This is, by far, one of the most interesting castles across Europe. Most European castles have either been ruined by war or look as if they have not been lived in for years. Cardiff Castle, on the other hand, is still being actively used today. Hence making it modern, clean, and yet still retaining its grandeur and history from 2000 years ago when it was used during the Roman times. It is also located right in the city centre allowing for easy transportation access.
It was transformed into a romantic fantasy castle during the stay of the wealthy Bute family. William Burges designed the lavish architecture and opulent interiors with stained glass windows, large wall murals and paintings that is on show today.
Another interesting part of the castle is the old wartime shelter which they have recently opened to the public. Here you can see old propaganda and information posters used during World War 1, like the one below. You can imagine the terrifying living conditions during the time Cardiff Castle opened its doors to provide shelter for its people.
It took me about 3 hours to walk around the grounds of the castle and see the exhibitions. Well worth the admission fee!
Scones at the Pettigrew Tea Room
This little tea house is located near Cardiff Castle. Their cakes and other baked specialities change everyday but they are famous for their traditional English scones served with jam and butter cream. Of course they also serve a wide variety of teas.
Dining here will give you a discount for the water taxis so don’t forget to let them know when you pay your bill!
Brazilian food at Las Iguanas Restaurant
I realise it’s a bit unusual that I am recommending eating Brazilian food in Wales. However, this gem of a restaurant located in Mermaid Quay was so good that I actually went there for dinner two nights in a row!
The happy ambience is combined with an amazing selection of food. I personally recommend “the Extraordinary Xinxim” (an exotic chicken dish in crayfish and peanut sauce), “Albondigas” (lamb meatballs in a tomato and chilli sauce) and then “Churros" for dessert. Don't forget your extra order of sweet plantains side dish!
To top it off, they even have a "buy one free one happy hour” every Sunday - Wednesday from 12 - 730 PM for mocktails and cocktails. They are known for their caipirinha cocktails!
Bridgend Designer Outlet Shopping Village
The truth is, I went to Cardiff to attend a short 5-day course. Having come from Asia, the land of bargain hunting and discounts, I never thought that I would be shopping in an expensive European city. But then I went to Bridgend Designer Outlet Shopping Village and suddenly my wallet was empty!
The outlet shopping mall is about 30 minutes away from Cardiff city centre but well worth the drive. They really do offer something for everyone and it’s hard not to end up buying something when everything is at least 60% off!
Enjoy the view, enjoy the relaxing walk, enjoy the shops and dining. Cardiff bay is a great place to hang out with your significant other for a romantic stroll along the water.
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I hope you enjoy Cardiff as much as I did!