Cardiff is a bustling and compact city that offers the best of cosmopolitan living while only being a stone's throw from beautiful coastline and countryside.
Welsh capital, Cardiff has had a facelift thanks to a series of regeneration projects in recent years. Redevelopment around the old docks has reinvigorated the city and, thanks to its close proximity to the Vale of Glamorgan and the coast, both the open countryside and seaside are within easy reach too.
Cardiff (or Caerdydd in Welsh) combines a cosmopolitan and intimate energy. The city was voted one of the top three European capital cities in a 2016 EU survey and yet it’s still compact enough to cycle across in 20 minutes.
There’s also lots of green space on offer in Cardiff, partly thanks in part to its official status as the UK’s wettest city according to the Met Office.
Cardiff University is considered one of the best research universities in the UK and has around 30,000 students breathing life into its campuses each year.
Cosmopolitan Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay is now home to several independent television production companies and the BBC Cymru Wales drama studios.
Firstly, where is Cardiff?
The port city sits on the south coast of Wales where the river Taff meets the Severn Estuary. It is the county town of the historic county of Glamorgan.
How much will it cost me?
The current average asking price for Cardiff currently stands at £248,291. The table, below, shows how many properties have sold in Cardiff over the past 12 months, along with the average sale price, the current average value based on Zoopla's data and how values are on the rise.
What about renters?
The current average asking rent in Cardiff stands at £1,185 a month. Renters will need to budget around £785 a month for a two-bedroom flat or £1,222 a month for a four-bedroom house.
Finding an estate agent
Whether you’re buying or renting you can choose the right agent with our handy agent finder tool. On Zoopla you’ll be able to pick from 89 sales and letting agents in Cardiff. That includes 68 estate agents and 82 lettings agents.
Best ways to get around Cardiff
By rail: There are four main stations in Cardiff. Central, Queen Street, Cardiff Bay and Cathays, plus one at Cardiff International Airport. Smaller stations, known as the Valley Lines, serve outer suburbs, towns and villages.
By road: The main road through Cardiff is the A48. It links to the M4 motorway connecting South Wales to London and to the M5 up to Birmingham.
By air: Cardiff International Airport is about 11 miles south-west of the city and offers 50 direct flights to such places as Edinburgh, Amsterdam and Belfast in just over an hour – and onward connecting flights worldwide.
By water: Regular waterbuses run between Penarth and Cardiff Bay Barrage and Pier Head, Cardiff Bay, close to Mermaid Quay. Journeys take around 15 minutes.
Cardiff has 98 primary schools, 18 secondary schools and seven special needs schools. You can find more information about the schools in Cardiff on the Welsh Government website here.
Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' top historic attractions. It has a 2,000-year history dating back to the Romans. It’s part medieval castle and part Victorian gothic revival mansion and was gifted to the City of Cardiff when the fourth Marquess of Bute died in 1947.
One of the city’s most popular landmarks is the Principality Stadium, which hosts world-class sporting events such as rugby and football. It’s also a venue for music concerts, with past performers including The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé and Paul McCartney.
The creation of modern Cardiff is attributed to the second Marquess of Bute, who built the docks. This led to Cardiff becoming the main port for the export of coals and spurred an 80% growth in the population per decade between 1840 and 1870. At its peak, the port was one of the largest dock systems in the world, with almost seven miles of quays.
Where to eat, drink and make merry
There’s no shortage of culinary options available. Along with the usual chains you’d expect to find, there’s also everything from charming cafes like Elmer’s Take a Break Café, to fine dining at De Courceys Manor.
With Cardiff’s ample supply of students, there’s plenty of bars on offer too. Try 10 Feet Tall for vintage interiors and a variety of craft beers, wines and spirits, or head to the Dead Canary for classic cocktails with an eccentric twist.
Cardiff is considered one of the 10 best shopping destinations in the UK. St David’s shopping centre is an A-Z of well-loved retailers and the neighbouring Victorian and Edwardian arcades are home to independent boutiques and quirky little stores. Visit the impressive Cardiff Indoor Market for a wander among the fresh produce stalls and nip upstairs for a reviving cup of tea.
Children’s author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff and baptised in the Norwegian Church – now an arts centre and cultural venue. Look out for Roald Dahl Plass, a public place in Cardiff Bay and home to the Senedd Welsh Assembly.
What's for sale...
... for the first-time buyer?
This first-floor apartment sits opposite Roath Recreational grounds and was converted in 2015. It has an open plan kitchen-lounge boasting fantastic views over the park, a sleek fully-fitted kitchen, two double bedrooms and a modern bathroom.
Available via Jeffrey Ross Sales and Lettings Ltd
... for the family?
Move straight into this traditional terraced house which offers period features alongside a contemporary kitchen and bathrooms. It’s surprisingly spacious inside, with two reception rooms, a good-sized kitchen and a shower room on the ground floor. Upstairs there are three double bedrooms and a bathroom.
Available via Jeffrey Ross Sales and Lettings Ltd
... for renters?
This coach house flat sits on a popular development close to a variety of shops, restaurants and sports facilities in Roath, north east of the city centre. It is well connected to the centre of Cardiff. It’s a blank canvas at present, but once you’ve moved in and added a few personal touches, could be an ideal place to call home.
Available via Kelvin Francis
... with the biggest discount?
Originally up for grabs at £160,000, this modern flat has since had its asking price slashed by £30,000. It overlooks Cardiff Bay out towards the Bristol Channel and perks include a video entry system and use of the onsite leisure facilities, which comprise of two gyms, a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi.
Available via Express Estate Agency
The most popular Cardiff property currently for sale is...
You’ll need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into renovating this rundown terraced home. It’s up for auction so you could get a good bargain, although you’ll have to spend any money saved on the refurbishment. Once it’s been modernised it could make a great family home or work as an investment opportunity.
Available via Peter Alan
The most expensive streets to buy...
5 reasons to live in Cardiff
Big city vibe with small city convenience
White water rafting without leaving the city
Below national-average house prices
Train to London in two hours
National pride. The Welsh national anthem swells the emotions whenever Wales plays at the Principality Stadium - even if you're not Welsh!