A weekend break in Cardiff rushes you headlong into the land of rugby, castles and red dragons before refreshing you in the shining, regenerated Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff’s Top Attractions
Most cities have their stadiums on the edge of town, their historic castles brooding from a craggy hilltop and their nature trails starting from small villages. Not Cardiff.
The Millennium Stadium
The Millennium Stadium sits snug within the heart of the city, attracting rugby world cups, Madonna and Mick Jagger to perform beneath its retractable roof. Tours of this dizzying home of Welsh Rugby are available on its empty calendar days.
Castles and the Great Outdoors
Walk around the block to see 2000 year old Cardiff castle (Cardiff Castle, Castle Street, Cardiff) and the Renaissance style City Hall with its marble statues. Then cross into Bute Park – a slice of green within the city and also the start of the 55 mile Taff Trail.
Walk for a few minutes in the other direction to arrive at the Cardiff Market, a glass topped Victorian institution where traders have sold fresh produce for over 100 years.
For modern Cardiff, travel by bus to Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. Alongside fresh new restaurants, shops and bars, the harbourside walk leads you to the magnificent Wales Millennium Centre – or Armadillo as the locals call it – reflecting its scaly brown exterior. The Armadillo hosts operas, ballet, circuses and more, but if the weather’s right, it’s also beautiful open space to walk around.
Where to stay in Cardiff
Accommodation is cheap and plentiful in Cardiff UNLESS there’s a huge event scheduled at the Millennium Stadium. Check the list of upcoming events before you book.
Getting Around Cardiff’s Attractions
Cardiff City Centre is easily explored on foot from either Cardiff Central or Cardiff Queen Street Stations. Cardiff Bay is also easily walked around once you get there – but you will need transport between the two.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for a great weekend break in Cardiff?
Just outside Cardiff is the fairytale Castell Coch , and of course 7 miles away Caerphilly Castle complete with moat and leaning tower- well worth a visit – just what a castle should be !
There is a great cycle path along the Taff from the Millenium Stadium right in the centre of town, to Castell Coch. Nice and flat, right until the very end!
Thanks Steve for that handy tip.
My wife and I absolutely love Cardiff! We thought the Cardiff Bay area particularly was attractive and vibrant, but when you also throw in the history, like the castle and the lovely old shopping arcades, you just can’t beat a city break here. We write our own free city guides giving advice on what to see. This is our Cardiff guide – take a look for more ideas….
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