A Travel Price Comparison for United Kingdom Cardiff vs. Belfast for Nightlife, Families, Food, and Couples

Should you visit Cardiff or Belfast?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Cardiff

Cardiff is a green, industrial, and up-and-coming city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. It's a gorgeous place to visit. It's also known for nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Belfast

Belfast is a under-rated, authentic, and affordable city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the nightlife and shopping.

Cardiff and Belfast: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with couples


Is there more to do in Cardiff or Belfast?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Cardiff. Although Cardiff and Belfast are about the same size, Cardiff has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Cardiff is famous for having the most castles per square mile of any city in Europe. It is also well known for The Cardiff Castle. Belfast is famous for being the birthplace of the Titanic and the location of the era of the "Troubles".

How is Cardiff different from Belfast?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Belfast and Cardiff. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cardiff or Belfast?

Cardiff
Belfast

Cardiff is a nice place to visit for its sights and museums. However, Belfast does not have museums and landmarks.

Cardiff is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The most notable landmark of the city is the famous and well-preserved Cardiff Castle. Visitors also enjoy seeing the Victorian arcades, museums, and cathedrals around town.

Belfast does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Cardiff or Belfast? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cardiff
Belfast

Both Cardiff and Belfast offer a number of reasonable restaurants to choose from.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Cardiff. Welsh cuisine is known for its stews and hearty vegetable dishes. The national dish is cawl, which is a stew made with lamb and vegetables. Other local favorites include Welsh rarebit, which is a type of cheese toast, and Glamorgan Sausage, which is actually made with vegetables.

Belfast may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. While many restaurants have moved towards more modern cuisines, there are still places that hold tight to the traditions of the area. Traditional dishes include pasties, full Irish breakfasts, and oysters.

Is Cardiff or Belfast Better for Nightlife?

Cardiff
Belfast

It's hard to distinguish whether Cardiff or Belfast has a better nightlife scene.

Cardiff has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The nightlife scene is all about fun and most of the activities are driven by the large and diverse student population.

If you're looking for night time activities Belfast has a few options to choose from. The city has a number of bars and clubs with local DJs or musicians.

Is the Shopping Better in Cardiff or Belfast?

Cardiff
Belfast

Shopping is a popular activity in both Belfast and Cardiff.

Cardiff offers some nice shopping areas. Shopping options include shopping malls and boutique lined streets. There is a nice mix of independent shops and major chains to choose between.

Belfast has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The main shopping areas in the city are Victoria Square Shopping Centre and CastleCourt.


Is Cardiff or Belfast Better for Families?

Cardiff
Belfast

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Cardiff or Belfast.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Cardiff. The city has a number of climbing and play areas, museums, and playgrounds that can keep the little ones entertained. There are also plenty of outdoor parks and trails to wander around.

Belfast offers lots of family activities. The city has several great kid-friendly museums, a zoo, and a few indoor or outdoor activity centers where you can let kids play and explore.

Is Cardiff or Belfast Better for Couples?

Cardiff
Belfast

Most people don't think of either Cardiff or Belfast as a couple's destination.

Most people don't think of Cardiff as a couple's destination. The most romantic experiences involve a night out dining at nice restaurants, enjoying a cocktail at a classy bar, and strolling through neighborhoods and soaking up the atmosphere.

Belfast is not always the best place to visit for a couple. There are gardens and parks to explore, several nice hotels with spas, and an Observatory on the 23rd floor of the Grand Central Hotel.

Is Cardiff or Belfast Better for Students?

Cardiff
Belfast

Cardiff and Belfast are nice places to visit for students.

Cardiff is popular with students. Most students come to study at Cardiff University, which is a leading university in Great Britain.

It's common for students to visit Belfast. The city's affordability has made it a popular option for international students headed to the area.


Is Cardiff or Belfast Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cardiff
Belfast

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Cardiff and Belfast.

Public transit is generally limited in Cardiff. There is a bus system that you can use to get around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Belfast. There is a bus service in the city.

Is Cardiff or Belfast a more walkable city?

Cardiff
Belfast

Cardiff and Belfast both are nice when exploring on foot.

Cardiff is a somewhat walkable place. There are pedestrianized areas and the waterfront is nice to walk around but there is still room for improvement when it comes to walkability.

Belfast is a somewhat walkable city.

For even more information, also check out Is Cardiff Worth Visiting? and Is Belfast Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Belfast or Cardiff?

How long in Cardiff or Belfast?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Cardiff and Belfast. You can spend similar amounts of time exploring each one. However, 1-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Cardiff than Belfast. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cardiff, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cardiff than Belfast. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cardiff that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Belfast than Cardiff if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Belfast.


