Hotels in Cardiff | Find the Best Budget City Centre Rooms in Cardiff, United Kingdom | IHG
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Cardiff Hotels

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Featured Cardiff Hotels

Visiting Cardiff – A City Guide
Cardiff bustles with a sense of purpose befitting the capital of Wales. This compact waterfront city combines historic buildings, verdant parks and friendly locals who turn out for the city’s many sport and music events.


Cardiff: city layout
Cardiff divides into two main areas. The city centre runs from the tree-lined avenues of Cathays Park past the Castle to Bute Park. South of the castle, major roads include St Mary’s Street, the Hayes and Queen Street. You can catch a waterbus, train or bus to Cardiff Bay. From there you can explore bayside attractions using frequent boat services, the road train or by walking or cycling.


Top attractions in Cardiff
Get a taste of Wales’s past and present with visits to Cardiff Castle, the Earl of Bute’s ornate medieval folly, and the Senedd, an ultra-modern building with views across Cardiff Bay.

Weather permitting, stroll through the riot of flowers in Bute Park and take a coffee beside the river Taff. Or browse the Victorian shopping arcades then get swept up into a pub singsong in the Pontcanna area before heading to the shops, restaurants and bars at Mermaid Quay.

Art and natural history buffs should make a visit to the grand National Museum Cardiff a priority.


The concierge recommends…

  • The Dr Who Experience. The BBC’s hit sci-fi series and its spinoff, “Torchwood”, have been building a world following since the 1960s. Both are filmed in Cardiff.
  • Half a day spent at St Fagans National History Museum will bring history alive as characters from the past in historic dress act out their roles in original buildings.
  • The golden steel and slate roof of the Millennium Centre broods over Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay. Apart from the world-class ballet, opera and musicals on the main programme there are always free events on in the foyer.
  • A guided tour of Cardiff’s temple of sport, the Millennium Stadium, will wrap you in the Welsh passion for rugby and take you in the footsteps of sporting heroes.
  • A boat trip on Cardiff Bay. There are competing sightseeing boats leaving from Mermaid Quay; adventurous types should look into the high-speed Bay Blast tour.


Hotels in Cardiff
Most of Cardiff’s hotels are clustered around the city centre or Cardiff Bay. Cardiff also has hotels convenient to its busy airport (CWL).

The bustling city centre contains Cardiff’s central business district and government buildings. Hotels are within easy walking distance of Millennium Stadium, top shopping areas, Cardiff Central Railway station and the nightlife district. Families will appreciate easy access to Cardiff’s best parks.

Hotels around Cardiff Bay are close to the Millennium Centre and the waterfront attractions around the Bay, such as the Dr Who Experience. Mermaid Quay offers shopping, dining and bars. Buses, trains and a waterbus link the Bay area to the city centre for those who don’t want to take the 15-minute walk.

Set in the quiet tranquillity of the Vale of Glamorgan, the area around the airport is well out of the city but handy for early morning flights.


Eating Out in Cardiff
Some of Britain’s best food comes from Wales – think Welsh lamb, farmhouse cheeses and fresh sea trout. Despite this, you won’t find many Welsh restaurants in Cardiff. Instead, a huge variety of restaurants, pubs and street food vendors provide authentic Italian, innovative Indian and other international food.

The area around Cardiff is home to a strong Welsh-Italian community that keeps several small independent Italian restaurants in the city centre busy. Check out Whitchurch Road and Canton for some upscale and exciting Indian restaurants. Head to Cardiff Market and the stall on The Hayes for rib-sticking rolls overflowing with roast pork. Sit outside any of the Mermaid Quay restaurants to take in the Cardiff Bay buzz; you’ll also find the best ice cream shops around Cardiff Bay. The three cafes in Bute Park never disappoint, nor do the host of small cafes and delis in the Victorian arcades.


The chef recommends...

  • Cawl: Traditional heart-warming Welsh lamb stew.
  • Bara Brith: Dark Welsh tea loaf found in almost any café. Perfect fuel for your next round of sightseeing.
  • Laverbread: Welsh seaweed, usually rolled in oatmeal and eaten with bacon at breakfast or with cockles as a snack. Not for the squeamish.
  • Welsh Rarebit: Fancy cheese on toast with a kick. A great lunchtime dish.


Shopping in Cardiff
Shops in the compact, pedestrianised city centre range from high-end to budget-friendly; quirkily independent to mainstream.

St. David’s Centre, an airy temple to modern shopping, is anchored by major department stores. Venture across the Hayes and you can wander in the Victorian equivalent, Cardiff’s six arcades. They are all clustered around the High Street area and house fun cafes and delis, Welsh craft shops and independent boutiques.

In the same area is Cardiff market, with a mix of food and down-to-earth clothing stores. Sunday mornings you can check out the Riverside Farmers’ Market opposite the Millennium

stadium. Wales is the land of song, and Cardiff centre has some of the best music and musical instrument shops you will find anywhere. Find rare sheet music, buy a harp or have a fine violin made for you.


