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Cardiff – City Guide

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The City

“Cardiff is the perfect student city, with cheap prices to match. Everything you could ever need it within walking distance but you still feel like you’ll never have time to see it all. With a mix of big clubs and independent ones, nights out are always unique with a wide range of events being hosted every night of the week. However, there are many experiences you can have whilst sober! The city holds many cultural gems, whether it be museums, the castle or the individual shops in the Victorian arcades, there is something for everyone.”

Things To Do

There’s loads to keep you busy around the city.

  • Home to St David’s shopping centre, Cardiff is one of the best places to shop in the UK. With mainstream shops like River Island and Topshop and independent shops in the arcades, there’s a wide range of shops to explore which could easily fill a whole day.
  • Cardiff Bay is a top attraction in Wales, home to many restauraunts, bars, a comedy club, a cinema and water activities, it appeals to everyone. You can take a ride out on a boat or sip cocktails overlooking the beautiful bay, and is a great place to take your parents when they visit you.
  • Cardiff Castle is in the centre of town. Taking in the history of the site is a must for anyone that lives in the capital, and with tours running everyday and plenty to see, it’s a perfect break from uni work!
  • X festival is a new event that has come to Bute Park, but has quickly attracted some of the biggest names in music. This summer students saw Flume, Craig David and Stormzy along with many others. With multiple tents and a festival vibe, it’s a great way to celebrate the end of a uni year!

For those into sport:

  • The newly named Principality stadium holds many big sports events. International rugby matches are a regular thing here, attracting thousands of fans from all over the world. Wales is regularly associated with rugby, so even if you’re not a big rugby fan, it is an experience you have to have!

2015_World_Cup_-_Rugby_ball_at_Cardiff_Castle

Arts & Culture

Buff up on your history:

  • The National Museum Wales is situated right next to the main University campus and regularly holds exhibitions along with a large art gallery. So if you want to come face to face with a dinosaur, this is the place to go!

If you’re looking for a lighthearted evening: 

  • The Glee Club is perfect. No, it’s not the a cappella club from the TV show but rather a comedy club in Cardiff Bay! It hosts some big names in comedy, like Michael McIntyre and Jack Whitehall. They also have comedy evenings for up and coming comedians, a great evening out for everyone.

If you want to experience new film and some good old culture:

  • Chapter Arts Centre in Canton is the place to indulge in Cardiff’s cultural scene. There’s different events every week as well as  galleries, performances and movies. Contemporary art? Check. Welsh classes? Check. Frozen sing-along? Check.

And if you want to visit the theatre:

  • Aside from being a beautiful looking building, the Wales Millenium Centre hosts musicals, Broadway shows and music performances. It attracts big names from all over the world for affordable tickets prices, who needs London or New York when you have Cardiff?

Music & Nightlife

Attracting some big chains of nightclubs like Pryzm and Tiger Tiger, Cardiff has some great nightlife. However, it can be easily to overlook the smaller, unique places which host some of the best events in the city.

  • Cwlb Ifor Bach, also affectionately known as the Welsh club (mainly by those who can’t pronounce it) is a great little club which hosts ‘dirty pop’ nights along with ‘souljam’. This wide variety means there is always something that draws you in.
  • If you’re someone that enjoys dancing into the early hours, the Full Moon Club just opposite the cobbled path is open till 4am, hosting individual music acts and serving cheaply priced drinks.
  • If you fancy a more sophisticated night then ending up on Queen Street eating a McDonalds, Buffalo is right up your street. Serving delicious cocktails in their lounge, you can sit back on a vintage sofa and sip away till your heart’s content. They also host great club nights, and show big sporting events, so whether your new halls flat mates are rugby players or clubbing fanatics, it’s the perfect place to bond with them.
  • One of the most popular nights out for students is Sync at Revolution on a Tuesday night. Failure to get there by 10pm leaves you standing in the queue that goes round the building, but it’s worth the wait. With two floors and flavoured vodka shots that make you forget you’re drinking alcohol, it’s the perfect club.

So, you thought bingo was just for old people?

  • Wrong. Depot hosts ‘Bingo Lingo’ every Friday. But this is not your usual game of bingo, expect alcohol and dancing between rounds along with big cash prizes to be won, its an alternative to a usual night out.

And don’t forget!

  • You can’t say music in Cardiff without also mentioning Live Lounge. Hosting acts from all over Wales and beyond, this is a great place to find new music. It also acts as an alternative to those who don’t particularly enjoy the typical clubbing music

Cardiff_Bay_WMC

Places to Eat

With a food section in St David’s centre and other restaurants dotted all over the city, there is something for everyone’s appetite.

  • Bar 44 is situated just next to the Principality Stadium and serves traditional Spanish tapas. Take a few friends and order multiple dishes for you all to share, or take your date there for a romantic evening. The cocktails are great too.
  • If you’ve woken up with a banging headache and feeling nauseous after a night out, Stag Coffee is the perfect place to go. With their big fry up and freshly brewed coffee this is a great place to recover.  Located in student village Cathays, you won’t have to crawl that far. They also provide blankets if you want to cozy up outside.

Cathays is also home to many pubs, and sometimes pub grub is just what your stomach is calling for.

  • The Woodville is just a stones throw away from the university campus and is home to many sports and societies socials. It also serves great food and usually has deals on meals!
  • The Flora is also in the centre of Cathays, after being newly renovated their menu leaves you with tough choices to make, although their Sunday roast is a must-have.

Sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to get changed out of your pyjamas and trek to somewhere for food.

  • Deliveroo and JustEat are delivery services that will bring your favourite food to your door, say hello to Wagamamas in bed.

Top 5 Student Discounts in Cardiff

Naturally being a student means you’re usually strapped for cash. But why suffer? Use discounts to get what you need.

  • Unidays is the centre for student discounts, sign up online with your student email and receive discount codes for plenty of places, including Missguided, ASOS and Spotify.
  • Once a year St David’s centre holds a student lock in night, where stores give discounts on their products for students only. It’s a great night to grab yourself a bargain.
  • YO! Sushi offers 25% off to students.
  • Las Iguanas offer 25% off for students.
  • 2 meals for £7.99 at The Woodville pub, Cathays.

What’s On?

In the run up to Christmas there is lots going on in Cardiff, here are just a few:

  • International rugby matches are coming to the Principality stadium. Tickets are still available, or if you’re not into rugby, give that area a miss on match days!
  • The Cardiff Christmas market is back this year, open until the 23rd December it’s a great way to get yourself into the Christmas spirit. With a variety of food and alcohol stalls as well as places to buy gifts for everyone, you won’t be returning home for the Christmas holidays empty-handed.
  • Winter Wonderland is also returning, although not on the same scale as the London one, it’s still a lovely place to go. Offering ice-skating and hot chocolate, there is no way you can miss it.

Fancy seeing a concert? There are many this month.

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Holly Smith Editor

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