Get to Know Cardiff

The capital city of Wales has plenty to offer, whether you’re studying and living there, or just visiting.  Cardiff is a popular tourist attraction, and for good reason. The city itself boasts an eclectic mix of old and new culture, a lively food scene, and often hosts music and sport events.  It is surrounded by stunning countryside, making it an ideal destination for hikers, cyclists and water sports enthusiasts. There’s lots to see and do, even on a tight budget. Read on for some of our favourites.

Cardiff bay – photo by Nick Fewings onUnsplash




Go catch a sports game

Whether you are into football and wanting to watch a match at Cardiff City Stadium or wanting to change up your typical sports and catch an ice hockey game at the Viola Arena, there is plenty to fill the cups of sports fanatics in Cardiff! Both of these arenas offer a tour of the grounds for a low cost as well.


Try to escape

Escape room – this is a great activity to do during Fresher’s week, to get away from the crazy nightlife, and will also test your new relationships as you battle to escape using minimal clues! This Escape room is for 6 people who have to work together to solve the puzzles before the timer runs up. It is a fun and different way to spend an afternoon!


Time to get physical 

Cardiff is home to some really fun indoor activities that you may not have tried before. The Indoor Climbing Centre offers beginners courses – “No experience is necessary” is plastered on their website! Alternatively, dive into Cardiff’s exquisite rainforest and tackle the tropical 18-hole trail in Treetop Adventure Golf, and reward yourself with some food and drinks afterwards.




Visit the Four Waterfalls Valley – this is a 5.5 mile walk along uneven paths that lead to a place of immense beauty. If you are travelling in a group with a designated driver, you do not need to book. But if you are completing this alone and are needing transport, then the small group tours can pick you up from their location. You will see four stunning waterfalls within a fairly short walk of each other. It’s a an experience that you won’t forget.



Challenge yourself with a hike up Pen y Fan, which is the highest mountain in South Wales, at 886m. This peak lies in the heart of Brecon Beacons National Park, renowned for its breathtaking rugged mountain scenery and rolling green landscapes. The circular walk up Pen y Fan takes around two and half hours to complete, and is a moderately strenuous walk, with spectacular views at the top. The time it takes to reach the summit depends on your level of fitness and the pace you want to go at, so why not challenge yourself and do something different!
Pen y Fan, Brecon

Pen y Fan – Photo by Michael Austin on Unsplash




Cardiff Castle

You can’t leave Cardiff without visiting its imposing castle. Originally built in Roman times, the castle was totally transformed in the 19th century, by architect William Burges. He created lavish ornate interiors inspired by Gothic, Mediterranean and Arabian styles. View the extraordinary rooms, climb the Great Clock Tower and wander through the Mediterranean gardens. And don’t forget to explore the network of underground tunnels, which were used as air-raid shelters during World War II.

Cardiff Castle – Photo by Charlie Seaman on Unsplash

Eating out


The New York deli

Take a trip across the pond and grab a NYC sub-sandwich for your lunch. The menu is very diverse, with lots of vegan and vegetarian options to choose from, and gives you a taste of life in New York. Generous portions and reasonable prices make this a perfect spot for students, and a great place to mingle whilst exploring the city centre of Cardiff.

Anna Loka

Rated as some of the best vegan food in Cardiff, offering an abundance of choice from their colourful menu. At the heart of Anna Loka is chef, Hare Krishna monk and entrepreneur, Adam, who is passionate about spreading the message of veganism through delicious food! This is not just a place for vegans and vegetarians, it is for everyone, and is a great way to cut down on meat by having a plant-based meal out with your friends.

The Potted Pig

Located in the city centre in underground former bank vaults.  This original restaurant and gin lounge mixes modern British cuisine with French and New York influences. It serves seasonal, comforting food, and is the perfect spot for a Sunday roast, particularly after a strenuous walk up the mountains if you are feeling adventurous!


Coffee shops


Ground Bakery

Described by many as ‘the best coffee in Cardiff’, this is definitely one to tick off the list! Specialising in artisanal bread and delicious fresh homemade pastries to accompany your hot drink, this brunch spot is favoured by locals and always has a queue out the door!


For a taste of Denmark in the city centre of Cardiff, look no further! The founder, Betina Skovbro, moved from Denmark to Cardiff in 1998 and wanted to introduce the comfort of Danish bakeries, as she quickly began to miss the traditional bread and coffee shops of Denmark! Treat yourself to a tempting selection of typical Danish pastries, cakes and breads.


Find out more:

Visit Cardiff


Other places in this series:

Get to know Bournemouth

Get to know Brighton

Get to know Edinburgh

Get to know Oxford

Get to know London
10 fun affordable things to do in & around London

Get to know Nottingham