A new Cardiff of the 21st century is emerging along Cardiff Bay, one of Europe's most ambitious waterfront developments.
Wales’s City of Leisure offers an unforgettable welcome worthy of any nation’s capital. A charismatic mix of new and old is the theme for Cardiff’s fabulous new waterfront development.
The Bay has established itself as a vibrant focal point, both as a tourist destination and as a political engine for Wales, being the location of the new Welsh Assembly building.
Take a boat ride across the Bay to view the grand engineering feat, the Cardiff Barrage, and return to sample the Bay’s splendid array of cuisine, as diverse as Cardiff’s cultural heritage, from Mediterranean and Japanese, to Chinese and Indian.
Whilst Cardiff still celebrates its roots as a coal-exporting port, the Bay development is well on the way to turning Cardiff into a world-class tourist destination.
The architectural impact of this area of Cardiff is outstanding. The Norwegian Church, place of worship for ex-patriate Scandinavians until the 1950s and place of baptism for author Roald Dahl, is an excellent example of the older architecture in the Bay.
The Pierhead building is now a visitor centre for finding out more about the National Assembly for Wales. This building is striking with its red brick and Victorian structure and looks especially stunning lit up at night.
All around, newer buildings are springing up such as the St David’s Hotel & Spa, the current Welsh Assembly building and new offices and waterfront apartments. Many of these have architecture to reflect the maritime influence with curved roofs to reflect rolling waves.
More unusual buildings also exist, such as the Spirit of Cardiff exhibition that is housed on a boat. You will find further information at the Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre, which is situated within a contemporary tubular structure.
Transport links from Cardiff Bay to the rest of the city are plentiful so you can enjoy the other attractions Cardiff has to offer.
Discover the proud standing Cardiff Castle which dates back to the days of Wales’s last Welsh Prince. Its luxurious rooms were built by Cardiff’s Marquis of Bute and designed by architect William Burges.
Cardiff’s heritage is to be found in its shopping areas too, with Victorian arcades and Welsh products from arts and craft to gifts, clothes and music.
The Capital’s nightlife contributes to the national club-scene, and its giant cinema complexes use the latest digital stereo sound. Alternatively, you can slip away to the peace of Roath Park Lake, Cardiff Castle grounds, or nearby Dyffryn Gardens.
Cardiff is also a great place for events, with food markets and festivals of dance and cultural celebration. Witness the passion of Welsh rugby, at Cardiff’s magnificent Millennium Stadium, a venue that is also now used for major football matches, speedway and pop concerts. The electric atmosphere will take your breath away.
Don’t forget to round off your visit to Cardiff by delving further into the past at St.Fagans Museum of Welsh Life. Or visit Techniquest in Cardiff Bay, a way for kids and adults to explore science in a practical and entertaining way. Old and new, Cardiff has it all!
Source: Visit Wales