Turn a football away-day into a break in the Welsh capital

Cardiff is a city with sport at its heart and its football club’s home is a genuine reflection of a football club on the rise. The newly expanded 33,000-seater Cardiff City Stadium is the capital city’s newest sports venue and home to top class football. Hosting some of the biggest games, from Super Cups and internationals to the Premiership’s elite, there’s always been a fabulous welcome in Europe’s youngest capital city, leaving supporters with good memories, regardless of the result! 

Stay a little longer

High Street shopping arcade, Cardiff

High Street arcade, Cardiff by zawtowers
There are many ways to turn your football away day into a weekend break. Cardiff is a magnet for shoppers. St David’s is a 21st century retail development that has seen a complete transformation of the city centre. It has over 160 stores, restaurants and cafes, making it one of the top five shopping destinations in the UK. 

Alongside this £700 million redevelopment, the city also has six historic shopping arcades dating back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Cardiff Market has existed in one guise or another since the 18th century, but has resided under the same glass roof since 1891.

A green city

People relaxing in Bute Park with Cardiff Castle in background

Bute Park, Cardiff by Visit Wales
The city has over two thousand acres of parkland, making it widely recognised as the greenest capital city in Europe. Bute Park is a stunning stretch of public parkland featuring over two thousand trees, leading right into the heart of the city. You can even camp in the secluded Cardiff Caravan Park.

At the city end of Bute Park is Cardiff Castle, a dramatic centrepiece to the city that has to be seen to be believed. If it’s gargoyles you’re after you really have come to the right place. Although the origins of the castle stretch back as far as 50AD, much of it was rebuilt in the 19th century by eccentric architect William Burges.

Cultural attractions

Whale skeleton on display at the National Museum of Wales

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff by NerdBirdDK
There are museums and galleries galore in the city centre. The National Museum of Wales tells four and a half million years of Welsh history, although it won’t take you that long to get round. The National Museum of Art here houses one of the finest art collections in Europe. The Cardiff Story is a welcome distraction for those who have shopped and dropped, while just outside the city is St Fagans: The National History Museum, a fantastic open-air museum and deservedly one of the most popular visitor attractions in Wales.

Cardiff is full of music and drama, from renowned venues like St David's Hall, Motorpoint Arena and Wales Millennium Centre to intimate venues like Chapter Arts Centre and Clwb Ifor Bach.

Hungry?

There is, of course, a chance you might go home with a heavy heart after a drubbing for your beloved football team; but at least there are countless places to soften the blow with good food and drink. As befits a European capital city with a vibrant history of ethnic and cultural diversity, you won’t go short whether you’re looking for Thai, Italian, French, Indian, Lebanese, or the finest locally-sourced Welsh produce.

Cardiff’s nightlife

This is a city that parties every weekend. The pubs and clubs of St Mary Street are the epicentre of the action, but you don’t have to wander too far to find an authentic Welsh pub selling Brain’s beer, like the legendary Y Mochyn Du ('The Black Pig' in English) or a more laid-back bar with a nice cocktail menu and a DJ crafting a nice groove.   

Cardiff Bay & Pontcanna

The Pierhead Building and The Senydd in Cardiff Bay

Pierhead Building and The Senedd, Cardiff Bay

 by Just Ard
As you’re making a weekend of it, you’ll have time for a little exploration. Cardiff Bay offers striking architecture to explore - both old and new - as well as plenty of places to eat and drink. Alternatively, just a short walk through Bute Park is Pontcanna, where you can enjoy a lovely brunch at Brava, or a hearty meal at The Conway, one of Cardiff’s best gastro pubs.

More attractions in and around Cardiff