An industrial city that’s recently been overhauled with the cosmopolitan spoils of a modern city centre, Cardiff pays homage to its Welsh history and culture while offering all manners of welcome surprises for its visitors. Considered one of the UK’s best shopping destinations, the pleasant climate in the Welsh capital allows locals and visitors alike to spend plenty of time outdoors.
Set on the coast of the Bristol Channel, cruise visitors to Cardiff first notice an ultramodern waterfront that has been transformed from the old industrial docks. This precinct was one of the most successful regeneration projects in the United Kingdom and one of Cardiff’s most beloved assets.
An important administrative centre, Cardiff city is also home to plenty of architecturally impressive buildings for visitors to appreciate, many of which are open to the public. A compact city centre, ancient hillside fort and many other attractions make the Welsh capital an urban centre that regularly delights international guests.
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The Port of Cardiff is located on the north side of the Severn Estuary in Cardiff Bay, a freshwater bay supplied by both the Taff and Ely Rivers. Cruise ships berth at Queen Alexandra dock, a mooring point that can accommodate small to medium cruise ships up to 300 metres in length. The port is just 1.5 kilometres from the centre of the city.
There are three berths that can accommodate cruise liners at the Port of Cardiff. The waterside development incorporating the port is complete with museums, shops and cafés. The Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre is a short walk from the Queen Alexandra dock.
How to Get Around
Cardiff’s city centre is easily accessible from the Port of Cardiff, with Cardiff Bay and central business attractions well sign-posted for visitors. Cardiff’s central railway station on Saint Mary St is the closest train station to the port for passengers wishing to visit surrounding towns and suburbs.
Taxis and local buses are plentiful, but make sure you have the exact change when taking a bus. An adult fare for a trip across the city is £1.70. For those wishing to explore the city on two wheels, the city itself is very flat, so bike excursions to the surrounding Welsh countryside are easily achievable during a day trip.
Travel times from the port:
- It is a 33 minute walk to Cardiff Central train station
- It is a 4 minute walk to the Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre
- It is a 30 minute walk to Queen Street shopping district.
- It is a 20 minute journey to Cardiff International Airport
- It is a 6 minute journey to Cardiff central and Queen St.
- Currency - Cardiff uses the pound sterling (GBP), which is available in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 coin denominations. Bank notes come in £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 denominations.
- Time Zone - Cardiff operates on Greenwich Mean Time Zone. In summer, however, British Summer Time (BST) is applied and clocks are moved ahead by one hour as a daylight saving measure. This occurs from March till October.
- Weather - Cardiff experiences a maritime climate with less rainfall than the rest of Wales. Summers are warm and sunny with a typical temperature range of 19–22 degrees Celsius. Winters can be wet, although rainfall is rarely heavy. The average annual daytime temperature sits at 14 degrees Celsius.
- Millennium Stadium - Rugby is a religion in Wales. A visit to the 74,200 seat Millennium Stadium will be on any sports fan’s itinerary, as this is the largest stadium in Europe. Millennium Stadium officially opened in 1999 for the Rugby World Cup. Daily tours are available for £8.50.
- Cardiff Castle - The city’s major tourist attraction, Cardiff Castle has a stone circular shell centre that feels almost like a colosseum. There are plenty of nooks and crannies for visitors to explore, including the excavated Roman ruins. The Bute family lived in the castle until 1947 and tours of their private residences with intricately decorated interiors are among the highlights of the Cardiff Castle experience. Admission is £8.95 for adults.
- Cardiff Bay - This freshwater bay and purpose built waterfront area is home to some of the city’s best attractions and dining options. The Norwegian Church is where Cardiff’s large population of sailors worshipped and where famed children’s author Roald Dahl was christened. The tube shaped Cardiff Bay visitors centre is also available to visitors who wish to better orient themselves with the precinct.
- Shopping and Queen and St Mary Streets - Cardiff is a shopper’s paradise that is famous for its beautiful arcades. A major regeneration of several CBD centres is underway to further improve public facilities including St. David’s Centre, one of the UK’s largest shopping centres. The Castle Quarter north of the centre of town is home to Victorian and Edwardian era arcades.