The Ultimate Guide to Living and Working in Cardiff
Here is everything you need to know about Cardiff, use the list below to jump between the relevant sections!
House price’s in Cardiff
Is Cardiff a nice place to live?
Is Cardiff safe?
The best neighbourhoods to live in, in Cardiff
Travelling in Cardiff
What are the schools like in Cardiff?
Universities in Cardiff
Eating and drinking in Cardiff
Shopping in Cardiff
Hotels in Cardiff
Top 10 things to do in Cardiff
Cardiff is the largest city and capital of Wales In 75 AD the Romans built a fort, which is where the famous Cardiff Castle stands today. Cardiff is located in the South of Wales and boasts the iconic Cardiff Bay and marina on the Bristol Channel.
The fastest route to Cardiff from London is via the M4 which will take you 2.5 to 3.5hrs via car during quiet hours.
In the 2011 census it was reported that there were 335,145 residents living in Cardiff. Cardiff’s population has risen dramatically since the 1970’s and it is estimated that in 2020 there are 477,627 residents living in Cardiff today.
On average house prices in Cardiff have fallen by -£5,760 over the past 12 months according to Zoopla September 2020. Of the 2,543 sales that have been processed the average price paid for a property stood at £249,214 and the average worth as estimated by Zoopla is £249,382 which is an extremely close estimate to the average price paid.
Average Detached House Price in Cardiff
Buying a detatched house in Cardiff will set you back around £408,608 as this was the average price paid by homeowners over the last 12 months. The Zoopla estimate for a detached house price is £407,584 which shows that home buyers are more than likely paying slightly over the asking price currently. In saying this, over the past 12 months of 401 sales, Zoopla has estimated a value change of –6.10%.
Average Semi-Detached House Price in Cardiff
There were 747 sales over the past 12 months of semi-detached properties in Cardiff. The average price paid was £263,644 where Zoopla estimates the current average value to be worth £258,050. The value change has decreased slightly according to Zoopla’s value change at –3.84%.
Average Terraced House Price in Cardiff
Cardiff saw 893 terraced house sales over the past year with the average price paid standing at £222,136. Zoopla currently estimates terraced house prices in Cardiff to be worth £214,890 which saw a value change of -2.16%.
Average Flat Price in Cardiff
There was a value change of -7.63% from 498 sales over the past year of flat prices in Cardiff. The average Cardiff flat buyer paid out £147,498 for their property but Zoopla currently estimates the current average value to be much higher at £162,432.
Renting in Cardiff
The median rent of all properties is £750pcm according to home.co.uk and the average totaling at £914pcm. You can expect to pay around £433pcm for a room in Cardiff, £737pcm for a flat and £1,200pcm for a house. These figures are all sourced from home.co.uk as the median rent in Cardiff September 2020.
The Independent reported in March 2019 that Cardiff made number 8 in the top 10 happiest places to live in Wales according to the Royal Mail UK Happiness Index. “Cardiff is a great city if you love nature. There are lots of parks, mountains to the north, the coast to the south, and castles all around.” These are the words of Helia Phonenix a Cardiff born blogger writing for The Guardian.
She also mentions how cheap the city is to live in, especially it being a capital in comparison to London which is around 3 hours away which may be why Cardiff was also voted the most sociable city in the UK. However, she does warn potential new residents that the roads and rush hour can become grid locked and become a risk to cyclists as well as advice to avoid the centre after dark unless wild hen and stag dos is your thing!
There were around 1,200 reports of crime each month in central Cardiff according to UK Crime Stats. Taking the lead of reported crime each month was anti-social behaviour which peaked in March 2020, the beginning of the UK lockdown caused by coronavirus. Burglary, robbery and vehicle crime all came in pretty low in the number of reported crimes over the last few months also.
There are many desirable neighbourhoods to live in, in Cardiff with the locals describing it to have a village like feel about the place. Take a look at these three great neighbourhoods below to begin your search!
Penylan is a great neighbourhood for families to relocate to due to the number of schools, parks and community spirit in the area. Take the kids for an ice cream at Roath Park Ice Cream Kiosk as a treat after school or tire them out to feed the ducks around the lake. Prices start around £250,000 for a three bed home in Penylan, Cardiff.
Cyncoed is one of the most affluent areas in Cardiff. It is one of the most expensive neighbourhoods residing in Cardiff as it boasts great views of the mountains beyond in the north and is located on the northern end of Roath park. There currently are 3 bedroom homes costing from as £160,000 on Rightmove currently (September 2020).
Llandaff is located in the north western part of Cardiff city and resides along the River Taff. Llandaff is perfect for those wanting to relocate to the quiet suburbs of the city but still want to be part of an active community with the local pubs and independent shops. Three bedrooms homes start from £180,000 in Llandaff, Cardiff.
Cardiff is very easy to explore as it isn’t a large city at only 140.3km²! Take a look at your options below:
Cardiff by Foot
Many areas around Cardiff city centre have become pedestrianised including the main shopping areas and the waterfront area of Cardiff Bay which are a leisurely 15 minute stroll away from one another. For the avid walkers we recommend you take the Taff Trail, a 60 mile trek from Cardiff Bay all the way to the Beacon.
