If you've recently moved to Cardiff, you've probably been so busy getting to grips with your courses and visiting all the pubs and clubs in the city, that you haven't fully experienced everything that the Welsh capital has to offer. To help you discover your new city, we've taken a look at the best things that all Freshers should do in Cardiff!
If you haven’t made the walk to Cardiff Bay yet (or made the even shorter train journey), then you’re missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of Cardiff. Home to the Millennium Centre, the National Assembly, ITV Studios, BBC Studios and a range of spectacular restaurants, Cardiff Bay is a brilliant place to spend a few hours. You could even watch a film or go bowling!
If you’ve been into the city centre on a match day you’ll know that it can be quite busy, so busy in fact that it could put you off leaving your home on match days altogether. If you were to do that though you’d miss out on the electric atmosphere inside and outside the Millennium Stadium (soon to be Principality Stadium) during a rugby game. You owe it to yourself to experience it at least once.
Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Story are two fantastic places to visit if you want to learn more about Cardiff’s history. What’s more, as a Cardiff resident you can sign up for a Cardiff Castle Key for £5 and get free entry into the castle for 3 years! You could also visit St Fagan’s if you fancy venturing outside of the city centre’s limits.
St David’s, Queen Street, Capitol and a wide selection of arcades mean you’ll never struggle to find somewhere you enjoy shopping! On those days where you find yourself with a bit of disposable income, why not look around for your new favourite shop? It could be anywhere!
There are so many theatres in Cardiff it would be criminal not see a show; after all, your time at university is the perfect opportunity to broaden your cultural knowledge. There’s the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) or Cardiff New Theatre for big budget plays and musicals, or the Sherman Cymru for smaller, more unique productions. If theatre isn’t your cup of tea, there are also a number of cinemas to keep you entertained. At the New Theatre, young people between the ages of 16 and 25 are able to get theatre tickets for £5 or £10 by signing up to react. Student deals for shows at the WMC vary from production to production, but it’s not unusual for them to offer discounts to students; performances by the Welsh National Opera also benefit from £5 tickets for those under 30!
There are plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from in Cardiff, which we guarantee is going to be 100% better than the pasta you plan on cooking again (and even if you decide to go out for Italian food, it’s likely going to be better than eating in). With restaurants like The Grazing Shed, The Clink and Giovanni’s, it would be foolish not to try some new cuisine every once in a while. City Road is also a hotspot to taste food from around the world.
Be it history or science, if you want to learn something new with your free time, you should definitely visit The National Museum of Wales which has dinosaurs (some bones were even found in the area!) or Techniquest, which hosts an adults only evening every couple of months, giving you the opportunity to take part in a bunch of hands-on science experiments.
Dr Who is possibly Cardiff’s greatest export, and the city has become home to a variety of Dr Who related landmarks due to the series (and various spinoffs) being filmed here. You can visit the Dr Who Experience, which features props from the TV show, taking you on an adventure through time and space. What’s even better is that students can get 20% off tickets! You can also visit Ianto’s Shine, a monument to Ianto Jones, a character in Torchwood, a Dr Who spinoff series which officially takes place in Cardiff. Yes, Dr Who is a huge part of Cardiff life.
If you don’t go to Cardiff Castle for the history, at least go for the ghosts! There are ghost tours that run in the castle on a regular basis, and last roughly two hours. On a standard trip, you’ll take a tour by torchlight around the empty castle, and hear tales of ghostly phenomena that have occurred. You may even catch a glimpse of a ghost yourself!
If you’re worn out from doing all the above activities, it’s time for you to relax and enjoy nature. There is plenty of greenspace in Cardiff including Bute Park and Roath Park, which are great for getting away from all the hustle and bustle of student life and just relaxing.
Before you know it, it’ll be time to start searching for student housing for your second year! At CPS Homes, we have a wide range of attractive properties available to rent now. For more information contact us online, or pop into our Woodville Road branch in Cathays!