The capital of Wales and home to Cardiff University this city has improved its reputation in the last decade. The BBC drama production centre, Welsh Assembly, International Sports Village and the Principality Stadium are just some of the projects and developments which have happened since the 1980's and attracted businesses and people to the city, earning Cardiff a truly metropolitan reputation and the coveted 'one of the UK’s fastest growing cities' statistic.
The Castle's rich history is just one of the mesmerising things about it. A Roman fort established on site around 50AD, since 18th century it has belonged to the Bute family, who commissioned William Burgess to refurbish it, hence spectacular and other-worldly furnishings and architectural elements. The open air theatre and cinema under the stars are just two of the many popular events run at the castle grounds in the summer.
Sŵn music festival has been running since 2007. It takes place across multiple venues in the city, usually in October and focuses on new music, but does not limit itself to any particular genre. This is just one example of the music scene in Cardiff, which has faced some dramatic losses of venues over the last decade. But worry not, there is still plenty to experience. For bigger venues check out the Tramshed, which has over 1000 capacity and hosts music, comedy and club nights. Alternatively, the Moon (a rescued non-profit multi-function venue) is just one of the many more intimate gig spaces, which deliver good music in less clubby vibes. Little Man Coffee is not just a coffee shop, but an arts exhibition, quiz night and learning venue. Expect photography workshops, charity quiz nights, and local art with a political tinge. In similar vain to the Moon, the Other room is both a drinking and entertainment space. It is the first pub theatre in Cardiff. An intimate space which prioritises new work from young and established writers and performers. Especially worth checking out during the Young Artists Festival for those hidden gems.
The International Food and Drink festival takes place over three days in the summer and features food stalls, a farmer’s market and live music! 2019 is it’s 20th birthday so expect a big blow up! It’s one of many festivals taking place in the city, together with Bite Cardiff, the Night Market and Y Gegin Food Hal in Pembroke Dock, you are bound to satisfy your craving for food stalls in the summer. Depot is not to be missed, a Friday and Saturday night entertainment in a warehouse space full of food, drink and strange, ridiculously popular events. For a more serious sit down dinner, the Potted Pig has established itself in the pricier side of the market, with starters around £8 it is unlikely to be your regular spot. The restaurant changes its menu as per seasons and suppliers. Perfect for a more special occasion and tradition Welsh cooking amped up. Now, I would not be myself if I didn’t mention cake. Go to Cocorico patisserie, which specialises in French delicacies. Why wouldn't you go to Wales to eat French cake? They do brunch as well, but honestly, just go there for cake!
Barry Island and Whitmore Bay are so close! Check the first one out for traditional seaside entertainment (think arcades, funfairs, rickety rides). Whitmore Bay has a promenade and is officially a Blue Flag beach signified its special approach to the environment, safety and beauty. The rest of Wales is also on your doorstep, all you have to do is decide where to go and hop on a train!