Because so many people come to the city, Cardiff offers a number of destination spots, sporting venues, and cultural events. The Cardiff City football team plays at Cardiff City Stadium, the Wales national rugby team calls Millennium Stadium its home, and Glamorgan County Cricket Club plays at SWALEC Stadium. With so many teams and stadiums in the city, it's no surprise that Cardiff was the European City of Sport twice in the last several years.
When to Visit Cardiff, United Kingdom
Depending on what you plan to do in the city, how you deal with crowds, and what you're looking for in a vacation, Cardiff is a great vacation option any time of the year. Summer is the most popular time to come to Cardiff because of the variety of events and the comfortable temperatures. However, because summer is the most popular time, there are many visitors throughout the city. Events are packed, hotels get booked, and roads are crowded.
Spring offers beautiful trees and flowers blooming throughout the area. If you visit in the spring, make sure to check out the variety of parks in Cardiff. Events in the spring include a parade on March 1 for St. David's Day and the Six Nations rugby tournament in February and March. Fall brings the Great British Cheese Festival at Cardiff Castle in September, and The Apple Weekend at St. Fagans National History Museum in October. Shopping is a popular event for those visiting the city in the winter, and make sure you check out the Sparks in the Park at Bute Park in November.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Cardiff, United Kingdom:
Cardiff by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs demonstrating mean nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Cardiff, United Kingdom. You can use these illustrations to calculate the least expensive time to make a reservation in Cardiff for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Cardiff, United Kingdom
4 Star Average Prices: $104.41
With a luxury hotel stay, you're getting the best of everything. From amazing service to entertainment and amenities, you'll find what you're looking for and more when you stay at one of Cardiff's luxury hotels.
Hilton Cardiff offers a number of room styles to give you exactly what you need, and it's within just a few minutes' walk of Queen Arcade, Cardiff Castle, and St. David's Hall. The hotel is centrally located in the city, making it easy to get where you're going. Rooms include flat-screen television, cable programming, and wireless internet access. Take advantage of the on-site spa, indoor pool, and bar/lounge area. The Hilton Cardiff offers 24-hour room service, or check out the restaurant on the property for delicious meals. Ask about help from the hotel with booking tours or shows, planning your wedding, and valet parking.
Less than half a mile from Bute Park and SWALEC Stadium, check out the beautiful Cathedral 73. The hotel is exclusive and only offers ten guest rooms. Rooms feature a variety of amenities, including flat-screen televisions and complimentary wireless internet. Relax after a long day of adventuring at the bar/lounge area, or start your morning with the hotel's complimentary breakfast. Cathedral 73 has received an official five-star rating from Visit Wales.
When you first walk into Copthorne Hotel Cardiff-Caerdydd, you're surrounded by luxury. The hotel is only about a mile and a half from the Museum of Welsh Life, and less than three miles from Victoria Park. Wireless internet is available for a surcharge, and digital programming is available in guest rooms. Kick back and enjoy your visit at the indoor pool, spa tub, or health club. Get a great meal at the hotel's on-site restaurant or with the 24-hour room service. Pets are welcome at the hotel, for an additional fee.
Affordable Hotel Options in Cardiff, United Kingdom
3 Star Average Prices: $131.08
Getting an affordable hotel can help you save money on your vacation, allowing you to spend more on the activities you plan. There are a number of affordable hotel options throughout Cardiff. These hotels are near the attractions you're planning to visit, giving you easy access to the city.
The Safehouse Hostel offers dormitory and double room options, allowing you to stay on a budget. The hostel is only about 0.1 mile from Cardiff Castle and Millennium Stadium. With the communal kitchen you can prepare your own meals or chat with others visiting the area. The Safehouse Hostel offers complimentary wireless internet and a complimentary continental breakfast to all guests. It's important to note that the hotel only allows adults—anyone under 18 is not allowed.
Isis Budget Cardiff Centre offers lodging in double and triple rooms, and is only 0.2 miles from Cardiff International Arena. The Capitol Shopping Centre and City Centre Cardiff are only 0.4 miles from the hotel. Stay connected with the complimentary wireless internet available for guests. Isis Budget Cardiff Centre offers breakfast each morning for an additional fee. If you're traveling with a pet, it's good to know that this hotel allows pets for an extra charge.
