Cardiff: Wales’ Capital – the Top 10 Places of Interest
The United Kingdom is a beautiful and multifaceted travel destination. But if you’re picturing a place there, cities like London probably come to mind first, right? However, it would be a pity to miss out on all the other beautiful destinations in the UK. For instance, Cardiff. The capital of Wales is a real eye-catcher! We’ve listed all the important facts about it, and we’ll tell you about our top 10 places of interest in this article.
Cardiff in a Nutshell
Cardiff, the capital of Wales, lies at the southern tip of Wales and is home to about 366,000 people, making it the most densely populated city. Wales, on the other hand, is located in the most western part of the UK and borders England, the Irish Sea, and the Celtic Sea.
In order to get the most out of Cardiff, without being taken by surprise by the infamous English weather, we recommend you go there between May and August. High season ranges from June to August. Due to the North Atlantic low-pressure areas, the rainiest period is during fall and winter, from October to January. During that time, many attractions are closed, so be aware of that when planning your visit.
During your stay, be sure to try the Welsh culinary specialties. We highly recommend the many cheese-based dishes, most of all Welsh rarebit. And no worries, you won’t be eating any rabbits. It’s a dish made of cheddar, flour, butter, ale, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce, all combined into a cheesy sauce which is then spread onto crispy bread slices. It’s simply delicious!
Since Cardiff is a well-developed city, you won’t have problems getting around there. We recommend you buy a bus ticket to easily move from one sight to another. The public transport routes are all very well-connected.
If you’re visiting Cardiff in summer, not only will the weather conditions be better, but you’ll also find various festivals. The Cardiff festivals have been taking place since 1980. Every year, thousands of people are delighted by the amazing lineups. We especially recommend the Tafwyl Festival, a two-day open-air festival taking place in June. Here, you’ll not only see great music groups and performers and enjoy traditional food and beer, but the tradition of the Welsh language is also a priority at this festival. So, you’ll get the chance to dive into the country’s history. Amazing, isn’t it?
There’s one more thing left to say before we start telling you about our top 10 places of interest. Did you know that Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital? Although it is rich in tradition and culture, it was named the capital of Wales by the Queen only in 1955.
The Top 10 Places of Interest in Cardiff
Now that you know the most important facts about Cardiff and Wales in general, it is time to look at the sights! We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 favorite places of interest just for you. Have fun!
You just have to visit this medieval castle. Originally named “Castell Caerdydd”, this Victorian castle was built in 1081. It has been extended more and more over the centuries, becoming a sumptuous estate in the Historicism style in the 19th century. The beautiful complex outside the castle is a real eye-catcher. On the inside, you’ll come across original relics and traditional attractions. We don’t want to spoil too much, so just go and see for yourself on a guided tour.
Museum of Welsh Life
The open-air Museum of Welsh Life was founded in 1946. It will take you back in time, showing you how people used to live and work. It is made of 40 historical buildings, all of which can be visited. On the inside, you’ll find original pieces of furniture and utensils. Whoever wants to take a closer look at Cardiff’s history is at the right place here. However, you will have to pay a parking fee.
This harbor area is especially popular among travelers, and for good reason. Here, you won’t come across as many people as in the city. You can enjoy the great bars and restaurants, or walk down the promenade along the harbor. However, there are also several attractions we wouldn’t want you to miss out on. For instance, the Ferris wheel, various amusement park attractions, or a boat rental.
Here, you’ll marvel at beautiful nature. A river, nice plants, and incredibly beautiful flowers give Roath Park its unique charm. The park is also home to many animals. Moreover, you can try traditional specialties like the original Cardiff fish. If you bring a blanket and some snacks with you, you can even enjoy a picnic immersed in nature.
Castle Quarter Arcades
Shopping lovers will love this beautiful 19th-century shopping arcade. You’ll come across coffee and tea shops, bars, restaurants, and well-known clothing stores. But the Victorian building is impressive all by itself. Who wouldn’t want to shop around these traditional buildings?
Alexandra Gardens is another beautiful park. It is also important from a political point of view because of the Welsh National War Memorial, meant to remember the soldiers who lost their lives fighting for Wales during the First World War. The well-kept gardens with countless plant species will leave you speechless. Also, don’t be surprised if you come across many young people with backpacks. No, they aren’t backpackers, they’re students! That is because the main building of Cardiff University and its library, built in 1909, are located here.
Millennium Stadium or Principality Stadium
Your trip to Cardiff isn’t complete without having visited this arena. Here, you can experience how thousands of fans cheer on their favorite rugby team. Alternatively, you might get lucky and see world-famous artists like Ed Sheeran. One way or another, you should definitely check out the arena. In total, it can accommodate 73,931 spectators. It’s an unforgettable experience.
This impressive castle was built in the 13th century and looks very much like a fairy tale castle. Inside, you can admire sumptuous frescoes and precious furniture. Outside, there is a nature reserve measuring 17 hectares. We recommend you listen to an audio guide during your visit, so as not to miss anything about this historical landmark.
Cardiff Market is heaven on earth for every foodie. Eat to your heart’s content! The market was built in 1891 and offers the best traditional and local specialties like cheese, fish, and freshly baked bread. If you really want to experience Welsh cuisine, spend a day here and try all of Cardiff’s delicacies.
Cardiff boasts many castles that are worth seeing, but Caerphilly Castle is very special. It’s a castle ruin that extends over 1.2 hectares, making it the second-biggest castle in the UK. Also, there is an expanse of water surrounding the castle’s ruins, measuring 12 hectares. When it was built from 1268-1271, the castle was considered absolutely revolutionary. It still exudes this flair to this very day.
The castle’s current layout is also very special when it comes to visitors: You’ll hear short audio clips around the ruins, creating a mystical and lively atmosphere. There even is a small dragon cave where you can listen to a traditional saga. A trip to Caerphilly Castle is a unique experience.
These were our top 10 places of interest for you to experience and explore in Cardiff. The capital of Wales has even more to offer, especially when it comes to history and tradition. The city will amaze you with its many landmarks. Thanks to the great infrastructure, you can easily reach the places of interest. Next to impressive buildings, beautiful gardens and breathtaking landscapes also await you.
To sustain you during your sightseeing tour, try Cardiff’s specialties, such as its many world-famous types of cheese. As you can see, a trip to Cardiff will be an enriching experience for you. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to see both history and tradition up close and personal. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy this unique city!