Cardiff Visitor information
An Introduction to Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and its largest city, it is a lively and modern capital city, gaining popularity with tourists interested in its history and culture. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales. Since the 1990s Cardiff has seen significant development with a new waterfront area at Cardiff Bay. International sporting venues in the city include the Millennium Stadium (rugby union and football), SWALEC Stadium (cricket) and the newly opened Cardiff City Stadium.
Things to do in Cardiff
Cardiff offers world-class stadiums for rugby, football, cricket and athletics and an International Sports Village offering an Olympic size swimming pool, ice rink and an Olympic-standard Canoe Slalom. There is a lively entertainment scene in and around Cardiff, with opera, ballet, musicals, art galleries and live music venues. Other visitor attractions include: fairy tale Castell Coch just up the A470 out of Cardiff; Cardiff Castle; Llandaff Cathedral; the Millennium Centre; the National Museum and Gallery; The National Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagan's; Chapter Arts Centre in Canton; Roath Park with its lake, boats and visiting birds; Bute Park next to Cardiff Castle.
Getting to Cardiff
Travelling east on the M4. Leave the motorway at Junction 33 or 32 and follow signs. Travelling west on the M4. Leave the motorway at Junction 29, follow the A48(M)/A48 then follow signs. The journey time from London is over 5 hours.
Cardiff Central Rail Station is situated next to the Central Bus/Coach Station and the journey from London is over 4 hours.
By Coach and Bus
National Express provide an extensive network of coach services to Cardiff and the loacal bus services are run by the operators Cardiff Bus, First and Stagecoach.
Cardiff Airport is situated at Rhoose, 12 miles south-west of Cardiff city centre and 10 miles from Junction 33 on the M4.
The history of Cardiff spans at least 6,000 years. The area around Cardiff has been inhabited by modern humans since the Neolithic Period. The Roman army invaded Great Britain in May 43 CE. The area to the south east of the —between modern day Lincoln and Exeter—was under Roman control by 47 CE. British tribes from beyond this new frontier of the Roman Empire resisted the Roman advance and the Silures, along with Caratacus , attacked the Romans in 47 and 48 CE.
Excavations from inside Cardiff Castle walls suggest Roman legions arrived in the area as early as the 54–68 CE during the reign of the Emperor Nero They then established their first fort.In 850 the Vikings attacked the Welsh coast and used Cardiff as a base and later as a port. In 1091, Robert Fitzhamon began work on the castle keep within the walls of the old Roman fort. Cardiff Castle has been at the heart of the city ever since.
Between 1158 and 1316 Cardiff was attacked on several occasions. In 1404, Owain Glyndwr burned Cardiff and took Cardiff Castle.As the town was still very small, most of the buildings were made of wood and the town was reduced to ashes. However, the town was rebuilt not long after and began to flourish once again.
During the Second English Civil War, St. Fagans just to the west of the town, played host to the Battle of St Fagans. The battle, between a Royalist rebellion and a New Model Army detachment, was a decisive victory for the Parliamentarians and allowed Oliver Cromwell to conquer Wales.