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If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Cardiff, read on to learn from a local (moi) about where to eat and drink, what to do if it rains and the best things to do in Cardiff on a weekend city break…

But first…

I’d like to introduce an exciting new feature on my blog ‘Interview with a local‘, where I regularly interview people about their cities and hometowns and what makes them special! I’m always advocating asking local advice when you’re away. It’s how you will find the best deals, the nicest restaurants, the friendliest pubs and bars…

So in order to introduce this feature, I am going to tell you about my own hometown Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. There are plenty of other city interviews in the pipeline so watch this space…!

But first, let’s get back to discussing how to get the most out of a weekend in Cardiff…

Cardiff castle in the sunshine - an essential place to visit on a weekend in cardiff

Interview with a Local: A weekend in Cardiff…

Tell us about yourself?

Well, you’ll find more in my blog post ‘About Me’  but in a nutshell, I’m a 30-something  who works as a self-employed GP in the city of Cardiff. I can mostly be found writing this blog, taking photos or going to my dance lessons which I love almost as much as travelling!

What is your favourite thing about Cardiff?

I love how compact it is. You can easily walk from one side to the other quickly making it the perfect place for a city break. It’s super friendly and there are loads of green spaces. It doesn’t take long to reach the countryside either. We are within easy reaching distance of  The Gower, Brecon Beacons and Forest of Dean! So consider escaping the city at least once during a long weekend in Cardiff!

What is your favourite thing to do on a weekend in Cardiff?

I love to hang out at Roath Park on the weekend and people watch or read a book. There’s a beautiful lake (yes in the middle of a city!) flower gardens, tennis courts, and a large rec where people play football, walk the dog or have BBQ’s.

You’ll find everything you need here including a children’s park, cafe, an amazing ice-cream hut (though expect long queues as it’s pretty popular) and you can even get out on the lake in a rowing boat or pedalo!

roath park lake on a sunny day where the local flock to on a weekend in cardiff

What in your opinion is the one thing you can’t miss during a weekend in Cardiff?

Well Cardiff Castle is pretty iconic set in the beautiful Bute Park. If it’s your first time in Cardiff, you can’t miss it!

I also highly recommend St Fagans National Trust Outdoor Museum. It’s a series of houses and buildings which tell the story of Wales through the ages. It’s also set in a beautiful park with a gorgeous stream and stately home and if you time your trip well they have great events like food festivals and even a Halloween ghost tour at night!

Even better, it’s completely free! Oops that’s two must-sees but I guess Cardiff is just that good!

Any top tips on what to do on a rainy day?

There are several options in Cardiff, there’s no reason to be bored if it rains! The old arcades are great for shopping with unique little shops, there’s a jungle themed crazy golf course in the shopping centre and Cardiff museum is free. There are several theatres where you could see a show or musical. I recommend the New Theatre and the Millennium Centre! Cardiff museum is also a free option for a rainy day!

Where is the best restaurant in Cardiff ?

My favourites are Chapel 1887 in the city centre with its stunning building both inside and out (it is a converted chapel like its name suggests) and amazing a la carte food!

My other favourite is a gorgeous country pub on the edge of Cardiff called Ty Mawr which has a lovely beer garden with amazing views looking down onto the whole city!

And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening?

My personal favourite place is Porters. It’s a no-frills bar with a great atmosphere, a large sheltered beer garden and even better live music. Time it well and you might get to see ‘Rocket Joe Joes & The Old Time Bangers‘ a fabulous 50’s covers band which can’t fail to get you dancing!

If you’re more of a cocktails person, it’s probably not for you! But in that case, I’d recommend Buffalo, a quirky bar in the centre which has a great atmosphere and a classy cocktail menu!

Is there one thing not many people know about Cardiff?

Cardiff has the friendliest locals FACT

 Anything else you think we should know before we visit Cardiff for a weekend? 

Cardiff Bay is worth a visit and is lovely on a summer’s evening but be warned it’s full of chain restaurants! However, if you do go there for dinner I would recommend Bosphorus a little Turkish restaurant positioned perfectly on a little jetty with wall to ceiling windows to enjoy the view. It’s also a short hop from there to The Glee club for a bit of comedy!

Other things to do and day trips to take from Cardiff




If you would like to feature on this post in the future and tell us about your home town, please drop me an email!

** update** Good news followers! I’ve had a staggering amount of interest in this feature and already I have almost 30 local interviews lined up from NYC, Rio, Dubai and Paris, Berlin and many many more! Anyone else excited?! I sure am! I’ve received the first about San Diego already which will be going live very soon!! Watch this space fellow travellers! ?

See Interviews from Rio, Dubai, Bristol. Paris, Berlin  and many many more

Please feel free to make comments! Have you been to Cardiff? What was your favourite thing to do?