Cardiff Weather

16°C

Local time Cardiff

Currency

£

Travel to Cardiff

Flying to Cardiff

Eastern Airways and Flybe operate flights to Cardiff from other UK cities. Aer Lingus flies from Dublin. Airlines flying to Cardiff from continental Europe include KLM and Air France. There are no direct flights from the USA.

Flight times

From Edinburgh - 1 hour 15 minutes; New York - 9 hours 15 minutes (including stopover); Los Angeles  - 15 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 9 hours 35 minutes (including stopover); Sydney  - 26 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Travel by road

Driving regulations in Wales are the same as for the rest of the UK. Traffic drives on the left and speed limits are 113kph (70mph) on motorways and dual carriageways, 97kph (60mph) on single-lane main roads and 48kph (30mph) in built-up areas. The legal driving age is 17 years. Overseas driving licences and International Driving Permits are valid for driving in the UK for up to one year. Insurance is mandatory. Overseas motorists should bring registration documents and ask their insurance company if a Green Card is required.

Emergency breakdown services

AA (tel: 0800 887 766, in the UK); RAC (tel: 0800 828 282, in the UK).

Routes

The M4 is the main direct route to Cardiff from elsewhere in the UK via London, Reading, Swindon, Bath and Bristol, before crossing the Second Severn Crossing (M4) and continuing on to Swansea. From the north and Midlands, the M5 passes through Birmingham to link with the M4 near Bristol. The Severn Suspension Bridge (M48) provides an alternative route over the River Severn. A toll (westbound only) is charged on both bridges. Eastbound crossings from Wales into England are free for all vehicles.

Coaches

National Express (tel: +44 871 781 8181; www.nationalexpress.com) runs direct services between Cardiff and most other major UK towns and cities. Eurolines (tel: +44 871 781 8177; www.eurolines.co.uk) serves destinations on mainland Europe.

Cardiff Central Bus Station has closed for redevelopment and is not expected to reopen until 2017 or 2018. In the meantime, coaches stop at Sophia Gardens.

Time to city

From Swansea - 50 minutes; Birmingham - 2 hours; London - 2 hours 30 minutes; Bristol - 50 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

The rail service in Wales is modern and largely reliable with Cardiff itself home to some 20 stations. Cardiff Central, located on Central Square, is the main railway station. Its facilities include ATMs, a newsagent and bookseller, food outlets and vending machines.

Operators

The main railway companies for long distance cross-country services to and from Cardiff are First Great Western (tel: +44 345 700 0125; www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) and Virgin Trains (tel: +44 871 977 4222; www.virgintrains.co.uk).

Express services are fast and comfortable, although the further west they go, the more frequently they stop. Arriva Trains Wales (tel: +44 3333 211 202; www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk) operates local and regional routes.

National Rail Enquiries (tel: +44 3457 484 950; www.nationalrail.co.uk) provides information on fares and timetables.

Journey times

From Birmingham - 2 hours; London - 2 hours; Liverpool - 3 hours 30 minutes; Swansea - 50 minutes.

Featured Hotels

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The Big Sleep

Set in a converted 1960 office block, this high-rise Cardiff hotel offers simple yet funky modern retro décor and accommodation that channels minimalist chic but stays reasonably priced. This, in other words, is a design hotel for budget travellers. There are 81 comfortable rooms, all with ensuite bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities. Some rooms offer spectacular views.

The St David's Hotel & Spa

Located in the Cardiff Bay area only five minutes from the city centre the stylish 5-star St David's (part of the Principal Hotels chain) has 132 well-equipped guest bedrooms (including 20 suites) all with private balconies and splendid views across the bay. The hotel also boasts excellent spa facilities. There are good conference services and plenty of dining options too including an award-winning restaurant.

Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North

Perched on the fringes of Cardiff city centre, the Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North is a clean and classy budget choice with 132 rooms. All come with large LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi and access to the on-site gym. The hotel also has a lounge area offering light snacks during the day and a Bar and Grill for a more relaxed dinner or late night drink.

Hotel Ibis Cardiff

Conveniently located, crisp and clean, the Ibis Cardiff is a dream for those watching their budget. With 102 rooms to choose from, all sleeping quarters come with soft bedding, fast Wi-Fi and sparkling ensuite bathrooms. There is also a café and bar on-site to make sure all visitors are filled up and ready for a full day's exploring.

Novotel Cardiff Centre

Located in central Cardiff, near the Millennium Stadium, this hotel has 138 stylish and comfortable bedrooms, all decorated in neutral colours and natural pastels. The hotel also has an indoor pool, gym, sauna, steam bath and whirlpool. The Elements Restaurant and Bar downstairs offers good food and drinks.

Jolyons

This is a lovely boutique hotel located on Cardiff's oldest Georgian terrace, right in front of the new Millennium Centre and around the corner from the city's revamped waterfront area. Rooms (all non-smoking) are individually designed with solid furniture, exquisite linen and good lighting. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant and bar with Wi-Fi access available in all rooms.