Cardiff Guide

From historic houses to cutting edge architecture, sporting superstars to world famous masterpieces, you’ll discover all this and much, much more in Europe’s youngest capital city. Rich in heritage, arts and culture, not to mention plenty of fun activities, Cardiff is the perfect destination for families, couples and groups. With its compact centre you’ll have no trouble exploring all of the city’s sights on foot. Check out Cardiff Bay’s many museums and attractions, then take a short 30 minutes stroll and you’ll be at the centre of the action at the Millennium Stadium. Not sure where to begin? This handy guide will help you plan, book and get around Cardiff. Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or having a longer stay, you’ll find a Cardiff Premier Inn hotel just around the corner ready to get your trip off to a great start.


What's on

From a summer filled with Pride to a winter packed with cheering sports fans, whatever time of year you visit this city you’ll find lots to add to your Cardiff to-do list. Take a look at our guide to all the entertainment and events, sports and shows this city has to offer.

Entertainment

Whether you’re interested in huge stadium shows, the bright lights of musical theatre or intimate acoustics, Cardiff has everything ready and waiting for you. From Wales’ top venue, the Millennium Stadium, to the contemporary space of St. David’s Hall, Cardiff’s entertainment venues have something for everyone.

Events and festivals

Cardiff has plenty of cultural highlights. Head to the city in the spring and summer and you’ll find a calendar full to the brim with festival fun. May sees dragon boats racing down the river, in July the city is transformed into a foodies’ paradise, while August sees the city decked out in rainbow flags for Pride.

Sport

Sporty spectators will find plenty to cheer about in Cardiff. Tour the Cardiff City Stadium, watch the Blues score a try at Cardiff Arms Park or explore the athletic at the Sport Wales National Centre. If you're looking for something more adventurous, jump on a raft at Cardiff International White Water rafting centre.

Conferences

With a wealth of great spaces for conferences and events, it’s no wonder Cardiff attracts plenty of visitors with its trade and consumer shows. From the Millennium Centre to Cardiff City Hall holding traditional fairs. With its compact centre, you can easily check out all the sights and sounds of the city.


Shopping

Whether you prefer designer labels or high street favourites, unique hand crafted  pieces or market stall bargains, you’re bound to find something to your taste and budget in Cardiff. Check out our favourite spots for bagging a bargain in the Welsh capital.

St. David's Centre

St David's Dewi Sant, or as most people call it St David’s, is Cardiff’s biggest and best shopping spot. Packed to its glass ceiling with well over 100 stores, this is your go-to destination for a high street fashion hit, some designer label love and lots and lots of retail therapy. Need to refuel after a busy day of purchases?
Why not explore one of the many restaurants and cafés on offer, or head off to see the latest movie releases in the cinema.

Queens Arcade Shopping Centre

Queens Arcade

Located in the heart of Cardiff, Queens Arcade is home to plenty of big name brands as well as local businesses. Choose an outfit in New Look, pick up some cosmetics in The Powder Room, then get a trim in Be Gorgeous Hair & Beauty and you’ll be ready to explore Cardiff in style. Want to have a bite to eat before you head out? With everything from a 50s diner to your favourite cookie shop, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds.

Cardiff Market

Indoor Market

Housed in an impressive Victorian structure in the centre of the city, Cardiff Central Market offers a shopping experience like no other. Under one grand glass roof you’ll find stalls selling everything from bric a brac to food and drink, and much more in between. A market has been trading on this spot in Cardiff since the 1700s, so wander the aisles, check out some of the original features and soak up the history as you pick up some bargains.

Cardiff Flea Market

Cardiff Flea Market

Whether you’re looking for vintage clothes or antique furniture and books, you won’t be disappointed at Cardiff Flea Market. With over 80 stalls piled high with goodies, it’s easy to while away the afternoon. You can spend hours browsing the wares, trying on outfits, finding some hidden treasures, bartering over prices and grabbing a great deal. Located a 15 minute drive outside of the city centre, you won’t return empty handed.


Sightseeing

Packed with historical sights, innovative attractions and plenty of family friendly fun, there’s something for everyone in Cardiff. Take a quick tour around the city’s top sights and attractions with our guides.


Eating out, drinking and nightlife

Grab a quick bite before heading out for a hike, or refuel after a rowdy rugby match. Sit back and enjoy a leisurely evening in the pub or choose a night of cocktails and dancing ‘til the early hours. You’ll find something for every taste in this city. Get the lowdown on the best cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs that you’ll find in Cardiff here.

