As any Cardiff student will tell you, the city is home to a vibrant network of nightlife venues - from intimate live music spaces to multi-room superclubs. But which bars and clubs do Cardiff students rate most highly? We used real students’ reviews to bring you this top 10 guide to Cardiff’s nightlife.
How did we rank the top 10 bars/clubs?
114 Cardiff students reviewed 33 nightlife venues in the city, awarding each bar or club a rating out of five on the following criteria:
Students also left an ‘overall’ rating; all these factors fed into our calculations for this league table. Keep on reading for a breakdown on the best bars, pubs and clubs in Cardiff.
Students rated The Live Lounge the best bar in Cardiff - and to be honest, we’re not at all surprised. Live music until midnight and DJs until 4am really impressed students, earning The Live Lounge a 4.8 rating for music & entertainment. Cheap drinks (just £1 during Power Hour!) and free entry also earnt Live Lounge a 4.6 for value for money. Its lowest rating was for the venue, but at 4.5, it would be a disservice to hold that against Live Lounge!
'...[it] can always be guaranteed that many a banger will be played on a night.' - Tom, July 2018
As a key venue in Cardiff’s local music scene, Clwb Ifor Bach scored very well for music & entertainment (4.7) and party vibe (4.7). However, the excellent location - a 10-minute walk from Cardiff University - is the club’s outstanding feature (4.8). Drinks are on the pricier side; students gave Clwb a 4.0 for value for money.
'Love that they host lost of different events catering for a variety of music tastes! My favourite is Disco Motel.' - Ella, February 2018
A veritable super-club, the biggest nightclub in Cardiff commands a strong 4.6 venue rating. Its handy location - a stone’s throw from Cardiff’s campus - is reflected in 4.8 location rating. Drinks are slightly more expensive than in other clubs, but with seven rooms of music, who cares!
'Photos booths are available to use to capture those good memories and many floors are available for a great night out.' - Charlotte, April 2018
Cheap, convenient and cheerful, Cardiff Students’ Union bar rates highly in all review categories. After all, who wouldn’t want a pub on their doorstep? Right at the heart of Cardiff University’s campus, its 4.9 location rating makes it the best bar on our list for accessibility. Music & entertainment (4.3) leaves a tiny bit to be desired - perhaps time to update the playlist?
'Social Wednesdays, juice Saturdays or other events held at the SU are always a winner.' - Anon, August 2018
Part of Cardiff University Students’ Union, this multi-purpose venue hosts regular club nights (like the infamous YOLO Wednesdays) and touring DJs for one-off gigs. Naturally, students find Y Plas very student friendly (4.7), and its party vibe (4.7) is equally strong. A go-to mid-week choice for hundreds of students.
'The venue is great and the fact that they regularly put on event with big name artists on is a big bonus.' - Robert, May 2018
A cosy bar with a top-drawer beer garden - turning into a club at night. Buffalo Bar’s proximity to Cardiff Uni and various nightclubs earns the bar a location rating of 4.8, and its beautiful dated aesthetic - Buffalo Bar is a Grade 2 listed building - fetches a 4.6 venue rating. The value for money (4.1) could be better, but the cocktails are worth the premium.
'Top tunes, top people, top vibes. The £3.25 double gin and juice make the queues so worth it.' - Alexandra, June 2018
Despite being part of the nationwide collection of Revolution bars, Revolution Cardiff doesn’t lack any originality. The venue rates well (4.4), as does the location (4.4). As one of the more upmarket nightclubs in the city centre, things don’t come cheaply - students awarded just 3.3 for value for money.
'...an interesting and somewhat classier experience than standard nightlife.' - Anon, June 2018
Two words: cheap and friendly. Metros stands head and shoulders above all other bars and clubs for value for money (4.7) and student-friendliness (4.7). A bit harder to find than other members of this list, students gave Metros a comparatively low rating of 4.3 for location.
'Cult club, serves really cheap drinks and good rock type music.' - Anon, April 2018
Claiming to be ‘the wildest venue in Cardiff’, Tiger Tiger talks the talk - but does it walk the walk? Well, judging by an impressive 4.6 rating for party vibe, yes it does. Students also love the music (4.6), but judging by the 3.7 for value for money, drinks prices could be better.
'Always had a great night at Tiger Tiger, and it was the first club I visited in Cardiff when moving there.' - Anon, January 2018
Flying the Australian flag at the end of the list, Aussie-bar Walkabout gets a perfect 5 for party vibe. Walkabout’s lowest rating comes for the venue (a still-impressive 4.5); there’s a disco floor, for heaven’s sake. We won’t be surprised if Walkabout climbs our rankings this year.
'Great vibe for an all round great night out. Favourite club in Cardiff.' - Alex, February 2018