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20 Essential apps for life in Bristol

By JForrester 10 Aug 2021

Moving away can undoubtedly be one of the most exciting things to happen to you - but it can be pretty nerve-wracking too!

Surrounded by new faces in a new and busy environment is overwhelming, and that's why we want to make it a little bit easier. No, not just by using Google Maps - there is more to life...

1. Wriggle (Android / iphone)

For when you're hungry.

a sandwich sitting on top of a table

This handy little app gives you access to loads of food and drinks offers in many of Bristol's much-loved independent restaurants and bars. We all know it's essential to save a few pennies when you're a student, but that shouldn't mean missing out on Bristol's amazing food scene!

2. Uber (Android / iPhone)

For getting from A to B.

a hand holding a cellphone

If you're rushed for time and don't know how to get to your lecture across the city, download Uber. This taxi service can track where you are (even if you don't have a clue) and will choose a taxi driver nearby, the rates are usually less than a regular taxi and you can pay from your phone, easy.

3.Headfirst (Android / iPhone)

For when you want to party.

a close up of a bag

This is the ultimate app, for finding out all the gigs, club nights and events going on around Bristol. The website is run a by a former promoter who puts an emphasis on the independent music and new talent that makes Bristol special.

4. Voi Scooter (Android / iPhone)

For sightseeing with style.


These scooters have taken the city by storm since they have arrived this year. Download the app to find your nearest scooter - hop on and go. Voi scooters are excellent for zipping from A-Z when the traffics bad, or sightseeing. 

5.  Revolut / Monzo

For budgeting!

a close up of a hand holding a cell phone

You will have to learn to budget and manage your money pretty quick at uni, but both these cards can make it a lot easier.

You can link both of these cards to your student bank account,  but they have lots of handy extra features like salary sorter so you never miss bills, split the bill, so you can easily split a bill with your mates, free currency converters and features to help you save like rounding up each purchase and putting it in a separate account.

6. Find My Friends (Android / iPhone)

For when you or your friends are completely lost.

a man holding a laptop

If you're really having problems with directions or can't describe to a friend where you are - let them do the hard work! But be warned, you can't lie and tell them you've set off when you are actually still in bed...

7. Yo Bike (Android  iPhone)

For getting around!

a bicycle leaning against a wall

One of the easiest and greenest ways to get around is by bike. These are Bristol's answer to Boris Bikes! Renting for an hour can cost you as little at £1!

8. UWE Mobile App (Android / iPhone)

For everything UWE.


The UWE mobile app gives you access to ... 

  • Blackboard – Easy access to your personal course information.
  • Timetable – Easy access to your personal timetable.
  • Email – Easy access to your UWE Bristol email.
  • Library – Search for books and journals in the library.
  • Campus maps – Use the maps to find your way around campus.
  • Student information and services – Easy access to Information Points, health and wellbeing support, Info Hub, IT help and many other student services.
  • Staff directory – Find staff contact details.
  • News and events – Read all the latest student news announcements and view student events.
  • myUWE announcements – keep up to date with important university announcements.   

9. Depop (Android / iPhone)

For new garms and old ones!

a person holding a surf board

So this might not been an app that's unique to living in Bristol, but if you want to look fab at low prices and make a little money while you're at uni - this is the app for you. This buy and sell platform is similar to e-bay but with twice the style.

10. Too Good to Go (Android / iPhone)

For cheap eats!

a person eating a donut

Introducing ..... 'Magic Bags!' These bags full of goodies and surplus food from local restaurants, shops & cafes. 

The food they sell would usually be thrown away at the end of the day, but is perfectly safe to eat, not to mention a delicious surprise (you don't know what you're getting).

Download the app, support the food waste revolution and bag yourself a tasty treat, at the same time. Did we mention that UWE's very own Crussh and Onezone regularly sell magic bags. 

11. Maps.Me (Android / iPhone)

For when you need to find your way. 

a person holding a cell phone

It works offline so will save some panicking if you're struggling to get signal or your battery's about to give up. It'll give you real-time updates and route instructions for all your public transport troubles. 

12. UNiDays (Android / iPhone)

For bargains!


This app has got deals galore everything from fashion o health and fitness to tech. Download this app to keep up to date with all the latest student deals.

13. First Bus (Android / iPhone)

For navigating the city.

a double decker bus on a city street

Essential if you are navigating your way around Bristol by bus. It's easy to use with online tickets and an online bus tracker, so you know exactly when your bus is due to arrive. Make sure you don't forget use your student discount.

14. Headspace (Android / iPhone)

For mindful moments.

a hand holding a cellphone

Moving to a new city, meeting new people, starting a new course, sometimes you need to take time out.

Hadspace is the ultimate app for meditation and mindfulness. Choose from a huge selection of guided meditation soundtracks, home workouts, sleepcasts and courses to help improve your wellbeing.

15. Bristol Parkhive (Android / iPhone)

For when you need a breath of fresh air.

a view of a mountain

One great thing about moving to Bristol is that you are never too far away from parks and green space. This app has a GPS feature which will show you all the parks and green spaces near to you.

16. Bristol Banksy Tour (Android iPhone)

Getting to know Bristol through art.

a person standing in front of a building

As you probably know Bristol is the UK's Graffiti capital. So maybe you've got a free afternoon or a bit of time to spare, download the Bristol Banksy Tour App and get exploring.

17. Red Panic Button (Android / Panik iPhone)

For when it's an emergency.

a close up of a sign

At the touch of a button these alarms siren to alert anyone that you're in trouble. You can store contacts and pre-written messages to be sent to friends and loved ones in an instant. Hopefully you'll never have to use it but it's good to have.

Finding it hard to get to grips with living in a new city is understandable, but with these apps it'll make your life a bit easier!