• One of the country's leading tourist attractions, the castle dates back 2,000 years
    A.Lorgnier ©
    Cardiff Castle, Wales

    One of the country's leading tourist attractions, the castle dates back 2,000 years

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination United Kingdom

The capital city of Wales, Cardiff is in the county of Glamorgan and has progressed over thousands of years from a small settlement to a busy, modern city. Cardiff has moved away from its industrial past and is being slowly regenerated. Designated a City of Sport for 2009, Cardiff enjoys a reputation as a sporting capital. Rugby, football, cricket, athletics, the city caters for almost all sports. It has a lively entertainment scene, featuring ballet, opera, musicals, theatres and live music. There is the Millennium Stadium, which opened in 1999, a multi-purpose event venue which has seen the likes of Rugby World Cups, FA Cup Finals and music concerts from world renowned artists. Cardiff is gaining popularity among tourists who are fascinated by Welsh history and culture.

Cardiff: what to do?

Cardiff is supposedly among some of the best shopping destinations in the UK. St David's Shopping Centre has the big brands as well as smaller brands. Cardiff also has a great sporting presence. Get some fresh air cycling the Taff Trail, a route which goes from Cardiff to Brecon, largely off-road.

Cardiff Castle, in the heart of the city, has an interesting past with a history spanning over 2000 years. The medieval castle was transformed from a Norman keep and built over a Roman fort. The old docklands have been converted into Cardiff Bay, an area with restaurants and a large lake for water sports and sailing. Cardiff also has its fair share of museums, including the open-air museum St Fagans National History Museum, the National Coal Museum and Rhondda Heritage Park.

  • Vibrant city with many sporting opportunities.
  • Cardiff has undergone major regeneration.
  • Not the most picturesque of cities.
  • Some areas are not very safe at night.


The main airport is Cardiff International Airport and most services to other British or European locations operate daily. Central Cardiff is only two hours away from London by train.
Cardiff city centre is in actual fact quite compact so you can get around on foot. It is also flat and therefore good for biking. There are buses of course, but a nicer way to go between the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Bay and Penarth there is the River Taff Waterbus. Tickets cost around 4.

To avoid

As is the case with many big cities, there are certain places to avoid at night time, and pay particular care if you are on your own. Also, the city can become quite rowdy during large sporting events.

Cardiff: what to eat?

Sample the nightlife in Cardiff with the wide choice of bars and clubs that litter the streets. There are some great restaurants on the waterfront at Cardiff Bay, or, alternatively, sip a beer in one of Cardiff's traditional pubs.

Cardiff: what to buy?

Nicknamed 'The City of Arcades', Cardiff has some great places to go shopping. There are many tourist stalls and arcades with Welsh-themed souvenirs. Or, why not bring back something a bit different and buy a record from Spillers Records, the oldest record shop in the world.

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