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The 10 Best Areas of Cardiff to Live

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

22nd Feb 2019 (Last updated on 19th Jun 2020) 8 minute read

Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is the main base for Welsh media and entertainment. It is a city rich in culture with Cardiff Castle offering an insight into its intriguing past. Living in Cardiff offers a multicultural and creative way of life with 18.3 million tourists visiting every year.

Cardiff is famous for its love of music, theatre and the vintage stores that sit inside old arcades. The scenic parks allow for an escape from city life during the days you’d rather surround yourself with nature or just take a walk with your beloved pets. Whether you’re a student looking for exciting nightlife or a family wishing for a quiet area to call home, there is a place for everyone.

So, before you search for the best Cardiff removals on offer, browse our post and discover some of the best areas to live in Cardiff.

10 Best Places to Live in Cardiff
  1. 1. Roath
  2. 2. Cathays
  3. 3. Llandaff
  4. 4. Cyncoed
  5. 5. Lisvane and Thornhill
  6. 6. Whitchurch
  7. 7. Penylan
  8. 8. Pontcanna
  9. 9. Cardiff Bay
  10. 10. Penarth
  11. Moving to Cardiff with Compare My Move

1. Roath

Roath is a diverse and multicultural suburb making it one of the best places to live in Cardiff. The beautiful Roath Park and Lake offer picturesque views and mesmerising walks right outside your home. Just two miles from the city centre, it creates an illusion of country life with the city right next-door. It is the ideal place for lovers of art, music and literature as the annual ‘Made in Roath’ festival takes place every October. 

Roath is often a great choice for third year students, graduates and young professionals as it is close to Cardiff University, but also the city centre which is bursting with opportunities. According to Zoopla, the average value for detached properties is £308,329 whilst semi-detached properties are selling for £247,085. On average, the cost of a terraced house is £228,185 with flats averaging at £154,500.

2. Cathays

Cathays, home to Cardiff University and the Student Union, is the perfect area for those studying at University. With easy access to the campuses and Cathays train station, it is still connected to the city centre but just far enough to be free of the hustle and bustle. Cathays currently has 1,408 student-only households but offers so much more. It is a place of entertainment with Cardiff Museum, The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff gym and coffee shops all close by.  

However, it is not only an area for students but families too. There is plenty to explore and the relationship between students and long-standing residents is well-respected and forever growing. The streets are lined with Victorian terraced houses currently valued at £225,884 whilst the flats are more affordable at £148,988.

3. Llandaff

For those looking for a quieter place to live in Cardiff, Llandaff, the birthplace of Roald Dahl is the perfect choice. It is filled with quaint and historic villages containing medieval buildings and unique cafes and shops. Still within walking distance of the city centre, you are never far from city life. Llandaff is often a great choice for families as the schools are conveniently placed within the vicinity. The extremely popular Welsh-Speaking Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf is one of those schools available.

Property prices varies within Llandaff but according to Zoopla the average detached house is valued at £446,200, most still retaining their original stone features. The terraced houses are valued at £220,007 whilst semi-detached properties are valued at £305,542.

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4. Cyncoed

A desirable suburb in Cardiff, Cyncoed sits in our list of best places to live. Cyncoed is surrounded by views of the breath-taking Welsh mountains and is only a short walk from Roath Park, perfect for nature-lovers or those with pets. Cardiff Metropolitan University campuses resides within the vicinity and also a variety of local schools like Cardiff High School, one of the highest performing schools in Cardiff. If local schools are an important detail in your move to Cardiff, we also have a post on the best schools in Cardiff available to view.

Cyncoed has some of the highest property prices in Wales due to the convenient schools nearby, with detached houses valuing at £611,403, semi-detached properties at £392,469 and terraced houses selling for £251,594. The value of the flats are slightly less, valuing at £209,954.

5. Lisvane and Thornhill

Five miles north of the city centre, Lisvane and Thornhill are areas to consider when moving to Cardiff. Thornhill has recently seen a surge in newly built homes attracting young families and first-time buyers. With Cefn Onn Country Park, Thornhill Farm Shop and Llanishen Golf Course, it is a place of greenery and activity. The quiet location often attracts young families, first-time buyers and retirees. You are still able to access the city centre as Lisvane and Thornhill station is available along with a variety of bus routes.    

