The cost of living in Bristol

  1. Before arriving in Bristol
  2. How to get to Bristol - Getting to Bristol by train, plane, car or bus
  3. Public transport in and around Bristol - Getting around Bristol and the UK
  4. The cost of living in Bristol
  5. Save money in Bristol - Tips for living on a student budget in Bristol
  6. Accommodation for students in Bristol - Top tips and advice
  7. Bristol neighborhoods - The most important districts of Bristol
  8. Nightlife in Bristol - Nightclub guide and going out in Bristol
  9. British cuisine - The gastronomy of Britain and traditional dishes
  10. What to do in Bristol
  11. Festivals in Bristol - Festivals and events in Bristol and the South West
  12. Day trips from Bristol - Places to visit and excursions around Bristol
  13. Bristol in 3 days - What to see and do in 3 days

Bristol, like a lot of cities in the South of England, can be fairly expensive if you don’t know how to cut your costs. Let’s take a look at what sort of prices you will be paying during your stay in Bristol, UK...


Accommodation will most likely be your biggest cost whilst you are in Bristol. This is when you will need to decide whether you would like to live in University halls of Residence or whether you would like to rent a private room in a shared house within the city. There are, of course, advantages to both.

At the University of Bristol, if you decide to stay in Halls of residence, prices range from £110.00 to £174.00 per week and are largely self-catered and include all bills. For more information on options for halls of residence at the University of Bristol, click here, where you can view all the prices and amenities. To see the break down for prices of Halls of residence at UWE and to find all the necessary information and options, please click here. Halls of residence tends to be a more expensive option, I would not recommend paying more than £120/£130.00 a week as this will help to keep your costs down.

On average, a private room in a house in Bristol will cost around £114.28 per week. Of course, don’t forget to check out Erasmusu for rooms available to rent in Bristol. When renting private accommodation, be sure to note whether the price includes bills and internet or not, as this can sometimes cause the rent to increase by about £30/£40.00 a month.

Food Shopping

In Bristol, there are various supermarkets readily available throughout the city. There are stores such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencers which are, in general, not student budget-friendly, so try and stay clear from these if you can. Lidl and Aldi will be the kindest to your budget and there are many located throughout Bristol. Morrisons and Asda come in second place for being gentle to your budget, followed by Tescos and Sainsburys, which aren’t particularly cheap but if you go to the reduced section at 8pm, you can find some good deals. If you are one to cook and eat at home, you will spend around £30.00 a week on average on groceries. There are also lots of fresh fruit and vegetable stores within Bristol, particularly on Gloucester road and at St Nicholas's Market. These places sell fresh and local produce, which is always a bonus.

If you ask any student within the UK what they eat for lunch, one could estimate that around 70% would say ‘a meal deal from Tescos’ (Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s). These four supermarkets offer a meal deal that will cost between £2.50 and £3.50 and will include a drink, snack and sandwich/salad, so if you forgot to make lunch last night, these guys have your back at an affordable price (I wouldn’t recommend doing it every day though as it will eventually add up).

Here is a list of average costs for your most frequent buys:

Milk0.22 £
Rice0.11 £
Loaf of Fresh White Bread0.20 £
Eggs0.36 £
Local Cheese0.70 £
Chicken Breasts 1.00 £
Beef Round1.38 £
Apples0.64 £
Bananas0.22 £
Oranges0.54 £
Tomatoes0.33 £
Potatoes0.019 £
Onions0.08 £
Lettuce0.12 £

Daily recommended minimum amount of money for food per person: 6.10 £

Nights out

Nights out in Bristol can vary depending on your taste in music and clubbing. British students, like many students I am sure, love to ‘pre-drink’. Alcohol in clubs, pubs and bars can be expensive, so make a trip to your nearest supermarket or off-license before a night out, buy your favourite vodka or beer at an affordable price and have a few drinks at home with your friends before you go out - this will definitely save you some money.

It is likely that you will have to pay an entrance fee to most clubs after 11pm, which can cost anything from £3.00 to £10.00. Lots of ‘underground music’ places throughout Bristol will require pre-bought tickets, which can cost anything between £10.00 and £25.00. Beers will usually cost between £3.50 and £4.50 for a pint, a glass of wine will cost around £5.00 and cocktails will cost between £6.00 and £8.00. Again, this all depends on where you are and how much you like to drink but I would say on average you will spend around £20.00 on a night out (not including pre-bought tickets or pre-drinks).

Restaurants and Cafes

Bristol is full of quirky restaurants and cafes. On average, a meal out will cost you around £15.00 for a main meal and a drink or two in a restaurant and between £10.00 and £15.00 in a cafe. A cup of tea costs around £1.50 and coffee will cost between £2.50 and £3.50, depending on how you like it. Of course, these things vary but you will have plenty of time to scout out your favourite, affordable places to dine.

Public Transport

Depending on the length of your journey, within the city a single bus ticket should not cost more than £3.00. If you are just going a few stops up the road you can purchase a ‘three-stop hop’ ticket, which is £1.00 and lets you travel three stops (it’s in the name really). Without the First Group app discussed in Public Transport in Bristol, you can purchase a single (up to three miles) ticket for just £2.00 and a single of more than three miles for £3.00, or a day pass for £4.00. These are all prices without your student card, so be sure to carry your student ID card with you to bag some extra discounts. You can have a look at more prices here.

Costs of trains are almost impossible to advise on as they vary so much but be sure to purchase your 16-25 Young Person’s Railcard and you will be able to save some money whilst using the British Rail services.

Photo gallery

Content available in other languages

Comments (0 comments)

Want to have your own Erasmus blog?

If you are experiencing living abroad, you're an avid traveller or want to promote the city where you live... create your own blog and share your adventures!

I want to create my Erasmus blog! →

Don’t have an account? Sign up.

Wait a moment, please

Run hamsters! Run!