When the sun sets, Bristol really comes alive. Popular nightclubs include the nation’s favourite, Reflex, and the busy Oceana. The city is home to the country’s second Syndicate Superclub (one of the two largest UK nightclubs – the other’s in Blackpool!), and to the O2 Academy with live gigs most nights.
Other favourite club nights not to be missed include Ramshackle on Fridays, and Propaganda on Wednesdays. Propaganda is the UK’s biggest indie night, and in Bristol it takes place in Syndicate. Thekla is Bristol’s only music venue situated on-board a boat, and is a popular and varied place to spend your nights enjoying DJs and live music, or for a little more sophistication you can head to up-market Clifton and the Amoeba Lounge Bar.
The Illusions Magic Bar offers karaoke nights, live gigs, live magic shows and comedy nights, and other Bristol comedy clubs include the famous Jongleurs on Baldwin Street. To enjoy Bristol nightlife without worrying about where you’ll stay overnight, be sure to book Bristol hotel accommodation or find a Bristol apartment as a base for your stay. You can get right in the heart of the city, for easy travel back at the end of the night.
Bristol is fantastic for nightlife: it has something for everyone and so much to choose from from contemporary to traditional that you can spend a very long time trying them all out! You can choose from cinema, theatre, comedy, restaurants, bars and clubs. Many of the pubs and bars host live music. The Harbourside is the social hub of Bristol with a good choice of cosmopolitan bars and restaurants along the waterfront.
As you head up from the waterfront to the University, the Park Street up to the Whiteladies Road area is lined with bars and restaurants catering for all tastes. For more traditional venues try the Old City around Corn Street. Here you’ll find Jacobean pubs amongst the modern bars that made good use of the historic buildings.
Traditional ales in cosy, beamed pubs include Llandoger Trow a timber built pub that dates from 1664 and retains many of its original features. It was here that Daniel Defoe apparently met Alexander Selkirk who became Robinson Crusoe. The pub was reputedly the inspiration for The Admiral Bembow in Stephenson’s Treasure Island. Secret underground smuggler’s passages have long been associated with the pub too.
Gay Friendly Bristol
Bristol has an established gay and lesbian scene and prides itself on being a gay-friendly city. Frogmore Street, just under Park Street, down from the University buildings, has a choice of gay bars and clubs. The Queen Shilling is the city’s longest established gay bar/club and Vibes is Bristol’s largest gay venue – both are on Frogmore Street. Bars on Frogmore Street include The Pineapple and The Griffin. Down in the Harbourside area the Watershed is a gay-friendly venue with a bar/cafe with waterfront views.
Old Market is Bristol’s "gay village" where the Old Market Tavern is a popular real ale, traditional oak beamed pub where both straight and gay people drink together. The Old Castle Green is another mixed pub on St Nicholas Street just off the city centre with a relaxed atmosphere. Club 46 is also in the Old Market area that holds regular theme nights and DJs.