A Travel Price Comparison for United Kingdom Edinburgh vs. Cardiff for Attractions, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Edinburgh or Cardiff?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Edinburgh and Cardiff can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a character-filled, vibrant, and ancient city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. It also has a unique and quaint vibe that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and theater.

Cardiff

Cardiff is a industrial, up-and-coming, and green city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Edinburgh and Cardiff: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Very walkable
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere
Pros
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular with couples
  • Less walkable


How is Edinburgh different from Cardiff?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Museums and Historical Sights?

While you'll find a number of sights and museums in both Cardiff and Edinburgh, you can spend more time enjoying those in Edinburgh.

The museums and tourist attractions in Edinburgh are world-renowned. The most famous sights include the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the National Museum of Scotland.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Cardiff. 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.

Edinburgh
Cardiff


Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Food?

Local dishes at restaurants are fun to try in both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Edinburgh. The city has some unique but famous dishes to try including haggis and black pudding. For slightly less intimidating options, check out the cullen skink, porridge, or smoked salmon.

Cardiff may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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.

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Edinburgh has a large number of nightlife venues. With so many students, the nightlife stays very active. There are a wide range of bars, clubs and pubs to choose from.

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.

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Edinburgh is well-known for its shopping. Head to Princes Street in the New Town to visit department stores and other name brand shops. Nearby George Street has more boutique style shops and less crowds.

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

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Families?

Both Edinburgh and Cardiff are fun to visit with kids.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Edinburgh is very family-friendly. There are a variety of unique activities for families in town including exploring Edinburgh Castle, a visit to the Edinburgh Dungeon, and of course, following the Harry Potter Trail.

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.

Edinburgh
Cardiff


Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Couples?

There's generally more to do as a couple in Edinburgh than Cardiff.

Edinburgh makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With its castle and the Royal Mile, there are many romantic places to explore as a couple. There are also good restaurants and some nice hotels.

Cardiff is not always the best place to visit for a couple. 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.

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Students?

Both Edinburgh and Cardiff are popular destinations for students.

Students come from all over to stay in Edinburgh. This multicultural city is popular with international students because of its excellent research and academic centers as well as its unique history.

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

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Edinburgh has some public transit options. Buses are the best way to get into town from the outer edges if you don't have a car.

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

Edinburgh
Cardiff

Is Edinburgh or Cardiff a more walkable city?

Edinburgh is considered more walkable than Cardiff.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Edinburgh. The Old Town in particular is fun to walk around

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

Edinburgh
Cardiff


Should I spend more time in Cardiff or Edinburgh?

How long in Edinburgh or Cardiff?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Edinburgh and Cardiff. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Edinburgh than Cardiff.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Edinburgh is 1-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Cardiff is 1-3 days.


  • How many days in Edinburgh or Cardiff? Ideal Length of Stay
    Edinburgh 1-5 
    Cardiff 1-3

One day in Edinburgh or Cardiff?

In Edinburgh, you'll find museums and theater. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. 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.

You'll find shopping and museums around the city of Cardiff. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cardiff has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Edinburgh or Cardiff?

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

You'll find museums and nightlife around the green destination of Cardiff. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Edinburgh or Cardiff?

Edinburgh is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Edinburgh has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and shopping when visiting the up-and-coming city of Cardiff. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Edinburgh or Cardiff?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Edinburgh. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. One week may feel like too much time here unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Cardiff is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Cardiff or Edinburgh?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Edinburgh is £116, while the average daily cost in Cardiff is £122. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Edinburgh and Cardiff in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Edinburgh £62
    Cardiff £72
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Edinburgh £124
    Cardiff £144
Compare Hotels in Edinburgh and Cardiff

Looking for a hotel in Edinburgh or Cardiff? 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 Edinburgh


Hotels in Cardiff


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Edinburgh £13
    Cardiff £17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Edinburgh:


  • Local Bus
    £3.60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Edinburgh

Also for Edinburgh, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Airport Transfer: $70
  • Airport Transfers: $75
  • Airport Transfers , Edinburgh to Aberdeen , or Aberdeen to Edinburgh: $538
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City by Luxury Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh by Business Car: $77
  • Arrival Private Transfer Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh by Luxury Van: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City: $80
  • Arrival Private Transfers from Edinburgh Airport EDI to Edinburgh City: $93
  • Central Edinburgh Hotels to Edinburgh Airport Transfers 1-3 pax: $105
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburg City to Glasgow GLA Airport by Business Car: $154
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburgh City to Edinburgh Airport EDI by Luxury Van: $84
  • Departure Private Transfer Edinburgh City to Glasgow GLA Airport by Luxury Car: $196

