Students nationwide will forever feel a sense of pride in their student city. When returning home there are always arguments over whose city is the best. But what makes a good student city? It is the nightlife, the restaurants or the student discounts? Cardiff has all of these, and more… 

It isn’t a concrete jungle:

Like many cities, Cardiff can sometimes feel like a mini labyrinth of concrete alleyways and tightly-packed buildings. It’s not perfect. But Cardiff does have some of the most beautiful open spaces that I have ever seen. Bute Park is the biggest and probably the most popular amongst city dwellers. Bordering the castle, it is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the  city. A little further out is Roath Park and is a main feature on many students’ Instagram accounts. The boating lake and gardens are beautiful all year round and provide a great place for reading, taking a walk or having an afternoon out with friends in the warmer weather. However, my favourite title green space in Cardiff is by far the smallest. Gorsedd Gardens and the surrounding park is popular for it’s stunning views of the architecture of the National Museum and City Hall. It is also the venue of many popular attractions during the year such as Winter Wonderland. 

It is the perfect size: 

Anyone from a major city such as London or Manchester can appreciate how small Cardiff really is. But it really isn’t that small. It is big enough to have the bustling city atmosphere yet also has the quiet and calmness of residential areas surrounding it. For me, Cardiff is the perfect size. Big enough to feel like a part of a great city but also small enough to have a personal connection with it. 

Everything you need is in the city centre: 

From amazing restaurants to the tiny second-hand bookshops, Cardiff city centre really has everything you need. A student favourite is The Cosy Club. It’s super cheap and has a great hipster vibe with mismatching furniture and quirky wall decorations. There is everything for the student shopper too. We have WHSmith, Primark, New Look, H&M and even a Wilkos now! What more could we ask for?! (Perhaps a Forever 21?) If the flashy shops like John Lewis and Debenhams are a bit too much, there is always Cardiff Market. If you need food, some clothes for fancy dress or need anything repaired, it is one of the best places to go. With everything we need such a short walk away, there really is no reason to leave Cardiff! 

It has a history:

The Arcades through the city centre and Cardiff Market remind city dweller’s of the history of the city. When walking along St. Mary’s Street it is impossible to escape the feeling of being transported back into the early 90s when the market and the arcades were the centre of attention. And we have a Castle. How much more historical can you get? 

 Cardiff Bay is Bae 

Going to the city centre for a day out is one thing but the minute you mention a day out in Cardiff Bay, there is sudden air of luxury and sophistication. Whilst the city centre exudes historic chic, the bay has a fresh and modern feel to it. There is nothing quite like sitting in a nice restaurant with a view of the bay and the Millennium Centre. It is also a great way to escape from the city and get some healthy sea air.

Transport is amazing:  

Why is it that the students of Cardiff are so diverse? Because it is one of the easiest places to get to in the country! The easiest way to get here is by train. Cardiff Central station is a hive of activity. It sends and receives people form nearly everywhere in the UK. With companies such as Arriva (urgh) to the slightly more respectable Great Western Services, you can get anywhere you want to from the humble central station. As we know, trains can be a tad expensive. For cheap transport around the country, students can count on National Express and Megabus coaches that go from Kingsway and Sophia Gardens. When we feel like being adventurous and going abroad on holiday, we even have the choice of an airport just over a half an hour drive away. 

Cardiff Loves Us: 

One of the best things about living in Cardiff is the way that the city loves us back. With student discounts left, right and centre and the main university high street into the city centre, it is as if Cardiff was made for us. When summer starts and students disappear, the city does become somewhat of a ghost town. Shops lose income and cafes aren’t a busy as they used to be. When we all return, it welcomes us back with open arms, and discounted warm coffees. One of the reasons many students love Cardiff if because it is a city which loves us back. Cardiff needs us as much as we need Cardiff. That alone is why Cardiff is the best student city around. 

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Written by Emma Riches, 10 months ago