Cardiff may not be the biggest city in the UK but the Welsh capital is not one that should be overlooked. With the beautiful River Taff running through the city centre and the Castle overlooking St Mary Street alongside many a pub, art bar and even the old Arcades it really has a lot to offer.
Not only does it have a very lively nightlife and great restaurants but also parks, heritage sights and an array of boutique, independent and high street stores.
There’s been a real boost in the past few years of excellent local businesses bringing craft beers to the centre along with artisan produce, vintage clothing and a real buzz and atmosphere. The injection of creative energy in Cardiff has also led to the appearance of more pop-up shops, galleries and creative ventures.
For the best burger in town head to The Grazing Shed, with a stylish interior, communal benches, Pipes craft beer and a simple menu filled with locally sourced produce this place is always busy and full of interesting people.
If bagels or hogies are more your thing than pop into New York Deli – this deli is an institution to Cardiff with big portions, fresh food and quick service by friendly and laid back staff plus a great atmosphere. Just beware – it gets very busy over lunch hour.
Catch up over a cup of coffee at various quirky and stylish coffee and tea shops across the City, although we do recommend Coffee Barker in the Arcade or Pettigrew Tea rooms at the entrance to Bute Park for their lovely artisan hot drinks and homemade cakes.
If you’re looking for the best vegetarian hotspot that captures health, whole foods, art and music together than make sure you stop off at Milgi Lounge on City Road, one of our favourite places just out of the centre but still within walking distance. Its menu changes with what is locally available and they literally serve some of the best cocktails, smoothies and coolers in Cardiff. Drinking them in their yurt makes for an even more memorable evening.
For a bar with character and a relaxed and hip clientele minus any pretentiousness then Porter’s should be your first stop, as well as The Urban Tap House which has a selection of more than 15 beers on tap. Alternatively, try the comfy and cosy Bunkhouse which stocks some great world beers and ciders.
For those who love the outdoors and getting some fresh air, take a stroll through the beautiful Bute Park which lies behind the Castle and follows the river Taff all the way to Pontcanna, one of the most affluent areas of Cardiff. You can also catch the river taxi to Cardiff Bay. It takes around half an hour and is a great way to travel. Cardiff Bay also has a lot to offer with bars and cafes, The Wales Millennium Centre if you love theatre or the Norwegian church for a bite to eat. From here, you can walk over to the Dr Who Exhibition or take a stroll across the Bay Barrage to Penarth.
If you fancy a spot of History, Art and Culture than don’t miss the National Museum which houses some inspiring Art and Natural history exhibitions plus a great little cafe as well as the core activity centre which is perfect for those with children and, best of all, it’s free. Other child friendly places worth checking out are the City Library as well as the Cardiff Museum, both are also free.
For a slightly different shopping experience then be sure to check out The Cardiff Fashion Quarter on Womanby Street which is a collective of various vintage, craft and creative sellers based in an old converted Cinema. You’re guaranteed to find something unique.
The Welsh capital is great for a weekend away and you won’t be short of things to see and do either. For the perfect city centre location book your stay at either Travelodge St Marys Street or Travelodge Queen Street which are both in the heart of the city.
For more information about Cardiff take a look at our Get Up & Go Guide