With an abundance of green spaces, buzzing nightlife, and world-famous rugby and football stadia, Cardiff offers an exciting lifestyle. Newly arrived parents will also find that the lifestyle in Cardiff is equally enjoyable for the little ones, as there are plenty of fun spots to explore.
Residents of the Welsh capital work to live rather than live to work, and this translates to a favourable work-life balance and a relaxed lifestyle.
Shopping in Cardiff
New arrivals who enjoy a regular dose of retail therapy are in for a treat. Whether shoppers are on a shoestring budget or looking for designer clothing, Cardiff has them covered.
The Cardiff arcades are excellent for affordable counter-culture shopping and much besides. Famous for its vintage clothing sales, Tramshed is a unique and savvy shopping experience, allowing patrons to pay a negligible entrance fee and grab all the goodies of their choice for a bargain per-kilo rate.
For high street and couture shopping, new arrivals should hit St. David’s Centre, Queen Street and Capitol Centre. These shopping districts are some of the biggest in Cardiff.
Eating out in Cardiff
Cardiff’s culinary scene is diverse and caters to every palate and budget under the sun. Fondly known as ‘the international food mile’, City Road in Roath is a foodie’s dream covering cuisines ranging from Mediterranean and Egyptian to Asian and Japanese.
The Spanish Triangle in Westgate Street is worth a visit for an authentic Catalan experience of tapas and afternoon bar hopping.
Voted the most fashionable place to live in Cardiff, Pontcanna is the centre of independent artisanal bakeries and plant-based eateries. Eco-conscious gourmands will love Cardiff Central Market for its affordable and sustainable local produce, wood-fired pizzas and micro cafes.
Nightlife in Cardiff
Nightlife in Cardiff is lively with regular stag dos and hen parties and an equally exciting array of nightclubs, bars and pubs located on St. Mary Street, Cardiff Bay and The Brewery Quarter.
Cardiff has a large student population, influencing its nightlife and making it one of the city's best features. That said, new arrivals who want to avoid the raucousness of the city centre can check out the alternative and elegant venues in Womanby Street, Grangetown and Penarth, among others.
Outdoor activities in Cardiff
Nature lovers and adventurists will be spoilt for choice in Cardiff as a result of its many public parks, botanical gardens, rivers and lakes. Thanks to River Taff and Cardiff Bay, there are plenty of water activities such as rafting, sailing and paddle boarding for newcomers to enjoy.
Those landlubbers who prefer hiking, cycling or picnicking should visit the Taff Trails, Bute Park and Roath Park Lake when the weather allows.
See and do in Cardiff
Cardiff's rich history and culture mean there is plenty to see and do in the city. Below is our list of favourites.
Located in Cardiff’s city centre, Cardiff Castle is a must-see for history and architecture lovers alike. This millenia-old castle was once a Roman fort and is now a viewing point with awe-inspiring panoramic views of Cardiff and endless activities newcomers and their families to indulge in.
National Museum Cardiff and St Fagans National Museum of History
These museums house some of the finest art collections in Europe and exhibit the evolution of Wales with a dinosaur and woolly mammoth gallery, which the kids are sure to love. The best part? Both museums are free.
Formerly known as The Millennium Stadium, Principality Stadium is the national stadium of Wales. Sports fanatics will love touring the iconic 74,000-seater stadium. Principality Stadium also regularly hosts international music concerts, graced by superstars such as Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé.
Wales Millennium Centre
Spanning four acres of Cardiff Bay, Wales Millennium Centre is a cultural hub like no other. Music lovers who visit the centre are in for an unforgettable experience of opera, ballet, musicals and world-renowned theatre productions.
New arrivals looking for a fun and educational afternoon out for the family should look no further than Techniquest. The educational centre has interactive science and astronomy tours enjoyed from the comfort of the science theatre.
What's on in Cardiff
Cardiff’s annual event calendar is jam-packed with festivals, sporting events and fairs for new arrivals from all walks to enjoy. Check out our favourite events in the Welsh capital below.
Six Nations Rugby (February/March)
Rugby is the biggest pastime in Wales and the Six Nations Rugby championship is at the heart of it. Every year, six of the top European rugby nations compete to restore or maintain their nation’s pride as Europe's best rugby team.
Tawyl Fair (June)
The Tawyl Fair celebrates the Welsh language, culture and food. The festival is held in Cardiff’s city centre and should definitely not be missed.
Pride Cymru (August)
Cardiff’s award-winning Pride Cymru is an annual festival where various communities come together to celebrate equality and diversity and support the LGBTQ+ community. The three-day weekend festivities, which include the main parade, draw in more than 50,000 participants each year.
Winter Wonderland (November/December)
Winter Wonderland kicks off Cardiff’s Christmas festivities in November with traditional food markets, fun fairs, and an ice rink creating magical Christmas spirit for the whole family to experience.
►Read Getting Around in Cardiff to learn more about public transport in the city
Are you an expat living in Cardiff?
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