Within walking distance of Techniquest and Cardiff Central Station, you'll find Ty Rosa – Bed and Breakfast. The proximity to public transportation makes this hotel the perfect option for those planning to get out and about on their vacation. Rooms feature flat-screen televisions and DVD players, as well as complimentary internet access. Breakfast is offered daily for a fee.
Cardiff, United Kingdom Hotels with Discounts
Throughout Cardiff, you'll find hotels with a variety of discounts available. These discounts allow you to save on your nightly rate. Savings vary by discount type, property, and time of year you travel. Some of the discounts you can see throughout the city include group rates, online booking discounts, and senior discounts.
Group rates vary significantly by property. Depending on the size of your group, when you stay, and if you're using other services such as wedding services, rates can be 3-30 percent off your nightly rate. In most cases, you have to book all your group rooms at the same time. Make sure to contact the property you're interested in to get the information you need for group bookings.
Online booking discounts are generally 10-20 percent off your nightly booking. However, this also varies by property and when you book. When taking advantage of an online booking discount, keep in mind that you usually have to pay immediately when you book. In addition, many times online booking discounts do not allow for cancellation. Clayton Hotel Cardiff, Park Plaza Cardiff, and Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North offer online booking discounts.
Senior discounts allow you to book a room at a discounted rate if you are over a specific age. The age requirements vary from property to property, however this is usually a 10 percent discount. If you're interested in a senior discount, contact the property you're considering for more information on what they offer.
Best Value Options in Cardiff, United Kingdom
If you're looking for a good balance between a budget hotel and luxury lodging, check out the best value options in the city. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations and a variety of amenities without breaking the bank.
Holiday Inn Cardiff City Centre is located right in the middle of all the action. Here you'll be less than a mile from a variety of shopping options such as Capitol Shopping Centre, as well as sporting centers like Millennium Stadium and SWALEC Stadium. Get food and drink at the licensed bar and restaurant on the property. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Wireless internet is available for your convenience. In your room, you'll find a flat-screen television, in-room movies, and great television programming.
Penrhys Bed and Breakfast Hotel is within walking distance of Cardiff International Airport, SWALEC Stadium, and Cardiff Castle. This is a Victorian property with only 15 guest rooms. The complimentary breakfast is warm and hearty. Televisions in the rooms help you relax, and complimentary internet keeps you connected.
Future Inns Cardiff Bay is conveniently located near the Doctor Who Exhibition, the Wales Millennium Centre, and Mermaid Quay. Stay connected to your life with free internet access. The hotel is partnered with Vitality Gym, allowing you to use the fitness facilities for free when you're a guest at Future Inns. Stay hydrated and full with the on-site licensed bar and restaurant, or the 24-hour room service.
What to Do in Cardiff, United Kingdom
Cardiff hosts a number of events throughout the year. Make sure you check out what's going on while you're in town.
In January, experience the Cardiff Tasting Tour at Cardiff Castle. You'll be able to try a variety of continental foods, Welsh signature foods, and more. Plus, there are street markets throughout the area during the festival. The Everyman Open Air Theatre Festival allows you to experience six different performances in the heart of the city at the end of June. In August, don't miss the Grand Medieval Melee at Cardiff Castle.
'We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.'
Roald Dahl, probably the most well-known children's story writer, was born in Cardiff. The words quoted above were written by Roald Dahl in a letter he wrote to one of his fans. They might sound too simplistic or lacking in imagination to many, but it must be remembered that behind those words, lies a lifetime of experience. Roald Dahl loved Cardiff like no other. The city makes repeated appearances in many of his stories, so much so that one might mistake the city itself for his muse. Cardiff, as things go, has been a loyal home to many such creative forces, politicians, academics, historians, sporting superstars and above all, millions of commoners who have silently, in obscurity, led honest lives of hard work and humility.
