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Cardiff Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Cardiff vacation


jubond
Visiting the Wales capital 3 stars
Cardiff is a nice city for a short break. The city has some attractions, but I recommend visiting the Millennium Stadium, where take place the major events of the region such as rugby and football matches, motor sports, music festivals and concerts. You can get inside the stadium, crossing the dressing room, stalls and playing field. It is a quite interesting experience. Besides this, another good option in the city is the Cardiff Castle, a small fortress with grass fields where you can sit down and relax. From the tower, you will discover great views of the city. The town doesn’t have so many attractions than others UK capitals, but it is pretty nice. I spent just one day in the Wales capital and I really liked the travel.


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ogiovetti
Anthony Hopkins Theater Cheap Tickets 5 stars
It's never been cheaper to get into Anthony Hopkins. Or Mold. If you can think up a benefit for which you may fit the bill--student, disabled, retiree, etc.--you can get £2.00 off any full-rate tickets over the value of £11.00. If you're a group of 5 or more students (which is a pretty easy sum to muster up for you university and study-abroad kids), consider yourself in for £9.00. The most expensive tickets are still under £20.00, which means if you're a die-hard fan you can still go for under $40.00 (USD). And if dance isn't your bag, you'll have your pick of Measure for Measure, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Macbeth (by those Brit-lit standbys, Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde), later on this spring. And keep an eye on April 14th and May 5th, which will be Pay-What-You-Can nights. Score.

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maity101
Getting Around Cardiff... part 2 4 stars
Our main destinations included Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Bay. If you plan on going to Cardiff Bay, I recommend using the hop on/off bus to get there. If you are traveling by yourself or with one other person, it is likely to be more economical than getting a taxi. Purchase your hop on/off passes BEFORE Cardiff Castle… you will get a discount on your admission to the castle. There is a hop on/off stop directly in front of the castle. Don’t forget, your hop/off bus passes are good for 24 hours, so there is no rush.

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maity101
Getting Around Cardiff... part 1 4 stars
Before leaving Bristol, we purchased an A-Zed map of Cardiff. I figured, if it was anything like Bristol, we would be glad that we did. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Cardiff is incredibly easy to navigate, and I don’t believe we used the A-Zed map even once! Cardiff is much smaller than you would imagine, and all of the tourist destinations are clearly labeled with street signs. However, the city is spread out over a distance, so don’t assume you will be able to walk to all of your destinations.

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maity101
Utilize the Hop On/Off Bus! 4 stars
Our main destinations included Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Bay. If you plan on going to Cardiff Bay, I recommend using the hop on/off bus to get there. If you are travelling by yourself or with one other person, it is likely to be more economical than getting a taxi. Purchase your hop on/off passes BEFORE Cardiff Castle… you will get a discount on your admission to the castle. There is a hop on/off stop directly in front of the castle. Don’t forget, your hop/off bus passes are good for 24 hours, so there is no rush.

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maity101
Navigating Cardiff 4 stars
Before leaving Bristol, we purchased an A-Zed map of Cardiff. I figured, if it was anything like Bristol, we would be glad that we did. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Cardiff is incredibly easy to navigate, and I don’t believe we used the A-Zed map even once! Cardiff is much smaller than you would imagine, and all of the tourist destinations are clearly labelled with street signs. However, the city is spread out over a distance, so don’t assume you will be able to walk to all of your destinations.

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LucyHB
Watch out for the stag parties! 2 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Back in the dark ages, when I was a student in Cardiff, St Mary's Street on a Saturday night was a perfectly respectable place to be. Granted, you'd see the odd student staggering drunkenly down the road (actually, that was probably me...), but generally things were relatively calm. On a recent visit to the city, however, I found all that had changed. With a slew of bars and clubs in close proximity to each other, the street has become a mecca for hen and stag parties, gangs of football fans, and coachloads of drunks who have been shipped in for the night from the nearby valleys. Our taxi refused to even drive down here, leaving us to pick our way past the crowds of roaring sports fans outside the bars. If you're looking for a 'lively' night out, maybe this is your place, but if you're not interested in picking a fight or chatting up scantily-clad members of the opposite sex the street is best avoided.

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LucyHB
Cardiff - small but perfectly formed! 4 stars
Cardiff, or Caerdyyd to use the Welsh name, has to be one of my favourite UK cities. Although it´s the capital of Wales, it´s so small that it hardly feels like a city at all, and is easy to get around on foot.

