Perched on the southern coast of Wales, Cardiff is surrounded by rolling green hills and a stunning coastline. The Welsh capital's skyline is a combination of modern skyscrapers and whimsical medieval castles, sprinkled with gorgeous Victorian architecture and the famous silhouette of the Millenium Stadium. Besides aesthetics, the city's exciting job market, fairly stable economy and high quality of life are luring residents from all over the UK as well as expats from further afield.
Living in Cardiff
With so much to see and do in the city, it should come as no surprise that tourism is one of Cardiff’s top industries, providing ample employment opportunities in the city. Retail, finance and manufacturing are also thriving sectors, while Cardiff’s media industry, including television and film, is also rapidly gaining traction.
New arrivals moving Cardiff for employment purposes often remark on the positive work-life balance in the city. The common atmosphere at companies in Cardiff is friendly and open, and employees are respected and valued for their work.
That being said, this high quality of life does potentially come with lower earnings. Salaries in Cardiff are usually lower than one would find in a major UK city. Still, the low cost of living tends to balance things out, and most Cardiff residents live comfortably.
Cost of living in Cardiff
Compared to major cities in other parts of the UK, the cost of living in Cardiff is reasonable. Though the cost of renting or buying a home in Cardiff is rising rapidly, house hunters used to English, Scottish or Irish accommodation prices will generally find more affordable options in the Welsh capital, though costs do vary from area to area.
Excellent schooling can be accessed free of charge, and day-to-day expenses such as groceries are reasonably priced. With such a compact city centre and a decent public transport network, there's also little reason to own a personal vehicle.
Family and children in Cardiff
Cardiff is a wonderful place to raise a family. Many of the top schools in Wales are government schools in Cardiff, with a handful being singled out year after year for their excellent results. Catchment areas do apply, giving children who live nearby priority of admission, so it's wise to bear this in mind when deciding where to live.
New arrivals can expect good-quality healthcare in Cardiff, which is home to several excellent hospitals, including the Princess of Wales Hospital and the University Hospital of Wales.
The lifestyle in Cardiff is another of the city's major drawcards. Whether new arrivals are outdoor enthusiasts, party animals, culture vultures or shopping fanatics, there's something for everyone.
Climate in Cardiff
It won’t take long for new arrivals in Cardiff to notice the city’s perpetually wet weather. Having many times received the dubious honour of being named the UK’s wettest city, Cardiff is ripe for rain almost the whole year round, though it lets up a bit in March and April.
While moving to a new city can be daunting, those headed to Cardiff have much to look forward to. With welcoming locals, a gentle cost of living, exciting work opportunities and a family-friendly atmosphere, new arrivals are sure to feel at home in no time at all.
►Have a look at our Lifestyle in Cardiff page to learn more about the city's top shopping, events and attractions.
Are you an expat living in Cardiff?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Cardiff. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
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