The Cardiff Date Guide

Romantic Stroll Photo credit: mrhayata via flickr

By Sarah Harris

Going on dates can be both fun and stressful at the same time. The feeling of hosting an impromptu cat walk session with your housemates while you pick on an outfit, mixed with the “if they turn out to be a freak, can you call me” talk, can leave you feeling both anxious and excited. However, as students, one of our biggest concerns can often be how to plan a fun date with the £10 that’s left in your bank account.

The best thing about dating fellow University goers is knowing that they’re probably just as broke and irresponsible with money as you are. I mean after all, you did pick your date based purely on the corny joke in their Tinder bio.

Cardiff is a city booming with culture and therefore, planning a cheap date is supposedly easy. If you literally have nothing in your bank account, don’t fret. Entrance to the National Museum is free and if you do your research on the art work beforehand, it can score you some major points with your date. If staring at ancient pieces of art (that can all tend to look the same) isn’t your thing, you’re in luck, because Cardiff is home to some pretty cool parks, such as Bute and Roath and romantic strolls in the Winter are always fun.

My boyfriend took me to the Millennium Walkway on our first date and although it started raining half way through, it gave us a chance to explore Cardiff and the relaxed atmosphere allowed for us to get to know each other without having the pressure of other people on us.

If you are sensible with your money and have a fair bit saved up, why not plan something different and exciting? Go-karting is something that can let you see your date in a lively environment and calls for some pretty fun stories to share if things do go well. St David’s is also home to an enjoyable mini-golf course and students get a discount!

During this season, Winter Wonderland is the perfect place to go on a date. The rides aren’t too expensive and the food is usually fairly decent so if you want to go somewhere oozing with ‘romantic energy,’ the lights and music at Winter Wonderland will definitely do that for you.

Of course, Cardiff is also filled with a huge range of restaurants, all featuring cuisines from all over the world. If you want to score bonus points with your date, ask them what their favourite cuisine is beforehand and take them to a restaurant they’re guaranteed to like! The Hellenic Eatery on Crwys Road does some really good Greek food and likewise Bombay Grill on City Road has amazing Indian food.

If you want to play it a little safer or aren’t sure what your date’s taste buds are craving, places like TGI Fridays or Frankie and Benny’s are an easy option to go for as they have a really diverse menu. Obviously, a cheeky Nando’s is also, always a winner.

Mermaid Quay at Cardiff Bay has a fabulous array of places to eat and also offers some beautiful views. Although it may be a little pricey for most, it’s the perfect place to go on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries.

Dates don’t have to be as stressful (or expensive) as most people assume they’re going to be. Thankfully, we live in a city that also happens to be fairly easy on student’s bank accounts and has a bunch of fun stuff we can do for free. So, don’t stress out too much about planning for your next date – it is easier than it seems.