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 Cardiff

Destinations > UK > Wales > Cardiff guide

Ever since its day as the world's biggest coal port Cardiff has been a bustling cosmopolitan city. There are plenty of shops, lively street arcades, and Cardiff's famous market to amble through. If this has left you in need of refreshment there are ample cafes, pubs and restaurants to choice from. When the shops close and the night gains Cardiff is still a hive of activity. With over 350 pubs and a vibrant club seine there is something to suit everyone's taste.

Under this bustling cosmopolitan exterior is a different Cardiff to be discovered, an ancient Cardiff steeped in history. Cardiff Castle is actually three castles in one and has its own bizarre history. It was firstly a Roman Fort, and the present day grand castle walls are built on these Roman foundations. Across the moat sits what remains of the Norman Keep. Later in the Victorian era the Third Marquis of Bute, one of the richest men in the world at the time, built a Castle in a mock Gothic fantasy style out of the ruins of the Norman Castle. Both Cardiff Castle and Bute's Castle Coch are impressive to visit. However there are many other Castles dotted around the surrounding area which are also worth visiting. There are also many museums to visit if you wish to learn about the Welsh way of life.

What ever your ideal pace of life Cardiff has something to offer.

 
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 Arts

Center for Visual Arts
Opened in 1999 this center offers radical Visual Arts and is the largest venue in Wales for exhibitions of this kind. You can also interact in his world of art with their hands on gallery.

Butetown History & Arts Center Gallery
This art center and gallery offer Exhibitions Displays, Musical nights and Displays, as well as a project displaying the history of the local community.
Location: 5 Dock Chambers, Bute Street (1 mile from the City center).
Telephone: 01222 256 757.

Welsh National Opera
For programs and information Telephone.
Location: John Street
Telephone: 01222 464 666

St David's Hall
Location: The Hayes
Telephone: 029 2087 8444

Chapter Arts Center
Location: Market Road, Canton.
Telephone: 029 2039 9666

Sherman Theater
Location: Senghenydd Road
Telephone: 029 2023 0451

New Theater
Location: Park Place
Telephone: 029 2087 8889

Monico Twin Cinemas
Location: Pantbach Road
Telephone: 029 2069 3426

Capitol Odeon Cinema
Location: Capitol Center
Telephone: 0870 50 50 007

Odeon Cinema
Location: Queen Street
Telephone: 0870 50 50 007

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 Attractions

Cardiff Castle
This impressive Castle boasts an extensive variety of histories. The Castle walls are built on Roman foundations, which were once a Roman Fort. Across the moat there is a Norman keep. There is also the grand creation of the Third Marquis of Bute and his architect William Burges, which is a Victorian mock Gothic mansion.
Location: Castle Street
Telephone: 029 2087 8100

Museum of welsh Life
Just 4 miles from the city center they have reconstructed over 30 original Welsh buildings in detail. Now you can explore how the people of Wales lived and worked from 1805 -1985. Each building is in a different era making this a fun journey through time. This is a great family day out.
Location: St Fagan's
Telephone: 029 2057 3500

Cosmeston Lakes & Medieval Village
Situated on the site of an original 14th Century Medieval settlement, this reconstructed living Medieval Village can be explored, take a guided tour with a costumed village folk. There is also 200 acres of parkland to explore, two beautiful lakes, picnic areas and adventure playground.
Opening times: Open all year
Location: On the B4267 Lavernock Road. Between Scully and Penarth.
Telephone: 01222 701 678

Cardiff Bay Visitors Center
A combination of old dock buildings and new modernist developments. This interesting development is a must to see and is becoming a large tourist attraction.
Location: Cardiff Bay
Telephone: 029 2046 3833

Llandaff Cathedral
Visit the Cathedral and learn about its amazing history. There has been a religious building here since the 6th Century.
Telephone: 029 2056 4554

Techniquest
Here you can explore the world of science where it is fun, with interactive exhibitions.
Location: Cardiff Bay
Telephone; 029 2047 5475

Open Top Bus Tours
Telephone: 029 2052 2202

Regimental Museum of the Royal Regiment of Wales
Location: Cardiff Castle
Telephone: 029 2022 2253

Castle Coch
Location: Tongwynlais
Telephone: 029 2081 0101

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 Clubs

Cardiff offers an original club scene and is great for the clubber there is everything from mainstream dance, Big guest names, to alternative. Listed below is a sample selection.

