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Bristol

Georgian houses at Hotwells, Bristol

Practical Info about Bristol

Getting around the city

Bristol is an easy city to negotiate on foot, with plenty of attractions close to one another. There are, however, taxis, trains and an extensive bus network available. There are plenty of car rental agencies available, though the city centre can get congested and hiring a car is probably only worthwhile if travelling beyond the city. Bristol is a popular place for cyclists and despite plenty of hills, the city has an excellent urban bike route. The Bristol Ferry Boat is a fun and leisurely way to explore the city; it offers leisure and commuter services in the harbour.

Time

GMT (GMT +1 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).

Electricity

The electrical current in the UK is 230 volts, 50Hz. Flat three-pin plugs are standard.

Currency

The currency is the British Pound (GBP), which is divided into 100 pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels, however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.

Communication

The international country dialling code for the UK is +44. Mobile phone coverage is extensive, using GSM 1800 networks which may not be compatible with some dual-band US cell phones. Internet cafes are available in all major towns and cities, train stations and airports and wifi is widely available.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 999/112

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2015 2016
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
New Years Holiday (Scotland only) 2 Jan 2 Jan
St Patricks Day (Northern Ireland only) 17 Mar 17 Mar
Good Friday 3 Apr 25 Mar
Easter Monday 6 Apr 28 Mar
May Day 4 May 2 May
Spring Bank Holiday 25 May 30 May
Orangemens Day (Northern Ireland only) 12 Jul 12 Jul
Summer Bank Holiday 31 Aug 29 Aug
St Andrews Day (Scotland only) 30 Nov 30 Nov
Christmas 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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Bristol's climate is unpredictable, much like the rest of the United Kingdom. Situated in the southwest of the country and sheltered largely by Exmoor and the Mendip Hills, Bristol is in fact one of the UK's warmest cities. Summers are usually sunny and warm, while winters are cold and wet. Summer days, however, can start out overcast and damp, clearing later. In summer, temperatures average between 53°F (12°C) and 71°F (22°C); and in winter, temperatures average between 37°F (3°C) and 48°F (9°C). Rain is possible in any season, but late-autumn and winter are the wettest seasons. The best time to travel to Bristol is during the summer (June to August) when it is usually warm and sunny. Winters are wet, but comparatively mild temperature-wise. A good time to plan a short break in Bristol is at the end of July when the popular Harbour Festival takes place, one of the largest free events in England with music on five stages, street theatre, markets and a fireworks display.

Bristol International Airport

www.bristolairport.com

Getting to the city

Bristol International Flyer buses depart for the city centre (including the train station) every eight minutes during peak hours, and every 30 minutes off-peak. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs around £7 for a one-way ticket. Taxis are available outside the terminal.

Car rental

Car hire companies include Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available all day and night at the airport, located outside the terminal building. Passengers can visit the booking desk within the covered walkway, where they will be quoted a fixed fare and allocated a taxi. Payment can be made by card at the booking desk, or by cash to the driver.

Facilities

Facilities at Bristol Airport include a bureau de change, ATM, bars, restaurants, shops, an executive lounge and tourist information desk. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs are advised to contact their airline in advance.

Parking

There is short and long-term car parking available. Spaces can be pre-booked via the airport website.

Internet

Free wifi is available and there are internet kiosks before and after security.