Bristol's airport has a wide range of flights with a wide range of carrier options. About half of the available service is seasonal, mostly going to and from popular vacation destinations during the summer months and the Christmas holidays. Among the regular carriers that offer year-round service are Aer Lingus (Ireland), Brussels Airlines (Brussels), easyJet (many destinations in Europe), KLM (Amsterdam), Ryanair (many destinations in Europe) and Thomson Airways (various popular European vacation destinations).
When are Fares to Bristol Airport Lowest?
There is something of a tourism peak to Bristol in summer given that the weather is nicest then, but it is not a major tourist destination and big spikes in fares will likely only be seen on flights coming back from popular vacation destinations after a weekend.
Fares will most likely be at their lowest from January to March, during which time the region experiences a cold winter.
Arriving at Bristol Airport
Most United States citizens don't need a visa to enter the United Kingdom unless they are planning to stay for more than six months. Some students or employees working in certain sectors may have to apply for a visa even if they are staying for a shorter period of time, however. The UK Border Agency website lays out all of the situations in which a visa is required for a short stay.
Though it isn't as big as the London airports, Bristol's airport has plenty of facilities and amenities. It also has a small range of places to eat. Pre-security there are two coffee-and-pastry outlets, and more substantial fare is available post-security including a Dexters and Burger King (as well as a Starbucks for any immediate coffee needs).
Transportation from Bristol Airport
Bristol Airport doesn't have a direct rail stop, but the Airport Flyer bus service connects passengers to the Weston-super-Mare rail station (with some stops in between). There are an additional variety of buses that go to all sorts of other destinations such as Plymouth, Exeter and South Wales.
Of course, taxis are an option, as are rental cars. A variety of major chains are present at the airport including Hertz, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Enterprise, Alamo and National.
Things to Do in Bristol
Bristol has many amazing sights to see including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the SS Great Britain, Tyntesfield and Cabot Tower. The Floating Harbour is a great place to just walk and take in the city's history.
Bristol is also a great location for shopping at traditional markets. Places to visit include Corn Street, the Harbourside Markets, Temple Quay Market and the Tobacco Factory. For more modern shopping malls try Broadmead & Cabot Circus and Avonmeads Retail Park.
If you like nightlife, Bristol is a great choice, as it is a university town with a lot of options. Likewise, it has a strong food scene with many great places to dine that defy the typical stereotypes of English food.
The spas at Bath are also a quick trip from Bristol. You can take the train or bus there, or even take a cycling path made from a disused railroad route.