CARDIFF - PREFERRED NEIGHBORHOODS
City Center (Cardiff City Centre)
The city center of Cardiff is much larger than the urban cores in other Welsh towns and cities. It is seven-tenths of a square mile in area, stretching nearly a mile from north to south from Corbett Road down to Cardiff Central train station, and about two-thirds of a mile from the River Taff in the west to Cardiff Queen Street train station in the east. Despite the longer distances, the city center is still very walkable, due in part to the large number of shopping arcades in the city center, many of which are connected internally with one another, making it a very easy stroll throughout much of the city.
Cardiff Central train station and Cardiff Queen Street train station, located on the southern and eastern boundaries of the city center, respectively, are the two busiest train stations in Wales. They are the two stops you would most likely take to get off near where many sights are situated, such as Cardiff Castle, near-equidistant from both stations (about 0.4 miles); eight Victorian and Edwardian-era shopping arcades; three modern shopping centers; and the Cardiff Story Museum. The most popular street for shopping, food, and nightlife in Cardiff`s city center is The Hayes, which runs parallel to St. David`s Dewi Sant Shopping Centre. St Mary Street is also a safe bet for some good food.
Just north of the city center, you will find many sights of interest to tourists, such as buildings relating to Cardiff University, and the largest park in the city, Bute Park, which was once Cardiff Castle`s sprawling grounds. This area is home to Cathays Park, the city`s civic center, and is home to such important buildings as Cardiff City Hall; the National Museum Cardiff; the Welsh Temple of Peace; and others, with beautifully-manicured Alexandra Gardens sitting in the middle.
The area which stretches on from the city center approximately 1.5 miles to Cardiff Bay is colloquially called `Cardiff Bay`, although local authorities give a stricter definition than the one we`re giving here. For our intents and purposes, `Cardiff Bay` covers not just Cardiff Bay development near Mermaid Quay but also the Porth Teigr and Cardiff Docks neighborhoods to the east, and the Century Wharf, Butetown, and Atlantic Wharf neighborhoods to the north.
Many of the sights visitors will see are in the stricter definition of `Cardiff Bay`, near Mermaid Quay, south of Cardiff Bay Link Road (the Queens Gate Tunnel runs below Cardiff Bay for the length of Mermaid Quay). Sights in Cardiff Bay include The Red Dragon Shopping Centre; the Wales Millennium Centre art complex; the square Roald Dahl Plass; the Pierhead Building; the Senedd, the seat of Welsh Parliament; the Norwegian Church; the BBC Roath Lock Drama Village where shows like Doctor Who are taped; and the Techniquest Museum.
CARDIFF - OTHER NEIGHBORHOODS
Cardiff`s outskirts fan out about three or four miles from the city center, cut through the middle by the River Taff. Up the river from the city center you will find the Pontcanna Fields; Llandaff Cathedral; and many important stops relating to the life of writer Roald Dahl. These outskirts include the Llandaff and Radyr neighborhoods, where he spent much of his childhood. Sites located in these areas include his birthplace and the legendary Mrs. Pratchett`s Sweet Shop, home of the `Everlasting Gobstopper`. Another must-see point of interest in the outskirts is the open-air St Fagans National Museum of History, a little more than a mile west of Llandaff.