Mermaid Quay - Cardiff

48 Hours in Cardiff

The following guide is all the places we visited during our trip around Cardiff. We split the sites up hiring a little Fiat 500 for a road trip the first day and taking to the streets of Cardiff Central by foot on our last day.
You can mix it up as you please, and like us add in a little trip to Bristol too!

Road Trip Sites

St Fagans National Museum

This was a highlight for us! Essentially it is a village that takes you through a journey of historical buildings, from the Celtic times all the way through to today. We loved reading the old sign posts for horse and carriage tolls and looking around the little shops full of old-style trinkets, which you can buy as souvenirs. The best part for us was most certainly the traditional bakery, which still uses an old clay oven to make fresh scones, teacakes and bread! We’d recommend popping in to grab some treats and a cup of tea to enjoy as you walk around the grounds.

St fagans National Museum

Penarth Bay

A quaint little marina bay with an old Victorian pier and picturesque buildings to snap as you walk down along the bay. We enjoyed a little walk along the beach and wandered along the pier, which is still used today and has a little cafe with beautiful views and if you make time there is often different exhibitions and even a cinema to enjoy!

Harbour photo

Castle Coch

This castle, translating into English as Red castle has taken its name from the red sandstone it is built from. It’s an interestingly shaped castle made from various circular towers but the interior is what is surprising! Burges, one of the richest men in the world at the time, owned this castle and redesigned the interior with a lavish and elegant Victorian design, very different to the medieval exterior. If you visit Cardiff Castle you’ll notice, as William Burges and Lord Bute collaborated on the interior designs together, there are some similarities in the grand decor.

Castle Coch

Bristol or Brecon Beacons?

We opted for Bristol to see Brunel’s iconic suspension bridge and enjoyed a little drive over it too – just ensure you have money for the toll if you do so! Near the bridge, you will also find a lovely marina with plenty of restaurants to choose from – we went to Zaza Bazaar for a global foods feast in a restaurant inspired by Asian night markets with huge neon signs! If that isn’t enough, there is also a science centre called ‘We the Curious’, which is host to a plethora of different exhibitions including the UK’s first 3D planetarium, a real brain exhibition and you can also create your own animated 2D or 3D film!

However, if the wonders of nature tickle your fancy more than the world of science and engineering, you can certainly get your fix at Brecon Beacons. There are plenty of activities ranging from visiting caves, mountain-biking, hang-gliding and even camping up for the night!

Clifton Bridge

Cardiff Central

Cardiff Castle

We discovered from our Instagram post of this that many of our followers haven’t seen a castle before! So, having been to many castles over the years, we can vouch this one is quite impressive! The building itself is huge and has some great ports to enjoy the views across the countryside of Cardiff. As we mentioned before, there are some surprising interior designs in this castle, including a beautiful Arabic themed room for you to enjoy!

Cardiff Castle

Wales Millennium Centre

You can catch a little boat just by the castle to head over the river and take a look at the Wales Millennium Centre, which is a major modern culture venue staging theatre, opera, ballet and music shows, with bars and dining and has a very impressive outer-face.

Wales Millennium Centre

The Oldest Pub In Cardiff

The Rummer Tavern is a great place to stop and get your bearings for the day. We came here just before we visited Cardiff Castle and enjoyed some Welsh cider but be warned, they pack a punch. Marlie had a cider called Chaplin & Corks, which was 8.5%! Needless to say we were just a tad merry on our way around the castle!

The Oldest Pub in Cardiff

Revolucion de Cuba

Another pit stop for us. We enjoyed their cocktail Happy Hour and loved the funky glasses and tasty cocktails we got! The menu and the food we saw around us looked really tasty too, and we were also lucky enough to catch a live Latino band playing here!

Image of 2 cuban women smoking cigar

Purple Poppadom

We enjoyed a delicious meal at this fabulous Michelin Guided Indian Restaurant. Not only is the food delicious but with purple ambient lighting (our favourite colour), we were sold! It is around a 15-20 minute walk from Cardiff Castle, which is good as we needed the walk after to digest our food! We could recommend everything on their menu. We tried to taste as much as possible, having the vegetarian platter and signature sea bass for our mains, which were delicious and presented beautifully. However, whatever you have, ensure you save room for dessert! The Chocomosa is a unique experience for the chocolate lovers and the Tandoori Pineapple was out of this world! The pineapple flavours and juices are incredible when grilled like this and is definitely one of the best desserts we’ve ever had!

Delicious Indian food

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