City of Cardiff, capital of Wales since 1955, offers to be a centre for travellers who want to see around Wales. Boasting a magnificent waterfront. busiest port in UK and a great Castle in its heart, Cardiff is a beautiful and cultural city to be in.
If you are planning a trip to Cardiff do make sure following places are on your to-do list:
Located in the heart of the city, Cardiff castle is on top of the must visit attractions in Cardiff. This castle is believed to have been a roman fort and has years of history and fairy tales connected to it. The castle being a heritage and archaeological site, is very beautifully preserved and often restored as it was in use till the Second World War. Highlights include the State Apartments, the Clock Tower, the Chapel and a spectacular Banqueting Hall with murals telling the tales of Robert the Consul and a huge ornate fireplace.
There is a network of underground tunnels between the ground and battlement level that was used during the Second World War.
Another best aspect of visiting the Cardiff castle is that you can catch many of the events happening in the palace grounds like jousting tournaments, medieval markets and open movie shows.
The iconic waterfront of Cardiff city – The Cardiff Bay is an ideal way to spend time on a sunny day. Since its completion in year 2000, Cardiff bay is considered as the most successful redevelopment project in UK which covers nearly 2700 acres. Surrounded by a lot of attractions and places to eat and drink, this place is not to be missed when you are in the city. Main highlights include ‘The Doctor Who’ experience, Wales Millennium Centre, Mermaid Quay, Wetlands reserve and Cardiff Bay Barrage. When you are visiting the bay the most recommended is Cardiff Bay boat trip in the day and an evening walk all around the shore to Penarth.
Some of the best pubs and restaurants in Cardiff Bay area to give a try are are – The Waterguard, The Eli Jenkins and the Dock Bar and Kitchen.
Another iconic structure in the city is the ‘Wales Millennium centre’. Since its opening in 2004, it has been a world renowned centre for arts. Main halls of this centre include ‘Donald Gordon Theatre’, ‘Weston Studio Theatre’ and ‘BBC Hoddinott Hall’. The remarkable front of this building is a giant copper dome with beautiful calligraphy inscribed on front which reads two poetic lines by Welsh Poet Gwyneth Lewis which translates to:
“In These Stones Horizons Sing and, Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration”
Offering a variety of blockbuster West End musicals, opera, ballet and contemporary dance, hip hop and stand-up comedy, art exhibitions, workshops, training days, free daily foyer performances, guided tours, bars and restaurants, it is a place where you can spend a lot of quality time.
Located in Cardiff’s spectacular Civic Centre, the National Museum of Cardiff (part of the National Museums of Wales group) houses the country’s archaeology, geology, art and natural history collections. The Evolution of Wales exhibit takes visitors on a 4.5 million-year voyage that includes the many dinosaurs that once roamed the country. The museum’s displays of fossils and Bronze Age weapons are also noteworthy.
Another highlight of your visit should be the museum’s superb Art Gallery, including fine collections of paintings, sculpture and ceramics spanning five centuries. Of particular note is its collection of Impressionist art, including work by Picasso, Rodin and Monet.
Llandaff Cathedral, founded in the time of Bishop Urban (1107-34), is one of the finest such structures in Wales. The main part of the Cathedral dates from the 13th century, while the northwest tower was rebuilt in the 15th century. Much of the cathedral later fell into a disrepair, but an Italian Temple was built within its walls in 1734. Although severely damaged during the last war, it has since been restored and contains many superb features, including a notable figure of Christ in Majesty by Epstein. Guided attraction tours are available with advance notice.
Being known for Rugby, Cardiff has its very own gem ‘The Millennium stadium’ which is currently known as ‘The Principality stadium’ for sponsorship purposes. Initially built to hold the Rugby World cup in 1999, it has hosted many large scale events and music concerts. If you are into sports or not this massive stadium will be an enjoyable choice for a visit.
When you are in Cardiff and looking for somewhere to hang out in the evening pick one of these recommended places:
The Vulcan Lounge
Clwb Ifor Bach
Tempus at Tides Restaurant & Bar
De Courceys Manor