Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales and the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is the country's chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for Wales. The unitary authority area's mid-2011 population was estimated to be 346,100, while the population of the Larger Urban Zone was estimated at 861,400 in 2009. The Cardiff metropolitan area makes up over a third of the total population of Wales, with a mid-2011 population estimate of about 1,100,000 people. Cardiff is a significant tourist centre and the most popular visitor destination in Wales with 18.3 million visitors in 2010. In 2011, Cardiff was ranked sixth in the world in National Geographic's alternative tourist destinations.
Things to do in Cardiff
Cardiff Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerdydd) is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion located in the city centre of Cardiff, Wales. The original motte and bailey castle was built in the late 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd-century Roman fort. The castle was commissioned either by William the Conqueror or by Robert Fitzhamon, and formed the heart of the medieval town of Cardiff and the Marcher Lord territory of Glamorgan. In the 12th century the castle began to be rebuilt in stone, probably by Robert of Gloucester, with a shell keep and substantial defensive walls being erected. Further work was conducted by Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester, in the second half of the 13th century. Cardiff Castle was repeatedly involved in the conflicts between the Anglo-Normans and the Welsh, being attacked several times in the 12th century, and stormed in 1404 during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr.
Cardiff Bay (Welsh: Bae Caerdydd) is the area of water created by the Cardiff Barrage in south Cardiff, the capital of Wales. It is also the name commonly given to the areas of the city surrounding the Bay. The creation of Cardiff Bay is now widely regarded as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the United Kingdom. The Bay is supplied by two rivers (Taff and Ely) to form a 500 acre freshwater lake around the former dockland area south of the city centre. The Bay was formerly tidal, with access to the sea limited to a couple of hours each side of high water but now provides 24-hour access through three locks.
The Millennium Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm y Mileniwm), currently known for sponsorship purposes as the Principality Stadium (Welsh: Stadiwm Principality), is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also staged games of the Wales national football team. Initially built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it has gone on to host many other large-scale events, such as the Tsunami Relief concert, the Super Special Stage of Wales Rally Great Britain, the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain and various music concerts. It also hosted six FA Cup finals and several other high-profile football fixtures while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped.
Wales Millennium Centre (Welsh: Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru) is an arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff, Wales. The site covers a total area of 4.7 acre. Phase 1 of the building was opened during the weekend of the 26–28 November 2004 and phase 2 opened on 22 January 2009 with an inaugural concert. The centre has hosted performances of Opera, ballet, Dance, Theatre comedy and Musicals.
Places to stay in Cardiff