Eating out

As Europe’s youngest capital city, it’s not surprising Cardiff has seen a recent surge in exciting new cafés and restaurants. If you’re looking to explore the city’s foodie scene, there are plenty of places to choose from. Take a trip to Bully’s for delicious French cuisine, head to the Purple Poppadom for a bit of spice or make your way to the Potted Pig for pork themed treats, including a whole suckling pig ready to challenge the biggest appetite. Want to grab something on the go? Street Food Circus offers an array of tasty treats from market stalls.

Drinking and nightlife

With the perfect mix of traditional pubs, craft beer houses, chic cocktail bars and the hottest nightspots, whatever kind of night you’re after, Cardiff has got you covered. For a quiet pint and a game of pool, head to the Old Arcade. To find a great range of ales, take a trip to Brewdog. Turn back time and sip some excellent cocktails at 1920s style bar, The Dead Canary. If you want to dance the night away, try Tiger Tiger for 70s favourites or Clwb Ifor Bach for an eclectic mix of rock and pop music.


Universities

With four cracking campuses, a great nightlife and lots of lovely locals ready to offer a warm welcome, it’s no surprise that students flock to Cardiff every year. Take a tour of the city’s best universities with our quick guide.

Cardiff University

Located right in the centre of the city, Cardiff University puts you at the heart of the action. With a great academic reputation, good community connections and one of the biggest and best student unions in the country, at this university you’ll find everything needed for a superb student life.

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Metropolitan

Set in a green and leafy campus on the edge of the city, Cardiff Metropolitan University offers an excellent selection of career-focused courses. With plenty of space to study and relax, but not far to go to head into the city centre, you get the best of both worlds at this university.

University of Wales

University of Wales

With its central campus set amongst the grand Edwardian civic buildings in Cathays Park, it’s clear that the University of Wales is steeped in history. Established in 1893, the university has played an important role in developing higher education in Wales and continues to innovate to this day.

Cardiff Royal College of Music and Drama

Music & Drama

Follow in the footsteps of famous performers, like Anthony Hopkins and Rob Brydon, by heading to the Royal College of Music and Drama. With its dramatic modern architecture, it’s the perfect place to see the stars of tomorrow pushing the boundaries of music and theatre today.


Getting around

The compact city centre means that you’ll have no problems getting around Cardiff on foot. Want to travel further afield or need to get across town in a rush? Don’t worry, there are plenty of transport options to choose from. Read on for more information on travelling around the city with ease.

Bus

Buses are a quick and easy way to see the Cardidd and surrounding areas. You’ll find navigating easy as most buses move in an anti-clockwise direction. With day tickets for £3.60, it’s a cheap way to get around the city. If you’re heading out into the countryside, you’ll also find a number of routes into local areas, such as Penarth, Caerphilly and the Valleys.

Train

With regular trains running from Queen Street station to Cardiff Bay, and city stops including Cathays, Ninian Park and Llandaff North, the train a convenient way to get around the city. Want to head out into the countryside and explore? Trains from Cardiff Central station will whip you away to the Valleys and Vale of Glamorgan in no time.

Bike

With its flat landscape, Cardiff is great for cyclists. You’ll spot plenty of designated cycle paths and bike racks around the city. Head to Cardiff Cycle Tours to hire a bike for £15 per day or join a 3 hour bicycle based tour for £20. Head outside the city and the Taff Trail provides a great bike ride from Cardiff to the Brecon Beacons.

Plane

If you're paying a flying visit to Cardiff the airport is only 12 miles from the city centre and there are a number transport options for you to choose from.
From a host of dining options to disabled facilities and transport, find out more about Wales’ biggest airport terminal with our handy guide.
 


Where to stay

From Cathays Park to Cardiff Bay, Ninian Park to Newtown, this city has lots of different areas, each with something new to offer. Whether you prefer the city centre or the leafy suburbs, check out our guide to what’s where and find the perfect Premier Inn for your visit.


Looking for a hotel in Cardiff?

Located on the Welsh coast, Cardiff is a haven for rugby fans, Doctor Who devotees, adrenalin junkies and culture vultures looking for a weekend away. Expect great shopping, elegant quayside dining, art, history and sport while never being too far away from the breathtaking Welsh countryside. Our Premier Inn Cardiff hotels are perfectly placed to explore everything Cardiff has to offer.