48 Hours in Cardiff City Centre

Happy New Year!

Last month, me and #JasperBean spent our first time away from home alone in Cardiff City Centre. We travelled by Great Western Railway from London Paddington and couldn’t have asked for a smoother journey! Especially when the little one fell asleep half an hour into the ride. It was then 1.5 hours of quiet bliss for mummy!

Travelling on the Great Western RailwayGetting comfortable on the Great Western RailwayComfortable seats on the Great Western Railway. Sleeping like a baby!


Why we chose Cardiff

Cardiff is well known for its vibrant nightlife, busy bay and increasing culinary experiences. Fondly nicknamed as the “Gateway to Wales”, Cardiff is situated on the south coast of Wales. With excellent transport links with the rest of the country, it has a generous multicultural student population. Additionally, throw in a dash of traditional Welsh charm and it’s easy to see why this is among one of the friendliest cities in the world.

Along with being voted the third best capital city in Europe in 2016, we were also here to visit my dear friend and fellow multi-talented illustrator mummy, Asuka Tanaka. She’s a dab hand at drawing and teaching manga/anime drawings! So give her a shout if you’re interested!

Lego Store in Cardiff CityThomas The Tank Engine Fun at Cote Brasserie


Where we stayed

Clayton Hotel Cardiff

We chose to stay in the city centre because it is very easy to navigate on foot. The hotel was roughly 1-2 minutes walk to Cardiff Central Railway Station (Caerdydd Canolog) and a stones throw from shopping centres and most of the places we visited and recommend below. Although if you fancy a break, the city is also well connected with buses and trains. Taxis are relatively inexpensive too, just don’t skip on the comfy shoes.

Places to go in Cardiff (with or without a Toddler)

Here are some of the places we visited during our trip and recommend, esepcially if you have children in tow as well. Timing can be a bit awkward at this time of year as well as most places of interest closed around 4pm. However, Cardiff Market and the Christmas Market in the city centre was bustling with things to do and see, so we didn’t feel like we were left twiddling our fingers. This is a great place to find fresh, local produce in the city.  Everything from fresh seafood to juicy fruits and don’t forget to try the Welsh cakes as well. Just remember to bring an umbrella and raincoat (raincover) if you’re visiting during the winter months. The weather can be a bit unpredictable. We had mostly rainy weather during our visit with one sunny afternoon, but that did not dampen our moods!

  • Cardiff Castle – Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB

48 Hours in Cardiff City CentreCardiff Castle with toddlersCardiff Castle Wartime ShelterBeautiful Christmas Tree in Cardiff Castle

  • Cardiff Story Museum – The Old Library, The Hayes, CF10 1BH

Play time in Cardiff Story Museum

  • Techniquest – Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BN

Exploring Techniquest, CardiffRolling balls and learning about Science in Techniquest, CardiffGiant building blocks in Techniquest, Cardiff. Let your imaginations run wild!

  • Wales Millenium Centre – Bute Place, CF10 5AL

Wales Millenium Centre at nightMother and son selfie in front of the Wales Millenium CentreEnjoying the sights and sounds of Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff

  • Cardiff Market – St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1AU

A rainy day at Cardiff MarketFresh and cheap produce at Cardiff MarketSpice and all things nice at Cardiff MarketCakes and yummy treats at Cardiff Market

  • National Museum Cardiff – Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP

Learning about nature at National Museum CardiffNature and evolution at National Museum CardiffArtwork at National Museum CardiffDinosaur exhibition at National Museum CardiffIce Age's Manny at National Museum CardiffInteractive nature at National Museum Cardiff

  • Bute Parc – Curran Embankment, CF10 5DX

Massive park just behind Cardiff Castle where there is an arboretum, Victorian gardens, friary ruins and a cafe. It is very easy to spend a whole day here when the weather is nice. Bring a scooter, picnic mat and enjoy the peaceful chirping of nature. The kiddies will be so tired from running freely around this beautiful park that you’ll want to come back again and again!

  • St Fagans National History Museum – St Fagans, Cardiff CF5 6XB

St Fagans is an open-air museum where you can learn about the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people.


Where to Eat

There is so much to choose from in terms of food. From fast food chains like Wagamama to Jamie’s Italian or quirky eats like The Potted Pig or The Clink. All of these are conveniently located in the city and we really recommend The Clink for gourmet dining with a twist. This is because the restaurant is just outside the walls of a prison and provides prisoners with a real opportunity to change their lives and reduce re-offending in the future.

Well chuffed with his own babyccinoEnjoying ramen on a cool and rainy evening

Whatever you choose to eat, don’t forget the Welsh Cakes! You can get these in most places around Wales, but the best ones in Cardiff are from Fabulous Welshcakes on Castle Arcade (Opposite Cardiff Castle). We coulnd’t get enough of them!

Visit Cardiff! There is so much to do, even in just 48 hours!

We hope you get to visit this fantastic city and if you’ve been lucky enough to, let me know what you liked/disliked about your visit!

Waiting for our train to go home! Goodbye Cardiff, we will be back!

A quick shout out to the Fjallraven Splitpack in the image above! It was a complete lifesaver! Especially on such a short trip with a toddler. It’s basically a duffel bag that you can completely open flat in the middle and also carry as a backpack! It was comfortable walking around with whilst pushing a buggy and holding onto little hands. I found it extremely easy to find items without digging around forever and actually doesn’t look half bad. I really didn’t regret not using a wheeled luggage bag for this trip!