From cosy starter homes to five bed properties, there is a variety to choose from. One of the wealthiest residential areas in Wales, some property values are expected to be higher with detached houses valuing at £590,427 and semi-detached properties at £326,489.

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6. Whitchurch

For those interested in sport, Whitchurch contains the Whitchurch Golf Club and Whitchurch Rugby Club, perfect for those looking for activities to join. It is three miles north of the city centre, a great distance to stay connected to city life. With 2,400 pupils, Whitchurch High School is the largest comprehensive school in Wales making it attractive to families who are moving to Cardiff.

With a mixture of Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian properties, Whitchurch offers a variety to choose from. Detached houses have an average value of £397,420 according to Zoopla, whilst semi-detached properties average at £337,308. There are also more modern options available with flats and apartments averaging at a value of £150,152.

7. Penylan

With spacious tree-lined roads, Roath is situated on one side of Penylan and Cyncoed on the other. The properties offer spectacular views of Cardiff City and Cardiff Bay, whilst from other houses you can see the picturesque view of Roath Park. Green, spacious and containing the exquisite Waterloo Gardens, it is the perfect area to take a stroll or even have a picnic. The quirky Waterloo Tea Rooms and local shops add to the sense of community and fun of Penylan.

With Victorian residential properties and Edwardian houses, the average value of a detached house values at £524,381 and £326,699 for semi-detached houses. Alternative options include terraced houses selling at £335,152.

8. Pontcanna

One of the most fashionable areas to live in Cardiff, Pontcanna has amenities that attract most home buyers. According to The Times, Pontcanna is the 23rd coolest place to live in the UK as of 2013, with unique pubs, bakeries and family-run businesses. It is a home for artisans as the Chapter Arts Centre and King’s Road Courtyard offers live music, art and entertainment. Close to Canton high street, there is much to explore.  

For families considering moving to Cardiff, the Welsh speaking school Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf is an option for children to attend. Many of the locals in Pontcanna are Welsh speaking.

Close to Sophia Gardens and the BBC studios, the current value on Right Move for detached houses here is £706,356. Terraced houses have an average value of £380,999 and £197,724 for flats.

9. Cardiff Bay

When reflecting on Cardiff, most people instinctively think of Cardiff Bay. It is a great area for food, entertainment, leisure and even employment. With the Wales Millennium Centre, The Senedd (home of the National Assembly for Wales), Techniquest, the quaint Norwegian Church and Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay has much to offer. It is a multicultural area with gorgeous scenery, exquisite sculptures, great nightlife and annual events that shouldn’t be missed. Whether you’re a fan of Doctor Who and want to catch them filming, or you just love to be in the middle of everything, Cardiff Bay is a great place to live.

Cardiff Bay train station offers freedom to explore the city centre, with trains arriving almost every 12 minutes. There is also an hourly Aquabus to consider.

Current average values on detached houses are £219,671 whilst semi-detached properties sell for an average of £205,130. If you prefer terraced houses you can expect an average of £225,682 or £182,589 for flats.

10. Penarth

If you are looking for an easy commute to Cardiff, Penarth is a place to consider. Four miles from the city centre, it is a more quiet and scenic area with easy access to bus routes, train stations and even an Aquabus. We’ve all dreamt of living in the places we visit on holiday and by moving to Penarth, you can! It is a beautiful seaside resort with breathtaking views of the shore, making you feel calmer and relaxed. It is a seaside resort perfect for families, retirees or even young students who want to live further from the main city. With quirky shops, recreation clubs and a local bookstore that has regular signings from authors, there is a lot to discover. Another area of Cardiff for the artisans, Turner House Gallery offers art shows and galleries to get involved with.  

A wealthy seaside resort with surviving Victorian and Edwardian buildings, Zoopla’s current average value for a detached house is £471,789 and £471,789 for semi-detached. The flats are slightly more expensive than other areas, averaging at around £204,626.

Moving to Cardiff with Compare My Move

When you’ve decided on your perfect area, you can continue your research by visiting our Cardiff area guide to discover tips and tricks on moving to Cardiff. But for those who have already decided that Cardiff is the place for them, you can fill out our quick and easy form to get connected with up to 6 local expert removal companies. Also, look at the average house removal costs so you know what to expect.

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Zenyx Griffiths

Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the co-founder and director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.