Cardiff Travel Guide

Introduction and Overview

The Cardiff Travel Guide outlines a number of visitor attractions, places of interest and offers useful tourist information and tips for visitors. Cardiff is the capital of Wales and the largest city, it is the main commercial centre of the country and at the heart of cultural and sporting life in Wales.

In recent years Cardiff has been subject to a number of development and re-generation resulting in a lively, modern city that has become a popular city and short breaks destination.

The city is located on the south coast of Wales, historically a port of great importance helping the transport of coal from the valleys in South Wales. With the gradual winding down of heavy industries the docks were closed down and remained derelict for many years.

Cardiff Bay has been transformed in recent years seen by many as one of the success stories of Cardiff’s development.

Today Cardiff Bay includes a mixture of shops, leisure facilities, apartments and commercial buildings. Visitors can enjoy a cruise in the water, explore the Norwegian Church, Doctor Who Experience, Red Dragon Centre and much more.

During the summer the area hosts a number of free events and festivals including the International Food & Drink Festival.

Visitors have a range of attractions and places of interest to visit in the Welsh capital, there are a number of pedestrianised areas with street side cafes and the opportunity to enjoy al fresco dining.

The capital city includes a number of dining options catering for a range of tastes and budgets, entertainment facilities and cultural attractions.

The city has a positive feel to it having emerged from tough times and can look forward to its future as a vibrant, influential city at the heart of a confident Celtic nation.

The city has a reputation for being a cultural hub, there are a choice of museums, galleries, festivals and events that take place during the course of the year ensuring visitors with an affinity for cultural attractions and the arts are well catered for.

Sports fans are also well catered for in the city, it is home to Cardiff City football club, the Cardiff Blues Rugby Union Club and the Glamorgan County Cricket Club.

The Millennium Stadium is located in the city and is home of the Welsh Rugby Union and Football teams, the iconic stadium has a retractable roof and is renowned for its wonderful atmosphere.

Cardiff City Centre includes Queen Street known for being the main pedestrianised shopping street in the city, here visitors with find many well known high street retailers. The street goes from the Capitol Shopping Centre in the east to Cardiff Castle in the west.

Visitors can see street performers including a range of musicians, street artists and street dancers. There are a number of pieces of public art located along the street including works by Welsh sculpture Robert Thomas.

The Hayes is located in the city centre; there are elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings and a number of designer and boutique stores from internationally renowned fashion houses.

The area includes a mix of the historic and contemporary with the 15th century St John’s Church and the contemporary Cardiff Central Library, the Cardiff Tourist Information Centre is also located here.

The Hayes has undergone a transformation in recent years, it is now a pedestrianised shopping thoroughfare; that includes a number of coffee shops along with a choice of restaurants offering dining options.

Castle Quarter is where visitors will find Cardiff’s famous Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades, the city has the highest concentration of shopping arcades, having been referred to as the ‘city of arcades’.

The covered arcades retain historic period features and include a range of unique cafes and stores including vintage stores, craft shops and much more.

St Mary’s Street and High Street is a major thoroughfare in the city, here visitors can find a choice of bars, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs and Cardiff Market, an indoor market housed inside a Victorian structure known for its fresh produce, jewellery, gifts and household goods.

Outside of the city centre area, Cardiff includes a number of suburbs and villages are worth exploring. Roath is a suburb located approx 2 miles from the city centre. The area includes a diverse cosmopolitan population that includes students and has a reputation for being among the most creative areas in the capital.

The area includes a number of shopping streets with facilities and amenities, including gift and jewellery shops, charity shops and fashion outlets.

Albany Road, City Road and Wellfield Road are home to a choice of cafes, eateries, bars and restaurants serving a choice of cuisines.

Roath is the setting for the Roath Farmers’ Market, a weekly market that takes place each Saturday and the Made in Roath Arts Festival, a free festival showcasing the arts scene in Cardiff and South Wales.

Whitechurch is a suburb of Cardiff located 3 miles from the city centre. Sometimes referred to as Whitechurch Village, there is a local shopping street that includes a number of high street names in addition to a number of cafes and bistros.

In the evenings the fashionable bars, coffee shops, restaurants and traditional pubs offer a choice of food and drink including Welsh cuisine. The area includes a War Memorial commemorating World War I and the scenic St Mary’s Church.

Penarth is a seaside town located less than 5 miles from Cardiff. Historically the town was popular during the Victorian and Edwardian era establishing itself as a mecca for holiday makers.

The historic charm and character of the town centre it is still a popular place for both holiday makers and residents helped by its close proximity to Cardiff.

The seafront provides fine over the Bristol Channel, with a number of cafes where visitors can relax enjoy the view and watch the world go by. The charm and character of the town has been maintained and there are a number of local family owned businesses along with larger well known names.

Visitors can find a number of amenities including the Windsor Arcade, gift shops, bookshops, antiques and art galleries.

Cardiff is a city that has plenty to offer visitors, the recent ambitious regeneration and development plans have helped to transform the city, with the prospect of more development to come.

The city is well connected by road, rail and air and its location means for UK visitors it is easily accessible and makes an interesting short or weekend break destination, the city is at the heart of Welsh cultural and sporting life with plenty for visitors to discover.

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