Sitting on the Severn Estuary and enjoying some stunning views over the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff is the busiest airport in Wales. Just the other side of Barry Island, more than 1.4 million passengers pass through its revolving doors each year, heading to 50 destinations worldwide, with Amsterdam, Dublin and Edinburgh being among the most popular. From scheduled airlines to charter flights, up to 25 planes take off and land every hour - and the airport’s set to introduce flights to Iceland and the Gulf soon.
Whether you’re flying into Cardiff for business or pleasure, you’ll find the airport busy and buzzing. Although there’s not currently a huge range of facilities, there are ambitious plans for an exciting new terminal in the near future. But in the meantime, what is there to see and do while you’re passing through Cardiff Airport? Find out here, and remember that if you need a hotel when you land, there’s a Premier Inn near Cardiff Airport with comfortable beds and delicious breakfasts ready to get your city break off to a great start.
Fancy staying a little closer to the city? Check out our range of hotels in Cardiff to find the perfect spot for you.
If you’re using Cardiff Airport, you’ll really be in with the jet set. From sporting heroes like Gareth Bale to celebrities such as Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Jones and Bonnie Tyler, many a Welsh legend has been known to pass through the departure gates. So what A-list facilities are on offer when you get here?
When you’ve finished buying the paper and some of life’s little essentials from one of the two WHSmiths, it’s time for the exciting stuff - duty free! The Nuance Tax and Duty Free shop has lots of great deals on alcohol, so treating yourself to that holiday Baileys won’t end up costing you an arm and a leg. There’s also savings to be had on everything from perfume and clothes to cosmetics and accessories. Lots of cool brands await you tax-free, such as Ray Ban and Oakley for new eyewear, or Animal, Fat Face and Superdry if you fancied a holiday outfit. And, if something catches your eye that you don’t fancy lugging around on holiday, you can buy it, leave it and then collect on your return journey.
There may only be a handful of cafes and bars available to offer you a pre-flight snack, but what there is on offer is decent. Land-side at the brighter, front entrance side of the building is Caffi Cwtch, complete with its Scrum Bar, Grab and Go counter and spacious dining area. Meaning Cafe Hug in English, Caffi Cwtch has decent-sized main meals such as lasagna and fish and chips that won’t break the bank, and probably the best breakfast in the airport. Once through security there’s more options for coffee. Plus a pub called the Beer House which has light bites and alcohol.
Time to kill at the airport? WiFi is free for the first half hour per day, although you will have to pay £3 per hour after that. Don’t worry if your phone runs out either, because there’s a battery charging service for a variety of mobile devices, and it won’t cost you a penny. You can also use one of the three Internet kiosks for 10p per minute. When it comes to travel money, head to one of the two bureaux de change counters. But there are also two cash machines, with the one in Departures also offering you the chance to stock up on euros (the machine in Arrivals is sterling only). For help and advice, try the information desk on the first floor, or use one of the customer call points you’ll find throughout the airport.
Start your trip in style at Cardiff Airport’s Executive Lounge. It costs around £20 per person, but once inside you’ll really get your money’s worth - it’s perfect for relaxing pre-flight. Open from 5am to 9pm every day, it’s like having your own private member’s club. Settle down and read the paper, enjoy some local foodie treats or help yourself to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks from the bar. A code for free WiFi is available from the lounge’s reception desk so you can catch up with some work (or just look at some funny cat videos) before your flight. If you are working, you can use the photocopier and fax, free of charge. You’ll also have your own luxury bathrooms so you don’t even have to queue to use the public facilities.
Wheelchairs are available at the terminal and luckily, Cardiff is such a small airport that walking times to gates are particularly short. You’re able to take your own mobility aids and keep them with you until boarding, where staff will be on hand to make sure your scooter is safely turned off or your wheelchair folded for the flight. There are low level kerbs at all entrances and exits, reserved seating areas, lifts between all floors and disabled toilets throughout the terminal. Induction loops are available wherever the ear symbol is shown, plus you’ll find flight information monitors and tannoy announcements for all important flight messages. Guide dogs are welcome and the airport is also a member of an autism scheme.
Finding your way to and from Cardiff Airport is a breeze - it’s so well-connected. The airport is about 11 miles west of the city centre in Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan. But will you be arriving by car, bus or train? We’ll explain all your options below.
Pop CF62 3BD into your satnav and head to the M4 - the airport is 13 miles from junction 33 and very well-signposted. If you’re being dropped off, use the free parking area directly outside the main building. Otherwise, head to the Short Stay car park that’s directly opposite the main terminal building. For longer trips, the Long Stay car parks are all a shuttle bus away and cost around £70 for seven days.
Getting to and from the airport by bus is really convenient. You’ll be dropped off and picked up from the door if you use the T9 Cardiff Airport express bus service. Starting at 5am, it runs every 30 minutes and costs £5 each way into Cardiff city centre You can pay on the bus with no need to buy a ticket beforehand and, once on-board, you’ll find comfy leather seats, Wi-Fi and loads of luggage space.
The nearest railway station is in Rhoose which has connections to both Cardiff Central and Bridgend. Trains run every hour at 41 minutes past the hour from Monday to Saturday, and every two hours on Sunday. To get to Cardiff Central will take you about 30 minutes and cost under £5. You’ll need to hop on a shuttle bus from the airport to the station, but the 905 service takes ten minutes and costs £1.
We have a huge range of fantastic Premier Inn hotels in Glamorgan, South Wales for the discerning business and leisure traveller. If you're jetting into Cardiff on business, check into our airport hotels. For students there are hotels near Cardiff University and a collection of budget hotels for the price conscious. Whichever part of Cardiff you’re planning to visit, there's sure to be a selection of comfortable Premier Inn hotels nearby.
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