Moving to Cardiff
An overview of Cardiff
Once a small town, Cardiff has now flourished into a buzzing cultural hub.
Perfect for both professionals and families alike, the Welsh capital offers a mixture of fast-paced city life and quaint village vibes. Despite having grown in size – with an ever-increasing list of nightlife options, entertainment venues, restaurants, and bars – the city still has a very close-knit community.
Wales Millennium Centre basking in the Welsh sunshine in Cardiff
The cost of moving to Cardiff
The cost of moving to Cardiff will vary from person to person. Mainly, the price will depend on two key factors: where you’re moving from, and how much stuff you’re moving.
If you are looking to move the contents of a three-bedroom house (roughly 875 cubic metres of stuff) from London to Cardiff, you should expect to pay roughly £1,281. This fee includes:
- Packing services/materials
- Dismantling/reassembling of furniture
- The fee for distance travelled
The drive from London to Cardiff is around 150 miles, and most removal companies charge £1 per mile (source: comparemymove, 2020).
The amount of money you’ll end up paying for the move will also depend on the removal company you hire, your moving date, and whether you opt for any supplemental services, such as packing and assembly.
Cost of living in Cardiff
Just like the cost of moving, the cost of living varies from person to person. The prices of property, council tax, and sometimes even food in Cardiff will fluctuate depending on which neighbourhood you settle in.
To give you a rough idea of how much money you’ll be spending, we’ve outlined prices for a few food and entertainment items below:
|12 large eggs||£2.72|
|500 grams of local cheese||£4.12|
|A loaf of bread||92p|
|Good quality red wine||£12|
|Basic dinner out for two||£24|
|2 tickets to the cinema||£13|
|A pint of beer||£3.42|
Data from Expatistan, 2021
Your electricity bill might be a pleasant surprise. According to NimbleFins, the average cost of electricity in Cardiff is 17.7p/kWh – that’s slightly cheaper than the UK average of 18.75 p/kWh.
As for council tax? How much you pay depends on which band your house is in – in Cardiff, this varies from £887.54 – £3,848.88 per year.
Property prices in Cardiff
Currently, the average price for a property in Cardiff is £268,119. In terms of property types, flats are likely to cost an average of £154,992, whereas a terraced house will be a bit pricier at £236,737.
Considering renting instead? The average asking rent price in Cardiff currently stands at £723 per month – well below the UK’s average of £1,053.
Getting in and out of Cardiff
There’s plenty to do in Cardiff – but that’s not to say you won’t want to escape from the city every now and then.
Whether you’re after a weekend of exploring Welsh hiking trails, wandering through picturesque villages nearby, or visiting another city, you’ve got a lot of travel options.
Locals can either catch a national express bus or a train to travel around the UK. The Megabus service also runs from Cardiff to other major cities, including London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds.
Bus and train timetables generally run throughout the day, but will be unavailable after midnight.
Want a spontaneous trip abroad? You can always hop on a plane from Cardiff’s very own airport, which has 72 different destinations to choose from.
Public transport in Cardiff
There are a lot of public transport options available for Cardiff’s residents and visitors – just remember to bring the exact change for your ticket. Alternatively, you can get something called an “iff card”, which connects to an app and allows you to pay for transport tickets virtually.
Some of the most popular ways to get around the city include:
- Bus – Cardiff’s comprehensive bus network is available between 5am and 11pm. Unfortunately, there is no night bus in Cardiff, so you’ll have to sort out an alternative way home after a night on the town
- Taxis – You can hail black cabs in most parts of Cardiff’s city centre, as well as on roads such as Wood Street, St Mary Street, and Greyfriars Road. Once the busses have finished for the day, most people use taxis to get around
- Bicycle hire – Cardiff is a very cycle-friendly city. If you don’t have your own bike at home, fear not – you can hire one from Pedal Power, located just off of Dogo Street
Working in Cardiff
According to Total Jobs, the average salary in Cardiff is £23,000 – far lower than the UK average of £30,800. Although this sounds like a big cut, the cost of living in Cardiff is lower than a lot of other cities (22.17% lower than London), so it balances out nicely.
As for sectors to work in whilst living in Cardiff? There’s a bit of something for everyone.
Cardiff’s key sectors include:
- Financial services
- Creative industries
- Life sciences
- Advanced manufacturing
Cardiff’s financial services bring in a huge amount of money to the city and currently employ over 50,000 people. The city’s finance sector has grown by more than 60% over the past decade – faster than that of any other city in the UK.
