Cardiff Castle's history stretches from a first-century Roman fort to the Victorian clock tower. In between a Norman keep was constructed, followed by further construction in the thirteenth century. Cardiff Castle as it stands today is a stony timeline of Welsh history.
National Museum Cardiff
The National Museum Cardiff is the oldest location of the Welsh National Museums, having opened in 1927. In addition to touring and temporary exhibitions, its exhibits explore the archaeology, natural history, geology and art of Wales.
Wales Millennium Centre
The Wales Millennium Centre houses three performance halls and an assortment of restaurants, bars and shops. It is the home of eight arts organizations including the Welsh National orchestra, opera and theatre companies.
Millennium Stadium, constructed to be the venue of the 1999 Rugby World Cup, remains the home of the National Rugby Union side and frequently hosts the matches of the National Football side as well as other sporting and musical events.
Cardiff Bay Barrage circular route
The Cardiff Bay Barrage circular route is a 10.5 kilometre path running embankments, locks, sluice gates, bridges, exhibitions and a children's play area. Users enjoy magnificent views of the skyline of Cardiff and the Severn Estuary.
Flat Holm Island
Flat Holm Island, a little less than an hour from Cardiff by boat, is the southernmost part of Wales. Tours explore not only the unique flora and fauna but also history from the Danish invasions to the cholera hospital all the way to World War II facilities.
The nineteenth-century Norwegian Church, built to serve Norwegian expatriates and seamen at a time when Cardiff was one of the UK's three great ports, fell into disuse as the coal trade dwindled. Relocated to make way for the Wales Millennium Centre, the Norwegian Church now houses an art gallery and a cafe and plays host to a variety of events.
Mermaid Quay, Cardiff's premiere shopping location, features not only boutiques and shops, but also restaurants, bars and clubs, including the city's best comedy club. A location overlooking the water and an extensive programme of events makes Mermaid Quay the perfect place to shop for souvenirs or necessities.
Techniquest is a science and discovery centre offering programmes, shows and exhibitions that aim to make science accessible to the whole of the Welsh population and to raise the standard for public debate of issues involving science and technology.
If you are arriving by your own car or one you have hired, there are a number of motorways you can use on your travels to Cardiff. Depending on the direction or area you are coming from will determine the motorway you need to take. The M4 motorway runs directly through the north part of Cardiff. Reference a map to find out which motorway fits your needs. Once you arrive at Cardiff, you have plenty of options including car parks, and park and ride services.
If you are arriving at the Cardiff International Airport, taking a taxi or a shuttle are some of your choices. Once you disembark at the arrival hall, you will find a taxi booking office to help you with your transportation needs, and assist you in sorting through the many companies. Additionally, a possible lower cost option is an airport shuttle service.
The main bus terminal and hub is the Cardiff Central Bus Station. There are several companies that run services between Cardiff and the airport, and to other cities. The Cardiff Bus Service provides the main source of bus transportation with the city of Cardiff and to the Cardiff International Airport.
There are several routes for rail that run through Cardiff. It also has two of the busiest platforms in the UK. You can take the rail from many of the larger cities around the UK to Cardiff. Additionally, there is rail service that can take you between the airport and Cardiff. With proof of a train ticket purchase, you can also board a complimentary shuttle that will take you to the airport terminals.
There are no direct ways to approach Cardiff by water from other areas, but if you are coming from the mainland, there are ferry services you can take. The remainder of the way can be accomplished through one of the other options listed in this article. If you are visiting the sites within Cardiff Bay, you have the options of water taxis and boats to take you around.
Getting around Cardiff, you can hire a pedal bike service to take you around the city. There are trails in Cardiff you can take your own bike to visit the sites.
Cardiff has its own international airport that runs flights from other parts of the UK and Europe. Transportation options to and from the airport have been described earlier.
Where to Shop
Cardiff Market is a massive structure in Victorian style, offering a great shopping experience in the middle of Cardiff. The market features everything from butters and jams to the kitchen sink — or at least cookware. There's hardware and hard rock, all under one glass roof. Cardiff Market has been operating since the 18th century in some manner or another, and has been in the same place for well over 100 years, which explains why you'll notice posts outside offered for you to tie your livestock to — a practice long since banished.
Fair Do's/Siopa Teg
Fair Do's/Siopa Teg offers the widest range of fair trade goods in Wales. Whether you're looking for jewelry, clothing, toys, food, or greeting cards, Fair Do's/Siopa Teg will spoil you with selection. The marketplace, just a 15-minute walk from Cardiff center, offers a treasure trove of tasty temptations and souveniers.
Mermaid Quay features boutique stores and delicatessens and a great view across the water. Just a couple minutes from the center of Cardiff, Mermaid Quay is a great destination for relaxing or living it up. There's Welsh art, gifts, clothes and jewelry all in small independent stores. And if you get hungry, there's food stuff everywhere.
Queen Street is Cardiff's primary shopping street for pedestrians. Offerings Dorothy Perkins, HMV, JD Sports, Next, Primark, Top Shop, River Island, Laura Ashley, Marks & Spencer, WHSmith and Office, amongst many other world-famous brands. Queen Street is considered the city's main shopping street, so you'll find varied musicians and street artists performing quite often.
The Hayes — as of late — is another great pedestrian shopping center in Cardiff. Featuring designer stores & boutiques, the Hayes is lined with buildings of Edwardian and Victorian styles on one side — and St David's on the other. Savvy shoppers will recognize names such as Hugo Boss, Radley, Kurt Geiger and Molton Brown. One of the interesting features of the Hayes is the transformation from old to new. Along the same street, you'll find one of Cardiff's most modern buildings, Cardiff Central Library, as well as one of its oldest, the 15th century St John's Church. In between the two is Cardiff's Old Library. And behind that, you'll find another great shopping experience in Howell's Department Store, which is Cardiff's oldest department store at nearly 150 years old.
Handles around 30,000 different passenger flights
Today, the airport handles around 30,000 different passenger flights on an annual basis. Approximately 1.2 million travelers pass through the airport annually. About a dozen different international and regional airlines, including Flybe, Aer Lingus, and Thomson Airlines operate flights daily out of the airport. Travelers that are looking to come into the airport can find direct flights from several cities located in the UK and Western Europe, including Dublin, Amsterdam, and Zurich.
Once a passenger has arrived at the airport, they do have a few different options for getting into Cardiff. The airport operates a free shuttle service, which will take people to and from the Rhoose Cardiff International Airport Railway Station, which operates several trains each hour that can be used to connect into Cardiff, or a variety of other cities located in Wales.
Another option for getting to the final destination is to take a cab. Taxi stands exist outside of the baggage claim area. Flat rates are available for customers looking to go anywhere in the Cardiff area. Travelers could also rent a car from a few different car rental companies that have offices within the airport grounds.