What are the cheapest parking options near major tourist attractions in Bristol?

Navigating the parking scene in a bustling city like Bristol can be an expedition in itself. From public lots to street parking and exclusive hotel spaces, there's a myriad of options to choose from. However, figuring out the most affordable and convenient places to park your car can be somewhat of a challenge. This article aims to demystify Bristol's parking landscape, guiding you towards the cheapest alternatives for your car, be it in the city centre, near the airport, or by major tourist attractions. We'll explore long stay and short stay options, free parking spaces, and cheap parking services.

Public Parking in Bristol City Centre

The Bristol city centre is a hub of activity with a rich blend of history, culture, shopping, and gastronomy. However, finding affordable parking here can be daunting. Let's explore some cost-effective options.

Public parking in the city centre provides some of the most affordable alternatives. Numerous public parking lots have reasonable hourly rates, but if you're planning a long day out, the costs can add up. The best strategy to save money is to look for public lots that offer day rates or have maximum daily caps.

Prince Street Car Park, located near the harbour side, is a popular choice due to its proximity to numerous attractions and its affordable daily rates. Oldfield Place Car Park, on the other hand, offers cheaper hourly rates for those planning shorter visits.

Cheap Parking Options at Bristol Airport

If you're jetting off from Bristol Airport, parking your car for an extended period can be expensive. However, there are several cost-effective options to consider.

The airport's own Long Stay Car Park offers competitive rates, especially if you book in advance. The Silver Zone Car Park is another airport-operated facility that provides long-stay parking at lower prices, although it is a little further from the terminal.

Private companies also offer parking services around the airport. Some of these services will valet your car to a secure location and return it to you upon your arrival back in Bristol. These services often work out cheaper than the airport's own facilities, particularly for longer stays.

Free Parking Options

Yes, you read it right! Free parking in Bristol is not a myth, but it does require some strategic planning.

In the city centre, free parking is a rarity. However, there are a few hidden gems. The parking lot on Jacob's Wells Road is free on Sundays, as is the parking at Ashton Court Estate. But do ensure you double-check the signage for any restrictions.

In terms of airport parking, there's no official free parking provided. However, some hotels near the airport offer 'stay and park' packages, where you can leave your car at the hotel for a set period, often at no extra cost beyond the room rate.

Bristol Hotels with Cheap or Free Parking

If you're staying overnight in the city, hotel parking can often be a convenient and cost-effective option. Many hotels in Bristol offer free or discounted car parking for guests.

The Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, located in the city centre, offers guests discounted parking at the adjacent College Green Car Park. Another option is the Radisson Blu Bristol, which has a deal with the nearby Queen Charlotte Street NCP car park for reduced rates.

Budget-friendly hotels like Holiday Inn Express Bristol City Centre and Ibis Bristol Temple Meads Quay also offer free parking for guests. However, these spaces are often limited, so it's advisable to book ahead.

Street Parking in Bristol

Finally, street parking is an option in Bristol, particularly outside of the city centre where restrictions are less stringent. Always remember to check the signage for any restrictions or charges before leaving your car.

The Clifton area, for example, offers some free street parking, particularly on Sundays. Similarly, areas like Bedminster and Southville have zones where you can park for free, but these can fill up quickly, particularly during the week.

As you can see, finding affordable parking in Bristol requires a little bit of research and planning. But with these tips and tricks, you'll be well on your way to saving money and enjoying your visit to this vibrant and diverse city.

Park and Ride Services in Bristol

Bristol's Park and Ride services can be an incredibly cost-effective way to manage city centre parking. Offering the convenience of city centre drop-off points, along with secure, often free or low-cost parking, the Bristol Park and Ride services are worth considering.

There are three Park and Ride sites around Bristol, all located strategically close to main roads, making them accessible for drivers from all directions. The three sites are Long Ashton, Brislington, and Portway.

Long Ashton, located near the airport, is an excellent choice, especially if you are planning to stay in the city for a few days. It has frequent bus services to the city centre, and if you reserve online, the parking charges are surprisingly reasonable.

Brislington, on the other hand, is closer to the city centre and offers regular bus services, while Portway is near the M5 motorway, making it great for travellers coming from the north.

It's worth noting that the parking fees at these Park and Ride car parks are often much cheaper than city centre parking. Plus, the bus fare is included in the parking fee, making it a very affordable option overall.

Cabot Circus and Bristol Rovers' Parking

If you're planning a shopping spree or a trip to watch Bristol Rovers, there are cheap parking options available too.

Cabot Circus, a shopping haven in the heart of Bristol, has its own car park. It offers a maximum day rate which is quite reasonable compared to other city centre car parks. Plus, if you're visiting on a weekday evening, there's a discounted night rate.

For football fans making their way to Memorial Stadium to watch the Bristol Rovers, several local car parks offer convenient and affordable parking. The Gloucester Road Car Park, for instance, is around a 10-minute walk to the stadium and offers competitive rates.

It's also worthwhile to remember that some local businesses offer match-day parking when Bristol Rovers are playing at home. These are often cheaper than official car parks, and the money often goes to support local charities.


In conclusion, the Bristol parking scene is diverse and caters to different needs and budgets. The key to finding the cheapest parking options near major tourist attractions in Bristol is understanding the various options and planning ahead. Public parking lots, airport parking services, free parking spots, hotel parking facilities, street parking, Park and Ride services, and specific arrangements for destinations like Cabot Circus and Bristol Rovers' games are all part of the Bristol parking landscape.

By taking the time to research, you can not only avoid parking charges that could detract from your trip but also ensure that your vehicle is left in a safe and secure location. Whether you're planning a short stay or require long term parking, Bristol's parking services have got you covered. Remember to book your parking in advance to secure the best rates and guarantee your space. Happy exploring in Bristol!