Cardiff is one of the most affordable student cities in the UK according to the NatWest Student Living Index. The city is known for its affordable accommodation cost and their students earn more than from part time work compared with other students in the UK.
Cardiff has a vibrant nightlife, with lively bars to enjoy music and relax on a Friday night. Local Welsh pubs are also popular for craft beers and crisp ciders. If you’re looking for a place to study after campus hours, plenty of cafes in Cardiff are open late into the night.
Cardiff University is also one of the UK's top universities, ranking 23rd in the UK based on QS World University Rankings in 2020.
Here are some affordable food options near Cardiff’s city centre.
Kemi’s Pontcanna - Kemi’s Pontcanna is recommended by Cardiff locals for fresh coffee and it’s tasty vegan food, including wraps, salads and warm chickpea soup for £5 to £8. If you’re still hungry, try their fruit pies and homemade cakes fresh from the oven.
Sully’s Cafe - This warmly lit cafe has served traditional Cardiff food since 1970. You can feast on a great English breakfast of eggs, bacon and salted mushrooms for £6. Sully’s is also popular for jacket potatoes roasted with warm cheese or chicken curry.
Wok-ker Shaker - This restaurant is popular in Cardiff for authentic Malaysian food. Chefs there cook up Malaysian favourites like Nasi Lemak, rendang and Char Kway Teow for less than £5, served with classic Malaysian drinks like Teh Tarik.
Chai Street - Chai Street is perfect for Indian comfort food. They pair warm Biryani rice with various curries from lamb to Tikka Masala. They also have flame grill kebabs and Tandoori chicken with a side of fluffy naan. Dishes cost between £5 to £14 there.
Riverside Market - This relaxing riverside market runs along the clear River Taff. The local vendors sell a variety of fresh food from Japanese Bento, homemade british tarts to egg Biryani.
Cardiff Market - The Cardiff Market is a dazzling indoor market filled with traditional Welsh food and artisan coffee. It’s also a nice spot to take photos with lanes of colorful clothing and trinket stalls throughout the market.
You can easily navigate through the city by bus or train. Students can apply for an IFF Card for free to access these public transport systems. Renting a bike is also a viable option, since Cardiff is a smaller city compared with London and Manchester.
Instagrammable Places in Cardiff
Places to take amazing photos in Cardiff
Get lost in the dazzling lanes of victorian-era shops at Morgan Arcade.
Image credit: Instagram @capturecardiff
Admire Cathays Park in full bloom and elegant stone architecture around the park.
Image credit: Instagram @stevie_8820
Enjoy the old world charm of Cardiff Castle and the amazing view of frozen lakes during winter.
Image credit: Instagram @cardiff_castle
Cardiff University is filled with gorgeous 18th century architecture that you can admire for hours on end!
Image credit: Instagram @cardiffuni
Go on a Road Trip
Travel further outside Cardiff’s city center for graduation trips or mini-vacations
Pembrokeshire Coast - The drive to Pembrokeshire Coast will take you past breathtaking coastal roads overlooking the ocean. You can also explore hidden beach coves, rock pools and windy cliffs near the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Great Malvern - Great Malvern is a cosy british town surrounded by rolling hills and miles of farmland. You can enjoy biking and even horse riding around the village. Greater Malvern is also popular for various authentic Italian restaurants and local pie shops.
Weston Super-mare - Weston Super-mare is a breezy seaside resort a few hours from Cardiff. Adventure seekers will love outdoor water sports and kite surfing, while food lovers can try out fruit scones and homemade cakes in cafes nearby.