Due to my school schedule, I am only able to travel on the weekends, so I have become the master of jam-packing my days full of activities and sight-seeing. During my trip to Wales I was able to see Cardiff Castle, Cardiff Bay, the National Assembly and the City of Cardiff. I have created this guide with food suggestions, transportation and destination options to help anyone visiting Cardiff plan their weekend. With everything in walking distance and beautiful weather, rain or shine, you are sure to have a memorable experience.
Transportation in Cardiff
Once you are here, the Cardiff bus will take you all over Cardiff for only£2.50.
If you are in the UK near London, Bristol, Birmingham, etc. the Trainline will bring you into Cardiff and drop you off near the bay.This is in walking distance to all of your destinations. If you want to go somewhere out of walking distance, chances are the Cardiff bus (above) will get you there.
The National Assembly for Wales
This building is innovative, stunning, historic and the center of democracy for Wales. It is an open building that anyone can enter and have a cup of coffee or just walk around (you do have to go through security so don’t bring anything sharp.) The building is available for tours, where visitors are taken into the viewing area where assembly member debate.
The building is also extraordinarily energy efficient. By using Welsh slate and Oak, rain catchers and a self-cooling system, the building is recognized for its sustainability.
I personally loved the bay, because it reminded me of the ocean at home in CA. While the bay is a fresh water lake, docks and sailboats give off a very beachy vibe. Standing near the water you can see the cliffs and greenery in the distance, but when you turn around you are greeted by the Pierhead Building, National Assembly building, and Wales Millennium Center. If you are a football fan (American soccer) check out the Millennium Center for games you can watch.
Cardiff City Centre
Filled with shopping, boutiques, food and the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, you could easily spend a whole day here. On Saturdays there is a small street market full of authentic Welsh food and handmade products down one of the side streets. While you are here, there are many options for food, souvenirs, or letting your feet have a break at a pub or café.
Over 2,000 years old, this castle is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever visited. Visitors are welcome to take a guided tour of the castle and can then explore the castle’s grounds. My favorite part of the castle is it’s keep. The keep is basically the castle’s watchtower, and visitors can climb the steep, winding stairs all the way to the top to view the stunning view of Cardiff.
Food in Cardiff
While I did not get the chance to try any of the Mom and Pop restaurants always check out Yelp! when you arrive. Many times the small, local, non-chain restaurants will be the best. But if you aren’t too adventurous here are some safe options:
Revolution : I first had Rev’s in Cheltenham. It is trendy and hip on the inside, but also offers great food. The Mac Philly-cheese steak sandwich was to die for, and they have 2-4-1 cocktails.
Kaspa’s: If you want dessert done right, this is the place! You won’t regret one of their many chocolate-craving satisfying desserts.
The Grazing Shed- Super Tidy burgers! We could smell these burgers from down the street! I, of course, got a burger way too big for my stomach, but hey, No Regrets!
Café Nero: If you aren’t from the UK, you will probably never have heard of this cafe. But it is a large chain and very reliable, and always has great food and drink options on the go!
Krispy Kreme : If you are from the US, you understand why this made the list. The Cardiff Arcade has a Krispy Kreme stand and a store.
I hope you enjoy your travels! Let me know where you go, and how you liked it.