Cardiff, Europe’s youngest capital city, is famous for its castle, art, dragons, river, Victorian arcades, parks, rugby, music, university, bay and Brains beer. A more diverse list you could not imagine, so whether you are an art lover or rugby fan, enjoy historical castles or modern architecture, like listening to philharmonic orchestras or new bands in pubs, Cardiff really does offer something for everyone.
The Welsh capital magically combines the old with the new. Its stunning castle with 2,000 years of history stands a short distance away from the spaceship-like Principality Stadium. Nowhere is this combination of old and new more obvious than the newly developed Cardiff Bay area where red bricked buildings and old wharfs sit next to new piers and glass fronted restaurants. Old industrial cranes and the remnants of collapsed piers are now modern sculptures and the new boardwalks are lit by old fashioned street lights. The immaculate Pierhead Building, built in 1896, sits alongside the Millennium Centre – Cardiff’s equivalent of Sydney Opera House – with its protruding engraved frontage resembling the bow of an enormous container ship. If you prefer the old to the new then north of the castle sit three dramatic white Portland stone buildings – The Law Courts, City Hall and the National Museum and Gallery. This area is known as the Civic Centre, and it’s worth taking a stroll up the wide boulevard to admire the architecture.
Cardiff is a compact city and easy to explore on foot and is so well signposted it is impossible to get lost, and you will notice that signs are in both English and Welsh. The street names are also in both languages and don’t be surprised when the person next to you at the bar orders a pint of Brains beer in their native tongue.
For a small city, Cardiff gives the visitor an endless choice of attractions and distractions both old and new. And if that was not enough, there are even more fascinating museums and incredible castles on its doorstep as well as stunning areas of natural beauty such as the Brecon Beacons and the Glamorganshire Heritage Coastline.Read More