It’s the eve of the Seren Cardiff Poetry Festival taking place this weekend July 29th to July 31st. Hoping to see you there!
Cardiff is a really fun city. I grew up in Caerphilly just outside of the capital, and Cardiff was often the place of a misspent youth. I sometimes think of Cardiff as quite a hedonistic city – it’s set up for people to go out and enjoy themselves. For a start, I think of St Mary’s street which is one of the partying centers of the city – bars, clubs, lots of live music. It is also a shopping paradise with many large and expensive stores; some worry that Cardiff has lost its character a little bit since big stores like John Lewis moved in, and there has been a rise in high-rise apartments being built and old Cardiff being knocked down to make way for those.
You can still find old Cardiff however. I really love for example the Cardiff Arcades, built in Edwardian and Victorian times. They have interesting little shops and restaurants. Tip for festival attendees: in Wyndham Arcade there is a great breakfast spot The Wyndham Cafeteria.
Talking of food, another tip for attendees of the festival, the venue (The Atrium, University of South Wales) is just 8 mins walk from Cardiff’s restaurant and cafe quarter: see directions here. Also the Citrus Hotel is only 3 mins away from the Atrium.
Other things to see include:
- a large castle;
- some great art and exhibitions at the National Museum of Wales;
- visit some of Cardiff’s interesting stores like Forbidden Planet, a comic book store, or Spiller’s Records;
- visit Chapter Arts Centre;
- check out a play at the Sherman Theatre;
- have a look at Cardiff’s historic market;
- or check out Cardiff’s lovely parks.
Also you can catch a bus or train to Cardiff Bay. Bus timetables here. Train timetables here. At Cardiff Bay, you can:
- tour Y Senedd, the Welsh Parliament, an amazing building;
- catch a show at the Wales Millennium Centre which features a poem by Gwyneth Lewis on the building in very large letters;
- walk along Cardiff Barrage;
- take a boat ride;
- see historic buildings like the Norwegian Church and the Coal Exchange;
- visit Ianto’s Shrine (Cardiff is of course a city where Dr. Who is filmed and this is a tribute to a character who died in the TV spinoff show Torchwood);
- try Butetown Museum to find out more about the Cardiff Docks before they were gentrified;
- or visit the science museum Techniquest.
I’m sure there are more things that I have missed, so let me know if there is something else you would recommend.
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