Cardiff Local Custom Tips by aaaarrgh Top 5 Page for this destination
Cardiff Local Customs: 29 reviews and 31 photos
bilingual street signs
One very important thing that defines Wales is its own language - Welsh/Cymraeg - which has increased massively in popularity over recent decades. Not that you will hear it spoken much in Cardiff, where the massive English speaking population dwarfs the Welsh speaking minority. You have to head West or North to find the real Welsh speaking heartlands.
However, there is a Welsh TV Channel, S4C, and the Welsh Language Act requires many things to be translated into Welsh. Cardiff is a big media city - if you want to hear Welsh spoken then head for some of the pubs off Cathedral Road, which is near to the BBC/S4C studios! The Y-Mochyn-Du has regular Welsh speaking nights advertised.
A lot of staff at the tourist attractions (such as the Museum of Welsh Life, or Castell Coch) will be required to speak the language. If you feel adventurous, the Welsh for thankyou is Diolch (pronounced 'dyolk').
Iechydd Da ('yekid ah') is the equivalent of Cheers/Santé/Prost and literally means 'Good Health'.
And for toilets, 'Dynion' is the Men, whilst 'Merched' is Ladies!!
If you want to pronounce the double-L sound (as in Llandaff, or Llanelli), its a bit like the English 'cl' (as in clown) but with your tongue firmly placed behind your top front two teeth!!
Bang, whhoooosh, BAAAANNNGG!!!
Cardiff Council obviously have a good arrangement with a pyrotechnics company. Every major event in the city is accompanied by a massive display of FIREWORKS. I am sure Cardiff is not the only city to do this well. But the displays are always spectacular. They take place at New Year and Bonfire Night, after every major sports final, after music festivals, at the opening of new buildings (like the Opera House in November 2004).
Often they last for 20-30 minutes!! I know I shouldn't complain, we are very lucky. But sometimes Cardiff can fell like downtown Bagdad, or Palestine :-))
The New Year events are usually spectacular with a big fairground , ice rink and fireworks in the city centre.
In the first week of November, usually Saturday, each year 'Cardiff Round Table' hold a massive firework display in Coopers Field, behind Cardiff Castle. There is an admission charge but the display is very well done, there is an enormous fire, music and food stalls.
There are other regular events which are excellent entertainment, especially the Cardiff Big Weekend of music and fairground rides, the first weekend of August.
Check out Cardiff Council's List of Events.
City Arms, Quay Street
"It's Brains you want" was once the slogan for Brains beers. S.A. Brain & Co. have brewed beer in Cardiff for 120 years and, if you like beer at all, you must try some Brains while you are here. Many of the pubs in Cardiff have Brains beers available.
Traditionally beer is pumped by handle direct from the cask. In my view this is the best beer to drink. Brains Smooth was introduced several years back, which is pleasant, creamier and colder, poured from a tap (so not so authentic).
Brains Bitter , or ‘light’ has a very mild, pleasant taste. It is only 3.7% proof, so is quite a civilised pint!
Brains SA (nicknamed “Skull Attack”) tastes far stronger than it actually is. Personally, it gived me a dreadful hangover, but is worth it! By far the best pub in Cardiff for Brains SA is the Royal Oak, on Newport Road. They keep their barrels of SA behind the bar and pour the drink directly from the tap attached to the cask. It tastes like nectar!!
Brains Dark is well spoken of by beer experts. It is very malty like the old fashioned ‘stout’. And it sounds great pronounced with a thick Cardiff accent (Daaaaaaaarrrk!!).
A recent addition to the portfolio is Reverend James. This is not an original Brains beer – "Buckley’s" bought Brains Brewery recently and Reverend James is a Buckley’s recipe. All the same, it is even stronger than SA and an extremely tasty rich flavour.
Brains old brewery on St Mary Street was closed, redeveloped and became the new, trendy “Brewery ¼” in 2003. Brains moved to Buckley’s brewery next to the river. You will see the chimney there.
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