STUDYING IN THE CAPITAL OF WALES
1. YOUR NEW FOUND BILINGUALITY
During your first trip to Cardiff you see those jumbled letters underneath the English translation. ‘What are all those letters on the sign?’ you ask yourself. Welsh.
But not to worry, it is rare you’ll encounter someone that solely speaks Welsh.
Now, it may be a task to read, but fair play to Cardiff for keeping their mother tongue a tradition in a modern city. You may even pick up a bit of the lingo throughout your time studying here. Did you know ‘Araf’ means ‘slow’? No? Now you do!
You’ll most probably befriend a local Welshy who can speak both languages. And your first few weeks of friendship will involve a lot of ‘what does this mean’ ‘how do you pronounce that’… followed by exasperated sighs from your Welsh counterpart.
2. THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO BE ON A RUGBY DAY THAN CARDIFF
Welsh fans are extremely passionate, they take their rugby seriously! But don’t let that scare you, make sure you get involved. If you weren’t a rugby fan before moving to the capital of Wales, you’ll definitely be leaving with a new found love for the sport.
Avoid heavy celebration if England beat Wales, and avoid the streets if Wales beat England… That is something you will not hear the end of. But after the sulking has stopped, revel in the atmosphere throughout town and chant along with the rest of the rugby fans
3. CHIPPY LANE
Chippy Lane aka the absolute pits of Cardiff after a night out. Students and local drunkards stumble down from Walkabout, Soda or one of the many surrounding bars on Mill Lane, and chaos ensues. Littered with the remnants of uneaten curry chips, kebabs and, of course, a variety of peoples chunder.
Living up to it’s name ‘Chippy Lane’ has a selection of fish n’ chip shops serving food until the early hours. If you’re nice to the men behind the counter they might chuck in a few extra chips or a battered sausage.
Warning: avoid slipping on greasy chip shop paper and stay away from the late night seagulls, they are savages.
4. THERE’S A FANCY DRESS CRAZE SPREADING THROUGH THE CITY
Whether it be hen and stags dos hitting the city centre on the weekends, or messes of students stumbling around after a Wednesday sport social – it’s rare you’ll go a night without seeing someone in fancy dress.
This is a huge part of uni culture, full stop. But if you are a Cardiff wanderer, prepare for the chaos of smurfs, minions and big guys in nappies that swarm the streets of Cathays on a Wednesday evening. Uni sports nights are an excuse to get outrageously drunk, make bad life decisions and dress up in any wacky outfit your social sec chooses that week.
5. CATHAY’S IS HOME TO ARGUABLY THE BEST BREAKFAST IN CARDIFF
The best breakfast in Cardiff, and a well known (and proven) hangover cure. The food is cheap and tasty, and the portion size will leave you extremely satisfied.
Cafe 37’s decor is similar to that of an old school american diner, except they cut out the singing and dancing and allow people to enjoy huge portions of stodgy food.
6. THERE ARE PARKS ALL OVER THE PLACE
Cardiff is, notoriously, the wettest city in Britain. So it is a rare occasion when the sun puts it hat on and comes out to play
The local parks are perfect for lounging on a sunny day. Choose from Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna Fields, Bute Park, Roath Park – the list is endless… and each is as picturesque as the next.
FYI: Roath Park surrounds a boating lake and is a bit of a favourite for Cardiff’s students.
7. CARDIFF BAY
Cardiff Bay is mostly avoided by students as they have the perception that it’s a lot further out than it actually is. You can get a train from Queen Street station that takes you right into the Bay in about 2 minutes.
It’s filled with plenty of your favourite restaurants and great places to drink, with spectacular views of the water.
8. THE EXTENSIVE LIST OF WELSH VOCAB YOU’VE BUILT UP
You swore to yourself you wouldn’t pick up on any of the Welsh lingo… But it was bound to happen
Tamping (fuming); furious/angry
Lush: really really nice
Where to: where
By here: here