Cardiff Travel Guide

Introduction to Cardiff

With majestic enchanting castles, a vibrant waterfront, easy access to national parks and one of the UK's best selection of shops it is easy to see why Cardiff is now a popular city break destination.

The youngest capital city in Europe effortlessly combines the old with the new; the rich history of the city can be explored through the museums, modern arts and culture can be enjoyed with opera and live music, and you can end the day relaxing at the vibrant Mermaid Quay restaurants and bars.

Cardiff Bay

Mermaid Quay

The vibrant waterfront development looks over Cardiff Bay with chic shops, restaurants, the Wales Millennium Centre and the Dr. Who Experience.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff's most iconic landmark is the gothic Victorian Cardiff Castle, home to the Trebuchet and the famous Animal Wall.

Brecon Beacons

Brecon Beacons

30 miles outside of Cardiff the Brecon Beacons National Park boasts mountain ranges, waterfalls, forests and rolling moors.

Other things to do in Cardiff

Cardiff is known for its many fairytale castles, the most prominent being Cardiff Castle in the centre of Cardiff, built on the remains of a Roman fort, followed by Castell Coch with its easily recognisable turrets, and Caerphilly Castle, which is Wales' biggest castle on the outskirts of the city.

As the capital of Wales you can expect many of the monuments and museums in the city to cover Cardiff and Wales' important history. These include the Cardiff Story Museum, National Museum Cardiff, and the St. Fagans Museum of Welsh Life which is a fun open air museum exploring various periods of Welsh history in 100 acres of parkland.

Historic architecture doesn't stop with the castles, Cardiff is known as the City of Arcades due to the high concentration of shopping arcades from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. The Royal Arcade is one such arcade from 1858 and is full of independent Welsh shops.

Cardiff attracts Dr Who fans from far and wide with the Dr. Who Experience Museum, which is complemented by the science and technology museum Techniquest and BBC Cymru Wales Tours if you want to go behind the science of some of Cardiff's most loved BBC TV shows.

You can easily enjoy the outdoors as Cardiff has the magnificent Bute Park in the centre of the city, on the side of the River Taff which is the location for many summer events. The Brecon Beacons National Park is to the north of Cardiff and offers a great selection of outdoor activities from rides on a steam locomotive with the Brecon Mountain Railway to walking, cycling and horse riding.

Eating and drinking in Cardiff

Cardiff's cuisine is much like the rest of the UK although you will find some elements local to the area including Welsh Cakes, Welsh Rarebit and faggots. The coastal location means seafood such as lobsters, mussels and crab are often on the menu, Fish at 85 and Burger & Lobster are both recommended. Many Cardiff restaurants are located at Mermaid Quay offering views of Cardiff Bay and The Castle Quarter in the city centre.

Food produced locally can be purchased at the shopping arcades and markets, the Caerphilly Cheese is produced just outside of Cardiff in the town of Caerphilly, 7 miles away.

Cardiff climate

Cardiff's maritime climate which results in mild temperatures and often wet, and cloudy weather throughout the year. July is the warmest month with average high temperatures of 21°c, and around 10 days of rain, February is the coolest month with an average low daily temperature of 2°c. October to January are the wettest months with an average of 15 days of rain each month.

When to go to Cardiff

Cardiff city centre can be visited all year around with plenty of indoor and outdoor attractions to enjoy. Cardiff hosts a number of festivals from X Music Festival in June in Bute Park to the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival in July.

If you're planning on exploring the countryside surrounding Cardiff such as the Brecon Beacons National Park then July and August can be the best time to visit due to the warm, dry weather.

Flying to Cardiff

Flights to Cardiff will arrive at Cardiff Airport, 12 miles south west of the city centre in the village of Rhoose, it is the only major international airport in Wales. Onward travel connections from Cardiff Airport include bus, train (from the Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station), taxi or car hire.

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Hotels in Cardiff

Car hire in Cardiff