  • How many days in Cardiff or Belfast? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cardiff 1-3 
    Belfast 1-3

One day in Cardiff or Belfast?

In Cardiff, you'll find museums and nightlife. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

In Belfast, you'll find nightlife and shopping. This city offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A weekend in Cardiff or Belfast?

In Cardiff, you'll find nightlife and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cardiff has to offer.

In Belfast, you'll find shopping and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Belfast has to offer.

Five days in Cardiff or Belfast?

Cardiff is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Belfast is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Cardiff or Belfast?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cardiff. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Cardiff. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Belfast. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Belfast. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in United Kingdom, The Best Coach Bus Tours in United Kingdom, The Best Adventure Tours to United Kingdom, and The Best Sightseeing Tours in United Kingdom.


Which place is cheaper, Belfast or Cardiff?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cardiff is £156, while the average daily cost in Belfast is £133. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cardiff and Belfast in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cardiff £93
    Belfast £68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cardiff £186
    Belfast £136
Compare Hotels in Cardiff and Belfast

Looking for a hotel in Cardiff or Belfast? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cardiff


Hotels in Belfast


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cardiff Hotel Prices and Belfast Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cardiff £21
    Belfast £14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cardiff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cardiff:

  • Bristol Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Cardiff: $13
  • Heathrow Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Cardiff: $19
  • Barry Accommodation to Cardiff Airport (CWL) - Departure Private Transfer: $33
  • Cardiff to Cardiff Airport (CWL) - Departure Private Transfer: $39
  • Private Cardiff Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $59
  • Private Cardiff Arrival Transfer- Airport to Hotel / Accommodation : $59
  • Newport Accommodation to Cardiff Airport (CWL) - Departure Private Transfer: $60
  • Cardiff Private Transfer from Cardiff Airport to City centre: $80
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Cardiff Airport CWL to Cardiff by Luxury Vehicle: $97
  • Departure Private Transfer from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport CWL by Luxury Vehicle: $97
  • Private Transfer from Holyhead Port to Manchester Airport (MAN): $102
  • Private Transfer from Mold to Manchester Airport (MAN): $125

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Belfast

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Belfast:

  • Arrival Private Transfer Belfast Airport BHD or BFS to Belfast by Luxury Van: $107
  • Belfast Accommodation to Belfast City Airport (BHD) - Departure Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Bangor Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $27
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Belfast Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport (BHD) to Holywood Accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $23
  • Belfast City Airport BHD Executive transfer to Belfast 1-4 people: $59
  • Belfast City to Belfast International Airport (BFS) - Departure Private Transfer: $28
  • Belfast International Airport (BFS) to Belfast City - Arrival Private Transfer: $28
  • Belfast International Airport (BFS) to Lisburn City - Arrival Private Transfer: $28
  • Departure Private Transfer Belfast to Belfast Airport BHD or BFS by Business Car: $92
  • Departure Private Transfer Belfast to Belfast Airport BHD or BFS by Luxury Car: $103
  • Departure Private Transfer Belfast to Belfast Airport BHD or BFS by Luxury Van: $103

Is it cheaper to fly into Cardiff or Belfast?

Prices for flights to both Belfast and Cardiff change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cardiff £44
    Belfast £51

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cardiff

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Cardiff.

  • guided walking food tour, Welsh Food Tour.: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Belfast

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Belfast.

  • Guided Craft Beer and Street Food Tour: $83
  • Belfast Walking Food Tour With Secret Food Tours: $109

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cardiff £25
    Belfast £18

Tours and Activities in Cardiff

Here are a few actual costs in Cardiff for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • The Ghosts of Llandaff: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour of Bay and Barrage: $5.99
  • Ghosts of Llandaff Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • A Journey through Tudor A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
  • Essential Caerphilly: Explore the town’s history on a self-guided audio tour: $6.22
  • Cardiff’s Bay and Waterfront: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
  • Uncover Spectral Secrets with the Llandaff Ghosts Audio Tour: $11
  • Discover Cardiff's Waterfront: In-App Audio Tour: $11
  • Cardiff Bay Private Self-Guided Tour: $11
  • Llanberis, Conwy and Caernarfon Castle: A Self-Guided Driving Tour of Snowdonia: $15
  • Cardiff Bay Boat Tour: $15
  • 30 Minute Axe Throwing Experience in Llangollen: $19

Typical Entertainment Prices in Belfast

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Belfast are as follows:


  • Movie Tickets
    £8.00

Tours and Activities in Belfast

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Belfast are as follows:

