Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and has a vibrant, exciting night life. As well as the city centre, it home to Cardiff Bay, an area visited by many people. So, what is great about Cardiff. It is probably most famous for being in Wales, the land of song – and, of course, rugby! Situated right in the heart of the city is the Principality Stadium, formerly called Millennium Stadium; the home of Welsh Rugby. On rugby international match days, the city centre is totally packed with Welsh rugby supporters as well as those travelling to Cardiff for to support the away team. The biggest of all of the matches is, of course, when Wales hosts England, the old enemy. Fortunately, rugby supporters are renowned for their friendliness and there is very seldom any trouble. The only trouble that may arise is from the consumption of too much alcohol!
It is also home to hundreds of pubs. Some are national and multi-national chains, whereas some are locally owned and run and provide a more local feel. Cardiff is home to the famous local brewery, Brains. Brains Brewery supplies beers throughout south and west Wales and owns many pubs, particularly in south Wales and Cardiff city centre. Most of Brains’ pubs now serve food as well. Probably the most famous Brains pub is the Old Arcade and is a stone’s throw away from the Principality Stadium. However, don’t think you will have a quiet drink on match days; invariably the bar is three or four deep with people trying to get served and the Welsh are famous for bursting into song before and particularly after the match – especially if they have won!
Cardiff is blessed with restaurants from all four corners of the world, including: Italian, Indian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian, Middle-Eastern and Persian and, as would be expected, specialist Welsh restaurants. Most of them have special menus to cope on match days, but beware, the prices go up! It is imperative to book on match days; casual diners rarely find a table – it gets that busy! There are also many places to buy food “on the go” or takeaway. Cardiff has the famous “Chip Alley”; Caroline Street, home to the famous Dorothy’s Fish & Chip bar which was the first to serve Cardiff signature takeaway dish, curried chicken off the bone with chips!
Getting around on match days isn’t easy either. Private hire taxis have to be pre-booked and it is a real “scrum” trying to flag down a Hackney carriage. If you are in a better quality hotel, often the concierge will be able to organise you a cab. Another thing to take note, is that some of the roads around the Stadium are closed for several hours before and after the match, so some of the bus routes are changed to accommodate this. The train station has enormous queues and, if it’s raining, is not the best place in the world to be!
The best thing is to plan ahead. If you like the hustle and bustle of busy pubs and restaurants, then go to Cardiff city centre – but some people to eat and drink on the fringes of the city, and commute in on match days