Cardiff

Book a hotel in Cardiff to experience the cultural, historic and economic centre of our friendly western neighbour.

Wales isn’t all rugby, beautiful valleys and tongue-twister place names. Just give a Cardiff minibreak a try to see for yourself.

The Welsh capital may be built around a medieval castle but the sights and sounds on offer feel undoubtedly modern. Even the Millennium Stadium has been brought into the 21st century, that’s right, the sporting cathedral is called the Principality Stadium now and it isn’t the only world-class venue in the city. There’s the Olympic-standard Cardiff International White Water centre for high adrenaline thrills and Wales Millennium Centre, home to musicals, contemporary dance shows and the biggest names in comedy.

Don’t forget to explore Cardiff Bay too, the waterfront city within a city is buzzing with bars and restaurants, well worth tearing away from the centre for. Get a bite to eat at Mermaid Quay, take in a public show at Roald Dahl Plass, the choice is yours. Whatever you do, make sure you book a Best Western room to cwtch (cuddle) up with your nearest and dearest in comfort. 

cardiff bute park

Things to do in Cardiff

You’re spoilt for choice in Cardiff. Choose between these unmissable activities to soak up all Wales’ largest city has to offer.

  • Take a Doctor Who Walking Tour

Since making its comeback in 2005, most of the iconic TV series has actually been shot in Cardiff. Join a guided tour to visit more than 30 stand-out filming locations from across more than 20 episodes. Highlights include the National Museum, Rose Tyler’s workplace, learning how intergalactic scenes were made and how the city was adapted to ‘become’ New York, Pompeii and Paris.

  • Enjoy fresh air at Bute Park

You don’t have to venture far to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, with Bute Park just minutes from Cardiff’s centre. Immerse yourself in 130 acres of greenery, admire an abundance of striking trees and let the kids enjoy the natural play features. You can even pop into the visitor centre if you’re keen to learn about its history, followed by a refreshment from one of three cafes.   

  • Try out Welsh rugby

It only seems right to try and catch a game of rugby at Principality Stadium, home of the Welsh national rugby union team. Or, you can opt for a guided tour to experience it pitchside and imagine what it must feel like playing in a 74,500 stadium with an 800-tonne roof, with plenty of fun facts thrown in to boot.

cardiff bay

Eating and drinking in Cardiff

It’s not all Welsh rarebit and Penderyn Whiskey (though these are worth a try). Treat yourself to the best of food and drink in Cardiff…

  • Heaneys Restaurant

Enjoy a spot of lunch at Chef Tommy Heaney’s stylish, family-run restaurant and bar, found in trendy Pontcanna. This hotspot offers seasonal, simple and fresh food, ranging from three-course Sunday lunches, tasting menus and of course, any cocktail you desire. They only use the freshest of ingredients, which means the ever-changing menus make for a unique experience whenever you decide to go.

  • Uncommon Ground

Whether you’re a coffee expert or just can’t live without the stuff, get your caffeine fix from Uncommon Ground, nestled in the vibrant Royal Arcade. This speciality coffee shop run by two local brothers serves brews using beans that have been roasted in their nearby facility. Sip your coffee while soaking up the character inside, or people watch in the outdoor seating area.

  • Craft beer

Cardiff isn’t short of a good night out, and it’s also not short of some excellent craft beer, making the experience more than just a party. Start your evening at Tiny Rebel, known for its colourful cans of IPA, larger, pale ale and more. Then head on over to Brew Monster to enjoy pints with views of Cardiff Castle’s main gate, followed by beers from around the world at The Cambrian Tap. 

shopping in cardiff

Shopping in Cardiff

Known as the City of Arcades due to its Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades, so you’ll never be short of a shop to pop into.

  • Spillers Records

Who could say no to browsing the (potentially) oldest record shop on the planet? Appropriately situated in Morgan Arcade, this music store dates back to 1896, and houses some of the best old and new records across jazz, hip hop, rock, indie and more. Keep your eyes peeled for their weekly Friday new releases…

  • Troutmark Books

Are you a bookworm? Maybe you just love a bargain? This quirky hidden-gem bookshop buys and sells them second-hand – so many that its walls are full to the ceiling with hard and paperbacks. Get your hands on first editions, rare and unique books, comics, annuals, fiction and non-fiction and so much more. You’ll find it nestled in Castle Quarter Arcades.

  • Queen Street

If you’re looking to hit the shops in one outing, Cardiff’s popular shopping district around Queen Street will deliver with well-known stores, big fashion brands, high-street fashion, food halls and enough pubs and eateries to replenish you in between.

cardiff castle

Culture and history in Cardiff

Discover the past and present of Cardiff with a trip to one of these educational, entertaining and inspiring attractions.

  • Wales Millennium Centre

Whether you want to immerse yourself in the best of Welsh musical theatre, comedy, dance or cabaret, the Millennium Centre has something for everyone. It’s made up of one large theatre and two smaller halls filled with shops, bars and eateries. A bite to eat before the Welsh National Opera anyone?

  • Butetown

Also known as Tiger Bay, this district soon became one of the UK’s first multicultural communities with people from more than 50 countries settling to work there by the onset of WW1. While it may have experienced its fair share of troubles, it’s one of the most authentic parts of Cardiff. Plus, Shirley Bassey was born there.

  • Cardiff Castle  

Last but not least, it’d be rude not to take a trip to Cardiff’s best-known attraction found in the heart of the city. The original motte and bailey castle dates back to the late 11th century, when it was built by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd century Roman fort. Spend the day uncovering the history of this gothic wonder, or see it through a different lens with an adventure in the Castle Quarter-based escape room.  

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