Here are a few things you’ll need to know or will already be aware of if you’re the ‘local’ out of your friendship group in Cardiff.

1. Trying to get a taxi at 3am

Your group of friends end up surprised when they’re stumbling around in front of the taxi rank without being anywhere near the meter. Taxis are asking for between £10 and £20 to take you a mile up the road, even though you’re sure you spent only £5-6 to get here. It’s almost embarrassing watching your friends try to bargain with the taxi drivers as they have no leverage whatsoever. Guess that’s another tenner we’ll regret using in the morning. 

2. The Saturday night hen do

Is there ever a weekend when there aren’t mountains of women out in matching shirts and pink cowboy hats? People really need to stop getting married. You get dragged out to a cocktail bar on a Saturday night (when you’ve warned your friends that this is the case) and they’re really surprised that there’s about five different groups of women in shirts saying ‘Sharon’s Hen Party’ in pink Comic Sans. Your uni friends may struggle to understand their drunken welsh lingo. This website actually has a crackin’ guide for where to go on the weekends.

3. The night only ends after Chippy Alley/Caroline Street

You’re livid that throughout freshers no one was willing to pull the trek to Caroline Street/Chippy Alley afterwards. It wasn’t even that far a walk but they’d had enough and wanted some shit kebab or wrap close to uni halls. Even when they’re at Walkabout and you’re adamant that it’s just across the road, one of them will hop in a taxi and the rest will follow suit. For a Cardiff local, a trip to Chippy Alley is simply a must, a component of a night out in the city. You’ll feel a sense of irritation watching your drunken mates try to order a Just Eat or Deliveroo after turning down the deliciousness of Caroline Street.

4. Pre’s at Spoons

When Freshers is still going having pre drinks in your flat is so much fun. It’s the best way to make new friends, your entire house comes together and you get to choose the bangers that play. Starting the night off with some basic dance playlist and then, just before taxis arrive, switching to ABBA or High School Musical. However, you might miss the old days of sitting in Wetherspoons instead with a Double Captain Morgan’s or a nice big pitcher and then being a stone’s throw away from your club of the night. In Spoons, you don’t really need to put much effort in to sit around and have fun with your mates. Hopefully, in the summer, they’ll be more up for going, as £2.99 doubles and cheap chips (if you peak too early) is all too spectacular.

5. They’re not quite ready for Metros

How can you sell Metros to someone that’s never been there? The fact that it’s underground will put people off who are remotely scared for their own safety, and the sweaty aspect doesn’t appeal to most. The staff have tattoos and piercings and the bouncers are huge, which leads outsiders to believe it’s some kind of cult. They’re unconvinced that the music is better than 90% of venues in Cardiff and the really cheap alcohol is the only thing that leads them to say ‘I’ll consider it’. We know that they won’t and they’ll take to the SU every Wednesday. You’re in serious need for a group to go back to Metros with; a club renowned for some of the messiest drunk photos ever. Cheapskates at Metro on a Wednesday is the place to be (if you ever manage to convince anyone to get there). Please, you just want your £1.80 double Amaretto and coke.

6. You need a Cardiff Bay night

Maybe the weather has been shit or maybe everyone’s been skin, but you’re in need for some of Cardiff Bay. The prospect of having a nice dressy night sat outside Las Iguanas with one of their famous coconut curries or fajitas with 2 for 1 cocktails is a beautiful idea. Unfortunately, you’re struggling to get your new pals away from the centre of town. Alas, your dream of a night at The Bay will have to wait.

7. We don’t need booze

The beauty of Cardiff is that sober nights out are possible too! You won’t stand a chance in the first month of uni trying to ease your new friends off their wine or beer but, eventually, they’ll come round when the lectures hit. Someone will turn around and say ’what about the cinema?’ and you’ll all immediately perk up. Become a frugal student like myself and pick up your Meerkat Movies discount too: it’s a dream. Late viewings with a massive Pepsi and some salty popcorn are what you live for. You can also go bowling if you fancy being a bit more adventurous or taking the piss out of yourself. For a boring day that needs a quick fix, trampolining in the trampoline park costs negligible money for an hour (which is all you need if you’re not an athlete) and is guaranteed to kill some time that could have been spent doing work.

8. The independent businesses are the heart of the city

Having a classic night out at TGI Friday’s or Nando’s is harmless at the beginning but you’re so keen to show everybody all those quirky things that Cardiff has to offer. You want to show your friends how beautiful and timeless a busy city can be if they look hard enough. Where they suggest a Starbucks, you want to take them to Uncommon. If they fancy an Italian at Carluccio’s, you try and push Café Citta on them. Food cooked by prisoners at the Clink, a nice veggie or vegan lunch at Café Atma by monks, or a nice street food market in the Depot. Check out the EAT section of this website for tons of recommendations.

You’re the tour guide now and it’s time to show the “out- of- town’ers”  how brilliant Cardiff really is. You might need to give them a little push, otherwise the napping and hangovers will stop them from seeing our beloved Cardiff in the light!

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Written by Hannah Newberry, 9 months ago
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