Cardiff by Bus
Cardiff is run between three buses to cover the local area between Penarth, Barry, Caerphilly, Tongwynlais and the Valleys. Take a look Traveline Cymru to plan your route: https://www.traveline.cymru/
Cardiff by Train
There are 20 railway stations in Cardiff, transporting you between the Valleys, Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Central.
Cardiff by Bike
Cycling in Cardiff is easy as the city is so flat and compact but do be careful around rush hour. Take a look at Keeping Cardiff Moving for more information.
Cardiff by Water Bus
If you’re in Cardiff for a few days viewing Cardiff by the sea is a great way to get out and explore from a different point of view as the boat takes you along Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Bay. For more travel information take a look at the Cardiff visitors guide here: https://www.visitcardiff.com/visitor-info/getting-around/
Closest Airport to Cardiff
Bristol Airport is just 44km from Cardiff central and will take you just over an hour to reach the airport by taking the M4 onto the M49 and along the A roads to reach your destination. To reach Bristol Airport via train it will take you around an hour and a half currently.
Welsh schools can either be taught in Welsh, English or are Bilingual. Schools in Wales are monitored by a colour coded system that is in place to help support and improve the schools across the country. The schools are divided into four categories, green, yellow, amber and red. The schools that are green needing the least support from outside bodies and red needing the most, a school in the green category will receive up to four days of additional support and a school in the red category will receive up to 25 days of additional support. The colour coded system may benefit you and your family if you are moving in or around Wales.
Notable primary schools in Cardiff include St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Marlborough Primary School and St. Patrick’s Primary School. For secondary schools take a look at the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales School, Cardiff High School and Fitzalan High School.
There are two universities within Cardiff including, Cardiff University and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
Cardiff University pride themselves on fulfilling not just Wales but the world with their social, cultural and economic obligations which are driven by creativity and curiosity. Out of their 30,000 odd students 84% of them were satisfied with their university choice and 95.7% of graduates either entered employment or further education shortly after graduating. There are many courses available at Cardiff University including Business, Music, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Maths, Dentistry, Engineering, Medicine and Law!
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Cardiff Metropolitan University has routes dating back to 1865 and has recently achieved The Times Welsh University of the Year in their Good University Guide 2021, leaping up 33 places in comparison to last year! Study anything from the arts, education, management, sport and technology here.
The top three restaurants in Cardiff according to TripAdvisor are: (September 2020)
- De Courceys Manor
With 442 5* reviews and a Travellers Choice Award 2020 it’s easy to see why people have voted this restaurant as their favourite in Cardiff. The British/ Welsh menu offers you the opportunity to dine a la carte or enjoy a Sunday roast of which all the reviewers rave about!
- I Giardini di Sorrento Italian Restaurant
The head chef Gianni is from the Sorrentine Peninsula and ensures each of his homemade dishes delight the taste buds with authentic Italian food as the recipes have been handed down through generations. There are 729 5* reviews currently and we can’t wait to try it out!
- Cafe Du Chat Noir Ltd
This French restaurant serves up lots of traditional French dishes, light bites and delicious deserts too. Customers rave about the intimate, quirky area.
The top three rated pubs and bars in Cardiff according to TripAdvisor are:
- Elevens Bar & Grill
A lively sports bar in the middle of Cardiff city centre. This is the place to be if you love football, beer and pub grub in a stylish setting so you can really enjoy your time here.
- Mocka Lounge Cardiff
If award winning cocktails are your beverage of choice then head down to the Mocka Lounge. If you enjoy luxury you will fit right in, off work early for the weekend? Grab your friends for some light bites and cocktails to start your weekend!
- Gin and Juice
Gin and Juice offer their customers all day eating and drinking from their healthy get going breakfasts, tasty lunches and light dinners paired with over 200 gins! If gin isn’t your thing then take a sip of their delightful juices or Arabica coffees!
If you’re heading to Cardiff to go shopping then you will definitely need to spend the whole day doing so as Cardiff has plenty of shopping options. With over 150 shops, restaurants, cafes and places of entertainment St. David’s Dewi Sant is Cardiff’s biggest shopping centre. Queens Arcade is another shopping centre for you to explore which is located in the heart of the city centre and if you are after something unique check out the Bone Yard which is full of independent retailers. Take a look here for more information on shopping in Cardiff: https://www.visitcardiff.com/see-do/shopping/
These are the top three rated hotels in Cardiff according to TripAdvisor (September 2020)
- Hotel Indigo Cardiff
With 747 4.5* reviews on TripAdvisor Hotel Indigo have managed to secure the top spot! They have designed their boutique bedrooms to reflect Welsh heritage by embodying local art and natural materials. This is the perfect place to rest your head after wondering around the castle as it is located just a stone’s throw away.
- New House Country Hotel
This hotel is located on the very edge of Cardiff, nestled in the Welsh hills. Open fires, a welcoming restaurant and unrivalled views over Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
- Lincoln House Private Hotel
Retaining its original 1900s features Lincoln House bedrooms which are all individually decorated, it is also close to the city centre and has won a Travellers Choice 2020!
- Cardiff Castle
- Cardiff Bay
- Caerphilly Castle
- Wales Millennium Centre
- Principality Stadium
- Roath Park
- National Museum Cardiff
- Castle Coch
- Fagans National Museum of History