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Holidays in Cardiff

Europe’s youngest capital city, with a 2,000-year-old history

UK | Wales | South Wales | Cardiff
Cardiff Millennium Stadium

Cardiff, Wales’ capital, is a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis at its centre, with tranquil countryside and beautiful coastline at its edges. The city centre has a wide variety of shops, from fascinating Victorian arcades to ultra chic and modern shopping centres. Cardiff also boasts a vibrant and lively nightlife with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Towards the coast, Cardiff Bay offers boat trips around the harbour and the Bay itself has many sightseeing attractions.

Cardiff has only been the Welsh capital since 1955 and has quickly transformed into one of the UK’s most distinctive cities. Its centre is small enough for most exploring to be done by foot. Parks, galleries, museums, an elegant waterfront and a variety of shops and restaurants can be found within a short stroll of each other. When the sun goes down, Cardiff’s pubs, music venues and nightclubs come to life. By the standards of most European cities, Cardiff is cheap, and it was recently voted the UK’s most sociable city. As you watch a game of rugby, catch a show or peruse the sprawling indoor market, it’s easy to see why.

Cardiff Castle

Shopping is big in Cardiff, with a huge variety of markets, boutiques, antique dealers and high street stores to explore. If you’re looking for something unique to take home, check out Jacob’s Market, near the train station, a four-floor shop, packed with vintage clothes, furniture and ornaments. Also well worth a look are the Victorian arcades, where some of the city’s most original businesses can be found.

A trip to Cardiff would be incomplete without a stroll along the waterfront at Cardiff Bay, which used to be one of the world’s busiest ports. Today, it’s a smart area, full of independent shops and stylish places to eat and drink. The Open Boat Company will take you on a leisurely tour of the harbour for just £3.

There’s no way to immerse yourself in Cardiff’s unique atmosphere quite like watching a game of rugby or football at the Principality Stadium , a huge venue in the heart of the city. If sport’s not your thing, look out for concerts by the likes of U2, Bruce Springsteen and Rihanna.

One of Wales’ most striking historical buildings is undoubtedly Cardiff Castle . You can explore the 11th century keep, Roman ruins and an incredible clock tower. Climb to the top of the keep for spectacular views of the city and the countryside beyond.

"Cardiff’s history, shops, nightlife and laid-back, sociable vibe make it a must-see for visitors to Wales."

For a unique dining experience in Cardiff, visit the Clink, an award-winning restaurant in the city’s prison, where inmates have learned to prepare delicious meals as part of their rehabilitation. Alternatively, try the Pot, one of the city’s most popular cafes, where you can get an excellent coffee, hearty breakfast or beautifully presented evening meal, cooked with fresh, local ingredients. For a good pint of ale in the heart of Cardiff, try the City Arms, one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs. Otherwise, head to the Old Arcade, which is packed with rugby memorabilia and really comes to life during match days.

Take a look at our full collection of Cardiff cottages for more holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

St Fagans National History Museum

A fascinating open air museum with hands on exhibitions of Welsh life.

Wales Millennium Centre

Book tickets for a show in one of Cardiff's most iconic buildings.

Doctor Who Experience

A must for all fans of the Doctor, head off on an adventure through time and space!

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