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Holiday Guides for United Kingdom - Wales

Cardiff Holiday

Lively, sport-mad city boasting fine Victorian architecture

Traditions and culture in Cardiff

Following its early Roman existence, Cardiff took off during the coal and mining booms in the northern valleys area in the 19th century, with the Butes building canal and dock buildings.

This led to it becoming the top coal port in the world in 1913, while it has recovered impressively from the subsequent collapse of the industry and is now thriving again.

It was designated as the capital of Wales in 1955 following a ballot of Welsh authority members and now draws in visitors through its architectural kudos and the huge Millennium Stadium.

The 70,000-plus ground fits in perfectly with the vast amount of sport lovers in the city, most of whom are generally rugby fans, although the local football team is passionately supported.

Things to do in Cardiff

Anyone who has taken a holiday to Cardiff will pay homage to its stunning scenery - not least around Cardiff Bay - which it would be foolish not to take in on a pleasant afternoon.

For the traveller looking for something more vigorous, the city also provides opportunities for caving, climbing, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding.

With cheap flights in plentiful supply, the three-week, midsummer Cardiff Festival - which is rounded off by the Big Weekend, Britain's largest free open-air festival - is a popular attraction.

There are also plenty of green spaces to check out and a number of historic places of interest can be located around the River Taff, which runs through the city centre.

Cardiff is also well-known in the UK for its lively nightlife, with the weekends heralding major boozing sessions amongst the locals, while the number of hen and stag parties in the city rivals those of Dublin and Prague.

There are a number of places to find accommodation in the city but if there is a rugby international taking place, don't expect to be able to find a cheap hotel, if any hotel at all.

Weather in Cardiff

Unfortunately, Cardiff tends to be on the end of a considerable amount of rainfall, even during the summer months.

Winter days tend to be cold and dark and the city partially closes down as a holiday destination during the low season (mid-October to Easter).

Due to the city's coastal position, the temperatures are never particularly extreme, with the thermometer rarely topping 30C in the summer or falling below freezing in the winter.

Destination checklist for Cardiff

Cardiff has a population of 305,350.

The city is on GMT/UTC time.

The official currency is the pound.

English and Welsh are the official languages spoken.

The city's international dialling code is +44.