As big as Cardiff may be as a city, there are still many places that even a local may not have originally discovered or considered on the lines of a ‘hidden gem’. The hidden gems that I managed to obtain on this list are extremely random ranging from large in area that you could consider a massive part of Cardiff and the culture, and some that you may not have even dreamed of including. I tried to range it from food to clubs and some of its beautiful natural landscape as Cardiff thrives in not only being a student city, but a capital bursting with innovation.
Roath as a place is simply stunning. The park is definitely up there as a hidden gem, as Bute Park holds a card close to my chest as it is so big and so amazing to go on runs and walk into the heart of the city. Roath is just as amazing and perfect for relaxation with other students or on your own. It is extremely tranquil, and a place for stress relief and fun activities with your housemates- whatever you fancy. Even if you are just after a long late-night stroll, it can cater for all your needs.
I adore the arcades that Cardiff has managed to incorporate into its modernized shopping centre known as St Davids. It hosts some of the most wonderful independent chain coffee shops and bookstores, and it was somewhere that I discovered when I first moved to Cardiff and fell in love with. It keeps its rustic look but manages to look so enticing, especially at night when the lights are on!
I never even knew this cafe existed! It is right in the centre of Bute, and it was only on a spontaneous walk with one of my best friends, that I saw this tucked away cafe and decided that I needed to speak about it. They have lovely coffees and cakes, as well as an amazing exterior that has a vintage feel to it. You wouldn’t necessarily spot this unless you delve right into the middle of the park, but it is somewhere again, where you can put your feet up properly, and relax.
4. Albany Road – in particular, the charity shops
Albany Road has a lot of different shops on the street, but what stands out the most to me as a hidden gem are the charity shops. As a student, buying clothes is not a necessity. However, I have found some absolutely stunning jumpers and dresses amongst these stores, and I have been back so many times, and I will happily continue to search for the bargains, instead of spending loads on clothes in the shopping centre as it is helping charities, it is also helping our bank accounts and helping keep alive the thrifting industry, second-hand clothing and sustainability!
This club is one hell of a place to go for a student night out, as they have themed nights every week that are really fun, and not too expensive. It also hosts live music & club nights from international and local bands and DJ’s & artists across 3 floors. I didn’t really know of this place until further into my study, as I had only really heard of the SU, Live Lounge and Pryzm for actual nights out in the beginning, but this truly is a gem of a location to enjoy with your uni friends for a fabulous night out!
6. Cardiff Market
Cardiff Markets are also quite a treat, as they host a variety of stalls from fish, to boots, scarfs and records! A whole abundance of items can be found here, and it is nice to have a wander when you are in town to have a look round. It is also very large,, so there is always more to enjoy around every corner. I have definitely been a few times sourcing presents for friends and family.
SODA is another place that I wouldn’t have expected to have loved as much as I had. It is quite a small bar with a few rooms for dancing, nothing too complex, and well-known for hosting Cardiff Mets sports socials. I went in after work and for a night out with friends and had enjoyed every element of it- the drinks weren’t too expensive, the entry was decent and the music so enjoyable! A standard club that has a lot to offer.
Cardiff has a lot of different coffee shops; from chains to independent. Along one of Cardiff University’s well-known roads- Crwys Road, has a lot of different kinds of wonders whether that be a pub or hairdressers, but Elmer’s Cafe is a different level of good. For a coffee shop, it is so reasonably priced particularly for students, and it has a menu full to bursting with a range of goodies from all-day breakfasts to sandwiches. The outside seating is so lovely with bunting and comfortable cushions; it is perfect for sitting and getting on with deadlines or catching up with a friend!