Cardiff City Guide

Cardiff is a young capital, the capital of Wales since only 1955, and it is a city with all the energy, vibrancy and vigour of the young. Since the new millennium regeneration projects have seen Cardiff emerge as one of the most exciting cities in Britain. There is no end of swish eating out choices, plenty of places to enjoy a night out, impressive sporting stadiums hosting world class events, shopping options from sleek contemporary malls to beautifully decorated Victorian arcades and, of course, there’s the ultramodern waterfront development and the ancient castle as well.

Cardiff is a happening city so the only thing you can do is dive in and pack as much as you can into your stay. Here are some suggestions for starters.

Sport in Cardiff

Even if you are not a big sporting fan you can’t fail to be impressed by the grandeur and iconoclasm of the Millennium Stadium, and you’ll want to know if the Six Nations (February to March), or any other sporting event, is being held as hotels in the city will get booked up pretty quickly when this is the case.

The Millennium Stadium sits on the banks of the River Taff and the crowd’s songs cause the whole of Cardiff to reverberate to their rhythms. Get in early to book your tickets, or take a tour to see behind the scenes.

Shopping in Cardiff

Cardiff boasts one of Britain’s largest shopping centres in St David’s, but it also provides shopping experiences of a smaller and more unique kind. These include its historical arcades (such as the nineteenth century Royal which leads to the ritzy modern consumer delights of the Morgan Quarter), Jacob’s Market (a four storey bric a brac lover’s delight) and the Fashion Quarter (which is all graffiti walls, vintage clothes and independent traders).

History and Museums in Cardiff

As the home of BBC Wales, which produces Dr Who, Cardiff is no stranger to time travel. Next door to BBC Wales is the Doctor Who Exhibition where daleks, cybermen and the Doctor spring to life daily.

You can time travel in a rather more considered way by visiting Cardiff Castle, quite rightly Cardiff’s favourite visitor attraction. Here you will find a medieval keep at its heart, but it’s the extravagant adornments and additions of the Victorians in all their gothic splendour that really fire up the imagination.

Nearby Bute Park offers a great place to escape from it all and idle a while by the River Taff.

Explore Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay is, perhaps, the greatest symbol of Cardiff’s regeneration, housing the arts complex of the Wales Millennium Centre, an architectural masterpiece, important national institutions, a whole smorgasbord of interesting buildings, large open spaces, public art. There is art, theatre, shopping, restaurants, cafes, bars, sculptures and it’s a great place to just lose yourself in for an afternoon.

But don’t linger too long: the rest of Cardiff beckons!

Guide to Exploring Cardiff

St Fagans

Wales, as well as being a beautiful country and tourist attraction packed with seaside resorts, mountains, lakes and forests, is a proud nation in its own right. Nowhere is this more apparent than at St. Fagans National History Museum, a stunning open-air museum, based in and around the grounds of St. Fagans Castle.

Cardiff International Arena

Cardiff International Arena, also known as the Motorpoint Arena, first opened in 1993 with legendary singer Shirley Bassey cutting the ribbon in front of over 5000 fans. Since then it’s grown to become one of the best loved venues in Wales, with a full capacity of 7,500 standing and 5,000 seated. Located right in the city centre, it’s within easy reach of all the major hotels and amenities, and is the perfect choice for catching your favourite band when they come to town.

Swalec Stadium

Home to Glamorgan County Cricket Club (Glamorgan CCC), one of Wales’ oldest and most successful clubs, the impressive SWALEC Stadium opened to great fanfare in 2008, with state-of-the-art facilities and seating capacity for up to 16,000 spectators. As well as county cricket, international test matches have been hosted at this fantastic venue since the 1990s, and major music and corporate events are also held here. Situated in the scenic Sophia Gardens Public Park in central Cardiff on the west bank of the River Taff, the stadium is just down the road from the Millennium Stadium and is easily accessed by bus, train or road.


Situated in the South of Wales on the banks of the rushing Sirhowy River, Blackwood is rare for a Welsh town in that it was never a major centre of mining. Although it may not have bloomed at the peak of Wales’ coal-mining industry, it makes up for this today as a bustling commercial and retail hub, home to hi-tech businesses and great shops.

Cardiff City Hall

A wonderful place to learn about the history and architecture of the Welsh capital, Cardiff City Hall has been the centre of local government since 1906. Its distinctive 59 metre clock tower surmounted by a Welsh dragon towers over Cathay’s Park, evoking the prosperity and confidence of the Edwardian era like few other structures. Now considered one of the finest civic centres in Europe, City Hall is set amongst a number of other notable buildings, including the Temple of Peace and the National Museum and Gallery of Wales.

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