Living in Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and also its largest city. It is a medium-sized city, which retains a distinct community atmosphere. Residents can enjoy the attractions of capital city living, while benefitting from a compact urban area, plenty of green spaces and a low crime rate. Having undergone a series of regeneration projects in recent decades, Cardiff continues to flourish. There has never been a better time to live and work here.
Location & Transport
With close proximity to rural landscapes and national parks, as well as other large towns and cities, Cardiff offers the best of both worlds. Towns like Bristol, Swansea and Hereford can all be reached in under an hour, making their attractions easily accessible to Cardiff residents. Around 25 miles north of the city you can find the Brecon Beacons National Park, an area of breath-taking natural beauty. Cardiff is also located on the South Wales coast, with the ever-popular Cardiff Bay and Penarth easily reachable from the centre of the city, and beaches just a short journey away.
Cardiff’s convenient location has resulted in excellent transport links, with the M4 motorway running from West Wales to London, and a train station that serves over 11 million people each year. There is also an international airport with links to cities across Europe. A new transport hub is currently under construction to improve travel links within the city.
Leisure & Culture
Cardiff’s recent economic success has been largely based in the retail and leisure sectors. The city centre boasts a vast array of shops, which has led to Cardiff being named the best UK city for shopping. There are also an ever-increasing number of diverse bars and restaurants, both in the city centre and dotted around the city’s residential areas.
There is also a vibrant scene of culture and entertainment. Venues such as the Millennium Stadium, Motorpoint Arena and Wales Millennium Centre have played host to international stars and famous productions of all varieties, while smaller venues such as Chapter Arts Centre, Sherman Cymru and Penarth Pier Pavillion tend to have a more local focus.
The city is well-known for its love of sport, so unsurprisingly this is area is well catered-for whether you’re participating or just spectating. As well as being the home of Wales’ national football and rugby union teams, you can also catch Cardiff City Football Club, Cardiff Blues rugby union side and Glamorgan County Cricket Club in action very close to the city centre. The city has also hosted major sporting events such Rugby World Cup and Ashes fixtures, with more planned in the near future.
Environment & Safety
Cardiff has received many accolades relating to its clean and safe environment in recent years. It currently has the most green space of any UK urban area and has also managed to significantly reduce levels of air pollution over the last decade, with a continuing trend towards sustainable transport. The city has also been voted as the top UK city of the quality and cleanliness of its public spaces.
There is an extremely low crime rate in Cardiff, making it one of the UK’s safest cities, and instances of violent crime are particularly rare. Crime against students is much lower here than in other places with a student population of a similar size.
The current population is just under 350,000, and the overall student population is estimated at around 50,000. The population is the fastest growing of any major UK city, as many people are attracted to the local lifestyle. Cardiff is also an extremely diverse city, and is known to be friendly and welcoming to new people.
The local economy in Cardiff is the strongest in Wales, and many people travel from surrounding areas to work in Cardiff. An increasing number of businesses both large and small are being attracted to Cardiff, with organisations such as Cardiff University, City of Cardiff Council and the Welsh Assembly Government actively encouraging new and innovative projects, as well as offering a variety of employment opportunities themselves.
The cost of living in Cardiff is among the lowest of any UK city, which has led to regularly being named among the most ‘affordable’ and ‘liveable’ cities, including in a survey carried out by the European Commission on resident satisfaction across the EU.
You can find videos about life in Cardiff on the University’s YouTube channel.