Cardiff is often called the Rainy City because of its perpetually rainy or gloomy weather. Spending time in such a city needs great levels of patience, perseverance and determination. That's probably why it is a city that best befits Welsh people who are inherently hardworking.
If you are planning on visiting Cardiff and surrounding Welsh cities as well as countryside, you could do much worse than getting to know what the hotels in Cardiff have to offer to you and what you should be expecting.
This write-up is intended to give interested readers just that sort of an idea.
Budget Hotels in Cardiff
Despite being an important city in the UK, Cardiff is relatively cheaper in terms of real estate. This fact is duly reflected in hotel prices that Cardiff hotels seem to charge their guests per night.
If you were to find some cheap hotels in a city like Cardiff, the best bet, in most cases, is to look for the ones that are located at a distance from the center of the city, or other popular tourist attraction.
Cheap hotels here, in Cardiff, are much cheaper in comparison with their counterparts in other cities like Glasgow or Manchester. However, it must be noted that such budget establishments are, in no way, obligated to provide you luxury amenities.
In short, don't go expecting for a free spa session at a 20 quid a night B&B!
Among the ones that are notable in this hotel segment are Holiday Inn Cardiff and Tanes Hotel. Both of these are located at an accessible distance from the city center and are great value for the money you will be asked to pay.
Ibis operates a budget hotel in Cardiff (Ibis Budget Cardiff Centre) that can also be an option you can explore, provided that you are fortunate enough to find availability of rooms.
Locating Luxury in Cardiff
Gareth Bale, the football prodigy who has now become the most expensive football signing in the history of the game, once remarked that Cardiff he knows lives in tidy and tiny houses with chimneys open for the Santa Claus.
Perhaps his innate opinion about his city might not apply to a hoard of luxury hotels in Cardiff that are nothing but epitomes of luxury, opulence and sheer display of pomp.
Admittedly, there are only a handful of such establishments in Cardiff that possess the kind of aura that can subdue the self-confidence of any man with limited resource, but the ones that are present do a remarkably good job of offering the best of hospitality money can buy.
Among these, Park Plaza Hotel at the City Centre needs to be specially lauded for its consistently high-class services extended to generations of tourists and travelers.
Novotel also makes a grand statement on the Cardiff stage through its flagship line Novotel Cardiff. Hilton, Marriott and Radisson-Blu are not the ones to be left behind, either.
Top Things to Do & See in Cardiff
There are quite a few things to do and sights to see in Cardiff. Among these, the most prominent ones are mentioned below.
St Fagan's National History Museum is a great place to know everything you wish to know about Welsh history. Presented beautifully with the help of diorama and pictorial depictions, history of Welsh land, music and culture just comes alive here. Wale Millennium Centre is another place to get up and close with this magnificently curious culture.
Doctor Who fans can head to the world-famous Doctor Who Experience Bay, a place where extreme fans of the show find themselves stupefied like Alice in Wonderland.
Cardiff Castle, an ancient castle built in variously fused architectural styles, is a must-visit sight in Cardiff, complemented ably by the ever so green Bute Park.
Mermaid Quay offers a chance to spend a quite evening in the company of your loved ones, with a number of local food joints and other enthusiastic people making the whole ambiance worth the experience.
Things to Remember While Sightseeing in Cardiff
The first and the foremost thing that tourists need to remember while visiting Cardiff is that their trip to Cardiff will be only as good as they plan it out to be.
Cardiff is not a small town that can be turned over in a day or two. Nor is it a mega-city that would take you a week to completely see and experience. Cardiff lies somewhere in between on this spectrum marked by these two extremes described above.
So, if you manage your time well here, you will be left with many sightseeing options you can pick from.
Local Transportation in Cardiff
Cardiff of today is a fully developed modern city capable of handling high stress of public utilities. Buses and trains are two major modes of public transportation here in Cardiff, while bicycles being the latest popular choice.
If you are in Cardiff, arranging for a private car with a driver/chauffeur can be the most convenient way, provided that you are ready to bear the expenses for it. Many Cardiff hotels have special deal with car rental companies that you can take advantage of in order to save a fraction of the cost that would be incurred to you.