Since I relocated to London, I haven’t done much traveling. The city can be very time-consuming and there’s so much to do. Every once in awhile though, I need to get out and see something new. Keeping my goal to see all countries in the world in mind, I decided to go on a 24-hour trip to Cardiff, because I’ve never been to Wales before.
Here is my personal itinerary for 24 hours in Cardiff:
1. Stroll and dine at Mermaid Quay
You should visit Mermaid Quay by day as well as by night, as it completely transforms from a family meeting point with a big kids playground/theme park and many small shops/boutiques to a romantic promenade at night, with live performances, lots of restaurants and the giant wheel all lit up.
Because I’m really into photography, I spent my entire evening taking long exposure photos of the bay, but most people would probably rather enjoy a nice dinner or a walk.
Check out my Facebook Live video from Mermaid Quai!
2. Take a scenic boat ride
You can take a boat to Mermaid Quay (and back) from a little pier at Bute Park (next to Cardiff Castle) for £2 – £4 one way, depending which company you choose. It’s a 25min scenic boat ride and a no-brainer for this low price.
There are also boats that take you around the bay or you can book a private one for a bachelor party e.g. The prices are really reasonable and it’s definitely something you shouldn’t miss when you’re in Cardiff!
3. Explore the beautiful Cardiff Castle
Entrance fee: £12.50 (Students £10.95, Kids 5-16 £9)
Opening times: 9am – 5pm (Nov-Feb)/6pm (Mar-Oct), 7 days a week
Tip: If you download the Cardiff Castle App, they will give you a 10% discount!
Your Castle Ticket includes:
- Free audio guide
- Stunningly decorated rooms in the House
- Medieval Keep
- Second World War Shelters
- Roman Wall
- Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier
- Interpretation Centre with film show and exhibition
For an extra £3.25 you will get a house tour, which allows you to access rooms you can’t usually access and of course gives additional information.
It is not allowed to take a tripod inside the castle (in order to protect the floors), but you can leave it with the staff while you’re inside.
I’m not going to talk much about the history and background, because obviously you will hear about it on your tour when you get there. I will let the pictures speak for themselves:
If you want to see more, feel free to stroll through my gallery:
4. Stroll around High Street Arcade
Cardiff is a historical city, and therefore has a unique shopping experience to offer. Forget the huge, shiny malls – in Cardiff you can shop in one of six Victorian arcades! Right on the well-trodden path of Cardiff High Street, you will find an Instagram-worthy shopping experience with beautifully tiled floors, walls and ceilings.
High Street Arcade is part of “The Castle Quarter”, which is also made up of Duke Street Arcade and Castle Arcade. These historic places are full of vintage clothes stores, craft shops and coffee shops. High Street Arcade is also home of the famous New York Deli and Bombai Street Food, which you absolutely have to try!
5. Have a Hoagie at the famous New York Deli
The New York Deli is probably the most popular food place in Cardiff. Enjoy an authentic bagel or hoagie and never eat again! Just kidding, but it really is a huge portion. I had the California Hoagie and was definitely filled for the rest of the day. And that really means something, I’m a very experienced eater 😉 Do ask for some extra napkins. You’ll need them!
6. Snack on tasty Indian Street Food at Bwyta Bwyd Bombai (3B’s)
This is food heaven for everyone who loves Indian cuisine! The best thing is, you won’t find the typical Indian dishes here. I literally hadn’t heard of 70% of the menu, and I’m seriously into Indian food, as it’s paradise for vegetarians like me. Try the Pav Bhaji or Dahi Puri e.g. To be completely honest, the Daal wasn’t my favorite, but the other things I tried were fantastic!
Some more things you can do if you have more time in Cardiff:
- Doctor Who Experience
- Castell Coch
- Llandaff Cathedral
Getting To Cardiff
From London Victoria Station, you can take a bus (like Megabus) for anything between £3 and £15 and arrive in Cardiff around 4 hours later, depending on time of the day. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Megabus, but my favorite company Flixbus is operating mostly in central Europe and not so much in the UK.
Staying in Cardiff
A 10min walk from the bus station, I arrived at the cutest hostel I’ve ever stayed at: Mrs. Potts. I paid £17 per night, which was totally worth it. There are hostels for £10 a night, if you want it cheaper, but this place was just soooo sweet, I had to book it. Look at it:
You can find the hostel on Booking.com. By using this link, you will get it almost for free, because you will get 15€ FREE Travel Credit – so there’s only like 4€ left for you to pay. I will get a tiny commission and you will pay 15€ less – that way I can keep creating content for this blog without starving and you can travel more;) Bookmark this link if you’re not ready to book just yet. It’s only valid for the first 15 people though, so hurry up! It’s a good excuse to take a trip 🙂