Rugby Visitors Guide to Cardiff

View of Cardiff Millennium Stadium

Millennium Stadium and the River Taff

You’ve just landed in Cardiff, feet fresh on the lush soil of Wales, now what?

Well, you’re in one of the most atmospheric cities in the UK.

If you’re here for the World Cup then you’re really in for a treat, as there’s nothing that compares to the electric atmosphere of the city centre on a match day. The streets are lined with red jerseys, people singing and, of course, competitive spirit.

If you’re planning on hitting the shops and bars instead, then you won’t be disappointed.

With the new St Davids 2 development on top of the vast array of shops Cardiff already boasts, retail therapy here is a full-on experience. You’ll be able to shop ‘til you drop and eat & be merry in great surroundings.

If you’re here for the rugby…

1. The Goat Major

There are some bars that you must visit. First up, The Goat Major – it’s a traditional pub on St Mary’s Street, owned by local brewery Brains.  It’s opposite the impressive looking Cardiff Castle and is somewhere you’re guaranteed a good pint and atmosphere.

2. The Queens Vaults

If you’re more of a spit and sawdust bar goer, then this is the pub for you (it’s actually a personal favourite), you’ll get a decent pint with lots of like-minded rugby fans.  It’s opposite one of the entrances to the Millennium Stadium, so you can be at the match within minutes of leaving the pub.

3. The Prince of Wales

Somewhat of an iconic and enormous pub, just around the corner from Cardiff Central train station – perhaps this could be a first stop? Always filled to the rafters with rugby fans on a match day, it’ll be a great place to pick up on the atmosphere en route to the stadium.

More interested in food, drink and shopping?

1. The Arcades

Dotted around St Mary’s street are several little corridors of shops called The Arcades (i.e. the Morgan Arcade, the Castle Arcade, etc.).

This is where you’ll find little one-off shops like Claire’s Buttons (an entire tiny shop dedicated to buttons!), Rules of Play (an epic board game shop) and Science Cream (ice cream made with liquid nitrogen that tastes seriously amazing).

The Arcades are a must to visit. You’ll find some great independent shops that are like little treasure troves.

2. St Davids 2

A shopping complex where everything is under one roof – home to one of the biggest John Lewis stores in the UK. You really can shop your socks off here!

You’ll find stores selling everything from jewellery to tech and fashion. Think Pandora, Hamley’s, MAC, Vivienne Westwood, Apple, Hollister, and more!

Once you’ve shopped your heart out, there’s a great range of places to eat too. Some of my favourites are Mt Fuji (if you like authentic Japanese food), Wahaca and Jamie’s Italian.

Just outside St Davids 2 there’s a road called Mill Lane. Here you’ll find Bill’s, another great place for food.

Outdoor Pettigrew Tea Rooms

Pettigrew Tea Rooms near Bute Park

3. One the locals love

Possibly my favourite place in Cardiff is Pettigrew Tea Rooms. They do the most amazing afternoon tea.

You’ll find them nestled in the Castle Grounds by the entrance to Bute Park, which is near the Millennium Stadium too. The place is vintage and quirky with fantastic food and service.

After you’ve filled your tummies, why not take a walk around the Castle Grounds?

You can stay less than half a mile from the Millennium Stadium and within walking distance of the shops when you book one of these Travelodge central Cardiff hotels.