Media and entertainment is also big in Cardiff, with over 6,000 people employed in the industry. Two major employers in Cardiff are the BBC and the multinational film and television company Pinewood Studios.
Overall, the top employers in Cardiff include Cardiff University, Admiral Group, Deloitte, NHS, Lloyds Group, and Tesco.
The best neighbourhoods in Cardiff
Average property price: £165,339
There’s plenty going on in Cardiff Bay – it’s one of the city’s socialising hotspots.
Residents living in this neighbourhood have beautiful waterfront views, an abundance of restaurants and bars to choose from, and a mixture of high street and boutique shops. Cardiff Bay also hosts a lot of international sporting events throughout the year, as well as a variety of theatre, comedy, and music shows.
Property prices here are generally pretty reasonable, and there are regular transport options that go into the city centre if you want a change of scenery.
Average property price: £246,571
Roath is a very diverse suburb, offering a melting pot of cultures.
Not only do residents here have a vibrant mix of pubs, restaurants, shops, and communities to make their way through, but they also have Roath Park and Lake on their doorstep – perfect for picturesque walks.
This area is particularly great for foodies, creatives, and anyone wanting a more eco-friendly lifestyle. In fact, the city’s main zero-waste store, called Ripple, is located in the area.
Average property price: £335,294
If you're looking to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Llandaff will be a match made in heaven.
Although it’s a little pricier than other areas of Cardiff, you certainly get what you pay for.
Despite technically being a city within a city – since it has its own beautiful cathedral – Llandaff has a lovely village feel to it. This makes it ideal for families looking to settle down, or retirees wanting a quieter neighbourhood.
Famed for being the birthplace of Roald Dahl, Llandaff is a historic neighbourhood with lots to do. There are medieval buildings to admire, along with a collection of shops, cafes, and pubs to work your way through.
Things to do in Cardiff
Home to some of the UK’s most eccentric clubs and bars, the Cardiff nightlife scene is bursting with unique venues.
Expect quirky themed venues, cheap student nights, classy clubs, dimly-lit traditional pubs, and – if you’re looking for something heavier – renovated warehouses that host DJ sets and circus cabaret performances.
Some of the best venues include:
Explore Cardiff Castle
In the heart of Wales’s capital sits Cardiff Castle. Here, visitors are free to wander around the grounds throughout the year, seven days a week.
Originally built by Norman invaders on top of a third-century Roman fort, this city centre fortress is perfect for a day out with the family admiring the beautiful architecture, learning about the history of the castle, or simply letting the kids burn off some energy.
Stroll through Bute Park
This 130-acre stretch of landscaped gardens sits in the heart of the city. Once the grounds of Cardiff Castle, the gardens are now open to the public for afternoon strolls, a spot of picnicking, or just admiring the view.
Landscaped by the iconic Capability Brown, Bute Park is a sliver of tranquillity for city-goers.
Wander through the National Museum
This huge gallery and museum is free of charge and covers all things Welsh – from artefacts dating back hundreds of years to items from the modern day.
Plus there’s something to tickle almost everyone's fancy. The museum focuses largely on botany, zoology, and geology, while the gallery has an incredible collection of art with permanent and temporary exhibitions running throughout the year.
Grab some artisan beer
Cardiff has long been famous for its party atmosphere – especially on rugby and football days – but the recent uptake in artisan beer has also made it one of the best cities in the UK to explore craft beer.
Cycle around the waterfront at Cardiff Bay
The Pont y Werin (“People's Bridge”) provides a lovely 4.5-mile circuit bike ride around Cardiff Bay and all of its iconic attractions.
The trail is perfect for solo cyclists or families looking for an easy ride around the waterfront.
Browse boutique shops at the Victorian arcades
There are tonnes of places to shop in Cardiff, but the most unique spot has to be the St David's shopping development.
This stretch of options includes charming arcades, and houses over 100 independent cafes, bars, and shops right in the heart of the city.
Hike to the top of Garth Mountain
Looking for a way to see Cardiff in all its glory? Get the best views of the city by hiking up Garth Mountain.
Located on the fringes of Cardiff, The Garth can be seen from nearly all of the city and the Taff Valley. On a sunny day, visitors at the top of the mountain can even see as far as Weston-super-Mare, across the Bristol Channel in southwest England.