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Reviewed on 9 Aug 2020
Reviewed on 11 Aug 2020
Reviewed on 19 Mar 2020
Whether you're coming to watch the hard-fought Six Nations rugby showdowns in late winter or looking to unravel the mysteries of the Celts and Welsh peoples at the immersive St Fagans National Museum, a hostel in Cardiff could be a unique place to stay in the capital. You'll find a smattering of these low-cost accommodation options across the city, offering cheap and cheerful dorm rooms that might have up to 10 or 12 beds apiece. Most also come with shared kitchen facilities for those evenings of cooking Welsh broths and rarebit, along with breakfast spreads to help fuel days of shopping down Queen Street – a buzzing retail district. An on-site bar is also present in some hostels in Cardiff, which means capping off days with frothy Welsh ales and stouts.
Ditching a mainstream hotel for a hostel in Cardiff can be a great way to infuse that city break with a little Celtic character. As soon as you walk into reception in one of these, you'll be greeted with a hearty Welsh welcome. You might want to stop by the adjoining pub before making for the dorm, for a cold pint of local Glamorgan bitter or Taff-brewed IPA perhaps. The upshot is that Cardiff's low-cost getaways are perfect for travellers who like something a little different, down-to-earth and sociable – those who love to share stories with likeminded backpackers while watching the River Taff flow by.
Design wise, there's plenty to like about Cardiff's quirky hostel establishments. You can find them inhabiting rows of centuries-old Welsh terraces, behind real-brick walls and slate-topped roofs. Others fringe the riverside with patios overlooking the mighty rugby pitch. Inside, there's a distinct hominess that often abounds. That means lounges with deep sofas, coffee tables and TVs – you know, for quiet nights in with newfound travel buddies. Other basic facilities common to hostels in Cardiff include self-serve laundry and assistance with tour booking – think guided tours of Cardiff Castle or culinary adventures down to Cardiff Bay.
It's easy to plan a real Welsh odyssey with help from hostels in Cardiff. Take somewhere like the NosDa Hostel. It boasts a fine location just on the side of the River Taff, in the very heart of town. It's also home to one of the liveliest pubs in the area, with outdoor tables that overlook the legendary Principality Stadium – get ready for an unforgettable atmosphere come rugby days. The Safehouse Hostel is nearby, occupying a characterful Welsh building with open fireplaces and corkscrewing staircases. Both of the above are perfectly located for checking off the main draws of the city centre, whether that means strolls beneath the bulwarks of Cardiff Castle or haggling sessions in Cardiff Central Market. They can also help with day trips to places like St Fagans – an immersive look at Welsh history through the millennia, with reconstructed schoolhouses and miner's terraces from centuries gone by.