A Student's Guide to Cardiff
I have to admit something about this post: I did not expect it to turn out to be a guide. My goal was to show you a little bit of my life, but in looking through my pictures, I realized I did so much! Instead of just telling you what I did, but I hope this will help everyone else who wants to visit Cardiff and really explore everything it has to offer. This is definitely a longer post, but I have loads of pictures for you.
Cardiff is the most amazing city. It was so fun to live there as a student. It is vibrant and there always seems to be something going on. There is a market on weekends and a castle smack-dab in the middle of the city centre. What else could you ask for?
Cardiff has so many beautiful parks to explore. There is so much green space to walk around and enjoy.
Bute Park is outside the castle. It is an expansive space that belongs to the citizens of Cardiff. When I went in May, the cherry blossoms that are oh-so-popular with Instagram influencers were all over the place, so it was a wonderful walk. From there, you can also take a short boat tour directly to the bay.
I lived near Roath park, and I’m sad to say I didn’t make use of it. There is a man-made lake in the middle, a rose garden, a small botanical garden, and a giant playground for kids. When the weather is nice, you can rent canoes and paddle boats (so fun) on the lake.
Obviously, there is so much more to do than this. The castle should be on the list, but I’m dedicated a whole post to that later on.
My sister and I went on the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour. I always think these bus tours are a great way to see a city and pinpoint what you actually want to see. It’s not as extensive as London or Paris, but it got us around to all the best parts quickly!
Cardiff Bay is a must-see. There are so many beautiful buildings and so much to eat and see and do. The Norwegian Church where Roald Dahl was baptised is also on the bay.
One of the highlights of my year was the Christmas Market. Unfortunately, I cannot find any pictures from it. There were so many unique vendors (I bought SO much cheese) tailored to everything you could possibly want. I also picked up a lot of little Christmas gifts.
I would like to preface this by saying these places are the ones I had the best experiences at. I also have a peanut and nut allergy, so these are safe places for people like me!
Along one of the side streets in City Centre is a little café called Servini’s. My friend Ellie and I went here a few times after little shopping excursions. They also have the most divine milkshakes.
My friends know the owners of a bar called Penny Royal. This place is great for chilled out drinks with friends. Their drinks are all specialty. They’re certainly on the pricey side, but they’re stronger than what you would expect from a typical bar. We also got friendly with the bartenders who had so much passion and knowledge for what they do. It was unlike any other place I have ever been to. If the drinks weren’t yummy enough, this is worth it just for the atmosphere.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Cardiff on a hot day, then the Bay is where you need to go for drinks. Matt and a friend of ours came to see me, and we decided to take the walk to the bay and sit out on a patio and have some beers. I think one of the best parts of the UK is how the sun really draws people outside to enjoy the Vitamin D.
If you love the theatre, then definitely check out New Theatre. I went to see The Sound of Music this year, and it was fabulous. It’s also conveniently located in the city centre as well.
For a cheaper option, there are so many movie theaters where you pay practically nothing to see a film. At the beginning of the year, my house went to see about five movies when we didn’t have Internet. I would cringe if I did that at home, but it’s so cheap in Cardiff that it doesn’t matter!
Bingo Lingo is a fan favourite. Every Friday night, a warehouse is filled with massive picnic tables, and the place is suited up for a wild night of bingo. There are ridiculous prizes ranging from a cardboard cutout of Megan and Harry to a canoe to cash. People are standing on tables and singing the best songs, and it is a night to remember. It’s all ages as well, so it’s fun for absolutely everyone.
So there it is! That is Cardiff as I know it. Like I said, it’s a vibrant and charming place to live. I am so lucky to have lived there this past year. I cannot wait to go back!