Weekend in Wales: short guide to Cardiff

Oh, Cardiff, how I absolutely love you. Cardiff was the first place I ever travelled alone and it became the great catalyst to my adventures in solo travel. Because of one magical weekend in the Welsh capital, I went off to travel several countries on my own. I later ended up briefly living in Cardiff for about three weeks and it was some of the best days of my life.  It's not just the personal touch that makes Cardiff such a great city because it's got everything you could want - fun nightlife, cute shops, independent restaurants and a waterside. Lucky for you, I'm your girl for the ins and outs of one of my favorite cities. 

                                                                               Cardiff Castle

                                                                        view from the top

Of' course one of the biggest attractions in Cardiff is the historic castle. Located right at the edge of the city centre, the castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and Bute Park - a lovely green space to watch the world go by. For a small price, you can go inside and visit the castle to get a real glimpse of historic royal Wales and gaze at the extravagant rooms inside. However, my favorite part of the castle was the stunning view at the top. You can see nearly all of the city from Principality Stadium to City Hall. That being my first real European "rooftop" view, I easily felt like I was on top of the whole world. 

                                                                          Cardiff Market

Head down to Cardiff Market on St. Mary's Street in the city centre. I am obsessed with Cardiff Market as it's one of the friendliest places in the city. Grab great local food (amazing jacket potatoes) at a low cost and shop everything from jewelry to records to books and more. Here's a tip: get a full breakfast upstairs and just people watch. Seriously. It's endlessly entertaining. 

                                                                       The historical Hayes

Walk out the back of the market and into the Hayes - a traditional pedestrian area of Cardiff. The Hayes has some of the longest running food stands in the city. On a warm afternoon, it's a simple pleasure to sit out and have the best coffee in town. The Hayes also has unique walkways of shopping arcades, cafes and major retailers. 

                                                              outside the National Museum 

Cardiff is also home to a nice list of museums including St. Fagan's National Museum of History, the Cardiff Story Museum and National Museum Cardiff which is surrounded by Cathays Park. For a better insight on the city and of Wales, take advantage of the free admission to any one of the historical museums. 

                Cardiff Bay
                 Pierhead Building

A stroll away from the city centre, you'll find a great view out of the urban setting. Cardiff Bay is one of the best places to grab a drink, dinner or enjoy the waters right by the familiar Pierhead Building. Take a short boat tour for only £3 and learn a little bit about the place that used to be called Tiger Bay.  A walk around the Bay area will lead you to the Wales Milennium Centre for performing arts, the Dr. Who Experience and the Norwegian Church, author Roald Dahl's childhood chapel. 

                                                                            City Centre

Lastly, don't forget to explore the exciting nightlife in town - friendly people, endless cocktails and all night dancing. You can't go out in Cardiff and come home without having made a million friends.

For such a small city, it's got a great big place in my heart. x


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