The once-gritty capital of Wales used to be known for its industry, but things in Cardiff are changing. This sometimes-forgotten corner of the UK is well known for it sports obsessions and male choirs also, but more and more visitors are discovering that Cardiff is all cleaned up and ready to visit. There are castles and ruins and churches, but great shopping and dining and nightlife these days as well.

What To Do

Cardiff Castle is a huge collection of structures that were begun in the 12th Century and things have been added ever since. The interior has a very unusual and striking décor and public tours are popular and inexpensive. Llandaff Cathedral also dates back to the early 12th Century and is one of the oldest religious sites in all of Europe.

The modern and recently opened Wales Millennium Centre is home to the city’s opera, theater, and dance performances. It’s open for free tours and there are also free performances many afternoons. Cardiff Bay is a scenic and pleasant place for a stroll or a meal with its many restaurants and pubs overlooking the water.

Getting There

Many will arrive in Cardiff by train as part of a larger UK trip, but if you are coming from any distance you’ll want to book a flight into Cardiff International Airport. There are flights from all over the UK and continental Europe as well as a few from further away. The airport is about 12 miles outside the city center, but it’s on the rail line so it’s easy to get into the city quickly and affordably. If you are coming from North America you should check prices of flights into London and consider taking the train to Cardiff.

Where To Stay

The center of Cardiff is compact and there are several hostels there. There are plenty of hotels in Cardiff as well, but particularly in summer the better and cheaper ones can be booked up early so plan ahead.