Over the past few decades Cardiff has been transformed from a somewhat grey industrial area into a lively, vibrant city – where stunning ancient architecture sits harmoniously alongside contemporary developments. Unlike many capital cities, Cardiff boasts a friendly small town feel, and a serious pas-sion for their sporting teams which creates an atmosphere like nowhere else on match days. Discover the city for yourself with sport, shopping, culture and history to uncover in the Welsh capital .
Flight frequency: Daily / Weekends
Currency: GBP (£)
In recent years a glitzy redevelopment project around the sprawling dockside area has transformed the rougher edges of the city into a cosmopolitan hub of dining, drinking, shopping and sightseeing. Few parts of the UK boast as many open green spaces (and castles!) as Cardiff, making it especially popular in summer time when the capital comes alive with tourists and locals engaging in al fresco dining and outdoor festivals. Its strong sporting presence is perhaps one of the many reasons why its appeal is so far-reaching, with the Millennium Stadium holding up to 75,000 punters and match days instilling the city with an extraordinary atmosphere that simply has to be experienced. Add to this the fact that the city is home to one of the UK’s most prestigious universities with a booming student pop-ulation and you can see why Cardiff is a city that appeals to people of all ages and genders.
As a university city with a thriving student population, its little wonder that Cardiff is one of Britain’s top destinations for a night out. Embrace the spirit of the city and head to one of the pulsating super-clubs such as Clwb Ifor Bach, Glam or Retro Cardiff for unashamed 90s music that’ll get your toes tapping. Chic drinking holes and laid back pubs are also in abundance with the Castle Quarter best for inde-pendent and alternative bars, whilst the Waterfront area is ideal for sipping cocktails with a view. Din-ing is also heartily celebrated in Cardiff, with The Meating Place serving succulent grilled meats to hungry diners and Café Citta living up to its reputation as a diminutively sized yet downright delicious place to feast on fresh Italian cuisine. There are also a host of popular chain restaurants such as Ja-mie’s Italian and Las Iguanas to be found, ensuring dining for all budgets and tastes is covered.
As one of Britain’s top 10 shopping destinations, Cardiff seriously delivers when it comes to retail therapy. At the heart of the city lies the St David’s Shopping Centre, where popular high street stores and restaurants are housed in a light and airy mall that makes shopping there a surprisingly stress-free experience. Vintage treasures and one-off pieces are best sought out in The Castle Quarter, where Victorian shop fronts exude a feel of times gone by and won’t fail to draw you in. If you’re after something a little more edible then a visit to the Grand Victoria Arcades is a must. The striking glass-roofed structure hosts an array of market stalls selling everything from meat and fish to fresh fruit and veg, with plenty of sweetshops and bakeries thrown in for good measure.
Kick off your Cardiff getaway with a visit to arguably one of the UK’s most fascinating museums – St Fagan’s Natural History Museum. Set over 100 acres of land it’s filled with restored ancient buildings and makes for a fabulous day out for big kids and little kids alike. Other historical points of interest include the mesmeric Cardiff Castle and the city’s National Museum. With your culture quota full to the brim it’s time to relax with a stroll around Bute Park and Arboretum or take a tour of the Millennium Stadium to learn more about the iconic venue that’s hosted everything from world class rugby to Olympic events. If you want to imbibe your trip with a more modern twist then check out The Doctor Who Experience, an interactive multi-sensory experience that’s a must for any fan of the hit BBC show.
Located in Rhoose, 19km outside the city centre, Cardiff Airport is the largest airport in Wales and is easily accessible both by car and public transport.
IATA code: CWL
Name: Cardiff Airport
Address: Cardiff Airport, Vale of Glamorgan, CF62 3BD
Telephone: +44 (0)1446 711111
With drop off bays, short stay parking outside the main terminal and additional long stay car parking facilities, you won’t have to worry about leaving your car at Cardiff Airport.
Cardiff Airport is accessible by rail, with a shuttle bus ferrying passengers to the airport terminal itself. You can also arrive or depart by bus, with several daily services in operation.
FlightLink Wales is the main taxi firm facilitating the airport. They arrange drop offs and pickups and quote prices before you depart. The bookings office can be found conveniently located in the arrivals hall.
There are number car hire companies located within the airport, offering competitive rates and 7 days a week coverage.