Cardiff City Guide
Cardiff lies at the centre of three river systems: the Taff, the Ely and the Rhymney. Its location allowed its first residents to control trade and movement along these rivers, giving them power over a large area. The first people to take advantage of this location were the Romans who set up a fort here on the site of Cardiff Castle around AD55-60.
After going into decline in the 70’s and 80’s Cardiff’s docks and city centre have now been regenerated. Cardiff Bay has become a thriving waterside development, and the construction of the Millennium Stadium (the national rugby ground) in the heart of the city centre helped transformed Cardiff into a true European capital city and a great place to go!
Cardiff Castle is a striking city-centre castle encapsulating three periods of history - Roman, Medieval and Victorian.
The Millennium Stadium is situated among the shops in Cardiff's city centre. It's the home of Welsh rugby, Wales' national sport and a game loved the width and breadth of the country, and is one of the world's great rugby venues. It's a glittering jewel in the crown of Cardiff seating over 70,000 spectators and if you can get to see a game here then do, for the atmosphere is second to none.
Cardiff Bay is just a mile from the city centre and is now a popular part of any visit to Cardiff. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of restaurants, bars and shops in Mermaid Quay, cruise or sail on the Bay, or explore attractions such as the impressive Wales Millennium Centre, Norwegian Church, Red Dragon Centre or Techniquest - an interactive science discovery centre.
Cardiff Top 5 Eats
Chef Anand George is a bit of a local celebrity and he elevates comforting Indian dishes to the levels of fine dining here at his funky eatery in Canton. Spicing is refined, dishes are delicately plated and all really beautifully presented. The service is genial yet slick too.
The Potted Pig
Located in a former bank vault under the streets of the city, the Potted Pig is a true hidden gem. Serving up a constantly changing seasonal menu, the restaurant specialises in high-quality full-flavour British fare, including Welsh lamb, locally-sourced crab and Abergavenny beef. The interior’s very chic feel, with its stripped-back walls, make it a great place for a romantic evening meal.
Mint And Mustard
Founded in Cardiff in 2006, Mint and Mustard pioneered the British new wave of Indian cuisine. Mint and Mustard’s cuisine is inspired by the Keralan philosophy of fresh, light and healthy food created with passion and care for the ingredients used.
New York Deli
Tucked away in one of Cardiff’s famous Victorian arcades, the New York Deli serves up some of the most talked about sandwiches in the city. Despite its small size, this slice of Americana stands loud and proud, with a US flag flying above the entrance. And if there’s one thing that’s not small here, it’s the servings: grab yourself a classic hoagie with pastrami, topped off with sweet and crunchy gherkins and you won’t be disappointed!
Fish at 85
They don’t just cook fish here at their nice little spot on Pontcanna Street, they also supply it to some of the UK’s top restaurants and the Royal household. If you needed any further convincing, picking your fish from the ice filled-counter which runs the length of the place should leave you in no doubt about the freshness of what you’re about to eat. Possibly the best lemon sole in Britain and the scallops and crab are similarly spectacular.
The nearest airport is Cardiff Airport which is located about 10 minutes by train outside of Cardiff city centre.
From the main station, Cardiff Central you can catch trains up to London as well as to other locations in Wales. Cardiff also has a suburban rail system known as Valley Lines.
For information about parking in Cardiff please check the City council's page on parking to find on-street parking and car parks.
For information about how to get around Cardiff by bike, Keep Cardiff Moving is a great resource for cycle maps and bike hire.
For timetables and tickets for buses in Cardiff please check Cardiff Buses for more information.
What to do in Cardiff
Listed below are some of the great places to visit in Cardiff. Click one to find out more.
- The Doctor Who Experience
A real treat for any Doctor Who fans, the Experience houses the world's most extensive collection of original Doctor Who props and artefacts includes the entire collection of Doctors' iconic costumes from 1963 to the present day; the David Tennant TARDIS set and the Doctor's arch foes through the ages.
Specially created sets, images and interactive experiences allow you to discover first-hand what happens behind the scenes of the iconic television series, how the special effects are created and even how to walk like a Doctor Who monster.
This interactive journey takes you and the Doctor on a spectacular adventure through time and space. Step through a crack in time and help the Doctor, armed with his Sonic Screwdriver to escape from his foes, fly the TARDIS and come face-to-face with some of the scariest monsters seen on screen including Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans. Featuring exclusive filmed sequences with Matt Smith and packed with amazing special effects, this multi-sensory experience is fun for the family and fans alike.
For more information visit: www.doctorwhoexperience.com
- Red Dragon Centre entertainment destination
The Red Dragon Centre is the ultimate entertainment destination located in the heart of Cardiff Bay.
Boasting a 12-screen ODEON cinema, and home to Wales' only IMAX screen, a 26 lane Hollywood Bowl, 24-hour Grosvenor Casino, and a whole host of cafes, bars and restaurants, this exciting venue offers something for everyone day or night.
For more information visit: www.thereddragoncentre.co.uk
- Cardiff Castle and Bute Park
Cardiff Castle is one of Wales' leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. During 2000 years of history, the Castle has been a Roman Garrison, a Norman stronghold and in Victorian times was transformed into a gothic fairytale fantasy.
Just a short walk from Cardiff Castle and the city centre is Bute Park, an extensive area of mature parkland, flanked by the River Taff, Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna Fields and the castle. Few places can boast such a spacious green area in the heart of their city - a very popular 'green lung' full of historic and wildlife interest.
For more information visit: www.cardiffcastle.com
- Millennium Stadium and tour
Visit the Millennium Stadium and see where all the action takes place
Come and explore the magnificent facets and features that make the Millennium Stadium one of the most impressive icons of modern Wales. Join one of their experienced tour guides and visit the Press Conference Suite where the worlds of rugby and journalism meet. Experience the build up before the match in the Dragon's Lair, Wales' team dressing room. Hear the roar of 74,500 fans as you walk down the players' tunnel towards the hallowed turf. Learn about the only palletised pitch system and fully retractable roof in the UK, which allows the entire playing surface to be removed to create one of the world's largest indoor arenas. Take in the view of the pitch from a VIP hospitality suite, and finally lift the trophy to the skies like a sporting superstar in the President's Box, an area normally reserved for royalty.
For more information visit: www.millenniumstadium.com