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cardiff

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Cardiff:

  • Private transfer: Cardiff to Cardiff Airport (CWL): $622
  • Private Transfer to Cardiff (CWL) Airport from Cardiff: $58
  • Private Cardiff Departure Transfer - Hotel / Accommodation to Airport: $45
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport (CWL): $31
  • Low Cost Private Arrival Transfer from Cardiff International Airport to Cardiff: $123
  • Low Cost Private Arrival Transfer From Cardiff International Airport to Bristol: $209
  • Departure Private Transfer Cardiff to Cardiff Airport CWL by Luxury Vehicle: $58
  • City Center to Airport Private Transfer: $87
  • Cardiff to Heathrow Airport private taxi transfers: $344
  • Cardiff Private Transfer from central Cardiff to Cardiff Airport: $90

Is it cheaper to fly into Edinburgh or Cardiff?

Prices for flights to both Cardiff and Edinburgh 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
    Edinburgh £31
    Cardiff £34
Typical Food prices in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    £8.50
  • Dinner at Filling Station
    £10
  • Lunch for Two
    £15
  • Sandwich
    £1.85
  • Cheese & bread
    £7.23
  • Thai Restaurant Dinner (for 2)
    £25
  • 2 Coffees and Scones
    £5.80
  • Turkish Delight
    £1.40
  • Soup at the Pub
    £5.90

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Scottish Classic Desserts private cooking class with professional chef: $66
  • Discover Royal Mile-Old Town & ENJOY Indian Dinner ~ Walking Tour!: $79
  • 3-Hour Guided Secret Food Tour: $94
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Cooking Class – pure comfort food for the soul!: $97
  • Curry Around The World Cooking Class: $97
  • Private Tour: Secret Food Tours Edinburgh: $106
  • Relaxing Handmade Pasta with meal and wine - Safe Cooking Class: $110
  • Vegetarian/Vegan Curry Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • "Curry Around The World" Private Cooking Class with professional chef: $116
  • Private Food Tour with a Local Expert including 10 Tastings in Edinburgh: $136
  • Handmade Pasta Cooking Class & Dinner with professional chef for private groups: $137
  • 3-Hour Secret Food Tour in Edinburgh w/ Private Tour Option: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Edinburgh £16
    Cardiff £20
Typical Entertainment prices in Edinburgh

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Edinburgh's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Show Tickets
    £32
  • Movie Tickets for Two
    £12
  • Donation for Storytellers
    £6.00

Tours and Activities in Edinburgh

For Edinburgh, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • City Highlights Self-Guided Smartphone Tour: $5.66
  • Harry Potter’s Explore the magic of the city on an audio walking tour: $5.99
  • The Witches Tour: $6.80
  • Edinburgh Audio Tour: Discover its History and Secrets: $8.26
  • Edinburgh Royal Mile (New Self Guided Tour): $8.26
  • Late Night Haunted Underground Vaults Tour: $12
  • Historic Underground Vaults Daytime Tour: $12
  • Old Town Historical Walking Tour: $12
  • Self-Guided City Experience: $12
  • Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt: $14
  • Ghost and Gore Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14
  • Murder and Mystery Walking Tour of Edinburgh: $14

Tours and Activities in Cardiff

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

  • A Journey in time: An audio tour through the lively Tudor city of Cardiff: $5.00
  • Cardiff & Vale Tour: $248
  • Cardiff Bay Boat Tour: $11
  • Cardiff City Tour: $83
  • Cardiff Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $38
  • Cardiff Private Walking tour: $230
  • Cardiff Tasting Tour -the best way to see Cardiff!: $62
  • Cardiff's Civic Centre: An audio tour of the city's most historical buildings: $5.00
  • 24-Hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour: $19
  • Doctor Who Car Tour: $612
  • Private Half-Day City Center and Bay Walking Tour: $299
  • City Sightseeing Cardiff Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Edinburgh £12
    Cardiff £10
Typical Alcohol prices in Edinburgh

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Edinburgh from other travelers:


  • Beer & Wine
    £14
  • Half Pint at Tollbooth Tavern
    £1.65
  • Pint of Beer
    £3.50

