A student guide to Cardiff
Cardiff is frequently found in ‘best place to live’ lists for students, and with so much to offer it is easy to see why. There’s something for everyone in the Welsh capital and it really is a fantastic place to be a student. So if you’re looking at applying to one of Cardiff’s universities or are about to start your first term, check out our student guide to get you up to speed with this great city.
Good Areas to Live
There’s a longstanding debate as to which side of the city-dividing river Taff is the best to live for students, as both offer a number of top choices. The central location of Cardiff University in particular means either side is a good option but Cathays in the East is a big student area and the Riverside in the West is home to some decent and cheap accommodation.
It’s widely considered that the buses are the best way to get about town. Regular local services run throughout the city with late buses available too. There are a number of train stations that connect across the districts, but also as you’d expect from a major city, there are direct routes to London and other parts of the UK.
Car owners might want to consider leaving their vehicles at home as most of the centre is closed to traffic, so in the long run it might not be worth having one. You also have the benefit of waterbus services that run along the river. These only operate until 5pm but are a very convenient way to avoid the busy streets.
Fans of cycling, rugby and football in particular can certainly make the most of what’s on offer in Cardiff. The famous Millennium Stadium is home to major sporting tournaments like the Six Nations and is Cardiff’s home ground for international games. Along with this, there are other impressive stadiums and venues like Cardiff City’s ground, Wales National Velodrome and a number of other arenas and parks which are host to some of Wales’ major sporting sides in basketball and cricket. Pretty much every sporting need can be accommodated in Cardiff.
Once again you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to art and cultural attractions in Cardiff. Perhaps the most famous of these is the historic and distinctive Cardiff Castle. Equally there are many museums and art galleries celebrating Wales’ history and exhibiting famous works and pieces. The National Museum is in fact just a short walk from Cardiff University campus.
Anyone who has been on a night out in Cardiff will tell you just how amazing it is. Both the older and newer parts of the city are home to hundreds of bars, venues, clubs and cafes. You’ll find most of the standard chain bars and clubs, but it’s the unique spots which you’ll really enjoy. The Full Moon is the best place to go for seeing bands and having a drink and for something a bit more upmarket, pay a visit to 10 Feet Tall and try some of their cocktails.
Places to Eat
It’s a similar story when it comes to food; much like London you can find a restaurant for almost every cuisine. For something special though, The Clink is a top-rated place for traditional food and the strangely named CF24 Project is championed among Cardiff’s students for its huge range of world foods on the menu.
Places to Shop
Along with a selection of high streets offering many different shopping opportunities, Cardiff also has a mix of the old and the new. St David’s Shopping Centre is a new development and is one of the country’s biggest indoor shopping malls. You can take a step back in time and visit one of the many old-fashioned Victoria and Edwardian arcades around the city. Whichever you prefer you can count on having a great time with so many shops and stalls to walk around and browse.
Students' life events ahead - A short animation
Students get 50% off
Self storage can help you during important life events and as a student, you've got many of those ahead of you.
Safestore is the UK's No. 1 provider for self storage with 105 stores nationwide offering secure and cost effective storage for student items.
Other student city guides...