Those new to Cardiff generally find the cost of living to be reasonable, particularly when compared to other major UK cities. It's estimated that the cost of living in Wales is, generally speaking, at least 15 percent lower than the cost of living in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. So while Cardiff may be the most expensive city in Wales, it's a great deal cheaper than the likes of London and Edinburgh.

Cost of accommodation in Cardiff

Most aspects of life are affordable in Cardiff, but the cost of accommodation is a sore point as rental and purchasing costs are continually rising. These price hikes are occurring all over the UK, but are especially pronounced in Wales. Still, accommodation prices here are generally more affordable than in other major UK cities, and well below the cost of housing in other capital cities.

New arrivals unsure of where to start should consult with a local estate agent, who will know the general price differences between areas and will have insider knowledge on bargains and new developments.

Cost of entertainment in Cardiff

Cardiff's stunning natural splendour provides plenty of free entertainment to locals, be it in the form of hiking or picnicking in its many green spaces, or a crisp seaside stroll. These activities are best on sunny days, but even when the wet weather drives everyone indoors, there are still many options, including visiting museums, galleries, indoor markets and local historical sites, all of which aren't too hard on the pocket.

Of course, Cardiff also has much to offer when it comes to shopping, nightlife and dining out, but the cost of these pursuits can add up quickly and should be budgeted for carefully.

Cost of groceries in Cardiff

One of the benefits of living in Cardiff is the cheap and easy access to high-quality local dairy and meat products. This limits the need to purchase pricey imports.

The cost of groceries can vary widely and largely depends on where a person shops. Shoppers heading to high-end supermarkets like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose can expect high prices for even the basics. Many people rather opt for mid-range supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons, which offer a good balance of cost and quality. Good savings can be found at discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl.

Cost of transport in Cardiff

Cardiff is a fairly small city, and it's not strictly necessary to own a car, though it might be a good purchase for new arrivals intending to explore the Welsh countries or parents who need to cart the kids around.

The cost of public transport in Cardiff is reasonable, and between the bus, train and metro, the system is generally sufficient for most people's needs. Cycling is also a popular – and affordable – way to get around.

Cost of education in Cardiff

There are several well-respected public and private schools in Cardiff. While private schools charge fees and tend to be pricey, public schools can be attended for free. Some parents choose their future neighbourhood based on the nearby schools, since catchment areas determine admission priorities. Naturally, the best schools are often in the most expensive neighbourhoods.

Cost of living in Cardiff chart

These are average costs for Cardiff in July 2022. Prices may vary depending on product and service provider.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

GBP 1,500

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

GBP 1,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

GBP 800

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

GBP 650


Milk (1 litre)


Dozen eggs

GBP 1.97

Loaf of white bread 

GBP 0.95

Rice (1kg)

GBP 1.50

Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro)

GBP 12.50


City-centre bus/train fare

 GBP 2

Taxi rate per km

 GBP 1.12

Petrol/gasoline per litre

 GBP 1.53

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

 GBP 6

Coca-Cola (330ml)   

 GBP 1.60


 GBP 2.85

Local beer (500ml)

GBP 3.50

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

GBP 60


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

GBP 26

Mobile call rate (mobile-to-mobile per minute)

GBP 0.07

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

GBP 190