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Clifton suspension bridge, Bristol

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Lively, rejuvenated Bristol is enjoying something of a renaissance. Long known as a gritty industrial city, Bristol is now known as a cultural hub, a nightlife hotspot, a media centre and a hotbed of culinary creativity.

Why go?

Check into a Bristol hotel and blaze a trail of discovery around this attractive city...

The south-western city of Bristol has plenty to offer visitors, besides simply strolling around and delighting in the eclectic range of architecture - which includes medieval, Tudor and Georgian buildings and a range of unashamedly more modern buildings. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is worth a look, as are the revitalised dockyards.

The city's zoo draws family visitors, as do its parklands, which offer up fine picnic and kite-flying opportunities in summer.

Read on to discover the best areas to stay, Bristol's top attractions and to discover more about some of the annual events in the area. And when your heart is set on a trip to the city, simply use the search tool on TravelSupermarket to find cheap hotels in Bristol.

Where to stay?

Hotels in Bristol can be found across this sprawling city...

There's a multitude of diverse and interesting neighbourhoods in which to make a base while on a city break in Bristol.

The most historic district is Old City, where plenty of bars, cafés and shops vie for the attentions of visitors. Georgian St Nicholas Market, in Corn Street, is a notable attraction. Many luxury hotels can be booked in this prime central location.

Old City is sandwiched between Broadmead and Harbourside. Broadmead is an area crammed with shopping centres, department stores and high street favourites, and you'll find a number of Bristol hotels here. Harbourside has enjoyed a face lift in recent years and many of Bristol's cultural attractions, such as art galleries and museums, are now surrounded by cool cafés and exclusive hotels.

The rising slope of Park Street is a shopping mecca, and many types of accommodation - from budget hotels and B&Bs, to four- and five-star hotels - are situated in the streets running off this popular thoroughfare.

As a busy regional city, you can expect to find well-known names from the budget chains of Travelodge, Days Inn and Premier Inn as well as Hilton, Holiday Inn, Mercure, Novotel, Doubletree, Marriott, Ramada, Thistle, Radisson Blu and Best Western. There are also many local B&Bs.

Just to the east of the city centre, Old Market is full of historic buildings; hotels here often feature charm and tradition, and it's a good location for access to Old City.

Clifton Village is a wonderful place to stay while in Bristol, and the beautiful Downs made up on Clifton Down and Durdham Down offer stunning views of the Severn Estuary, Avon Gorge, north Somerset and South Wales. Georgian style is on display on every street corner in this rather exclusive district, where boutiques ply fashionable threads and quirky gifts.

What to see?

This lively city is young at heart, though some of Bristol's best attractions are centuries old...

Top five attractions

On the trail of Banksy
Acclaimed and mysterious street artist Banksy kicked off his unorthodox career in Bristol and you can see many of his original works on the city streets. Ask at the Tourist Information Centre if you have trouble finding them.

Brunel's ss Great Britain
Step back in time at the historic Harbourside of Bristol on this iconic steam ship.

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Surely the most picturesque city bridge in Britain, Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed this stunning piece of engineering, which spans the Avon Gorge. Enjoy the views during a walk across the bridge.

Clifton Observatory, Camera Obscura and Cave
Get a glimpse of Bristol from high above the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The Camera Obscura offers a unique perspective using centuries-old technology.

Bristol Zoo
Located in Clifton, more than 400 species can be spotted across the 12-acre site.

What's on?

Join in these fun annual events and see a different side to the city of Bristol...

Events

Harbour Festival; July:
A huge public event that showcases some of the best musical performances Bristol has to offer. Hotels, particularly in the Harbourside area, will be in demand during the event.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta; August: Seeing the skies fill with hot air balloons is an absolute thrill and half a million people visit over four days to see ascents at 6am and 6pm. Nightglows (balloons glowing in time to music) on the Thursday and Saturday evenings of the fiesta are particularly memorable. The event is held at Ashton Court, to the west of Bristol. Early booking of hotels is advised.

Bristol International Festival of Kites and Air Creations; September: Also hosted at Ashton Court, and another absolutely free event, this festival fills the sky with huge kites, aerial battles and spectacular stunts.