We spoke to young people in Cardiff after city named among best for 18-40 year olds

Woman smiling
-Credit: (Image: Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline)


For many people, Cardiff is a pretty great place to be in your 20s or 30s. With hip bars, a range of outdoorsy attractions and wholesome things to try out, it’s got a bit of everything - and it turns out it’s actually one of the best cities to live and work in the UK for people in this age bracket.

A financial services organisation asked 2,000 people aged 18-40 about the best places to live and work in the UK. They found that 18-40s in Cardiff have the highest emotional connection to the city – they’re happy with where they live, are optimistic about their future and are proud of the city.

So we wanted to check if this was true ourselves. Everyone we spoke to had something positive to say about Cardiff, and they felt there were just a few things missing that would enhance life for young people living in the city. For the latest Cardiff news, sign up to our newsletter here

READ MORE: The brilliant things to try in Cardiff if you're in your 20s

READ MORE: The idyllic trail just outside Cardiff with its own tea rooms where you can spend hours walking by the canal

Woman smiling on high street
Svetlana Nanda is from London, and believes Cardiff is the place to be -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline

Svetlana Nanda, 18, from London, goes to the Royal Welsh Music College in Cardiff. Although she has fallen in love with many elements of the city, she believes that there are still issues when it comes to diversity in the capital.

She told WalesOnline: “If you are someone who is young, watch BBC Now and stuff because the concerts here, the music here, the jazz scene. The Flute and Tankard is such a lovely place to go. And places like Chance and Counters is my favourite thing - I’ve gone three times in the last week, it’s so fun, like £2 an hour.

“I just love the vibe here - I think it’s really cool and Cardiff claims to be this cosmopolitan city. And it is, but it’s not London and it’s better I think. It’s calm, you can walk around and just kind of breathe.

“I think the culture here is very interesting to analyse, and to watch. I think there is lots moving and changing and getting better, but I’d argue that there’s a lot of separation and I mean it’s everywhere. It could be so much more stuck together, but there are so many communities who are already doing that.”

Man standing next to greenery wearing sunglasses
Matthew, aged 29, loves how cheap Cardiff is to live in, and its up and coming nature -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline

Matthew, 29, loves everything about the capital. He said: “Cardiff is cheap, people are lovely, you’ve got nature on your doorstep. It’s gorgeous here. It could do with a few more nightclubs, a few more places to go out, maybe some more bars aimed at the younger generations.

“I wouldn’t say that stuff’s missing. I’d say it’s up and coming. I’d say give it a few more years, and there’ll be more of it.”

Woman smiling next to greenery
Rachel Brook, 34, finds that one of the best things about Cardiff is how walkable the city is -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline

Rachel Eastbrook, 34, has lived in Cardiff since 2010, and loves how easy the city is to navigate. She said: “Everything’s quite compact. You can walk anywhere, you can walk to the other side of the city within less than an hour sometimes and just go somewhere new and it’s not hard to feel like you’re outside of the city if you just need to escape.

“When I was a student myself, loads of people loved it, there was quite a buzz about certain areas but they didn’t get to see everything so it’s good to get to different places and see more than just the centre.”

Students pictured in Cardiff city centre on summer's day
Rhia, 19, and Ellen, 20, who study at Cardiff University -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline

And it's clear that students are still loving the city. Rhia, 19, and Ellen, 20, who study at Cardiff University, have lived in the city for nine months and have both been enjoying their time in the capital so far. Rhia said: “There’s a bit of everything. It’s so underrated.”

Ellen added: “I really like the greenery. You’re still in the city but you’ve got Bute Park to go to and the nightlife is really good as well.” Want less ads? Download WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

Cristian Brooks, 22 said: "I like town. It's a lot nicer than a lot of towns. It's usually quite clean. Usually. Some bits aren't.

"There are loads of really nice areas and things to see and it's kind of something that you get used to if you live here it's nice and bright which is really good."

Lily McDonald
Cristian Brooks pictured (left) is aged 22 and believes there are many positives about the city of Cardiff

The amount of greenery in Cardiff was a recurring positive for young people living, working and studying in the city. Lily McDonald, 19 also said: “I love all the parks - Bute Park, Roath Park, just walking around especially in the sun is just so lovely. I love all the nightlife, and how close everything is. Everyone I’ve met has been so lovely and so helpful.”

You can tell us what life is like for you if you are a young person living in Wales right now by contacting: bethany.gavaghan@reachplc.com