Cardiff (Caerdydd in Welsh) is the capital of Wales, one of the nations on the island of Great Britain.
This small and charming city is in the south of Wales and is its most important city both in terms of population and economic influence.
Cardiff has been the capital of Wales since 1955.
Nestled between an old castle and an ultramodern port, the compact city has become in recent years one of the most interesting cities in Britain.
The attractions of Cardiff are grouped into quite small and distinct districts.
The compact City Centre is bounded by the River Taff. Further upstream, the Taff is flanked by the ramparts of the extraordinary Cardiff Castle, an amalgam of Roman remains, crowned by a Norman turret and Victorian additions. To the north of the castle, there is a series of Edwardian buildings around Cathays Park: the City Hall, the University of Cardiff and the magnificent National Museum.
A couple of kilometres south of downtown, the Cardiff Bay area, once a bustling port, is now an elegant waterfront resort, home to the impressive National Assembly of Wales and the Millennium buildings, plus a lot of bars and restaurants.
To the north of the city, there are a number of places of interest: the Llandaff Cathedral, with its strange clash of Norman and modern styles, the Castell Coch, on a hillside in the woods, and the immense Caerphilly castle.
To the west, there is the National History Museum in St Fagans.
As for the best areas to stay in Cardiff, both the city centre and the renovated Waterfront are excellent choices in terms of recommended neighborhoods to stay. See accommodation in Cardiff City Centre | See accommodation in Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff Bay has become one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the world.
The decay of its old docks has almost completely transformed into a contemporary architecture fan’s heaven.
The fascinating Wales Millennium Centre is a vibrant interpretation space built in 2004 to house theater and music shows.
Considered by critics as a copper-plated armadillo or a large snail, the WMC stands elegantly on the roofs of the bay, its exterior is wrapped in Welsh construction materials, covered with a stainless steel carapace dyed with bronze oxide.
The area also hosts Mermaid Quay, a shopping and leisure area, and the audacius structure of the Welsh National Assembly.
Cardiff Bay is connected to the city centre by bus. Baycar (bus line 6) is the easiest way to get around between downtown Cardiff and the bay. Buses leave every 12 minutes.
For these reasons Cardiff Bay is our recommended area to stay in Cardiff.
Future Inn Cardiff Bay is a modern property 400 meters from the Wales Millennium Centre and 2.4 km from the centre of Cardiff. It offers free parking, a restaurant and spacious rooms with free internet access.
The Exchange Hotel, located 400 metres from Cardiff Bay, offers 3 star accommodation in the Cardiff Bay district of Cardiff. The property is within walking distance of places of interest such as the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. There is free WiFi.
St David’s Hotel, a 5-star property, located in an iconic building with breathtaking views of Cardiff Bay, it offers a luxurious spa, elegant rooms, an innovative restaurant and a bar. It is a 5-minute walk from Mermaid Pier.
Cardiff City Centre is locates south of Cardiff Castle.
It is the commercial and shopping centre of the city. Queen Street and Castle Street concentrate a large number of local and international brands.
The centre also houses Cardiff Central railway station, which offers rail connections from the Welsh capital to other parts of the country and neighbouring England.
In Europe, it is not common to see a stadium in the heart of the city, however, the Cardiff rugby stadium occupies an important space next to the River Taff, in the heart of town.
However, the most important attraction in the centre of Cardiff is undoubtedly its castle. Cardiff Castle was built at the end of the 11th century and its walls a century later. Important renovations and expansions came in the following centuries and, currently, Cardiff Castle is one of the must-sees in the Welsh capital.
ibis Cardiff Centre is located in the lively centre of Cardiff and is less than 5 minutes walk from the Cardiff Stadium. It offers modern rooms with satellite TV and buffet breakfast.
ibis budget Cardiff Centre is a 10-minute walk from Cardiff Central Train Station and a 15-minute walk from the Millenium Stadium. It offers modern rooms, private parking and Wi-Fi hotspots.
Cardiff Sandringham Hotel is located in the centre of Cardiff and offers free high-speed WiFi, as well as a full daily breakfast with hot dishes. Cardiff Central Station is a 5-minute walk away.
St David’s Hotel offers views of Cardiff Castle and the town hall. The establishment has spacious rooms with air conditioning, a 20-meter heated pool, gym, spa, sauna, steam room and hot tub.
While Cardiff is full of tourist attractions and its city centre is compact and walkable, many people choose to travel to Cardiff to enjoy the rural setting that Wales has to offer.
Staying in the outskirts of Cardiff may not be for everyone. Staying outside the urban area almost always means having your own car or a renting one (and for non-UK residents, that also means driving on the left).
However, the ouskirts of Cardiff offer the opportunity to be in touch with typical Welsh landscapes and an almost rural environment, but at the same time be close to a city.
The other advantage of staying around is obviously the price. The cost of accommodation usually decreases as you move away from cities.
Holiday Inn Cardiff North M4 Jct 32 is located under the picturesque Castell Coch (Red Castle), in the town of Tongwynlais, next to junction 32 of the M4 and 20 minutes by car from the centre of Cardiff.
ibis budget Cardiff Centre is ideal for visiting both Cardiff and Newport and is located in the financial district of Cardiff, just off junction 30 of the M4 motorway.
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