|| Cardiff may be Europe’s youngest capital but this vibrant city has swiftly grown into its new status and is now a haven for tourists and businesspeople alike.
With its famous festival, which draws in thousands of visitors every year, and a wealth of museums, castles and art galleries, this city is certainly the place to a have a good time.
But in 2005 there are set to be more parties and events than ever as Cardiff celebrates its centenary as a city and 50 years as the Welsh capital. A number of events are planned for this momentous occasion with restaurants, bars, museums, hotels, shops and even the universities joining in the fun.
Away from the centenary celebrations there are plenty of other sights in Cardiff open all year round to keep you occupied during your stay. The majority of the city’s attractions are clustered together around fairly small districts that are easy to find if you’re on foot.
Cardiff’s commercial hub is situated close to the River Taff where you’ll find plenty of conference centres and businesses. And one of the most popular places to host a seminar these days is at the magnificent Millennium Stadium [map], which is home to the Welsh rugby and football teams, and has become an iconic symbol, not only of the capital, but Wales as a whole.
Just up the river from here is Cardiff Castle [map], the focus of the city’s 2000-year history as its amalgamation of Roman ruins, Norman and Tudor buildings and Victorian splendour, show how Cardiff has changed through the ages.
Head north of the castle and you’ll arrive at Cathays Park where the City Hall [map], Cardiff University [map] and the fantastic National Museum and Art Gallery [map] are housed in a series of white Edwardian buildings.
South of the city centre is the newly redeveloped Cardiff Bay, one of the city’s liveliest quarters and home to the National Assembly of Wales [map] and an array of trendy waterfront cafés and bars.
The main shopping areas are located on the eastern side of the city centre where you’ll find a clutch of Victorian and Edwardian arcades that are home to a designer boutiques and independent stores. Linked to the arcades are a choice of department stores and shopping centres.
Cardiff also boasts a huge selection of bars from chic wine bars in Cardiff Bay to hip nightclubs in the city centre, along with plenty of restaurants offering cuisine from around the world, including Mongolian, Indian, French, Mexican and traditional Welsh.
Finding a place to stay is not too difficult either as this city has everything from luxury hotels and self-catering apartments to guesthouses and youth hostels.
As for entertainment, Cardiff lives up to its name as a capital city by offering a spectrum of drama, dance, comedy, live music and sport to suit everyone’s taste.
So whether you’re planning to stay for a day, a week or a month there is so much to see and do in Europe’s fastest growing capital that you’re sure to always want to come back for more!