"Cardiff - the friendly capital" Top 5 Page for this destination Cardiff by ettiewyn
Cardiff Travel Guide: 1,032 reviews and 2,996 photos
When I decided that I wanted to include Wales into my big UK trip, I quickly chose to make a base in Cardiff and see this city thoroughly, but also to explore more of southern Wales from there. As it was my first visit to Wales, I wanted to get a first impression like this, to then visit the north on a later trip! I just like to make a base somewhere and to explore from there instead of changing my accommodation every night, and so staying in Cardiff with its big bus and train station was perfect.
I titled this page "The friendly capital", and this is what Cardiff was to me. I must admit that I did not expect too much of the city - most people told me that it was not really nice or interesting there and that it was a city like any other. But my philosophy is to explore the unknown, even places that are not as popular or not the top place with first-rate sightseeing. This is what I did in Cardiff, and it was much better than I had expected from what people had described to me before. As I did not have any previous conceptions of Wales (apart from some of the pictures I had seen on VT), it really was like virgin territory to me, and so everything I did and saw held a nice surprise and new insights.
I liked the atmosphere in Cardiff a lot. Even if its history is not as rich as the history of other capitals and it does not have a big share of historical buildings, I enjoyed it very much. The people were so nice and welcoming, I had perfect sunshine nearly all the time, my first day in the city was St David's Day, right away showing me the self-awareness of the Welsh nation, and I enjoyed Cardiff's great sights like its castle, the Bay, its nice parks and gardens, and of course the possibility to do day trips to other interesting destinations in the south of Wales. It was easy to find my way around the city and although I had some problems with the tour company with which I had booked my day trips, it was a very relaxing stay where I could unwind and simply enjoy.
Update June 2012: Links to pages I have built in the meantime
Cardiff itself can roughly be divided into three different parts: The city centre around Queen Street and the Millennium Stadium, the Civic Centre just north of this (in fact only two minutes walk away from Queen Street, but still with a very different atmosphere and architecture), and Cardiff Bay, about two miles to the south.
I have organized the Things To Do tips according to these three parts, and also added some of the things that you can do outside of Cardiff. That means that the tips are in this order:
1. Sights in the city centre (tips 1 - 13)
2. Sights in the Civic Centre (tips 14 - 19)
3. Sights in Cardiff Bay (tips 20 - 25)
4. Small and bigger day trips out of Cardiff (26 - 31)
I stayed here for seven days and I really enjoyed every day. It is easy to explore places out of Cardiff by train and bus and I also did two guided tours. I found the atmosphere in this part of Wales just very pleasant, and the sights so interesting and of amazing variety - fantastic beaches and cliff tops, Roman ruins, prehistoric tombs, industrial heritage, great hiking, and of course many castles! I really can't wait to return to Wales and to see this area again, and even more to go north and see a different part of the country!
- Pros:Great base for day trips around the south of Wales, pleasant atmosphere and friendly people, some beautiful and interesting things to see
- Cons:City centre is dominated by chain stores, not a lot of historical buildings
- In a nutshell:If you just want to come here to tick the country Wales off your list - you miss something! Cardiff deserves to be explored!
Cardiff's city centre might look a bit boring, as it is not in the least historical. Queen Street, its main street, is... more travel advice
When I booked my trip and decided to arrive in Cardiff in the evening of the 29th of February, I did not even know that... more travel advice
ettiewyn's Related Pages
Cardiff Travel Guide
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- "Cardiff - the friendly capital"
- "Prifddinas Cymru (Capital of Wales)"
- "Croeso i Gaerdydd/ Welcome to Cardiff"
- "Cosmopolitan Cardiff"
- "Cardiff ......My Hometown"
- "capital of Wales"
- "Caerdydd - Britain's young capital"
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