There are plenty of amazing things that you can tick off your list when it comes to visiting Cardiff, places that you will just fall in love with. Living in such a cosmopolitan city allows for so many more opportunities not only in the city centre but the back streets, with lots of hidden gems waiting for people to enjoy. As a student who has lived in this city for almost two years, here are my suggestions for things cheap things to do in Cardiff.
If you think the city centre is enough, just wait until you visit Cardiff Bay. It’s so much fun venturing outside the comfort of the city and going to places such as the Wales Millenium Centre. The Bay itself is Europe’s BIGGEST waterfront development, and the Mermaid Quay supplies an abundance of cafes, restaurants and bars with a view visitors and locals can enjoy collectively.
Cardiff being the capital city it is means that is is the home to many significant sporting events such as the Six Nations rugby and football matches by home team Cardiff City. It has also hosted many boxing matches, and motorsport competitions as well. The atmosphere of the stadium and surrounding bars and pubs are just immense when you are surrounded by major supporters. As a student, you start to become much more of a sports fan than you would’ve first thought!
Flamingos Vintage Shop
This is quite possibly one of my favourite little intricate stores that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting! It is one of the best places in Cardiff to find and sell vintage clothing, and is the best for a student budget. They do a ‘Kilo Price’ where you can grab stuff off the rails for a slashed price! Not to mention, it is an extremely ethical and eco-friendly way of promoting style and fashion! Located in the Capitol Shopping Centre, it is on the other side of Cardiff’s bustling shopping promenades. A highly recommendable place for friends or anyone who loves clothes.
These arcades make Cardiff stand out as a city. They combine not only the modern architecture but the old fashioned style that shows Cardiff’s history and prominence to Welsh culture. These seven Victorian and Edwardian arcades house some of the most luxurious brands within the high street as well as independent competitors, making them truly an experience like no other shopping center. From cute coffee shops, bookstores, you can find a surprise as you meander around these arcades!
The museum is also a real treasure to Cardiff, located not far from the university’s main building and students union. It hosts an array of exhibitions, artworks, sculptures, and artefacts from the depths of history. . It is such a nice place to unwind and not only is it free for entry, but it is also a relatively large building with plenty to enjoy. There is so much rich history here to unpick, and I have found it useful to come here as part of my degree.
Bute Park is definitely hard to miss, due to its prominence on any map you may see of Cardiff. It hosts some unbelievable events from carnivals to mini-festivals such as Inside Out. It is a great place to have a picnic in the summer months, a run in the evenings or a long walk in the winter. There are a lot of walk paths, and a hidden cafe, and not far from the main high streets of Cardiff. It shows Cardiff’s diversity, an example of how the one city can go from the bustling city centre, to luscious countryside within a small distance.
St Marys Street
This road itself is one of the most thriving places for students, where a lot of the best bars, clubs and pubs are generally located. It is so central to Cardiff, and not too far from the bus stops and the main Cardiff station. If you need a place to meet your family or friends, this is the perfect location where you can’t really get lost; unless that is lost in awe at how beautiful this road is when it is dark, and the lights come on, or when the sun is shining, and the Welsh flags can be seen from afar.
St Davids Shopping Centre
Shopping is such a necessity, whether it’s to get the essentials or luxuries. It might be an SU Wednesday night out outfit, or 3 for 1 bath products from Wilko that you have just run out of, or maybe even extra storage for all the books you need for your degree! St Davids has all of the shops you could ask for, including some real hidden gems, and it is only a short distance walk away. Also, since COVID-19 has crashed a lot of businesses, it is important to continue to support stores to allow them to stay open!
The ‘Woody’ is one of the more popular student pubs around the city, and is somewhere I can hand on heart say is such a treat to visit. Not only have we got a great pub, but an amazing strip of road which is also filled with smiley student faces. There are some great places to visit along this road, such as ‘The Early Bird’ cafe for scrumptious breakfasts and lunches, the Irie Shack for amazing Caribbean cuisine and socials.
The Live Lounge
Is it even a good student night out without mentioning one of my favourite places; Live Lounge. It is essentially a music bar serving food and drinks and has around 4 performances a day, ranging from artists to DJs until 4am. It is jam-packed with students and locals belting to the best musical numbers, it has happy hours to buy cheap drinks and has seating so if you aren’t feeling up to dancing, you can sit comfortably and enjoy the atmosphere.
Still looking for more cheap things to do in Cardiff and other UK cities? Then check out our guide, Boredom to Fun: 50 fun activities for a cheap day out.