Cardiff city centre is not everyone's cup of tea. Although it is unquestionably the best part of Cardiff to find the largest variety of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, it can also be a bit overwhelming for some. Every Friday and Saturday night, the streets there are filled with stag parties, hen nights and swathes of drunkenness. I was asked by some friends recently, “where can we go for a good night out that isn't so crazy?”. So I compiled for them a list of my own recommendations; five pubs all around the Cathays area, where you can have a great night out, knock back a few drinks and socialise without feeling like you're gasping for air whilst drowning in the Jägermeister apocalypse.
Located close the Cardiff University's main campus, and close to Cathays train station, the Woodville is one of the coolest pubs in Cardiff and a hotspot for students. While Monday is usually a quiet day for pubs, the Woodville is always busy, particularly with a younger crowd as Monday night is 'quids in' night, a weekly event in which all drinks cost just £1! There are other promotions here each day of the week that you can enjoy from the pub's two floors as well as its beer garden.
The Albany is a hidden pub, traditional in appearance and tucked away within the quiet residential backstreets of the Cathays neighbourhood. Plenty of people however, have no trouble finding it as it fills up on weekend evenings with local people. So if you want to live like the locals in a friendly and social atmosphere, the Albany is your best bet. It is a 'real' pub if you get my drift.
In many ways, the Heath feels like the kind of pub you're more likely to find in the countryside than in the city. It's mock-Tudor exterior gives it a country house feel, the type of house you could imagine being beside a green field where games of cricket are played on summer afternoons. In that sense, it's a very unique pub for Cardiff and ideal for a quiet evening drink.
You will struggle to find a cooler pub in Cardiff. The Flora boasts a shabby chic style interior and somewhat of a hipstery vibe as well as an arty beer garden decorated with slick graffiti artwork and made complete with a pool table. It's easy to see that the Flora once was a more traditional type of pub, especially from the outside, but it has evolved gracefully and kept up with the youth while still managing to retain a strong feel of its past; a gem of a pub.
Being one of the cheaper options, the College Tavern allows you to cling onto a few extra pennies with each drink you order. There always seems to be music playing inside and the jukebox means that you can get involved in the song selection. Judging by its name, one would imagine that the College Tavern is trying to appeal to the large international student community who reside in the halls nearby. Nonetheless, the local Welsh are still as present as ever here, day in day out.
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