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Cardiff is a historic city in the very south of Wales. While it was quite a small town for most of its existence, Cardiff grew dramatically throughout the 19th and 20th centuries on the back of the coal industry, for which it served as a major port. It is now Wales' capital and largest city, and is the driving force behind the country's economic development.
The city centre is the main shopping area. It is partially pedestrianised (no cars allowed) on the main shopping streets (Queen Street, St Mary Street, The Hayes) and can get very busy when Rugby matches are on. There are many restaurants, pubs, bars, coffee shops and cafes. There are interesting independent shops in the arcades that run between the main roads, or bigger chain stores can be found in St David's shopping centre.
Cardiff Bay area has been very successfully redeveloped since the decline of industry in that area. There are many restaurants and bars, cultural highlights such as the Welsh Assembly and Wales Millennium Centre, and boat trips round the bay or up the River Taff. It is a very nice place to go for an evening to walk around and find a nice place for dinner.
Cardiff has a large student population who mainly live in Cathays and Roath.
Cardiff Castle, ☎ +44 29 2087-8100, fax: +44 29 2023-1417. Castle St. Cardiff Castle is a large castle whose foundations are based upon a Roman fort. In the nineteenth century, it was the one of the homes of the Marquis of Bute. The Norman fort in the centre, the Welsh regimental museum and excavated Roman ruins are open, and tours of the Bute household are available. The Bute part of the castle is quite amazing. The interior was all done in the early 1900s in a very idiosyncratic and interesting style. There is barely an inch that is not adorned with some sort of artistic work. Yet, it is not overwhelming. The craftsmanship is well worth a look. Admission is £8.95 for adults, £6.35 for children and £7.50 for students and seniors. Admission with a tour is £11.95 for adults, £8.50 for children, and £9.95 for students and seniors. There are family group discounts
The Millennium Stadium is the home of Welsh Rugby. Tickets for the Six Nations tournament and World Cup can be expensive, but the atmosphere is electric in the packed stadium. The whole city comes alive on a match day, and just the experience of walking through the city centre is fantastic. Tips: wear red on match days, it is the Welsh colours and will always help you make friends. If you want to watch the matches in a pub in the city centre, you will need to arrive about an hour early to get space, or more if you want a table and chairs. Most will be standing room only.
Cardiff is also the home of the Cardiff Blues football team, Cardiff Devils ice hockey team, cricket, baseball, basketball and many other sports at various levels.
Cardiff has a typical maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. June to September is summer season with temperatures between 18 °C and 21 °C and nights around 12 °C. Winters are still above zero, even at night. The highest and lowest temperatures possible are 33 °C and -17 °C. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with autumn and winter being the wettest time and spring being the driest time. May is the driest and most sunny month of the year.
|Avg Max||7.1 °C||7.2 °C||9.7 °C||12.6 °C||16.1 °C||19.2 °C||21.1 °C||20.5 °C||18 °C||14.3 °C||10.2 °C||8.1 °C|
|Avg Min||2 °C||1.8 °C||3 °C||4.7 °C||7.7 °C||10.6 °C||12.5 °C||12.4 °C||10.5 °C||8.1 °C||4.5 °C||2.9 °C|
|Rainfall||110 mm||82 mm||86 mm||62 mm||69 mm||71 mm||67 mm||85 mm||94 mm||108 mm||111 mm||116 mm|
Cardiff International Airport (CWL) is the main airport for Wales. The main destinations from this airport are Ireland, Netherlands, Spain and other parts of UK. The main airlines in this airport are bmibaby, Flybe, Thompsonfly and Thomas Cook Airlines.
There are many options of getting to Wales by train. Arriva Trains Wales has links to and from England. The main train station is Cardiff Central, which is at the south end of the city centre. Local trains run regularly from there out to the rest of the city.
The M4 links London with Bristol, and via the Severn (toll) Bridge, Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, and Carmarthen.
Megabus and National Express both run regular services to and from Cardiff, including the overnight Megabus Gold service from London.
As a rule of thumb Mermaid Quay and the city centre are jam packed full with a varied contrast of eateries allowing you to experience many different tastes within a small area.
Cardiff has a very varied nightlife and boasts a large variety of bars, pubs and clubs. Most clubs and bars are situated in the city centre, especially St. Mary's Street, and more recently Cardiff Bay has built up a strong night scene, with many modern bars & restaurants.
|Cardiff Backpacker Caerdydd||98 Neville Street Riverside||Hostel||-|
|Sky Plaza Hotel Cardiff Airport||Port Road, Rhoose Vale of Glamorgan Cardiff Airport||HOTEL||-|
|Nomad||11 Howard Gardens||Hostel||85|
|NosDa Studio Hostel||Despenser Street Riverside||Hostel||86|
|The Riverhouse Backpackers||59 Fitzhamon Embankment||Hostel||93|
|Victoria Hall Ltd||Blackweir Terrace||Apartment||-|
|YHA Cardiff||2 Wedal Road Roath Park, CF14 3QX||Hostel||-|
|City Garden Apartment||17a Tudor Street Riverside, Cardiff||Apartment||89|
|The Big Sleep Hotel||Bute terrace||Hotel||-|
|Century Wharf Serviced Apartments||Century Wharf Dumballs Road||Apartment||-|
|Campanile Cardiff||CAXTON PLACE PENTWYN||Hotel||-|
|Bunkhouse||94 St Mary street Cardiff||Hostel||86|
|The Cardiff Apartment||51 The Aspect, 140 Queen Street Cardiff||APARTMENT||80|
|Self Catering Cardiff Bay||Overstone Court Dumballs Road||Apartment||-|
|Bute107||107 Bute Street Cardiff||Apartment||-|
|Holiday Inn Express Cardiff Airport||Port Road, Rhoose||Hotel||-|
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
Ask FakeJaffaCakes a question about Cardiff
Living in Cardiff for about 7 years now. I love exploring the area and finding new activities. Happy to advise on culture, customs and attractions. Having been a student here I know many things to go on a tight budget, and can advise about outdoor pursuits, clubbing, food, cultural and historical highlights or family activities.
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