Cardiff hotels

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Cardiff Rundown

Cardiff is Wales’ young, precociously bright and entertaining capital city. The Welsh Assembly has invested big time to offer the world a capital which demands respect for all things Welsh. Newly transformed, sleek and cosmopolitan Cardiff Bay has been a big hit with the tourists and the Millennium Stadium is a world class sporting stadium which has put Cardiff on the map for football and rugby fans from around the world. Even the English have been brave enough to venture once more into Celtic territory.

With the new St David’s 11 Shopping Centre, three major cinema complexes, and the CIA (National Arena) in the centre of Cardiff, folk can’t complain there’s nothing to do here, even on a typically Welsh rainy day. St Fagans Museum of Welsh Life, like all other museums in Wales, costs not a penny – and the 1950s prefabs really are a fabulous trip down memory lane. Watch your step in the brilliantly recreated Victorian Schoolroom though (better brush up on your Welsh before you go). Cardiff Castle is worth seeing just for the Marquis of Bute’s uber kitsch Victorian smoking room (wonder what they were smoking in there...?)

Cardiff’s Top 10

10. The Norwegian Church Gallery, exhibition centre and café on Cardiff’s waterfront.

5. Cardiff Bay Barrage Awesome dam-like structure which keeps the Bay at bay, so to speak.

9. The Taff Trail Cyclists and walkers – don’t underestimate yourself – 55 miles isn’t so very far if you take it easy!

4. Mermaid Quay In Cardiff Bay - ice cream, boat rides, and a monument to Captain Scott of the Antarctic, who set off from this very spot.

8. Llandaff Cathedral Has a huge vaulted interior and is a strikingly beautiful landmark next to the River Taff.

3. Cardiff’s Techniquest Science and discovery at the Bay and Planetarium for night sky demonstrations.

7. National Museum of Wales A splendid place to while away an afternoon. Jump at the huge animatronic woolly mammoth.

2. Welsh Assembly building A state of the art glass structure which the public can wander around and even listen in on parliamentary debates.

6. Cosmeston Medieval Village Life as it was lived in 1350, courtesy of costumed characters who will always stay in character. You cannot break them!

1. Wales Millennium Centre Located in Cardiff Bay, hosting opera, ballet, musicals and free activities for kids.

Cardiff Events

The famous RHS Flower Show brings spring to Cardiff during the month of April, with the glorious background of Bute Park, next to the Castle. Tickets cost £10.

In July you can treat your taste buds at the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival, an annual event featuring hundreds of international stalls offering a range of mouth watering bites.

A now well established popular fixture on the Cardiff events calendar is the BMI Baby Winter Wonderland. Cardiffians know the build up to Xmas is on the way when the ice rink and stalls are set up during the last week in November.

In the same way, you know summer has arrived with the yearly Admiral Cardiff Big Weekend which takes over the roads surrounding the council buildings. Free live music over three days in August. What are you waiting for? Grab a picnic rug and get the best pitch.

Big Cheese at Caerphilly Castle in August is a celebration of the Welsh dairy product, just a couple of miles from Cardiff.

Great British Cheese Festival takes place at Cardiff Castle in September where you can put on masses of weight by sampling cheese from all over the UK, and of course the famous Welsh varieties.

Cardiff Castle is a truly inspired place to take in an open-air play. Held around Midsummer evenings each year, you can pack a picnic and a good spot to take in a Shakespeare tale.

The Cardiff National Museum of Wales also hosts a highly popular open air theatrical event every summer –seating is covered – and the players will perform no matter what the weather.

Grab a ticket for the first Welsh Rugby Union game of the season in August at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. If England and Wales are playing, you will find out what ‘friendly rivalry’ really means.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World at St David’s Hall has been running since 1983, showcasing top concert performers at the start of their careers.

When to Go

  • Cardiff has a mild southern UK climate, and it rarely snows, with summers generally bearable even for those who can’t stand the heat. Spring is a lovely time to visit Wales. Nowhere else can you see such a magnificent display of wild primroses.
  • Temperatures average around 3°C during the winter months. Summer months of July and August are the hottest, with average temps of around 20°C, but they can get far higher.
  • Always bring waterproofs on a holiday to Cardiff, as well as an umbrella and wellington boots. This warning should alert you to the fact that rain is to be expected more than not. How else could the valleys get so green?

Getting There

Cardiff is easy to get to from just about anywhere either in the UK or overseas and is just a two hour drive from London.

Cardiff has its own international airport, located just 12 miles west of the centre at Rhoose, and there is a free airport shuttle which runs into Cardiff Central every hour. Alternatively, a regular bus service connects the capital, or taxis are always available and not especially expensive. Cardiff offers plenty of European flights, as well as a wide range of domestic ones.

Cardiff Central train station is just two hours from Paddington, London. Trains run regularly, and it’s advisable to book in advance to get the best fares. National Express run a frequent service into London Victoria Coach Station and can be eye-poppingly cheap (a fiver upwards) especially if you can travel at unpopular hours.

General Information

The capital of Wales is the bona fide heart of the United Kingdom country. The city of 325,000 people, almost inconceivably, welcomes over ten million visitors a year, which makes it one of the most popular destinations in Europe. All in all, Cardiff is a rather complete city, with a vibrant arts and culture scene, diverse events calendar and plenty of superb architecture to explore.

