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Living in Cardiff

Our students fall in love with Cardiff. So what makes the Welsh capital so appealing?

We’re welcoming

We don't know whether it’s the cheerful way we thank our bus drivers, or the fact we're partial to a cwtch (hug), but we've garnered a bit of a reputation for being a particularly friendly lot. We pride ourselves on being open and inclusive – but don't take our word for it. Pay us a visit to experience a warm Welsh welcome for yourself.

We're welcoming

Welcoming Cardiff

  • Over 90 languages are spoken here
  • 2nd friendliest city in the UK (giffgaff)
  • Homeless World Cup hosts 2019
  • Top 10 most welcoming cities in the UK (Unbroken Britain)

We’re wild

Ready for an adventure? With Brecon Beacons National Park just an hour north of the city centre, and miles of golden coastline to the west, Cardiff is the perfect launchpad. Plus, with over 330 parks and gardens, we boast more green space per person than any other UK core city.

A hiker summits Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales

Our students love:

  • Picnics in Bute Park and walking the Taff Trail
  • Descending into the otherworldly Dan yr Ogof caves

We’re legendary

For Europe’s youngest capital city, we sure have a lot of history. The surrounding region is peppered with medieval settlements, ancient ruins and impressive forts – and you’ll find Cardiff Castle smack bang in the centre of town.

Our students love:

  • Saint Fagans – Museum of the Year 2019
  • Unesco World Heritage Site, The Big Pit National Coal Museum
  • Caerphilly Castle – the biggest castle in Wales
  • Seeing history come to life at Cosmeston Medieval Village

We’re cultured

Want West End shows, creative workshops and up-and-coming comedy? We’ve got you covered. We’re particularly proud of our iconic Wales Millennium Centre, lovingly known as ‘the armadillo’. Annual festivals such as Tafwyl celebrate the Welsh arts and there are plenty of opportunities to learn our growing language.

Our students love:

  • Chapter Arts Centre for indie films and plays
  • The Sherman or New Theatre for cutting-edge and classic shows
  • Glee Club for top-notch stand-up comedy

We’re active

From the Six Nations to the Cardiff Half Marathon, our streets, stadiums and sports centres regularly host world-class athletes and must-see events. But don’t stay on the sidelines – we have an Olympic-standard white water centre, ice rink, climbing facilities and countless sports clubs to keep you busy.

TeamCardiff at the 2022 Cardiff Half Marathon

Our students love:

  • Watching a rugby match at Principality Stadium
  • Hopping on a OVObike to see the city on wheels
  • Running Cardiff Half Marathon as part of the university’s #TeamCardiff

We’re food lovers

With cool cafes, street food stalls and much-loved farmers markets, Cardiff's growing food and drink scene serves up so much more than Welsh cakes – though they're pretty delicious too. Take your pick from Danish pastries, Indian street food, authentic Italian pasta and more – what else would you expect from such a cosmopolitan city?

Our students love:

  • Grabbing a slice of the action at Ffwrnes pizzeria in Cardiff Market
  • Trying inventive Welsh beers at the Tiny Rebel bar
  • Tucking into coffee and cake at one of our Waterloo Tea cafes

We’re fun

Whether you want to dance the night away to the latest pop hits or catch an unsigned band at an intimate gig, you can craft your perfect night in Cardiff. The city proudly holds Purple Flag status, meaning our pubs, clubs, bars and music venues are diverse, safe and welcoming for all.

Clwb Ifor Bach

Our students love:

  • Seeing undiscovered bands at Clwb Ifor Bach
  • Live music and alternative acts at Tramshed and Depot
  • Living it up at LGBT+ venue Pulse

We’re trend setters

The Welsh capital offers shoppers a tempting blend of big brands, department stores, indie shops and pop-ups. Wander through our Victorian arcades to discover art galleries, vintage clothing, incense-filled trinket shops and the world’s oldest record store; then explore historic Cardiff Market, where you’ll find anything from fishmongers to fortune tellers.

Our students love:

  • Stocking up on essentials at Ripple Living, Cardiff’s first zero-waste shop
  • Learning about all things retro at the annual Vintage for Victory festival
  • Finding the latest fashions at St David’s shopping centre

Find out about Open Days and visits

If you are unable to visit, discover more about the University and the city of Cardiff through our interactive online tour.