With great transport links, Cardiff is the youngest capital city in Europe. Set on a scenic coastal location, it’s home to multiple international sporting and cultural centres, alongside the BBC Drama Village, a new business district, a thriving town centre but also more green space per person than any other UK city. Known for having a friendly population, it’s a vibrant place to head for a weekend whether you are seeking nights on the town, a family getaway, a romantic break, or perhaps a few days of culture and history. Cardiff has something for everyone.
The city has a great atmosphere and plenty of options for entertainment making it a popular choice for groups of friends. Its nightclubs are well known, with flavours of Cuba, Ibiza, or the 90s amongst your options. Or perhaps you want to focus on live music, classy cocktails, rooftop drinking or even dancing on the bar top. If pubs are more your thing, Cardiff is known to have the most pubs per square foot in the UK. This includes craft breweries and even a take on a German beer cellar.
However, there are options for those looking for something a bit different and beyond the normal nightlife too. You could stick with the pubs but on a historic pub tour. Or try an Escape Room, the big trend at the moment, via companies like Fizzbox where you can choose from a range of settings from the Titanic to a tropical island. There’s even a restaurant in the city’s prison. You can play some of the best bingo sites before you start your night out, a night in Cardiff really can take you anywhere!
If you are heading to Cardiff with family, the bars might not be your draw, but there is still plenty on offer. To start there are actually 3 castles in the city, but Cardiff Castle is perhaps the most fascinating. The site has had a castle on it for over 2000 years with the different owners each adding their mark. Today it houses the medieval alongside the gothic with an interesting blend of Roman, Norman and Victorian buildings and legacies. There are even tunnels within the castle which were used as air-raid shelters in the second world war. The site is truly steeped in diverse history. And as you wander around the grounds you’ll get some great views of the city.
The National Museum is also close by and with free entry it offers a natural history exhibition on the ground floor, with an art gallery on the upper level. And of course, there are the plentiful parks and green spaces all around, such as the 130 acres of Bute Park or the boating lake in Roath Park.
If you are in Cardiff with more romantic intentions, then it makes sense to head to the waterfront. Cardiff Bay is the largest such development in Europe and has transformed the old docks which now mix modern architecture with historic buildings such as the Pierhead, home of the National Assembly for Wales. With the BBC drama centre here it’s possible you’ll recognise some of the surroundings from the likes of Doctor Who episodes. With science and sports centres too, this all makes it perfect for plenty of types of visitor, but it’s a great setting for a starry-eyed meal in one of the many international restaurants or a walk across the Barrage embankment with its maritime vista over the bay and the Severn Estuary.
There is also the Millennium Centre; a striking sight and an icon of the city. It’s worth popping by just to take in the building with its copper front which features a poem in the Welsh language. It’s even better at night when the words are lit up. You can take in the bay views from the Centre’s cafe, or of course attend one of the many performances across opera, music and theatre.
Finally, talk of Cardiff should surely mention sport specifically. Most famously it’s the home of Welsh rugby union at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff Arms Park. But it doesn’t stop at rugby. The city is also home to the Cardiff Devils, a professional elite ice hockey team and there are public skating sessions at the Viola Arena. Then Cardiff Bay also has its own yacht club and of course, there is the international sports village – set for further major developments – which has a white water centre with a range of water-based activities. So whether you are more of a spectator or participant, the sport-minded have plenty to choose from.
So Cardiff is ready and waiting. Whatever your interests, head to the Welsh capital and take your pick.