Last updated: 10:20 PM ET, Sat September 10 2016

Cardiff: The Gem Of Wales

Destination & Tourism | Visit Wales | Lisa Iannucci | September 10, 2016

Cardiff: The Gem Of Wales

PHOTO: Cardiff Castle (Courtesy Visit Wales)

From the many exquisite castles that instantly transport you back in time, to the Central Market, to the annual Cardiff Festival, there’s always something fun to do in the capital city of Wales – and travelers won’t be disappointed.

But back to those castles for a moment

There are several majestic structures that you can tour in this bustling city, including The Cardiff Castle, which is more than 2,000 years old and has some of the most opulently decorated rooms you will ever see. You can also tour the castle’s air-raid shelters, which were tunnels during the Second World War that protected more than 1,800 people.

Jjust a short distance from the Cardiff Castle is Bute Park, an extensive area of mature parkland which contains an arboretum with 50 UK ‘Champion Trees.’

There is also Castell Coch, otherwise known as the Red Castle, a 19th-century Gothic Revival castle that is considered a modern-day castle that visitors have described as picturesque and magical. 

Plan your trip to Cardiff next summer and be sure to partake in the annual, and very popular, Cardiff Festival, which has live music, street theatre, family entertainment, food, culture and much more. While you’re there, the Cardiff Bay Beach is a must-visit, and includes a giant child-friendly sandy beach, a shallow water play area, a variety of rides and games, free live entertainment, refreshments and more.

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According to its history, Cardiff was once one of the greatest sea ports in the World, bringing Scandinavian timber to South Wales to use in the coal mines and taking coal back to Norway. To learn more about this city, stop by the Cardiff Story museum where you’ll learn how it developed from a market town of the 1300s to the city it is today. Visit Cardiff’s oldest arcade, Royal Arcade 1858, but you won’t find any Pac Man or Asteroids here.

Here you’ll find shops such as Wally’s Delicatessen and Melin Tregwynt, which sells Welsh-made blankets, throws and cushions. Finally, The Norwegian Church Arts Centre, a building that dates back to the industrial revolution, is one of the landmark buildings situated in Cardiff Bay and was formerly a Church for Norwegian Sailors.

Sports fans will love Cardiff, home of the Cardiff City Football Club, a professional soccer team. The team competes in the second tier of the English football league system. Cardiff is also home to Swalec Stadium, which is home to Glamorgan Cricket. In addition to catching a game while you’re here, the Swalec Stadium has the first sports-specific Museum in Wales that allows visitors to participate in interactive displays, including BATIO, where you can bat against three legendary bowlers in Welsh cricket history.

If participating in sports instead of sitting on the sidelines is more your speed, then the Cardiff International White Water is an on-demand white water facility where you can have fun in indoor surfing, family rafting and air trailing.

For more information on Visit Wales

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