Are you off to discover Wales and its many wonders? Here are some of the best places to stay in Cardiff, Europe’s youngest capital!
Cardiff, the capital and largest city of Wales, has a population of 362,756 people spread over a total area of 140 km² on the banks of the River Taff. Founded by the Romans, and later conquered by the Normans – traces of which can be seen in the Château Normand – before falling into the hands of the English crown in 1536, Cardiff boasts a rich history and cultural heritage, unique to the United Kingdom. Considered the most modern city in Wales, Cardiff also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene. As such, the town attracts many tourists, which explains why accommodation in Cardiff can be expensive.
You’ll find many accommodation options in Cardiff, with a dozen neighborhoods to choose from. Here is our selection of the best areas to stay in Cardiff, the epicenter of Welsh culture.
As in many other capitals of the world, Cardiff’s city center houses most of the city’s shops, bars, pubs, cafés, restaurants, and historical monuments: a two-hour walk is all it takes to go around the area. Enjoy walking along the shop-filled and colorful streets of the center. Don’t miss the Central Market, a covered market where you can find fresh produce, cooked food, books, clothing, and all sorts of things in a friendly atmosphere. Visit the National Museum of Cardiff, one of the most famous museums in Great Britain, a must-see during your trip to the Welsh capital. In the city center, discover the Norman castle of Cardiff and the nearby Bute Park, a vast 56-ha green space sitting next to the River Taff. Around The Hayes, you’ll find many streets packed with shops, bars, and restaurants serving international cuisine. Needless to say, the downtown area is one of the most expensive places to stay in Cardiff.
Cathays is Cardiff’s student district, located north of the city center. Located close to the university campus, it houses many bars, pubs, and restaurants offering affordable menus. However, due to the neighborhood’s popularity and its lively atmosphere, accommodation rates in Cathays are rather high. Indeed, this part of Cardiff enjoys a vibrant nightlife, attracting many young people who come here to party the night away. Don’t choose Cathays if you’re traveling to Cardiff as a family and if you’re looking to dwell in a calm spot. Choose this area to stay in Cardiff if you are a young party-lover.
Cardiff Bay, south of the city center, is often described as the city’s most touristic area. Mermaid Quay offers a breathtaking view of the sea and houses many restaurants and shopping malls. Around the docks are several green spaces, such as Waterfront Park, Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, and Hamadryad Park. The Millennium Center, regularly hosting opera and theatre, is a well-known cultural spot in Cardiff.
Adamsdown and Splott
To stay in Cardiff in quiet, residential areas away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, you are in the right place. Very multicultural and cosmopolitan, both Adamsdown and Splott have many bars and restaurants with international cuisine which dot the colorful buildings. In close proximity to the university campus, these two neighborhoods usually have some of the more affordable rates to sleep in Cardiff. These areas are often described as the most pleasant places to stay in Cardiff.
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