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Cardiff City Guide
Things to Do
Rugby & Football
International games take place in Cardiff in Feb, March & November most years. There is also usually a game to be found at the Arms Park between September & April, be it Cardiff Blues or Cardiff RFC.
Alternatively there is Championship football at
Cardiff City Stadium most weeks.
National Museum of Wales
A must for any art lovers, the National Museum stocks the largest collection of impressionist
paintings anywhere in the world outside of France, and it's all free! The building itself and the surrounding Civic Centre are beautiful too.
Cardiff Story Museum
Cardiff's other museum, the Cardiff Story Museum, may be small but it contains a mountain of information detailing the history and transition of the town over the years from village to capital city, and it's also free and reopening soon!
The centrepiece of the city, Cardiff Castle is a journey through time, charting the progress of Cardiff from Roman times to Norman conquest, from the Medieval period to modern emergence under the Bute family, through World War 2 and beyond. Make sure to avail of the extra tour options of the Clock Tower and House Tour, but they cost £4 extra on top the £13 entry.
Bute Park & Roath Park
Cardiff is a very green city, and two beautiful, centrally located parks include Bute and Roath. Bute Park is famed for its trees and Animal Wall, while Roath contains a lovely central lake with a lighthouse within it.
Cardiff's version of a Disney Land Castle is only seven miles away, at the opposite end of Bute Park from Cardiff Castle. Taking a cycle through the park to get there is a nice way to visit it. Entry is £8.30
Cardiff's primary cathedral is about 40 minutes walk outside the city centre in Llandaff. Combining medieval and post-WW2 architecture, it dates back to 1120
The city market, with entrances on St. Mary St. and Trinity St. contains plenty of options for food and souvenirs, and many photo opportunities as well. It opens until 5:30pm daily but is closed on Sundays.
Cardiff's iconic waterfront regeneration project has been a big success, and Cardiff Bay these days contains plenty of bars and restaurants, famous old buildings like the Pierhead, Norwegian Church and Coal Exchange, but also new structures like the Wales Millennium Centre and The Senedd.
For transport options to the Bay, you can find them on this page...
Food, Drink & Souvenirs
One of the city's more unique and quirky coffee places, and beautifully located in Cardiff's oldest arcade, dating from 1858, Royal Arcade.
Pettigrew Tea Rooms
Ideal for lunch or afternoon tea, and nicely located just inside the entrance of Bute Park
Perfect for beer lovers, Tiny Rebel is the foremost craft brewery in Wales. Their brewery is in nearby Newport, but their flagship bar in Cardiff has more beer options than one can imagine, all very reasonable priced and there's also live music, comedy shows and great food
Clwb Ifor Bach
Fancy hearing some Welsh language while in Cardiff? Then perhaps the best place to hear it is in this Welsh speaking bar on Womanby St, named after Cardiff's favourite Lord/Kidnapper.
Great coffee and breakfast, accompanied by a multitude of comfortable couches in the setting of perhaps the prettiest of Cardiff's arcades, Castle Aracde.
If your looking for lovespoons, dragons, welsh language souvenirs and even Welsh cakes, the good people at Shop Wales will help you out!
Castle Welsh Crafts
For locally hand crafted and authentic traditional Welsh souvenirs, this shop is ideally located directly opposite Cardiff Castle
There is more to Wales than just Cardiff of course, and you don't need to go to far to find beautiful beaches, castles, scenery and interesting museums.
Cardiff's nearby seaside resort has attracting 'tourists' to its beaches for the past 150 years. An ideal location for a beach stroll with local fish & chips, and only 30 minutes from Cardiff Central Station
Swansea & the Gower
Wales' second city is less than 50 miles away, containing the tallest building in Wales, the brilliant National Waterfront Museum and the Dylan Thomas Centre.
The nearby Gower Peninsula contains some of the country's most beautiful beaches, at Rhossili, Three Cliffs Bay and Oxwich Bay. Llangennith is also a world renowned surf spot
Take the X10 bus from Custom House St. or else trains run regularly to Swansea from Cardiff Central
The closest national park to the city offers numerous hikes, routes and trails with breathtaking views of the surounding valleys. Easily accessible for day trips from the city, just take the T4 bus from Custom House St.
St. Fagan's National History Museum, or museum of Welsh life, is an ideal day out for families, and it's free (as long as you can get there). The mostly outdoor facility is a recreation of Welsh life over the centuries, with functioning tea rooms and sweet shops, as well as a farm. It's only five miles from the city centre, so if you don't have a car the 32A bus goes directly there from Castle St
Britain's second largest castle is only eight miles away (or a 20 minute train journey) and is incredibly well preserved for a 13th century fortress
Cardiff was built on the coal industry, and Big Pit National Coal Museum is a great introduction and overview of the daily work life of a coal miner in industrial Wales. Entry is free, but it's 20 miles north of Cardiff, in Blaenavon, so a car would be ideal
Getting Around Cardiff
Cardiff is not a huge city, and it is also quite heavily pedestrianised these days, so walking is of course the easiest way to get around the city. However, if necessary, other modes of transport are well catered for.
There are decent train links in the city between Cardiff and it's suburbs and even nearby towns like Penarth, Barry and Caerphilly. Cardiff Central Station is the main station in the city
Cardiff's public bus system is very reasonably priced, with most journey's generally costing £1.90. Of course, bus schedules and their frequency vary depending where you go, but most bus routes can be found on Castle St, Westgate St or St. Mary St.
Any bus with a T is free on weekends, such as the T4 to Brecon or T9 to the airport
One way to get around Cardiff is by boat, especially from the city centre to Cardiff Bay (more info on this page). Alternatively there are numerous cheap boat tour companies in the Bay that do tours of Cardiff Bay Barrage
Cardiff is reasonably bike friendly, especially compared to other parts of the UK, as there are plenty of parks and bike paths. You can use the city bike scheme, Next Bike (downloading the app is required) for £1 every 30 minutes, or rent a bike for £10 from Pedal Power.
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There are other styles of tour on offer in the city, however availability may be limited still.
See Wales Tours
There is more to Wales than just Cardiff of course, and See Wales offers numerous day bus tours to destinations outside the city, including to the Gower Peninsula or the old Roman town of Caerwent for example
Where to Stay
There are a fewer hostels in the city than there used to be unfortunately, but a couple do still remain thankfully.
Currently Cardiff's only traditional youth hostel, and located right in the heart of Cardiff's night life on St. Mary St.
Now a B&B with a series of large, affordable rooms in a great location
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