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Cardiff or Caerdydd which ever name you prefer!
Cardiff in General
Member Name: rhianjo
Cardiff in General
Advantages: It's a wonderful city with wonderful atmosphere
Disadvantages: There are none!
Now I am biased having lived in Cardiff but it is one of my favourite cities in the world. If you've never been to Cardiff but are thinking of going this review will put down some of the places I think it's important to see and some information about the city I think may be useful. This is subjective and I hope it's of some use.
Cardiff is a pleasant city, with good transport links to the rest of the UK. It is a safe city in comparison to other UK cities but it does have its dodgy areas. You don't want to end up wandering in Ely or Grangetown really but unless you get hopelessly lost you are unlikely to. Saying that it is safe to drive and get lost in Cardiff, you are unlikely to end up anywhere dangerously rough.
The city centre is right next to Cardiff Castle, which provides an excellent focal point in case you get lost because you can't miss the castle! The main pedestrian shopping area "Queen Street" starts opposite the end of the castle. The second main shopping area "St Mary Street" is opposite the length of the castle (hmmm not sure that is entirely clear!)
Queen Street houses a couple of big arcades with plenty of major shops like H&M, Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams, M&S, Warehouse, Goldsmiths etc. I can't think of any mainstream shop missing bar John Lewis (and Mothercare has closed now in case you are a breast feeding mum seeking refuge in their feeding room!) The main pedestrian street has Lush, Next, Boots and all the other usual suspects.
St Mary Street is more interesting. There are a couple of smaller arcades with independent boutiques and shops. They are always worth a look in. Also Howell's the last remaining massive superstore that has an excellent make up department and a big clothes department with various designers and outlets like Coast.
When you're fed up of shopping then you can head to the museum to look around their exhibits or even into the Castle to look around. The university buildings and City Hall are worth a photo opportunity and there are some gardens opposite that are lovely to have a picnic in if the weather is nice. If you come to Cardiff in the winter you will also find the winter wonderland here.
Let's not forget the millennium stadium and the CIA if you're after entertainment. Both host music concerts and the former has of course, the rugby! If you like ice hockey then you must see the Cardiff Devils and for those footie fans you might like a trip out to the new Cardiff City stadium also home to the Cardiff Blues (rugby).
After you've explored the centre I think it's well worth a trip either by bendy bus or by the water taxi that you can get from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs here on the waterside. There is minimal shopping and most are independent shops and galleries. If you like cake then definitely walk around to the norwegian church for some lush home made cakes. Of course the Senedd (sorry my spelling is shocking) because the architecture is gorgeous. And the millennium centre of course to stop the locations used in Torchwood.
Things to avoid: this rock and roll restaurant thing in Cardiff Bay the food is often a bit dodgy.
Things you have to do: the Dr Who exhibition, millennium stadium tour, boat trip to Penarth from cardiff bay (so you can eat ice cream on the pier).
Best places to eat: The Brewery Quarter (top of St Mary Street), best tapas is in Pica Pica (opposite Millennium Stadium), best curry (Mango House also opposite millennium stadium).
Hope there is some useful information here.
Summary: Everyone should visit Cardiff at least once!! :-)
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