Bristol ranked 4th most inspiring city in the world, ahead of all other UK cities

Bristol’s vibrant creative culture and innovative arts scene has helped clinch one of the highest rankings in a survey of the most inspiring cities in the world. In the 2016 Inspiring Cities Ranking, Bristol comes 4th, alongside Miami, Bruges and San Francisco and ahead of Reykjavik, Zurich, Florence, Paris, Barcelona and London. 

Among UK cities, Bristol came out on top. Five UK cities are featured in the inspirational ranking as follows: Bristol as number 4, Edinburgh number 16, Liverpool number 24, London in 43 and Manchester, 58.

As well as coming 4th overall, Bristol is placed in the world’s top 10 for the number of performing arts companies and the number of film industry facilities per 100,000 citizens. The city also ranked in the top 25 for the number of art schools, art galleries, music production facilities and in-the-winter cities ranking.

“We are a diverse, talented and outward looking city with a world-class annual calendar of events” – Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol

The figures have been compiled by Amsterdam-based package holiday specialist TravelBird, who this week released the 2016 Inspiring Cities Ranking. The ranking is based on eight criteria associated with innovation and creativity to help travellers pick their next inspiring adventure. In addition, their analysis of winter and summer cities means the Inspirational City Ranking can be used to inspire and stimulate seasonal travel.

inspiring city

The iconic view of Clifton Suspension Bridge during Bristol Balloon Fiesta © Gary Newman

‘I’m delighted that Bristol has been recognised for the inspiring place that it is,’ says Louise Mitchell, Chief Executive of Bristol Music Trust.  ‘Our rich cultural programme attracts many artists and musicians to make their home here, resulting in a vibrant and creative society. Bristol is the best!’

‘Bristol is a great place to live and work. We are a diverse, talented and outward looking city with a world-class annual calendar of events that inspire residents and visitors alike,’ said Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol. ‘Our cultural economy is an important part of our city identity and is playing a critical role in addressing inequality and ensuring the benefits of Bristol’s prosperity are felt across all communities. I hope our ambition to create a more equal city where nobody is left behind inspires others to do the same.

‘I’m pleased that our efforts and those of everyone who is contributing to the city’s success are recognised in this survey,’ he added. 

About the 2016 Inspiring Cities Ranking


To create the ranking, TravelBird began with a list of renowned cities and continued to add vibrant locations until they reached 85 worldwide destinations. They then calculated the Inspirational rank of each, factoring in performing arts companies, art schools, art galleries, museums, music production facilities, film industry facilities and start-ups seeking funding located within the city. They also ranked each location by the number of Google searches for romance-focused keywords (searches for romantic areas or dinners), in the native language, in each place. All the factors were calculated and ranked out of 100, with Bristol achieving a score of 70.34 overall. The scores for the criteria are equal to each factor per 100,000 residents in each city.

Based on performing arts companies, arts schools, art galleries, museums, film industry, start-up and elements to inspire romance. The study revealed the 10 most inspiring cities as: Miami, Bruges, San Francisco, Bristol, Reykjavik, Santiago de Compostela, Salzburg, Zurich, Heidelberg and Florence.

‘Inspiration and being inspired is something travellers always have near the top of their priorities when looking into a vacation.’ said Symen Jansma, CEO of TravelBird. ‘We conducted this study to help travellers find destinations to enrich their vacations and leave long-lasting memories.’ 

The full results can be viewed on TravelBird’s website here

Featured image © Destination Bristol