Thanks for reading and until next time…

Love, MsMamaBean x


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45 comments

  1. Virtuous Mama

    Wow! What a fun trip! My family would enjoy the museum and seeing the castle. I love it when we travel and our little ones take a snooze as well! Makes for a therapeutic trip.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Definitely!! A bit of fun and a bit of relaxation makes a lovely balanced outing! I would sign up for all trips like that!! 😂

      Reply

  2. Rhyming with Wine

    We love Wales and have visited the coast several times but we haven’t been to Cardiff yet. We’ve got it on our to do list. I bet the Christmas market is amazing! (Oh and I love a Welsh cake hehe.) It looks like you had a brill time and I love your photos. Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thanks! We had a brilliant time there and could go again and again. Wales has such a unique charm to it! I’ll definitely go visit the coast next!

      Reply

  3. Alexandra

    What an adventure you and your little guy had! I love the picture of the two of you in front of the gorgeous Christmas tree. I’ll bet you do, too. You must frame it.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      We do!! However, I think hubby might be a bit jealous that he missed out! lol

      Reply

  4. Momma To Go

    Ive never been to Cardiff, but it looks like the most perfect toddler and momma destination! When my son was little, I loved traveling by train, so relaxing! your son is so cute!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thanks! I agree, The adventure starts when we step on the train and it really is entertaining for them to look at things outside the window and not have to just see cars… stress free time for mama!

      Reply

  5. Rose Tinted Ramblings

    So glad you enjoyed Cardiff. I live in Mid Wales and my son is at Uni in Cardiff. Its a beautiful city.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      It really is, and so friendly too! You can visit your son and the beautiful city regularly! Bonus!

      Reply

  6. Susannah

    My son would love that train ride! It looks like a fun trip!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      There is something with boys and trains, right? We definitely had lots of fun.

      Reply

  7. Steve @ This Guy Cooks

    I’ve only been to Cardiff once before and everyone I met was very friendly! Thanks for sharing you look like you had fun!

    Reply

  8. Life Of A Med School Wife

    It looks like you had a fun time and that this is a must-visit place! One of my new year resolutions is to travel a lot, so I will have to add Cardiff City to our list. Thank you for sharing your full city guide. Happy 2018.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Happy 2018! I hope this year we will all get to travel lots too! X

      Reply

  9. Sharon Glascoe

    This looks like a fun trip. The museums looks especially fun for little and big ones alike.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      There are lots of museums and they all show a variety of different exhibits! A great all rounder for all ages.

      Reply

  10. Ray Ruzzo

    Cardiff is such a wonderful city! I wish I’d been able to spend more time when I was in Wales. It looks like you and your kiddo had a great time.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      We did indeed, thanks! You should visit again!

      Reply

  11. Christine

    Looks like a great trip with some quality time with your little. Great photos for memories that will last forever. I have never been to Cardiff.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Definitely great memories for me, not sure he will remember much 😝, but as you say, there are photos, so I have proof 😂

      Reply

  12. hal

    looks like a super fun place to visit! I love how you share what to do with a toddler too – perfect because I usually travel with my sister & her kids!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      We had fun, so hopefully you and your family will visit one day too!

      Reply

  13. blogthirtyminusone

    It looks like you had a great time. I am not familiar with this destination but like that now I can say I know a bit more about it. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      You’re welcome, maybe you’ll get the chance to visit one day. X

      Reply

  14. Ashish Mesepam

    What a fun city! The museums are actually what interest me but the restaurants are what the rest of my family would really want to see.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I love museums too and try to visit at least one in every city I visit!

      Reply

  15. Mum Under Pressure

    Wow looks like you had great fun in Cardiff, makes me want to take the kids for a visit as we are only an hour away. #dreamteam

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      You should definitely go! It’s such a wonderful city!

      Reply

  16. realbalanced

    Looks like so much fun!! Love the shots of all the little food markets and bakeries!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Got to try all the local delicacies wherever we go! 😝

      Reply

  17. Maria

    Cardiff looks amazing ) I love travelling around the Uk in general, to be honest, so I’m very biased! haha
    And your baby boy looked like he was having the best time! He is super cute 🙂 It’s really cool to see a range of family friendly activities, I feel like that way the place just becomes so much more interesting for visitors 🙂

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I love travelling around the U.K. too! So many people focus on the bad weather and negativity that they miss the little beauties around them. With my little boy, I’ve learned to see the world through his eyes again, so it really is a new place for me even if I’ve been hundreds of times!

      Reply

  18. Emily Fata

    So lovely! What a great bonding trip! <3 I myself just got back from Wales and thought it was absolutely magnificent! Such a gorgeous country!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Bonding trip! I like that and that was what it truly was!

      Reply

  19. franbackwithabump

    Looks like you had a fab day! I’ve only ever been to Cardiff once but it’s a lovely city. #thatfridaylinky

    Reply

  20. Zoe

    It looks like a great time was had by all! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    Reply

  21. Jo - Cup of Toast

    It sounds as though you had a super time! Thank you for sharing with #Blogstravaganza 🙂

    Reply

  22. Nige

    So glad you pick Cardiff I love it but I’m bias it’s my home city and where I live best city in the world glad you loved it Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Truly is an awesome place! I can’t wait to go back again! X

      Reply

  23. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville

    Been to the Welsh countryside but never visited Cardiff. Seems like a nice city to visit. Looks like you’ll had a lovely time.
    #blogstravaganza

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I need to visit the countryside next!

      Reply

  24. Jo - Cup of Toast

    Looks as though you had a super time! Thanks for sharing with #Blogstravaganza 🙂

    Reply

  25. Suzanne Spiegoski-Decamps

    You look like you have the best of times with your little one! Wishing you the best in 2018!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I do! I’m trying to make he most of it whilst he’s still young! Wishing you all the best for 2018 too!

      Reply

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