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!
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!
Where we stayed
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
- Cardiff Story Museum – The Old Library, The Hayes, CF10 1BH
- Techniquest – Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5BN
- Wales Millenium Centre – Bute Place, CF10 5AL
- Cardiff Market – St Mary Street, Cardiff CF10 1AU
- National Museum Cardiff – Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP
- 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.
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!
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!
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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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.
Definitely!! A bit of fun and a bit of relaxation makes a lovely balanced outing! I would sign up for all trips like that!! 😂
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
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!
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.
We do!! However, I think hubby might be a bit jealous that he missed out! lol
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!
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!
So glad you enjoyed Cardiff. I live in Mid Wales and my son is at Uni in Cardiff. Its a beautiful city.
It really is, and so friendly too! You can visit your son and the beautiful city regularly! Bonus!
My son would love that train ride! It looks like a fun trip!
There is something with boys and trains, right? We definitely had lots of fun.
I’ve only been to Cardiff once before and everyone I met was very friendly! Thanks for sharing you look like you had fun!
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.
Happy 2018! I hope this year we will all get to travel lots too! X
This looks like a fun trip. The museums looks especially fun for little and big ones alike.
There are lots of museums and they all show a variety of different exhibits! A great all rounder for all ages.
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.
We did indeed, thanks! You should visit again!
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.
Definitely great memories for me, not sure he will remember much 😝, but as you say, there are photos, so I have proof 😂
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!
We had fun, so hopefully you and your family will visit one day too!
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.
You’re welcome, maybe you’ll get the chance to visit one day. X
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.
I love museums too and try to visit at least one in every city I visit!
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
You should definitely go! It’s such a wonderful city!
Looks like so much fun!! Love the shots of all the little food markets and bakeries!
Got to try all the local delicacies wherever we go! 😝
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 🙂
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!
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!
Bonding trip! I like that and that was what it truly was!
Looks like you had a fab day! I’ve only ever been to Cardiff once but it’s a lovely city. #thatfridaylinky
It looks like a great time was had by all! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx
It sounds as though you had a super time! Thank you for sharing with #Blogstravaganza 🙂
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
Truly is an awesome place! I can’t wait to go back again! X
Been to the Welsh countryside but never visited Cardiff. Seems like a nice city to visit. Looks like you’ll had a lovely time.
I need to visit the countryside next!
Looks as though you had a super time! Thanks for sharing with #Blogstravaganza 🙂
You look like you have the best of times with your little one! Wishing you the best in 2018!
I do! I’m trying to make he most of it whilst he’s still young! Wishing you all the best for 2018 too!
Oh I am so glad you joined #PointShoot 📸 I love this post. You visited so many interesting places. I love the idea of a story museum and the National museum looked amazing too. Hope you will join us again 🌸
Thanks for hosting! I will definitely join again soon. The museums and city itself was beautiful, I hope to capture more things like this in the future x
It looks like you had so much fun – it shines from his happy, beautiful face! And what fun! Eating a cookie the size of your head! 🙂 I love it! #pointshoot xoxo
Thank you! we definitely had a smashing time and can’t wait to do it again! X