Zeus
Location: Greyfriars Road
Telephone: 029 2037 7014

Hippo Club
Location: Penarth Road
Telephone: 029 2034 1463

Metro
Location: Bakers Row
Telephone: 029 2037 1549

Forum
Location: Queen Street
Telephone: 029 2022 7717

PoNaNa
Location: St Mary Street
Telephone: 029 2030 3233

Emporium
Location: High Street
Telephone: 029 2066 4577

Evolution
Location: Atlantic Wharf
Telephone: 029 2046 4444

Toucan Club
Location: Castle Street
Telephone: 029 2066 8172
Gay Cardiff

King Cross
Location: Mill Lane
Telephone: 029 2064 9891

Exit Bar
Location: Charles Street
Telephone: 029 2064 0102

Golden Cross
Location: Hayes Bridge Road
Telephone: 029 2039 4556

Atlantica & Wow
Location: Bute Terrace
Telephone: 029 2038 4902

Club X
Location: Charles Street
Telephone: (029) 2040 0876

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 History

Wales has an interesting history from pre-history to present day, from Stone Age cave dwellers to Celts, Druids to Romans, Dark Ages to present.

In AD 60 the Romans moved into Wales to make an end of the Druids. Western tribes clung fiercely to their independence, but their followed a wholesale massacre of these 'troublemakers' and the destruction of their sacred groves.

At the end of the 18th Century the future capital Cardiff was a small market town, primarily an exporter of agricultural produce with fewer than two thousand inhabitants. But with industrial expansion of the coal market in 1830 to meet the needs of heavy industry, Cardiff's population grew more than six-fold, and by mid-century tenfold. Cardiff's prosperity was firmly founded.

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 Leisure

Sport and Wales makes us think of Rugby and their Millennium Stadium, which held the 1999 Rugby World Cup. However Cardiff has more to offer in the way of sport than Rugby. The surrounding countryside is exquisite, being balanced between mountains and cost line, making it great for a variety of sports and leisure activities. Whether you want to bike, climb, walk or drive it is well worth exploring.

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 Pubs

With over 350 places to drink in Cardiff there is no shortage, below is a small sample of the pubs on offer. The busiest place is St Mary Street, which has a lot of pubs on it. There is also a thriving gay and lesbian scene, based around Charles Street.

White Hart
Location: James Street Cardiff Bay
Telephone: 029 2047 2561

O'Neill's
Location: Trinity Street
Telephone: 029 2022 4482

Minsky's
Location: Cathedral Walk
Telephone: 029 2023 3128

City Arms
Location: Quay Street
Telephone: 029 2022 5258

Newt & Cucumber
Location: Wharton Street
Telephone: 029 2022 2114

Pen & Wig
Location: Park Grove
Telephone: 029 2034 5331

Square
Location: St Mary Square
Telephone: 029 2022 1170

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 Restaurants

Cardiff has a wide choice of different Ethnic cuisine as well as a fine selection of local and traditional Welsh food, giving enough choice for anyone's taste. No trip to Wales would be complete without sampling the local cuisine.
The following are just a

Chinese

Happy Gathering
Location: Cowbridge Road East
Telephone: 029 2039 7531


French

Pied a Terre
Location: Pontcanna Street
Telephone: 029 2023 2616

Le Cassoulet
Location: Romilly Crescent
Telephone: 029 2022 1905


Indian

Juboraj
Location: Rhiwbina
Telephone: 029 2062 8894

King Balti
Location: Albany Road
Telephone: 029 2048 2890


International

Hullaballos
Location: St Mary Street
Telephone: 029 2022 6811

Metropolis
Location: Charles Street
Telephone: 029 2034 4300

Oxygen
Location: Churchill WayT
Telephone: 029 2023 7177

Old Orleans
Location: St John Square
Telephone: 029 2022 1980


Italian

Savastano's
Location: North Road
Telephone: 029 2062 1018

Caramelle
Location: Westgate Street
Telephone: 0292034 3330


Thai

The Thai House
Location: Guilford Terrace
Telephone: 029 2038 7404


Welsh

Celtic Cauldron
Location: Castle Arcade
Telephone: 029 2038 7185

Blas ar Gymru
Location: Crwys Road
Telephone: 029 2038 2132

The Armless Dragon
Location: Wyevern Road
Telephone: 029 2038 2357

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 Shopping

Cardiff is one of the best places for shopping in Wales. With there being pedestrianised fares linking the main shopping streets for your convenience and leisure, plus beautiful old arcades and covered malls, making this an excellent shopping adventure what ever the weather. There is everything from department stores to big high street names and something a little bit more. If the hustle and bustle of shopping seems a bit much there are plenty of parks to wander through, and places to rest while you watch street entertainers.

Cardiff has been a market own for over 600 years. The original market is still thriving with over 50 stores selling various goods, you can amble around the stalls under the shelter of the Victorian glass canopy.

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 Transport


Air

Cardiff International airport is at Rhoose, a 20-minute drive from the city center.

Once in the city center the public transport runs at regular intervals, and provides a good service.


Car

Cardiff is easy to reach by road. Less than 1 hours drive from Bristol or Bath.


Coach

The main bus station is also close to the center. National Express Coach services run all over the U.K. offering a good service from a wide range of pick up points and destinations.
Telephone: National Express - 0990 80 80 80


Rail

Cardiff train station is situated close to the center and there are services to Cardiff from all over the U.K. for information on train times and departures;
Telephone: 0345 48 49 50

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