Many residents of Cardiff will tell you that the city is an excellent place to live. It combines the advantages of living in a capital city with much cheaper living costs than a lot of cities in the UK. It really is hard not to love the capital of Wales. I have devised a list of what I believe are some of the best things our beloved home has to offer for virtually no money at all, so those overdrafts can still be used on the Queen Street Topshop!
Bute park is a huge piece of green land positioned in the centre of Cardiff. It's perfect for long scenic walks or gentle jogs to get yourself bikini ready in a pleasant environment. Embedded in this spacious park is a little café quite aptly called The Secret Garden Café where you can stop for hot drinks or ice cream. If you cover the whole area of the park you will also find the millennium bridge, plenty of fields ideal for sunbathing, a cricket ground, bicycle hire facilities amongst many other things. So go have yourself a mini adventure in Cardiff's answer to Hyde Park.
Cardiff Bay is just a short walk away from the centre of Cardiff, or if you looking for a more alternative mode of transport you are able to hop on a water taxi from Bute Park for just £2. At Cardiff Bay, you will find an array of restaurants pitched in front of the harbour to suit any budget and taste-buds. A personal favourite of mine is Eddie's dinner, where you can experience lunch with a view and pick up a burger and milkshake for under £10. You can also just enjoy sitting by the bay and take your own mini picnic as plenty of benches and seating areas are available. You will also find Millennium Centre a stone's throw away, here they sometimes offer free lunchtime performances so keep your eyes peeled for these.
Cardiff University Strength and Conditioning Centre
If your looking for a way to keep fit during your time at university but can't quite fork out the money for a gym membership then this is your solution. They offer over 25 classes a week, everything from LBT, yoga, pilates, zumba to extreme fat burning. There really is a class to suit everyone and with student discount it is just £3.20.
Barry Island is the place where well loved sitcom Gavin and Stacey was set. It is a picturesque seaside location, where you can spot all the locations of your most beloved scenes. For those true fans you have the opportunity to have your picture taken in the arcade booth where Nessa worked if you spend £2 in their souvenir shop. Without Gavin and Stacey, Barry Island is still a really sweet location to visit, and fish and chips on the beach is the perfect way to pass your time, especially during in the summer. Follow this up by a walk up the hill adjacent to the beach, here you will get a wonderful view of Wales.
The night life in Cardiff is most certainly one of the best in the UK. Coming from Birmingham, I was a little nervous about if my night outs at uni would be able to truly satisfy me. But, Cardiff didn't disappoint and student nights and student prices mean that you can go out pretty much any night of the week and not break the bank. Retro (where they filmed Stacey's hen do) on a Wednesday is my ultimate night out where drinks for 99p, non stop 90s classics and a corny DJ who once replaced the words “heyyy macarena” with “heyyy gonorrhoea” can be found. To me, that says it all, so go get yourself one of their famous OMG alcopops and have a night you won't forget (or remember).
Cardiff has plenty of places to visit if your looking to educate yourself further on the city's history, I am going to be focusing on two. The first being Cardiff castle, this is a fantastic way to view the city and take some tourist photos. You are actually able to visit the castle for free all year round as many times as you want if you can prove that you live in Cardiff. The next place that's well worth a visit is Cardiff's National Museum. This also offers free entry and hosts plenty of rooms for you to explore at your own leisure.
*This was originally published on Her Campus Cardiff. Available to view here.