Information & Facts
Cardiff's climate is like the rest of the United Kingdom -
highly unpredictable. Winters are wet, though days can sometimes be
crisp and sunny, and summers are usually warm, with plenty of
sunshine. Springtime (March to May) is a popular time to travel to
Cardiff, with mild weather and plenty of flowers to enjoy, though
sporadic rain and wind is possible. Winter temperatures average
around 37°F (3°C), while summer temperatures average around 77°F
The variety of restaurants in Cardiff is steadily increasing as
the local population develops a taste for finer things than fish
and chips. Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Harbour and the Brewery Quarter
offer the biggest range of dining options, and tourists eating out
in Cardiff will have no difficulty finding something they enjoy,
whether it's fine dining or a mom-and-pop eatery.
If you want to try local Welsh cuisine however, there are a
number of good restaurants to try in Cardiff. Try Welsh faggots, a
lamb or pig's-liver meatball served in peppercorn gravy; the famous
Welsh rarebit, which is rabbit; Shepherd's Pie; or Welsh Caerphilly
Wales also has a number of wineries, distilleries, breweries and
tea plantations, so there is no end of local food and drink to
Cardiff has a reliable and extensive bus service that usually
operates between 5.30am and 11.30pm, with limited weekend and
public holiday services. Fair zones are colour-coded, and exact
change is required. Many discount passes are available. The train
services are also dependable, and taxis are easily hailed or
ordered by phone. Hiring a car in Cardiff is easy, with most
companies requiring a licence in English with a photograph, or an
International Drivers Permit. A minimum age requirement may apply.
The city is relatively easy to negotiate, but parking is often a
problem, as many spaces downtown are for permit-holders only.
However, Cardiff is compact and easily explored on foot. It is also
flat, making it well-suited to cycling. The Taff Trail for walking
and cycling runs right through the city.
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Cardiff is considered one of the top nightlife cities in the
United Kingdom, with more pubs per square metre than any other city
in Britain. With a wide selection of bars, pubs, cafes and
restaurants, Cardiff's nightlife is sure to please just about
Some of the most bustling areas for nightlife in Cardiff are
located in the city centre. St mary Street, Greyfriars Road, and
Mill Lane are all busy and offer a number of options. Mermaid Quay
in Cardiff Harbour is also a fun place to go for a night out. A
little ways out of town, the Red Dragon Centre is a lively shopping
centre with entertainment options for the whole family.
For live music, the hottest club in Cardiff is the
unpronounceable Clwb ifor Bach, which hosts live bands Wednesdays
to Mondays. Other popular live music venues include Barfly, Buffalo
Bar, and the Cardiff Students' Union.
If it's a cultural experience you're after, Cardiff is the heart
of the arts in Wales and offers theatre and live music to please.
The architecturally beautiful Wales Millennium Centre is the base
for the Welsh National Opera and the Dance Company of Wales, and
also houses the Donald Gordon Theatre and the Weston Studio for all
manner of performances.
St David's Hall also hosts orchestral concerts, ballets, film
screenings, and international touring bands. Sherman Theatre and
the Chapter Arts Centre are smaller venues that host a variety of
arts and entertainment performances, exhibitions and workshops.
Shopping in Cardiff is a pleasant experience for visitors, who
can stroll peacefully along the pretty Victorian arcades and
pedestrianised shopping streets in the city centre and browse
through well-known shops like Marks and Spencer, Boots, Topshop and
Virgin, as well as food markets and smaller shops. The main
shopping streets in Cardiff are Castle, Duke, St Mary, Queen, and
High streets, and the best-known arcades are the Castle and Royal
arcades. The Hayes offers more independent shops, including Spiller
Records, reportedly the oldest record shop in the world.
There are a number of shopping malls in Cardiff as well,
including St David's Shopping Centre and Capitol Shopping Centre.
The city boasts a few very good markets as well, the most popular
being the Central market, which offers everything from arts and
crafts to antiques and food. There is an outdoor fruit and
vegetable market on Mary Ann Street, and a Sunday morning open-air
market in Bessemer Street.
For local arts and crafts and popular Cardiff souvenirs, look in
the tourist areas: Castle Welsh Crafts is opposite the entrance to
Cardiff Castle, and Craft in the Bay is in Lloyd George Avenue.
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).