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Bristol 101

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In 2017, Bristol became a UNESCO City of Film thanks to its rich film industry and culture. Many would agree that Bristol resembles a giant film set, with its romantic marine scenery, authentic architecture reflecting its rich industrial heritage and the city’s vibrant culture.

Cuddled in England’s southwest, on the River Avon, Bristol was also selected as one of the world's top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides (2009). The Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, and Bristol also won the EU's European Green Capital Award in 2015. What exactly makes it so awesome?

Its history is still alive and cherished. It is awash with stories of American migration as well. Over 500 years ago, John Cabot boarded the Matthew bound for Newfoundland, and the 21st-century visitors can take a tour in a modern replica. In 1619, Berkeley Company ship the Margaret left for the shores of America, landing at Jamestown and triggering the first Thanksgiving. And that’s just one of the old tales this city has to tell you.

Bristol today is one of the most praised European centers of culture. You have probably heard of Banksy, the most famous street artist in the world whose identity is still unknown. He comes from Bristol and this city is full of his socially-engaged masterpieces. Now, there’s so much more to Bristol’s culture. Its former city-centre port is now a cultural hub, the Harbourside. There is the M Shed museum which explores local social and industrial heritage. The harbour's 19th-century warehouses became restaurants, shops and cultural institutions. There is the famous Arnolfini Centre for Contemporary Arts, creating and promoting performances, dance, films, visual and other types of arts. Among other venues attracting the art lovers are Spike Island - built in a former tea packing factory, and the Royal West of England Academy – Bristol’s oldest gallery.

Bristol has plenty to offer to those who enjoy different types of entertainment. Sports enthusiasts love visiting the Memorial Stadium and the Ashton Gate Stadium. The latter can also be rented for a variety of non-sporting events, from conferences to receptions and weddings. The city is also known as the birthplace of trip-hop and home to world-renowned alternative bands such as Portishead and Massive Attack (of which Banksy is a band member!). Every night, Bristol’s music venues offer a variety of alternative gigs and parties. In March, Bristol hosts the Jazz & Blues Festival with some of the world’s most famous jammers.

Bristol’s everyday life is also vibrant. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. The city’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK—the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling.

The city is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, and to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4 (which connect to the city centre by the Portway and M32); rail, via Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway mainline rail stations; and Bristol Airport.

The Matthew

The city’s modern economy is built on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries. The city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK—the Bristol pound, which is pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, and a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium.

M Shed Museum tells the story of Bristol in fascinating detail through People, Place, Life and Working Exhibits.

Banksy – the world famous graffiti artist was born in Bristol and his work can be seen around the city.

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