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Moving to Cardiff: An Introduction

Croeso i Gaerdydd!

Or welcome to Cardiff for non-Welsh speakers. The capital city of Wales, and eleventh largest city in the UK, is a rapidly growing hub of culture, arts and technology, with a lot to offer locals and visitors alike. 
 
After gaining city status in 1905, and capital status in 1955, Cardiff has seen significant growth and development. Redefining itself since the 80’s to become the central nexus of Wales, acting as home to the Welsh Assembly, the Senedd Building, and the Wales Millennium Centre for the arts, Cardiff has similarly put itself at the forefront of British culture. 
 
As a city that’s equally as proud of its heritage as its creativity, Cardiff is the UK’s largest media centre outside of London, most recently becoming one of the BBC’s central creative hubs. The establishment of the BBC Drama Village has seen Cardiff become the backdrop to a number of beloved shows, most notably, Dr. Who, which is why you might recognise some of our city on your travels!
 
A global centre for sports, Cardiff isn’t just a famous rugby city, regularly competing in and winning, the 6 Nations Rugby Tournament and successive World Cups - as in 2017 it erupted hosting the UEFA Champion’s League.
 
If you’re considering moving to Cardiff, it’s not just the Welsh road signs that can be a bit overwhelming, but the scale of the city itself. Luckily, with the friendly locals and our guide below, you’ll be calling it home in no time.
 

Cardiff, City of Culture

As the capital city of Wales, Cardiff’s history and heritage is inextricably linked with the culture and history of Wales as a whole, and a lot of our most prized stories can be found within the Cardiff city boundaries. Home to the National Museum of Wales, the Welsh National War Memorial and the expansive Cardiff Castle, visitors to Cardiff can educate themselves on our histories within walking distance. 
 
Although when you think of famous Welsh exports, you’re more likely to think of Gavin and Stacey and Gareth Bale, it’s a little known fact that beloved children’s writer Roald Dahl was also born in Cardiff, Llandaff to be specific. Born to Norwegian parents, Roald spent his childhood and schooldays in Cardiff, and was baptised and worshipped at the Norwegian Church, which can still be found in Cardiff Bay today. 
 
Beautifully quaint, the Norwegian Church was built to serve the spiritual and social needs of Norwegian sailors during the late 19th century, bringing over Scandinavian timber to use as pit props down the mines.
 
As well as looking back to our past, Cardiff is definitely a city with eyes on the future. It’s independent nature not just focused on its thriving bar and restaurant scene, but also in its arts. Alongside the progressive Chapter Arts centre, which caters to its surrounding community with everything from workshops, book clubs, arts cinema and exhibitions, there are a number of small galleries supporting the work of local artists, such as MADE Cardiff in Roath. And keep an eye out for pop up exhibitions in the temporarily empty storefronts in the Arcades.
 
And if you’re looking to hear some live music, you’ve come to the right place. With larger spaces such as the Millennium stadium and Motorpoint centre selling out packed out arena tours for major artists, to our very own Clwb Ifor Bach (colloquially known as the welsh club) providing a more intimate venue, the choice is endless.
 

Getting Around Cardiff

Getting around the city is relatively easy, and due to its ease and accessibility using public transport is encouraged. Most areas within the city centre are accessible on foot, but if you want to venture outwards, the majority of the cities suburbs can be easily reached by either train or bus.
 
As the largest station in Wales, Cardiff Central is your point of call for direct services going to most of the major cities in the U.K., including neighbouring Newport and Bristol. And if you’re looking for a quicker route to one of the Cardiff suburbs, or the valleys, Central’s smaller sister station, Queen Street, is the place to go. If you’re planning on moving here and would like to take the greener option, a monthly public transport pass will set you back an average of £45.00.
 
Like most other major cities, driving through Cardiff in peak times is to be generally avoided if possible, as the roads do get heavily congested. Although the city council is said to be implementing measures to disperse some of the heaviest congestion throughout 2017.
 

Studying in Cardiff

For students, Cardiff is frequently ranked as one of the highest cities for student satisfaction in the UK. With two universities, Cardiff and Cardiff Met, each with unparalleled programmes in subjects from Journalism to Teaching, a designated student area in Cathays, and a huge array of events year round, Cardiff is definitely student friendly - whether you’re more focused on your academic calendar, or your social one.
 
And for those who want to brush up on their Welsh, there are a number of part-time Welsh language courses available at the Universities, or nearby St. Fagans. You’ll be siarad yn Gymraeg in no time!
 

Jobs in Cardiff

The redevelopment in Cardiff has lead to the growth of a lot of job sectors, including in the creative industries, home to BBC Wales, Welsh language channel, S4C and ITV Wales. As well as a growing independent production industry, employing an estimated 6000 people, and contributing £350 million to the local economy.
 
 
Alongside the success in the arts, Cardiff is home to a thriving professional and financial sector, attracting £62 million in foreign investments, which in 2014-15 alone, created 1,750 jobs.
 
But if you don’t fancy a typical 9-5, the Tourism industry is flourishing in Wales, with Cardiff accounting for £1 billion of the £5.8 billion spent in the country by tourists. 
 
For more information on where to go, what to do and where to live in cardiff, read our other city guides: