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Moving to Cardiff?

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Cardiff at a Glance

Moving to Cardiff

Cardiff is a relatively small city, which is however attracting many expats, both students and professionals: the city has a lively atmosphere and all expats moving there can enjoy its cultural wealth, its waterfront, and the shopping opportunities. Find out more in our expat guide!

The city of Cardiff has welcomed foreign nationals into its community for many years, largely due to the success of the city’s port.

About the City

Cardiff was little more than a village until the industrial revolution, when coal began to be exported to countries around the globe. Cardiff docks were developed and ships from Europe and beyond brought goods to trade in Wales. Multicultural communities were established around the docks area. Foreigners from all over the world chose to settle in Cardiff, including many Norwegians. Today at Cardiff Bay you can see the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, which was originally built in 1868 by the Norwegian Seaman’s Mission as a place of worship for the many Norwegian sailors living in or visiting Cardiff. The capital now has communities whose forefathers came from places as far away as China, India, the Caribbean, Somalia and Yemen, and today expats continue to move to Cardiff, adding to the cultural diversity of the city.

Cardiff has a relatively young population with higher average education level than other towns in South Wales. Cardiff University and campuses from other further education establishments such as the University of South Wales contribute to this demographic.

When you move to Cardiff you will immediately see evidence of the local language, Welsh. Although English is the primary language in Cardiff, many people in the city and surrounding area also speak some Welsh. Road signs and official documents are required by law to be shown in Welsh as well as English. 

The Climate in Cardiff

Situated on the west of the UK, Wales tends to have a wetter climate and sees significantly higher levels of precipitation than in the eastern side of the UK. Total annual rainfall in Cardiff is around 961 mm, while the city enjoys around 1,550 hours of sunshine each year. In the summer Cardiff has average high temperatures just over 19°C (66.2°F), with average lows of 11.4°C (52.5°F). During the winter months temperatures fall much lower, with daytime temperatures averaging 7.3°C (45°F) and dropping to an average 2.1°C (35.8°F) at night. The city’s location means that snowfall is infrequent and any snow that falls usually clears away quickly. 

Finding Accommodation

There are several areas well suited to expats moving to Cardiff. Pontcanna is an affluent area of town that has its own shops and restaurants, as well as being in walking distance of the center of Cardiff. The Cardiff Bay area is an attractive option for expats with its smart modern apartments and a good selection of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. 

Further out in the suburbs, areas such as Whitchurch and Llandaff North have larger houses with gardens, ideal for expats who are bringing their family with them. Other people choose to live in the beautiful countryside surrounding the city and commute in to work in Cardiff. 

Expats moving to Cardiff can find accommodation to rent advertised online and in real estate agencies or letting agencies. If you plan to live in Cardiff for the long term, purchasing property can be a good investment. Prices have risen in recent years, particularly since the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales, but are still lower than many parts of the UK. You will need to employ the services of a solicitor to handle the conveyance process.

InterNations Expat Magazine