Cardiff Travel & Transport

The transport system in Cardiff offers visitors a number of ways to get around including taking public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire and coaches.

Buses
Cardiff has an extensive bus network providing transport across the city of Cardiff, to the outskirts of the city and the Vale of Glamorgan. Cardiff Bus provides local bus services, local bus services and timetables are shown at: Cardiff Bus.

The main bus terminals are located at Cardiff Bus Station, the main bus interchange in the city located close to Cardiff Central Railway Station, with many bus routes stopping the area behind St David’s Shopping Centre.

Trains
Trains in Cardiff serve a number of routes across Cardiff, the outskirts of the city, south Wales and across the UK. There are approx 20 mainline stations serving Cardiff forming the commuter rail network also known as Valley Lines. There are mainline rail routes offering local and regional services including services to London, Manchester, Holyhead, Bristol, Bath and Birmingham. Cardiff Central railway station is the largest and busiest station in Wales, there are regular services to London Paddington used for services from London Euston. The service is operated by First Great Western Trains. The approx journey time from London to Cardiff is 2 hours to 2 hours 10 minutes via Virgin trains.

Arriva Trains Wales operates trains that includes the Cardiff city and suburban area, the Vale of Glamorgan and across Wales.

Cardiff Queen Street Station is the other station located in Cardiff city centre, there are services to Cardiff Bay, Bridgend, Pontypridd, Barry and Merthyr Tydfil.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries


Bicycle
The city of Cardiff can be explored by bicycle via a number of cycle routes that cyclists can use to see the city and its various attractions. The city is well suited for cyclists, it has a relatively flat landscape, large green parks and spaces and is compact in size.

For more information please see: Cardiff Cycle Tours for more information on hiring a bicycle.


Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport in Cardiff go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.


Car
There are a number of car hire firms in Cardiff that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars. Cardiff does experience traffic congestion along with many other cities, the traffic is usually at its peak during the peak morning and evening rush hours however road incidents and unforeseen circumstances can create traffic congestion at all times.

Cardiff has good road connections to the motorway network, with the M4 and A470 close by offering good road connections to and from the surrounding areas. The M4 motorway gives access to the south west of England and to London. London to Cardiff via the A4 and M4 is a drive of 150 miles that has an approx journey time of 2 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours 45 minutes.

Parking in Cardiff is available in the main car parks and on street parking. Among the main city car parks are the Cardiff Dumfries Place, Cardiff Westgate Street NCP car park and Cardiff Wood Street NCP car park.

Drivers should note there are parking restrictions in the city and there may be driving restrictions in and around the city centre. Following the rules is advised as any infringement is likely to be met with strict enforcement of fines.

There are Park & Ride schemes in operation in Cardiff East Park & Ride, Cardiff South Park & Ride, Cardiff West Park & Ride, where drivers can park in designated areas in the outskirts of the city centre and get a bus in to Cardiff city centre. For more information please see: Cardiff Park & Ride


Coach
Cardiff is easily accessible by coach with coach services from a number of UK towns and cities including from London where there are regular coach services to Cardiff with a journey time of between 3 hours and 3 minutes 30 minutes depending on the service. Both National Express and Megabus offer coach services from London to Cardiff. There are also coach services to Cardiff from Manchester, Birmingham and Swansea.


Taxis
Licensed taxis are available across the city with taxi ranks located in travel and business areas including Cardiff Central Station, St Mary Street, Greyfriars Road and Wood Street. Licensed taxis operate with fares metered and may have a minimum charge. Taxis offer a convenient way to travel around the city especially for visitors who have heavy shopping or are travelling in the evenings or at night.


Minicabs
Minicabs offer visitors a cheaper option to using taxis; in general they usually charge cheaper rates and need to be pre-booked in advance. Unlike taxis they cannot be hailed from the street, licensed minicabs from reputable firms offer a good option to get around Cardiff. Visitors should be aware vehicles are not recognisable as taxis are; they usually look just like ordinary cars.

Minicabs can usually carry 4 passengers with larger vehicles available to carry more. When using minicabs it is recommended visitors only use those that are licensed as a Private Hire Operator with the local council ensuring the vehicle and river are subject to regular checks.

Please Note: Visitors should be aware of unlicensed, unbooked minicabs and those touting for business on the street including outside tourist attractions, stations and public places, it is strongly recommended not to use these for your own safety


Sea
There are services between Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay; waterbus services are operated by Cardiff Boat Tours.

There are services between port of Portsmouth and France and Spain operated by Brittany Ferries. From Portsmouth it is approx 150 miles to Cardiff via the A3, M27, M3, A34 and M4.


Air
Cardiff Airport is located approx 13 miles to the south west of Cardiff city centre, with a journey time of approx 30 minutes by car. Both UK regional and international flights operate to and from the airport. Cardiff Airport is connected to Cardiff city centre via train services linking Rhoose Cardiff International Airport Station to Cardiff Central and Bridgend. There are bus services with the Cardiff Bus service X91 linking Cardiff Airport with Cardiff Central Station with a journey time of approx 35 minutes.




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