Despite being home to only four universities in Wales’ capital city, Cardiff has done well to make it a student hotspot for those looking for affordable rent, cheap nights out and great transport links. The cost of living in the city is actually a lot cheaper than you might expect, especially if you compare it to London, and let’s find out why that is.

Cost of living in Cardiff

Cost of living in Cardiff
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Despite being the capital of Wales, Cardiff is actually the second cheapest place to be a student in the UK. Gosh, doesn’t that feel like a world away if you compare it to London or Edinburgh! Cardiff is also the twelfth-lowest in terms to overall living costs, making the price of rent, bills and shopping seem a mere percentage in comparison to what thousands of other students are paying across the UK.

According to the Natwest student index, the average student rent in the capital comes to £396.31 a month, with household bills coming in at just over £30 a month. With prices as low as these, it probably comes to no surprise that students in Wales also spend the most on alcohol per month in comparison to the rest of the UK.

However, unfortunately it can’t all be easy breezy when it comes to being a student with a budget. What students save in rent they spend on shopping and socialising, with the average in Cardiff being £52 a month in comparison to the UK average of £46.

Living in Cardiff as a student

Living in Cardiff as a student
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Famed for its rugby, parks and student nights, Cardiff has a lot more to offer than just extremely affordable rent costs. Despite it being a capital, the city hosts a welcoming and community atmosphere, which if you’re from London means actually getting a smile back on the tube for once! It has great transport links, local cafés filled with friendly regulars, and enough rugby games to fill the entirety of Welsh pubs with.

Cardiff also has some amazing clubs on offer, which may come as a surprise to those that have never been out in Wales before. Of course, you have your classic Spoons and The Alchemist, but how about some Cardiff-exclusives? Mostly situated on St Mary Street and Greyfriars Road in the central area of town, the bars and clubs, especially Metros and Live Lounge,  are packed each night, and you know what the best part is? A lot of them also offer 2-4-1 on cocktails!

There are also many beautiful parks that you can visit, whether that be for an autumn picnic or a hungover summer sun bathe. Bute Park and Roath Park are a favourite amongst students, making them a scenic, and basically free, day trip all in one.

Just like at any university, if you opt for private student accommodation, then you can expect to be paying slightly more than be average price we previously mentioned. However, it is a great option if you’re moving into first year and want to meet other like-minded students; luckily, Cardiff has some great student halls you can check out as well.

Cardiff vs London

Cardiff vs London
Source: Photo by Sabrina Mazzeo on Unsplash

Both capital cities, yet seemingly worlds apart from each other when it comes to costs. The average monthly rent for a student in London is £668.24, making it almost double what it is in Cardiff! With the average pint in London costing £4.44, and in Cardiff just £3.50, it comes to no surprise that the Welsh are such avid drinkers; they don’t need to enter their overdraft for a good night.

When it comes to travel costs, Cardiff also tops London in the cheapest competition, costing students more than half of what a monthly public transport ticket does. You take the cake yet again Cardiff, we hope it makes you very happy.

Living in Cardiff may not seem like everyone’s initial idea when planning to move away for university, however with such great prices and scenery, we’re surprised this hidden gem hasn’t been discovered any sooner – city life, without the city costs, what could be better?