Cardiff Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
I had been repeatedly told before going to Cardiff not to expect too much - implied in people's eyeball rolls whenever I mentioned it. To my pleasant surprise, it was not half as bad as they said - in fact, it was enjoyable! I was lucky enough to have great weather when I was there, which made all the difference when traipsing around the city. The city centre itself is quite small and easily navigable, you can walk everywhere with no hassle. I started off down by the bay at a place called Mermaid Quay, lots of little restaurants and cafes around there, and it's nice sitting out on the wooden boardwalk on a sunny day. It's about a 30 minute walk into the city from the bay, and going up via the Taff River is a scenic route.
Cardiff Castle is set in beautiful grounds, and you can get a fantastic 360 degree view of the city from the top of the ruined keep (the stairs near the top are ridiculously steep!). The real gem though is Bute Park next door to the castle, on a fine day you can easily spend ages just relaxing in the grass and watching the world go by.
The Welsh people really show their emotions up front, and everyone is very friendly. The city completely transforms at night, the atmosphere is convivial and everyone is out to have a good time, St Mary's Street is filled with drunken revelry, it's great! It's complete opposite to the tranquil beauty of Bute Park in the daytime, and sort of shakes you up to have a good time. The mix of bars and clubs you get is really diverse too, so there's something for everyone, the only common factor being they're all packed out!