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Bristol is not often regarded as a touristic destination, however, this city has much to offer. There are many restaurants, bars and shops and Bristol has a very lively cultural life with museums, theaters and concerts. Furthermore the city is an excellent point of departure for excursions to the surrounding areas.
Approximately 430,000 people live in Bristol, when you include the suburbs you can add up some 100,000 people living in the Bristol urban area.
Bristol is located in the west of England in a limestone area, where rivers worn out the limestone to create deep gorges, this explains the city's hilly landscape. The most important river is the Avon which flows out into the Bristol Channel to the west of the city.
With around 1,700 hours of sunshine per year, Bristol is one of the sunniest cities in the United Kingdom.
In the past, the local economy depended almost completely on trade of its port. This is not the case anymore, nonetheless, the port still plays an important part, most imported cars in the United Kingdom pass through the port of Bristol.
The aircraft industry is greatly represented, jointly with Toulouse, Bristol was an assembling place of the Concorde airplanes. The Concorde is not in service anymore but both Airbus and the aircraft division of Rolls Royce are based in Bristol.
Other pillars of the local economy are financial services, tourism and the high-tech industry.
Bristol has a fine network of city buses. Bus lines 8 and 9 are very convenient for visitors because they run from Temple Meads Station to Clifton (the place where the luxurious hotels are located) crossing the city center. There is also a double decker City Sightseeing Bus with open top that takes you along all the places of interest, you can hop on and hop off at every bus stop.
Another pleasant way of exploring Bristol is by boat, the Bristol Ferry Boat offers ferry services and boat trips leaving from the harbor side.
Driving around in the city center of Bristol can be quite confusing as there are many one-way streets but there is a large availability of parking garages. A cheaper alternative is to park your car at one of the three Park and Ride spaces and to continue by bus to the city center.
The car is however, the best means of transport to explore the beautiful surrounding areas of the city.
Bristol has a large variety of accommodations to offer, ranging from luxurious hotels to simple guesthouses and bed & breakfasts and even camping sites. If you prefer a more quite environment, there are plenty of options to stay in Bristol's surrounding areas, like staying at a farm or renting a cottage. The Tourist Office in Queen Square can provide you with further information.
Around Christmas many people visit Bristol, it is advisable to book you accommodation well in advance for that period.
For information about Bristol, we recommend Google and the following sources: