Cardiff – a historical and cultural city that has so much to offer. With countless attractions, it’s no wonder that over 18 million people visit the capital each year. Although fully experiencing Cardiff in 48 hours seems pretty much impossible, you can certainly give it one heck of a try! Here’s what you must do to make the most out of your stay. No matter the weather, this city has you covered!
T-minus 48 hours: Exploring the centre
The best way to start the day is with a stomach full of content. Head to one of the many quirky arcades in the centre for a spot of brunch. We’d recommend the mouth-watering breakfast burrito from Uncommon Ground, tucked away in Royal Arcade. This independent, gourmet coffee bar and roastery also boasts a great cuppa – perfect for all you coffee lovers!
Once your belly is full and you’ve had your morning coffee fix, stroll over to St David’s shopping centre and Queen’s Arcade for a little retail therapy. With a vast choice of high street brands and independent shops, you can spend hours spoiling yourself. There’s even two courses of adventure mini-golf in St David’s if you fancy a break from all the shopping.
As you probably know, all that retail therapy will have your stomach grumbling again in no time. Now, take yourself to Madame Fromage in Castle Arcade. This cheese store houses 150 cheeses from Artisan and award-winning farmhouse producers. It’s a favourite among locals and a must if you’re as much of a cheese lover as us!
For your afternoon, why not spend it delving into Cardiff’s history? Take an hour to visit the epic Cardiff Castle – something not to be missed! The iconic site is nearly 2000 years old, but had a grand interior makeover during the 19th century by architect William Burges. As you tour the castle, you’ll note intricate carvings and brilliantly rich colours that make for a spectacular Arabian, Gothic and Mediterranean style. What’s more, if you climb to the top of the keep you’ll get a superb view of the city. Be sure to check what’s on at the castle before you plan your trip to make sure you don’t miss any of the action-packed events, shows and entertainment hosted there.
Once you’re done, you can walk alongside the Animal Wall and behind the castle to Bute Park. Whether you decide to sit down on the grass and relax, or follow the path until you hit the River Taff, Bute Park is truly one of the most beautiful places in Cardiff and worth every minute of exploring.
After a long day, you will probably want to chill out in your serviced apartment and cook your own meal – or even call on Deliveroo if you’re feeling a little lazy. However, if you fancy staying out to wine and dine, Bar 44 on Westgate Street has great flavour-filled tapas and vino. If you’re still thirsty after this, you can enjoy the rest of your night in one of Cardiff’s many bars.
T-minus 24 hours: Cardiff Bay and beyond
On your second day, we recommend visiting Cardiff Bay. The bay has many great attractions and is only 10 minutes by train from the city centre. However, if you’ve got time to kill, you can easily walk or rent a nextbike.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take a spray-filled speed boat trip around the bay or get the adrenaline pumping at Cardiff’s International White Water Centre. Otherwise, just stroll around Mermaid Quay and soak up the atmosphere. There’s everything from bars, restaurants, ice-cream and coffee shops, amusements and a cinema – all with a stunning water view. You could even spend a couple of hours watching a theatrical show at Wales Millennium Centre. If you’re really feeling up for stretching those legs, then a walk along the Cardiff Bay Barrage wouldn’t go amiss!
If you’re willing to venture a little outside of the centre and bay of Cardiff, another great way to spend your afternoon is at St Fagan’s National Museum of History – one of Wales’ most popular heritage attractions. And, it’s free! St Fagan’s is most famous for its historical buildings from different periods which have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland since 1948. You can also engage in traditional crafts and activities, and explore the gardens. As St Fagan’s is an open-air museum, it’s of course weather dependent. So, if it’s raining and you still want an educational afternoon, check out the National Museum Cardiff instead.