Cardiff being the capital it is, hosts a lot of free entertainment as well as from its natural scenery. Here is a list which compiles some of the best places for a student to enjoy during free time and if money spending were an issue.
1. National Museum
The museum is probably one of the most interesting and useful for studying as well as to pass the time by. The gallery upstairs is also a must place to visit as it hosts some of the best Welsh painters of the nineteenth-twenty first centuries. The museum is always hosting events and adding to collections, so there will always be new exhibitions to be enjoyed here. It is also somewhere to go with course friends, housemates or even for a date because going around once there is always more to be enjoyed!
2. Mermaid Quay/ Cardiff Bay
Mermaid Quay and Cardiff Bay itself are so breathtakingly beautiful locations. It is such a chic and cosmopolitan atmosphere, with plenty to do such as the Welsh Millenium Centre, some of the restaurants along the strip such as Nandos, and Zizzi’s, The Everyman Cinema for the perfect screenings, and the Glee – Cardiff’s first comedy club. Cardiff Bay being such a large waterfront allows for many visitors and has a lot of boat trips and cultural attractions to be enjoyed here, as a student.
3. Bute Park/Roath Park
I couldn’t think of anything more exciting than taking a pleasantry walk along either Bute or Roath in any of the seasons. These parks are very similar but separate sides of Cardiff with Bute being more towards town and Roath being nearer to students-ville known as Cathays. There is so much green space to enjoy picnics, and the landscaped gardens are great for de-stress strolls after a stressful day of uni and working, an amazing place to be creative and take photographs or do exercise- the list is endless.
4. Norwegian Church Arts Centre
The Norwegian Church Arts Centre is a registered charity and is an iconic, landmark building in Cardiff Bay, which has such glorious views across the bay waterfront. The Norsk Cafe Bar and Terrace serves great coffee and tea, plus stunning food by street-food specialists Yorkshire Wrap in a chilled out environment. The Hall hosts everything from meetings and weddings to live performances, and you can experience exhibitions and a seasonal craft shop in the Gallery upstairs. It’s a cultural hub and a place where you can learn about the history of the Bay and the heritage of the building itself. A visit is highly recommended… and did you know that legendary children’s author Roald Dahl was baptised at the Norwegian Church? You do now.
5. Barry Island Beach
Barry Island itself is only a short distance away, whether by train or by bus. The beaches of barry are incredible, and obviously free of charge to enter. I would recommend a day trip to Barry as there is also a pier to endeavour as well as lots of scenic walks. A trip with housemates should definitely be on the cards at some point of the year, as visiting Barry is a must especially as a student and potentially watching lots of Gavin and Stacey!