Modern landmarks like the New Central Library coalesce with mainstays like medieval Cardiff Castle to provide visitors with a wonderful cityscape to enjoy. The brilliant Wales Millenium Centre, known affectionately as “The Armadillo”, is one of the crown jewels in Cardiff’s ambitious urban face lift. The massive arts complex is worth a visit, if not to see a performance or exhibit then simply to browse the shops and have lunch. Other attractions in Cardiff include the National Museum and Gallery of Wales, Llandaff Cathedral and Victoria Park.

Attraction & Activities

Attractions

  • Cardiff Castle
  • Wales Millenium Centre
  • National Museum and Gallery of Wales
  • Welsh National War Memorial
  • Llandaff Cathedral

Activities

  • Roath Park
  • Victoria Park
  • Cardiff Central Market
  • Cardiff Festival
  • Great Welsh Beer & Cider Festival

Restaurant & Nightlife

Restaurants

  • Laguna
  • The Old Post Office
  • Spice Route
  • Le Monde
  • Lisboa

Nightlife

  • Evolution
  • Move
  • Liquid
  • Bar Floyd
  • Metropolis

Climate

Cardiff has a temperate maritime climate, with four mild seasons.

  • Winter (December to February) 2-9°C
  • Spring (March to May) 4-17°C
  • Summer (June to September) 10-22°C
  • Fall (October to November) 4-15°C

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Hotels in Cardiff

Recommended hotels

From US$74

1 Park Inn By Radisson Cardiff City Centre

3 stars
4.7 / 5 14 reviews

Mary Ann Street Map

Park Inn By Radisson Cardiff City Centre Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the vibrant capital city of Wales. Within walking distance are the unrivalled facilities on offer at the... More

From US$92

2 Radisson Blu Hotel, Cardiff

4 stars
5.0 / 5 2 reviews

Meridian Gate, Bute Terrace Map

With its convenient distance to major attractions and a lively nightlife, Radisson Blu Hotel Cardiff is an ideal place for leisure travellers. Famous landmarks of the city include Wales Millennium... More

Great location, great hotel
Really couldn't recommend the hotel enough, brilliant location for millennium stadium and the shops. Even got a late checkout for free!
1 Dec 2014
From US$100

3 Hilton Cardiff

5 stars
4.9 / 5 12 reviews

Kingsway Map

Summer Sale!

Occupying a prestigious city centre location opposite Cardiff Castle, the Cardiff Hilton Hotel is perfect for both business and leisure. Guests have direct access to the vibrant nightlife,... More

Special city break
Comfortable, great view, good food, lovely facilities
6 Jan 2014
From US$78

4 Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa

4 stars
3.5 / 5 2 reviews

24 26 Newport Road Map

Rate includes up to 40% off, Breakfast and more

Boasting a central location and offering comfortable accommodation as well as excellent meeting facilities, the Mercure Cardiff Holland House Hotel and Spa is a perfect place to reside for all type... More

Cardiff Hotel
Executive rooms with excellent views of city. Short walk to Cardiff Castle. Close to shopping area.
23 Jul 2013
From US$88

5 Thistle Cardiff City Centre, The Parc

4 stars
4.5 / 5 2 reviews

Park Place Map

Complimentary Wi-Fi

Catering to chic tourists and business travellers, The Parc Hotel Cardiff combines the charming facade of a Victorian building with modern conveniences at the heart of Cardiff. The centrally... More

First Trip to Cardiff
This was our first ever trip to Cardiff, and it was better than we ever imagined. The hotel was located in the perfect place for shopping, and it was literally a 30 second walk to the nearest taxi...
11 Aug 2014
From US$104

6 Cardiff Marriott Hotel

4 stars
4.5 / 5 6 reviews

Mill Lane Map

Rate includes breakfast

Offering a good location and all the modern conveniences, this property is an ideal place for business or leisure travellers and for those who want to explore Cardiff's attractions. ... More

family trip
good hotel in city center clean hotel friendly staff
14 Jan 2015
From US$94

7 Holiday Inn CARDIFF CITY CENTRE

3 stars
4.5 / 5 2 reviews

Castle Street Map

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Situated right next door to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre is ideally placed for exploring the Welsh capital's attractions. Guests staying at the Holiday Inn are... More

From US$153

8 Jolyon's at Number 10

4 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

10 Cathedral Road Map

Featuring elegant boutique-style accommodations highlighted by Victorian-inspired furnishings, Jolyon's At Number 10 Cardiff Hotel creates a chic and cosy haven for savvy travellers in this part of... More

From US$73

9 Novotel Cardiff Centre

4 stars
4.4 / 5 8 reviews

Schooner Way Map

Rate includes Breakfast

Lavish yourself in comfort at the Novotel Cardiff Centre that offers stylish urban sophisticated accommodation along with the world class hospitality for an elating reside in Cardiff. ... More

Great location and clean hotel
I stayed here this wknd after looking for a hotel nr to Cardiff Bay and the centre and reasonably priced. This fitted the bill for all of these. Generous sized bedroom and bathroom. Bedroom also...
25 Feb 2015
From US$59

10 Sleeperz Cardiff

3 stars
4.6 / 5 5 reviews

Station Approach Map

Advance Purchase Rates!

Blending pleasant ambience and friendly service, Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff is an ideal place for a fun filled holiday. Visitors can explore some of the city attractions such as Techniquest, Cardiff... More

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