Cardiff, the capital of Wales since 1955. Enclosed between the Old Fort and the ultra-modern waterfront. Today it is not only rugby that attracts tourists but above all its liveliness that you will find especially during the weekend. You will find the streets filled with people who come to shop in the commercial area called the Hayes and have fun in the pubs, bars and live music venues.
Town on a human scale. The first thing that strikes you is that it is all bilingual (English and Welsh and believe me the latter is impossible to understand).
Cardiff is a lively city but at the same time quiet and livable.
We spent two intense days and the children had a lot of fun.
We started the day by going to the port.
The main shopping area of the bay is the Mermaid Quway, full of bars, shops and restaurants. The fulcrum and symbol of Cardiff Bay's redevelopment is the Wales Millennium Center, an architectural masterpiece costing 106 million pounds and made of Welsh slate slabs in shades of purple, green and gray.
Among the many attractions stands out Techniquest: a science and technology museum aimed at children. We spent the whole morning testing instruments and reliving the sensations caused by important atmospheric phenomena.
A visit to the planetarium transported us to another dimension.
And after the whole day, relax in the internal restaurant for the happiness of the children with their surprise lunch boxes.
If there's one thing Cardiff is famous for, it's definitely its castle where even King Charles was made Prince of Wales in his youth. Seeing it above the hill with the red dragon flag and the soldiers with armor at the entrance, it seemed to be inside a fairy tale. The heart of the castle is a medieval keep but it is the parts added later that make the Cardiff Castle a realm of fantasy.
The 50-minute guided tour will take you to discover the interiors, from the winter smoking room in the clock tower, with furniture related to the theme of time, to Lord Bute's bedroom, all mahogany and mirrors which reveals his narcissism with a beautiful statue of St. John the Evangelist and 189 beveled mirrors on the ceiling reflecting the name John in Greek.
The center is delightful with its typical pubs, its Gothic churches, the covered Central Market and its British architecture.
At the Central Market you can buy fruit and vegetables and typical products and, if it's a nice day, you can go to Bute Park right next to Cardiff Castle where you will have 2.5 km of green corridor where children and adults can relax.
No problem if there are rainy days because in Cardiff you will find shelter or rather you will be sucked into one of the biggest shopping centers we have ever seen, namely John Lewis…. Where you will be spoiled for choice for shops, supermarkets, restaurants and so on.
To sleep you will find many cheap accommodations.
We found a room with a double bed and a bunk bed for €35 a night.
However, if there is one thing that we have found expensive in all hotels, it is the cost of breakfast. In fact, it is around 12 to 15 pounds each. That's why the night before we went to the supermarket for donuts, biscuits and milk for 4 people for a few pounds.
When you travel and you want to try to save money, you have to find compromises and this is one of many. For us it was better to spend it on a lunch in a dinner than "wasting it" on breakfast.
Cardiff is a really nice town, well connected with many other English cities from London to Bristol and we suggest you visit it and dedicate at least two days to it.
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