Cardiff has become one of the UK's most vibrant cities. With beautiful architecture, a buzzing nightlife and sports-mad inhabitants, Cardiff is the perfect base to explore the charms of South Wales.
Cardiff International Airport (website: www.info.cwlfly.com) receives flights from all over Europe and North America. If you are already in the UK, Cardiff is easily accessible by coach or train. See the Visit Cardiff website (website: www.visitcardiff.com) for info on getting around.
August sees the National Eisteddfod festival (website: www.eisteddfod.org.uk) return to Wales’ capital for the first time in 30 years. A celebration of all things Welsh, the festival was first held in 1176 and attractions include Welsh music, dance and poetry performances.
Wander around elegant Cardiff Castle. Set in Bute Park in the heart of the city, this 2,000 year old castle showcases opulent interiors, with each room having its own special theme. Make sure you visit the drawing room and library, which are said to be haunted by the second Marquis of Bute.
Investigate the reinvigorated Cardiff Bay. Once a busy dockland, Cardiff is now a refined cultural space dominated by the imposing Wales Millenium Centre (website: www.wmc.org.uk), which is home to a huge performing arts theatre. Relaxing waterfront walks, award-winning architecture and good restaurants complete its charm.
Take a look at old Cardiff at the Butetown History and Arts Centre (website: www.bhac.org). This fascinating museum showcases Cardiff’s past, with photographs, artefacts and testimonials from years gone by.
Watch Wales play rugby at the Millennium Stadium. This modern stadium is the perfect setting to watch the Welsh get passionate about their national sport. The top ticket is Wales versus England during the Six Nations. That’s if you can get a ticket…
Soak up some culture at the National Museum and Gallery. The collection includes Impressionist painting, archaeological exhibits and a history of Wales. Best of all, it’s completely free.
Learn to speak some Welsh. Wales has seen a resurgence in its native language in recent years, and visitors can impress by learning a few words. The Welsh Language Teaching Centre at Cardiff University (website: www.caerdydd.ac.uk) runs taster courses.
Try a traditional Welsh meal of Cawl (lamb and vegetable broth), served with laver bread (seaweed bread). For dessert, try Welsh cakes, a scone-like treat spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Did you know?
Author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, and the Oval Basin in Cardiff Bay has been renamed Roald Dahl Plass in his honour.