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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > Wales > Cardiff

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Cardiff Nightlife

Cardiff’s liveliest pubs and clubs are centred on St Mary Street, which is closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights. Mill Lane, otherwise known as the 'Cafe Quarter', offers a good choice of eating options and cocktail bars. The Castle Quarter is home to trendier bars and clubs, while gay venues are to be found in Charles Street and on the city centre's southern fringe. On Wednesday nights the university crowd descends on the city for student nights at various venues.

Good nightlife and cultural listings appear on the After Dark Cardiff (http://afterdark.co/cardiff) and Key to the City (www.keytothecity.co.uk) websites.

Bars in Cardiff

Barocco

With its unimposing entrance, Barocco is easy to walk past. Once inside though, the bar is true to its name with a baroque interior of red walls, gold framed mirrors, stone statues and candelabras. The high ceilings give it an airy feeling that balances the extravagant décor and, as well as an extensive wine list, it serves a good range of cocktails. Barocco is popular with after work drinkers and the glamorous crowd getting ready to start their evening.

Address: , Wharton Street, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2041 3600.
Website: http://www.baroccocardiff.com

Café Floyd

Café Floyd has a cosy, candlelit interior that is decorated simply with wooden floors, battered sofas and mismatched chairs. The bar stocks European bottled beer and over 250 spirits. Located in the centre of Cardiff’s pubbing and clubbing district, it offers an oasis of calm from the neon lights and rowdy crowds vying for space on the pavements below. It is open late during the tail end of the week.

Address: , High Street, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2022 2181.

The Wharf

The Wharf opened in the first phase of the redevelopment of Cardiff Bay. It is one of the more established venues and popular with residents. Located on the harbour front, it has views over the bay, and the summer months see its outside seating areas thronging with drinkers. The cosy pub-style interior is ideal for more inclement weather with a homely menu offering typical pub food, grills and sharing platters.

Address: , Schooner Way, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2040 5092.
Website: http://www.thewharfcardiff.com

Waterguard

The hybrid building of Waterguard isn’t instantly recognisable as a pub. Half crenulated castle, half modern glass and concrete, its large windows offer stunning views over Cardiff Bay. There is a good range of beers and ciders, plus a typical pub menu. On summer days the large beer garden fills up with drinkers on picnic blankets soaking up the sun.

Address: , Harbour Drive, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2049 9034.

Clubs in Cardiff

Oceana

The superclub Oceana is Cardiff’s ultimate party venue with seven themed rooms that include a Parisian Boudoir, Villa Tahiti and an Ice room. Thanks to its cheesy music, the Disco Room is usually the most popular part of the club. Despite its cavernous size, it is always packed on Friday. Expect long queues, both to get in and at the bar.

Address: , Greyfriars Road, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2023 3854.
Website: http://www.oceanaclubs.com/cardiff

Soda Bar

Soda Bar was set up as an alternative to the chains that dominate the city’s nightlife, aiming to attract a more sophisticated crowd than the surrounding bars and clubs. This chic watering hole and club (think: white Chesterfields and illuminated moose heads) has live music in the week, while DJs provide the entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

Address: , Mill Lane, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2039 8380.
Website: http://www.thesodabar.com

Live music in Cardiff

Buffalo Bar

Buffalo Bar is an independent drinking den and live music venue that has worked its way up to becoming a Cardiff institution. The weekly club nights showcase DJs and bands with a different mix of music coming from the speakers each day. Its covered beer garden, with an outside bar, offers a quieter alternative to the music inside if it gets a bit too loud.

Address: , Windsor Place, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2031 0312.
Website: http://www.buffalocardiff.co.uk

Café Jazz

Café Jazz can be found next to the Sandringham Hotel, in what was originally the hotel’s bar. Over the last decade it has established itself as the best place in Cardiff to hear live jazz with a varied weekday programme that includes ragtime bands, Latin jazz, blues and acoustic groups. There is a small dance floor that fills up during the livelier gigs and a disco on Saturday nights.

Address: , St Mary Street, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2038 7026.
Website: http://www.cafejazzcardiff.com

Clwb Ifor Bach

Known on the Cardiff music circuit as The Welsh Club, this is an essential part of the city’s nightlife scene, and it’s where many local bands have got their big break over the years. One of the few clubs to offer action throughout the week, its three floors showcase an eclectic mix of live music and DJs.

Address: , Womanby Street, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2023 2199.
Website: http://www.clwb.net

Classical music in Cardiff

Dance in Cardiff

Theatres in Cardiff

Music and Dance in Cardiff

Culture in Cardiff

St David's Hall (Neuadd Dewi Sant)

This is the national concert hall for Wales and home of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Opened in 1982, its unusual shape is the result of its architects, the Seymour Harris Partnership, having to fit the venue into a cramped space. Its role as a conference hall may have been overshadowed somewhat  by the Millennium Centre, but audiences have remained constant and its creative programme has taken on the challenge from the newcomer.

Address: , The Hayes, Cardiff,
Telephone: 029 2087 8500.
Website: http://www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

The Glee Club

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, Cardiff’s Glee Club plays host to some of the best comics on the circuit with many big names having appeared here over the years. The club also offers an intimate setting for live music and has hosted a range of acts from indie, jazz and blues to pop and singer-songwriters. This is a purpose built venue on the waterfront with theatre-style seating, a bar and restaurant.

Address: , Mermaid Quay, Cardiff,
Telephone: 0871 472 0400.
Website: http://www.glee.co.uk/cardiff

The New Theatre

Founded in 1906, the New Theatre is one of the principal playhouses in Cardiff. It is host to touring productions of plays, musicals and dance shows, plus pantomimes at Christmas. When it was built the stage was one of the biggest in the country and only London theatres could boast larger. Famous names to have trodden the boards include Sarah Bernhardt, Anna Pavlova, Laurel and Hardy, and Tom Jones.

Address: , Park Place, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2087 8889.
Website: http://www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk

The Sherman Theatre

This playhouse has a resident company and hosts national and international tour groups in its main and studio theatres. The theatre has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment and now boasts a new, metal-clad façade. The company aims to make a contribution to the development of Welsh theatre through its diverse and distinct programme. Performances are in both Welsh and English.

Address: , Senghennydd Road, Cardiff,
Telephone: (029) 2064 6900.
Website: http://www.shermantheatre.co.uk

Wales Millennium Centre (Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru)

Opened in 2004, the Wales Millennium Centre is the jewel in the crown of Cardiff’s cultural offerings. It has already established an international reputation as an arts complex and is home to organisations such as the Welsh National Opera and Diversions - the Dance Company of Wales. Performances range from blockbuster West End musicals, stand-up comedy and urban music to opera, ballet and dance. Backstage tours are available.

Address: , Bute Place, Cardiff,
Telephone: 029 2063 6464.
Website: http://www.wmc.org.uk