Sample the Local Flavors in Edinburgh

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

  • The Orange Pub Crawl - Edinburgh: $18
  • Edinburgh Brewery Tour: $22
  • Holyrood Distillery Gin and Whisky Guided Tour: $24
  • Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour: $24
  • Guided Gin Tasting at 56 North Distillery: $34
  • Pickering's Gin Distillery Tour with Gin Tastings: $34
  • Loch Lomond, Stirling, and Glengoyne Distillery Tour from Edinburgh: $52
  • Rosslyn Chapel, Scottish Borders & Glenkinchie Distillery from Edinburgh: $54
  • Loch Ness, Highlands and Whisky Distillery Day Tour from Edinburgh: $66
  • Bike, beers and brewery tour: $90
  • Edinburgh and Golf and Distillery Tour with Private Driver: $259
  • Whisky Distillery Tour from Edinburgh by Private Vehicle: $284


When comparing the travel costs between Edinburgh and Cardiff, we can see that Cardiff is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Edinburgh or Cardiff?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Edinburgh or Cardiff in the Summer?

Both Cardiff and Edinburgh during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Edinburgh for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences. Furthermore, many visitors come to Cardiff in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Edinburgh is cooler than Cardiff in the summer. The temperature in Edinburgh is usually 14°C (58°F) in July, and Cardiff stays around 17°C (63°F).

In Cardiff, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the summer, Edinburgh often gets less sunshine than Cardiff. Edinburgh gets 163 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cardiff receives 220 hours of full sun.

Edinburgh usually gets less rain in July than Cardiff. Edinburgh gets 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Edinburgh 14°C (58°F) 
    Cardiff 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Edinburgh or Cardiff in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Edinburgh and Cardiff. Many visitors come to Edinburgh in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, most visitors come to Cardiff for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Edinburgh is cooler than Cardiff. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Edinburgh in October are around 10°C (49°F), and Cardiff is about 11°C (52°F).

Edinburgh usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Cardiff during autumn. At this time of the year, Edinburgh gets 90 hours of sunny skies, while Cardiff receives 95 hours of full sun.

Cardiff receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In October, Edinburgh usually receives less rain than Cardiff. At this time of the year, Edinburgh gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 101 mm (4 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Edinburgh 10°C (49°F) 
    Cardiff 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Edinburgh or Cardiff in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Edinburgh as well as Cardiff. Most visitors come to Edinburgh for the museums, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine during these months. Additionally, the winter months attract visitors to Cardiff because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Cardiff can be very cold. Edinburgh can be very cold during winter. In January, Edinburgh is generally around the same temperature as Cardiff. Temperatures in Edinburgh average around 3°C (38°F), and Cardiff stays around 3°C (38°F).

In the winter, Edinburgh often gets less sunshine than Cardiff. Edinburgh gets 48 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Cardiff receives 57 hours of full sun.

Edinburgh usually gets less rain in January than Cardiff. Edinburgh gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Edinburgh 3°C (38°F) 
    Cardiff 3°C (38°F)

Should I visit Edinburgh or Cardiff in the Spring?

Both Cardiff and Edinburgh are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Edinburgh because of the natural beauty. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Cardiff this time of year.

Edinburgh is cooler than Cardiff in the spring. The temperature in Edinburgh is usually 7°C (45°F) in April, and Cardiff stays around 9°C (48°F).

Edinburgh usually receives less sunshine than Cardiff during spring. At this time of the year, Edinburgh gets 132 hours of sunny skies, while Cardiff receives 183 hours of full sun.

In April, Edinburgh usually receives less rain than Cardiff. At this time of the year, Edinburgh gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Cardiff receives 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Edinburgh 7°C (45°F) 
    Cardiff 9°C (48°F)

Typical Weather for Cardiff and Edinburgh

Edinburgh Cardiff
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (38°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 3°C (38°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Feb 3°C (38°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 4°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.7 in)
Mar 5°C (41°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 6°C (42°F) 80 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 7°C (45°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 9°C (48°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
May 10°C (49°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 13°C (55°F) 50 mm (2 in) 15°C (59°F) 57 mm (2.3 in)
Jul 14°C (58°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 14°C (58°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Sep 12°C (54°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 14°C (58°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Oct 10°C (49°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 11°C (52°F) 101 mm (4 in)
Nov 5°C (42°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 7°C (45°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 5°C (40°F) 96 mm (3.8 in)


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Edinburgh vs. Cardiff Travel Comparison

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