The city has some great shopping opportunities - check out the vintage boutiques in Cardiff´s arcades, as well as great nightlife, with tons of great, traditional bars, as well as more modern eating/dining opportunities - for clubbing, don´t miss Clwb Ifor Bach (affectionately known as the Welsh Club) tucked away on Womanby Street, which hosts a range of original nights, and often live music, across three floors. The BarFly - a spin off from the Camden original, is also worth a mention, especially if you´re into indie music.

Of course, all the action goes on beneath the towers of the impressive castle - lending a sense of adventure to any visit to the city.


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Karrr
Welsh cakes at Cardiff Bay 5 stars
When I visited Wales, I had the most beautiful and tasty welsh cakes ever (hardly suprising I know!) There is a shop at Mermaid Quay in Cardiff that sells different flavoured welsh cakes: chocolate, blueberry and orignial. They are a really good price and it is try before you buy, so if you don't actually like them then you don't have to buy them. They are lovely hot, with or without butter.

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tashaway
Cawl, Brains and Welsh Cakes 5 stars
When in we were in Cardiff, we had croissants, we had fish and chips, we had Italian wine and icecream (not together). Riverside, the area around our hostel, seemed to have its fair share of Asian restaurants. But we also wanted to try something local.

The most obvious choice was perhaps Brains. The word Brains seems to appear quite regularly on the streets of Cardiff, on the pubs, on towers and tanks, on the shirts of their sports teams. Brains is a beer. While it was vaguely amusing for a short while to say zombie-style “Need brains, neeeeeeed brains” every time we passed by a pub, I’m not actually much of a beer fan. So I left sampling the Brains to my husband, who said it was rather bitter and definitely not one I’d enjoy.

I enjoyed the Welsh Cakes though. Welsh Cakes are traditional sweet snacks, with an appearance and texture similar to flattened scones. These small, circular cakes were covered in sugar and filled with currents and cost less than a pound each. In Cardiff Bay, we peered into the window of a shop that specialised in Welsh Cakes, and saw them being fried and flipped like pikelets on a large flat pan.

We had our cawl, at Castle Coch. We’d already had lunch, but we wanted to try it, so asked for a single portion (£4.50). Noticing there was two of us, the kitchen staff served two generous and piping hot portions, accompanied by bread and some Welsh cheeses for us to sample. Cawl is generally a stew/soup dish containing meat and vegetables. Ours had chunks of lamb, potatoes, carrots and such, and was the perfect filler before the afternoon's bike ride back to Cardiff.


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tashaway
Doctor Who Up Close exhibition, Cardiff Bay 3 stars
Cardiff may be known for the rugby games at its Millennium Stadium, for its castles and its strangely named Brains beer, but in recent times and in certain circles it has become perhaps even more famous for being the place where the BBC films its popular TV series, ‘Doctor Who’.

An appropriate place then, for Doctor Who Up Close, an exhibition about the show – although what the boy and I didn’t realise at first was that the Red Dragon Centre, where it’s housed, is not actually in Cardiff city centre, but rather a 30 minute walk (or a shorter water taxi ride) along the River Taff, in Cardiff Bay.

The exhibition contains life-size models of various Doctor Who monsters, such as the Cybermen, Sycorax, Ood, and of course, the famous Daleks. There are costumes worn by the doctor and his companions. There are flashing lights and snippets from the show and brief biographies of all the former doctors (in both English and Welsh). And perhaps, if you had merely come to get up close to what you’d seen on television, then the exhibit as it stands would suffice.

However, what we felt was missing was an element of interactivity, a chance to be part of the so-called ‘magic of television’. I guess that we hoped to see how things were done, what happened behind the scenes, rather than just being retold the story of each episode (and only each episode up to Rose’s departure – the most recent series, where Martha joins the doctor – is only briefly touched upon in this exhibition).

Indeed, what I found most interesting wasn’t the exhibition itself, but the on-site shop we walked through afterwards. It was amazing to see the variety of Doctor Who merchandise available: from children’s suitcases designed to look like the TARDIS, to Doctor Who slippers, and of course, walls of models of both the heroes and the monsters.

It was £5.00 for an adult ticket the Doctor Who exhibition. As we entered and got our blue wristbands, the woman behind the counter said that we could return as many times as we liked during the day. For us at least, the one visit was enough.


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