  • Belfast’s Titanic Quarter: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.00
  • Belfast's Iconic Sites: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.47
  • Museum Ticket: $7.01
  • Hillsborough Castle Gardens Entrance Ticket: $13
  • If Buildings Could Talk Tour Belfast: $15
  • Crumlin Road Gaol Experience: $18
  • 2.5-Hour Street Murals Tour in Spanish: $19
  • Belfast Murals Political Tour in Spanish: $19
  • Belfast Tour App, Hidden Gems Game and Big Britain Quiz (1 Day Pass) UK: $19
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Belfast Open Top Bus Tour: $20
  • Line of Duty Guided Walking Tour: $22
  • Belfast Line of Duty Walking Tour: $22

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cardiff £13
    Belfast £7.86

Sample the Local Flavors in Cardiff

Also in Cardiff, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Cardiff Pub Crawl: Bar Crawl - Drink Deals & Free Shots: $19
  • Gin Tour at Hensol Castle Distillery: $32
  • Cardiff Bar Maid-led Pub Crawl for Special Events: $44

Sample the Local Flavors in Belfast

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Belfast:

  • Pub Crawl and Bar Walking Tour with Two Drinks: $19
  • Explore & Taste: Distillery Tour at Titanic Distillers: $32
  • Belfast Giant's Causeway and Titanic Distillery Whiskey Tour: $70
  • VIP Skip-the Line Titanic Museum and Distillery Tasting Tour: $121


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cardiff and Belfast, we can see that Cardiff is more expensive. And not only is Belfast much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Belfast would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Belfast and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Cardiff would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Cardiff than you might in Belfast.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cardiff Expensive? and Is Belfast Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Cardiff or Belfast?

Cardiff has a larger population, and is about 10% larger than the population of Belfast. When comparing the sizes of Cardiff and Belfast, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Cardiff or Belfast?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cardiff and Belfast. Many travelers come to Cardiff for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Belfast in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Cardiff is generally a little warmer than Belfast. Daily temperatures in Cardiff average around 17°C (63°F), and Belfast fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

In Cardiff, it's very sunny this time of the year. Cardiff usually receives more sunshine than Belfast during summer. Cardiff gets 220 hours of sunny skies, while Belfast receives 151 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Cardiff usually receives less rain than Belfast. Cardiff gets 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Belfast receives 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cardiff 17°C (63°F) 
    Belfast 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Cardiff as well as Belfast. Many visitors come to Cardiff in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Belfast for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene during these months.

Cardiff is a little warmer than Belfast in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cardiff averages around 11°C (52°F) in October, and Belfast fluctuates around 9°C (48°F).

In the autumn, Cardiff often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Belfast. Cardiff gets 95 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Belfast receives 92 hours of full sun.

Cardiff receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cardiff usually gets more rain in October than Belfast. Cardiff gets 101 mm (4 in) of rain, while Belfast receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cardiff 11°C (52°F) 
    Belfast 9°C (48°F)

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast in the Winter?

Both Belfast and Cardiff are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Cardiff for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Belfast because of the shopping scene and the cuisine.

The weather in Belfast can be very cold. Cardiff can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Cardiff is cooler than Belfast. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cardiff in January average around 3°C (38°F), and Belfast averages at about 4°C (39°F).

Cardiff usually receives more sunshine than Belfast during winter. Cardiff gets 57 hours of sunny skies, while Belfast receives 50 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Cardiff usually receives more rain than Belfast. Cardiff gets 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Belfast receives 80 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cardiff 3°C (38°F) 
    Belfast 4°C (39°F)

Should I visit Cardiff or Belfast in the Spring?

Both Belfast and Cardiff during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Cardiff because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Furthermore, the activities around the city are the main draw to Belfast this time of year.

In April, Cardiff is generally around the same temperature as Belfast. Daily temperatures in Cardiff average around 9°C (48°F), and Belfast fluctuates around 8°C (46°F).

In the spring, Cardiff often gets more sunshine than Belfast. Cardiff gets 183 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Belfast receives 150 hours of full sun.

Cardiff usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Belfast. Cardiff gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Belfast receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cardiff 9°C (48°F) 
    Belfast 8°C (46°F)

Typical Weather for Belfast and Cardiff

Cardiff Belfast
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 4°C (39°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.7 in) 4°C (39°F) 60 mm (2.4 in)
Mar 6°C (42°F) 80 mm (3.2 in) 6°C (43°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Apr 9°C (48°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 57 mm (2.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Jul 17°C (63°F) 62 mm (2.4 in) 15°C (59°F) 70 mm (2.8 in)
Aug 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in) 15°C (59°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Sep 14°C (58°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 12°C (54°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 11°C (52°F) 101 mm (4 in) 9°C (48°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 97 mm (3.8 in) 7°C (45°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 5°C (40°F) 96 mm (3.8 in) 5°C (41°F) 80 mm (3.1 in)