it comes to fabulous theatres to enjoy an unforgettable evening of culture, Bristol is by no means lacking. Whether you’re looking for a toe-tapping night of live music, a side-splitting evening of comedy or a gripping theatrical performance, you’ll find all that and more at the city’s first-class theatre venues. 

    The Bristol Hippodrome features one of the largest stages in Britain and regularly hosts touring shows from London’s West End. Built in 1766, Bristol Old Vic prides itself on being ‘the oldest continuously working theatre in the English-speaking world’ and showcases both local and well-known talent. And the huge Colston Hall is Bristol’s home of music, hosting the world’s biggest names in pop, rock, jazz and more.

    photo by Mike Hume (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    The Bristol and Bath Rum Distillery

    Have a go at producing your very own tipple

    • Food
    • Nightlife

    The Bristol & Bath Rum Distillery runs its very own Rum School where spirit lovers will be served up a treat. It’s located on Park Street and hosts a range of events, one of the most popular being the evening Rum Making Experience. On it, you’ll learn all about the history of rum, taste some classic cocktails and, as the name suggests, create your very own recipe. 

    Not only do you get to make your own rum, but you can also personalise the label and wax the top. And what’s more, whenever you want to re-order some more, your recipe is kept ready for you! It’s best to book at least 7 days in advance for this experience, to avoid disappointment. 

    Location: 87-89, Park St, Bristol BS1 5PW, UK

    Open: Rum making experience: Saturday–Sunday from 7 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)7510 513864

    Sadie Geoghegan-Dann | Contributing Writer

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