Best only-in-Wales souvenirs

  • Pick up a bottle of Welsh whiskey from the food hall at Howell’s.
  • Hand-made jewellery and Welsh fabrics in the Royal Arcade.
  • Have a traditional Welsh love spoon carved for your partner, right in front of the Castle.
  • Pop into any baker and take home a packet of Welsh cakes.


Culture & Nightlife in Cardiff
Cardiff is alive with music of every kind. Opera competes with orchestras which make way for musicals which live alongside international choir and piano competitions. None of which dents the throbbing live music scene and busy pubs. No less than ten universities make Cardiff a young city, while its world-class sport venues make it a party city whenever there is an event on. Which is almost always.

Daytime in the city centre the National Museum is host to visiting exhibitions. Nearby are several contemporary art galleries. A walk through Cathays Park takes you to the exotic new building that houses the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Worth a look for the spectacular foyer, but don’t miss what’s on at its various performance venues. St David’s Hall and the Motorpoint Arena are two city centre performance venues which have the big name acts which don’t need the full capacity of the Millennium Stadium. There’s always great theatre in Cardiff at the New Theatre or the Sherman.

City centre nightlife spills out of venues in St Mary’s Street and Mill Lane. They compete with hopping bars on Mermaid Quay, close to the Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay. There is a cinema complex at the Bay and two more in the city centre. For more arty cinema and theatre head for Chapter.

If you want a quiet drink, maybe a sing song or a pub quiz, try the Pontcanna area. Younger crowds congregate at the pubs in Cathays. And for dancing, head to any club in the city centre.


Something for everyone

  • Chapter: Cutting edge performance and cinema space a ten minute walk from the city centre.
  • Clwb Ifor Bach: Three floors of live music of every genre. Get there early; the queues get massive when the pubs close.
  • Ask to attend a Male Voice Choir rehearsal. There are several in Cardiff.


Visiting Cardiff with a Family
Cardiff’s compact city is crammed with activities for active kids of all ages. When the sun shines Cardiff’s parks beckon. When it rains you will understand why Cardiff’s museums and public buildings win national awards for being family-friendly.

Cardiff Bay links a wide range of activities for families. Start at Cardiff International White Water for rafting and indoor surfing classes. Across the road is Cardiff International Pool, featuring a leisure pool with waterslides, toys and floats. Head to Cardiff Bay Barrage for the city’s newest play park, right next to the skate plaza. You can hire a bike and a trailer link from Pedal Power and ride the safe path round the Bay to the Millennium Centre, which has its own special family area.

Just across the old dock, past the best ice cream shops in Cardiff and a cluster of family-friendly restaurants, you can divert yourself and the kids for hours at Cardiff’s indoor science centre, Techniquest.

In the city centre kids love the Animal Wall that links wide-open Bute Park to the Castle. If it rains there are always activities at Cardiff’s new Central Library and at the National Museum of Wales.


Kid heaven

  • St Fagans National History Museum. Dressed up historic characters, live animals and hands-on activities make this one of the best free days out in Cardiff.
  • A Bay Blast tour in a high-speed RIB will have you all squealing with excitement.
  • Dr Who Experience. You can hide behind the sofa together when the Daleks turn up.

Latest Cardiff Hotel Reviews

Stay in Cardiff
By Business travel9999
I usually stay elsewhere but on this occasion the holiday inn was chosen. Prior to this stay I had not been there for twenty years. I was surprised by the quality of my stay - in a good way! Only [More] negatives are no pool and gym is off-site [Less]
Good Stay
By Forever Green
Great location for the Coldplay concert with onsite parking. Lucy on reception was brilliant and very helpful. [Less]
Great Stay
By Cara
Clean facility, pleasant staff. Easy to book, check in, and checkout. [Less]
Room good food bad
By Milliee80
Rooms ok food in restaurant over priced and poor quality for evening meal and breakfast ok apart from items continually running out and having to ask staff to replenish on several occasions. Took was [More] good and clean. [Less]
Holiday inn
By AK112
Nice rooms Decent price sky tv swimming pool Nice rooms Decent price sky tv swimming pool Nice rooms Decent price sky tv swimming pool [Less]
nice hotel
By gilly57
when you arrive the hotel looks a bit shabby but once you get inside a lovely welcome awaits you kind curteous staff lovely food in the restaurant nice decor well worth the money the people who work [More] in this hotel make it a very nice place to be [Less]
Clean room with very comfortable bed.Modern bathroom with all facilities.
By Pippa43
Great service from all the staff.Good hotel to stay at to visit Cardiff and surrounding area. Good swimming pool with hot tub. Good breakfast with helpful bar and restaurant staff. Front desk [More] helpful and welcoming. Overall an excellent 2 night stay. [Less]
Modern interior and good breakfast
By Qwerty
We had a pleasant short stay on business, rooms were reasonably priced with good dinner and breakfast [Less]
Graduation Stay
By RSS48
Booked this for my daughter to celebrate her graduation day at Cardiff Uni and arranged Flowers through the Manager Laura Wiltshire who also kindly provided a bottle of Champagne on arrival. This was [More] such a lovely touch and greatly appreciated. Their stay was fabulous and the usual excellent levels of service were provided by the staff and good quality food and spa facilities are spot on here. Many thanks from a very happy customer indeed. [Less]

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