3 days in Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and the eleventh largest city in the United Kingdom. With a castle located in its city centre, the largest waterfront development in Europe, and its Victorian and Edwardian arcades, the Welsh Capital welcomes its visitors with plenty of choice.
With a temperate maritime climate, Cardiff has warm summers that are rarely hot and cool to cold winters. You can experience rainfall throughout the year, but the wettest month is January.
We visited this city in June and the weather was pleasant; but don't forget to take a jacket to wrap up, just in case.
We travelled to Cardiff Central Station from London Paddington with GWR (Great Western Railway). The journey takes less than two hours and the price for a return ticket was £48.40. I recommend to book in advance in order to get a good fare. For prices and times check this link here Train Tickets from London to Cardiff.
You could also travel by bus. More info here Bus from London to Cardiff (for times and prices).
Once in Cardiff you can easily walk to the main attractions if your accommodation is in the city centre. We just used the bus to reach Cardiff Bay (Bus number 6 from St Mary Street). It costed us £2 each way. You could also get a 1 day travel card for £4.
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Explore the 7 arcades that you will find around the city centre. We really enjoyed wandering around the different arcades where you can find shops, tea shops, eateries, etc.
Unwind in Bute Park, a major park nearby Cardiff Castle. Here you can have a relaxed walk, take a boat cruise and admire The Animal Wall. Check this link Bute Park for info about attractions, boat trip prices and times, etc.
Why not start your second day in the city with some culture? The National Museum Cardiff offers a magnificent art collection from Wales and across the world. It is free to visit this museum, but you need to book your entry here National Museum Cardiff Tickets. Don't miss the exhibition "Becoming Richard Burton", on till the 3rd October 2021.
Head to Cardiff Bay, where you will find plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. In this area you can also enjoy a boat cruise, take a ride on the Ferris Wheel, or do some shopping. We visited the shop "Fabulous Welshcakes" where you can buy handmade Welsh cakes along with other traditional sweets and Welsh products. (Address: Mermaid Quay, Bute St, CF10 5BZ, Cardiff).
End up your day at Brewery Quarter, featuring restaurants, bars and cafés in the city centre.
Time for some local shopping at Cardiff Market, a Victorian indoor market located in the heart of Cardiff. I personally loved this place and we went few times during our stay. You can find local produce like cheese and sweets, handmade hats or Welsh souvenirs. My favourite stall was Clancy's, selling high quality spices, herbs, loose leaf teas and a small range of locally made products. Opening Times: Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Based in front of one of the entrances of the market you will see St John's Church, a medieval building with Gothic architecture.
Wander around Womanby Street, one of the oldest streets in Cardiff where you can find some interesting street art.
Note: If you are a culture freak the Welsh capital has a lot to offer. Other museums that can be of your interest are: World of Boats (Maritime museum), Museum of Cardiff (which exhibits the history of the city) or Techniquest ( science and discovery centre).
FOOD AND DRINK
If you like beer, you need to try some of the brews from Brains, a regional brewery based in Cardiff. You will find many pubs around the city serving these Welsh beers.
When it comes to food, Wales offers a good variety of dishes and sweets that you need to try. Here I mention some of them.
Welsh rarebit: The posh version of cheese on toast.
Glamorgan sausage: Cheese sausages made with cheese, seasoning, mustard, leeks and breadcrumbs.
Bara brith: Traditional fruit cake.
Lamb cawl: Slow-cooked lamb and leek broth.
Laverbread: A luxurious seaweed dish, often mixed with cockles.
Welsh cakes: A sweet made with flat-bread, fat, sugar and dried fruit.
My personal recommendations:
The Potted Pig: A Modern British restaurant located nearby Cardiff Castle where you can enjoy excellent food and outstanding service. If you visit the restaurant during lunch there is a great offer (3 dishes + Glass of wine for £22). Address: 27 High St, CF10 1PU, Cardiff.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill Cardiff: Located on the top floor of Hotel Indigo, in Dominions Arcade, this restaurant offers a choice of steaks and British favourites in a nice setting. Address: 6th Floor, Dominions House, Dominions Arcade, Queen St, CF10 2AR, Cardiff.
WHERE TO STAY
We chose the Hotel Indigo Cardiff for our stay; a 4 star hotel based nearby Cardiff castle. Spacious and stylish rooms with comfy beds, a great and modern bathroom, really good WiFi connection and a hard to beat breakfast. The hotel staff welcomed us with an outstanding service since the moment we checked in. I also loved the design of the hotel. Everything was perfect! I totally recommend this accommodation.
We made our reservation through booking.com. Check this link here Hotel Indigo Cardiff bookings.
I will suggest you to bring around £150-£170 to cover meals, public transport, tickets and souvenirs.