City Guide: Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and the eleventh largest city in the UK. It is situated in the south of Wales and hosts a number of sporting facilities such as the largest stadium of the entire United Kingdom.
While we didn’t expect much of the weather in fall, Cardiff surprised us with lots of sun which made our trip truly amazing. We especially liked the lush green parks and the bay area.
During our stay we stayed at the Hilton Cardiff, which is situated right next to the castle as well as Bute Park. In the morning we went for a run through the park along River Taff. Although it was very cold, the lighting was absolutely mesmerizing as you will be able to see in Moritz’ running guide.
After having breakfast at the hotel, we started our sightseeing tour through Cardiff. As we only had a few hours before catching our train we tried to cover lots of the city centre and the bay area in a couple of hours. Although that is certainly enough to get a good glimpse of the city, Cardiff is definitely worth staying longer, especially when the weather is good!
Cardiff City Hall
The city hall was originally opened in 1906 and is an example of the Edwardian Baroque style. Ever since its opening it has served as a site for the local government.
The 59 m high clock tower on the left side of the building is quite remarkable. From Alexandra Gardens you can catch quite a beautiful view towards the tower.
Cardiff University and Alexandra Gardens
Cardiff University was founded in 1883 and is the third largest in Wales. It is also the only Welsh university belonging to the Russell Group. It hosts about 30,000 students in total and is as such quite a big university.
Not only its buildings look quite nice, but also the surrounding areas. Being located right next to Alexandra Gardens it is definitely in a prime location. When the weather is good, lots of students will be eating their lunch out here!
Cardiff City Centre
In Cardiff there are plenty of shopping opportunities either within the Queen Arcades or just the city centre itself.
Besides the most common brands you can also find a few smaller shops and cafes. These are mostly located in the small cute arcades such as for example the Royal Arcade or the High Street Arcade.
You can also find an indoor market in the city centre. It hosts lots of stalls with a variety of items. If you got a bit of time to spare or it’s rainy, you should definitely check it out.
As we only had limited time in Cardiff we decided to only check out the castle from the outside. We already had quite a nice view from the hotel, so we just went for a little stroll around it.
The Bay area was definitely one of my highlights of the day. We took a small train from the city centre and reached the bay in about five minutes. There, the Wales Millennium Centre directly caught our attention.
The modern building is the arts centre of the city hosting a variety of events and is a substitute for a failed project of building an Opera House.
While walking down the promenade we saw the Norwegian Church and the Doctor Who Experience Museum, which is an interactive museum. If we would have had more time we would have loved to continue walking along the bay.
The main bay area hosts a variety of restaurants and is surely a nice place to hang out, both during the day and evening.
On our way back we decided to take the boat instead of the train. Although this naturally took longer, we could enjoy the beautiful city from water as well. Especially the houses and apartments along the river looked very nice making us imagine what living there would be like.
General impressions of Cardiff
We both hadn’t done any research on the city beforehand and just decided to travel there due to convenience reasons. However, we were pleasantly surprised! Not only did we really like the architecture, but we also enjoyed the proximity to the nature. Running through the park surrounded by autumn colours and walking along the river perfectly rounded up our city trip. The city definitely has its charm and is a nice and relaxed spot for a get away!