Something different...a guide to the Welsh city of Cardiff. Thanks Kelsey McKim!Ten Tips for Cardiff by Kelsey McKim
1) Getting to Cardiff is easy and doesn't cost much, check out train tickets in advance or find a spontaneous fare on the National Rail Website! My advice is to pick a route where you will take a train in daylight either on your way there or on the way back. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and very “English,” and the nice views get you in the mood for a weekend away from London.
2) I stayed in The River House and I highly recommend it. It’s super close to downtown Cardiff and the train station, very clean, and has a free breakfast buffet with tons of options.
3) Cardiff Castle is a must, you have to pay to get in, but your ticket includes admission to the castle, a cheesy video about Welsh history, admission to WWII bunkers, access to walk along the castle wall, and admission to an old grand hall/palace/something or other. It’s cool, just go, I think there’s a student rate.
When I went, a kid was having a birthday party, so a group of screaming children dressed up like knights were running all over the grounds. :D
4) Turn right as you leave the castle and walk along the wall. You’ll pass an entrance to a park and then see several animal sculptures watch you walk by. :)
5) Across the street from the entrance to Cardiff Castle is one entrance to Cardiff’s downtown shopping district, which had plenty of malls (arcades) and shops, both independent and chain, to explore. You can lose a few hours wandering around…
6) Be sure to stop in the Cardiff Market and get a fresh Welsh cake… They’re shaped like biscuits but taste like scones and only cost about 30p apiece!
7) But be warned… Regardless of their posted hours (and even on Friday and Saturday nights), everything in the shopping district starts shutting down at 5 or 5:30 pm, meaning that your only dinner options are to find a Tesco or a fish and chips joint.
8) Walk down the river to Cardiff Bay! Don’t bother with the bus, it’s only about a 20 minute walk from the shopping district. And then you can see lots of water, some cool sculptures, some cool buildings, and the Dr. Who Experience if you’re so inclined (I’m not so inclined, so I can’t tell you how it is).
9) At the southern end of the shopping district is the Cardiff Public Library and libraries are a beautiful thing. It’s especially handy if you want to take a break or rest your feet for a bit.
10) Go to the movies! I know it sounds silly, but Cardiff is much cheaper than London, so I took the opportunity to pay way less for a movie ticket. Everything closes at 5, so you have the perfect excuse to go to the movies. ;)