Cardiff - Capital of Wales
Cardiff, capital of Wales. From the chic, cosmopolitan waterfront with its 13 miles of bars, restaurants and scenic walks, to the sleet soaked valleys, Cardiff holds a host of exciting experiences for you to discover should you decide to visit the home of The Dragons Lair and a refreshing pint of Brains.
With a rich man’s plaything from the 19th Century becoming the focal attraction for many first-time Cardiff visitors, Cardiff Castle is at the heart of the city centre, with an extensive history behind it. Roman soldiers have slept there, noble knights held court there, and plenty of tourists have had their pictures taken there in recent years. Rich with murals and stained glass throughout the interior, Cardiff Castle is a must-see attraction when visiting for the weekend.
Having nicknamed Cardiff the "Fashion Capital of Wales" the abundance of shopping centres offers you no end of boutiques, high-end and high street stores for you to gather all the essential belongings, without the extortionate price tag that comes with some city fashion stores. Bridgend Designer Outlet offers its customers brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Jaeger and French Connection, with up to an amazing 60% off the price every day.
If you are looking for a less crowded shopping environment, then give one of only nine Oxfam boutiques a try. Situated within Morgan Arcade, where the smells of freshly cooked sausages, wet paint and leather all mingle together, lies the Oxfam Boutique of Cardiff. With a light, airy atmosphere combined with the organised clutter of a boutique store, wonders and discounted designer brands await your arrival.
From personal experience, Strada, an Italian restaurant located in Mermaid Quay is a stunning and well received place to wine and dine before heading out for a few drinks on the first night of travel. The modern - yet mildly rustic - decor was offset by the chic and stylish clientele, and whilst soaking up the lively and vibrant surroundings, the waiter presented the Aglianico red wine and happily made conversation. The food was excellent, but a word of advice, do not try to shell your own prawns when they are presented as a starter. Personally, forgetting I had a cut on my thumb and remembering I had once the lemon juice had worked its way in was not an enjoyable experience, but the rest of the night continued without any more pain.
Other restaurants for you to try include:
Cegin Y Ddraig (Dragon's Kitchen)
For the traveller on a budget, the range of hostels catering for tourists leaves you with no doubt that staying for a few nights will still leave you with some extra cash for those all-important boutique shops in the various arcades dotted around Cardiff city centre. Hostels such as YHA Cardiff which is situated next to the attractive Roath Park, 2 miles from the city centre offers backpackers and weekend breakers rooms from £12.40 per night, with the buffet breakfast at an extra cost of £4.95.
Other hostels include:
The Riverhouse Backpackers
NosDa Studio Hostel