Walking is the best way to explore a new environment. It keeps you healthy, clears your mind and is completely free. Cardiff city centre is very compact and easy to access on foot and what’s more – walking also allows you to take time to notice things in the city you might have otherwise missed.
As with any city, we advise these safety precautions if walking after dark.
For the most part, Cardiff is flat which makes it brilliant for cycling. Cardiff council has plans to build new cycling infrastructure to link up the city on two wheels, the first phase was completed in Cathays.
You can bring your own bike to university, buy one in Cardiff or borrow one from one of the world’s largest bike share operators – Nextbike. You can plan your journey online to find routes that lead you away from main roads and even off road routes avoiding traffic altogether.
Cycling can be an enjoyable, safe experience, but like other activities, there are some safety measures to put in place before you get on your bike!
- Wear a helmet. It’s probably the first bit of advice you are told when you first learned to ride a bike but surprisingly some people don’t wear a helmet. Wearing a helmet can dramatically reduce your risk of getting hurt if an accident occurs.
- Attach lights to the front and back of your bike. Fit a white light to the front and a red rear lights and reflectors.
- Wear reflective and light coloured clothing whenever possible, especially after dark.
- Follow the Highway Code. Riding a bike is like driving a car, it’s just a lot cheaper, quicker and more enjoyable! When cycling on the road you must obey signs, traffic light signals and the rules of the Highway Code.
- Don’t cycle on the pavement unless there is a shared or segregated sign there. South Wales Police can present you with a fixed penalty notice for cycling on the pavement!
- If you need a refresher or are a bit hesitant to cycle, you can book a free one hour training session through Cardiff Council.
Travelling by public transport is good for the environment, offers good value for money and removes the hassle of finding a parking space.
Buses and Trains
All university campuses in Cardiff can be reached by bus and you can plan your bus journey with myunijourney. Bus fare discounts are available to some age groups and through MyTravelPass and this discount can even be used against the MetRider bus for Cardiff MET students. Cardiff Bus also offers special discounts on fairs if you pay for your journey via their app.
Cardiff University and University of South Wales is well connected by train, with stations in Trefforrest and Cathays. The train is also a great way to reach Cardiff City Centre and the Cardiff Bay area. Railcards are available for 16-25 year olds and offer a discount. You can plan your journey and find out more about rail travel, accessible travel and bike train tickets on the Keep Cardiff Moving website.
There are two types of taxi in Cardiff – Hackney Carriages and Private Hire. Both types need a licence to operate and will carry a plate on the back of the car to show they are licenced, but there are some differences to the two types to be aware of.
Hackney carriages are usually black with a white bonnet and have a roof light labelled “taxi”. Hackney carriage drivers must:
- Accept a fair that starts and ends within Cardiff (unless they have a good reason not to!)
- Use a fare meter
- Charge the metered fare!
The driver is allowed to ask for a deposit up front but the amount must be reasonable e.g. Not more than 50% of the fare.
Private hire vehicles cannot pick you up from the side of the street, they have to be pre-booked via a telephone operator or via an app. If they pick you up off the side of the road, this invalidates their insurance, so don’t just jump in a private hire car!
Drivers must follow the rules of their licence but if they do not, you can report them to the council. Take a photo of the taxi showing the vehicle registration and licence plate if possible and send details of the incident to firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardiff is a compact city and easy to travel around without jumping in the car so we recommend you do not bring your car to Cardiff. As well as parking being in short supply, running a car is an unnecessary cost whilst you are at University.
Did you know that 6% of Cardiff’s population have made the change from driving to cycling (2010 – 2020)? – improving traffic conditions and doing their bit for the environment.
If your circumstances makes driving essential, view our advice on parking for further details.