South America Living

Visiting Cardiff Bay in Wales

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post. Cheapest ways to fly from Europe to South America coming soon.

Originally called Tiger Bay, Cardiff’s dockland districrt or “Cardiff Bay” is Europe’s oldest waterfront development. Located in Wales, its colorful multi-ethnic past has been transformed into a mega community-oriented development featuring the Wales Millennium Centre, the National Assembly for Wales, Techniquest Science Discovery Centre, shopping and many options for watersports. There is also an international arts venue – Wales Millennium Centre.

Arial View of Cardiff Bay in 2008

This development was preceeded by the creation of a barrage (irrigation channel). The barrage raised water levels and eliminated large mud flats that were created from the tides of the Taft and Ely rivers daily eb and flow. Completed in 1999, this in turn allowed for large-scale construction to commence in the area.

Tourism is now the highlight of Cardiff Bay, not the red light district and aeging fishermen. There are boat tours available on the approximate 2 square km (490 acre) lake that was created from the new irrigation channels and water taxis to take passengers from the Bay to the Wale’s city center and nearby Penarth.

What’s So Special About Cardiff Bay?

Cardiff Bay’s claim to fame is as one of Europe’s largest waterfront developments and is often thought of as the cultural and commercial heart of Wales. If you’re planning a trip to Wales then it has to be on your to do list; there are plenty of Cardiff Hotels and restaurants to ensure an enjoyable visit for any budget level.

If you’re looking for a budget hotel then your first port of call should be Travelodge’s range of hotels in Cardiff. The three most central for a stay in the heart of the city are Cardiff Central Queen Street, Cardiff Central and Cardiff Atlantic Wharf. Each boasts a bar and a café, so you can grab a quick drink in the hotel or use the Wifi.

There is free onsite parking at the Cardiff Atlantic Wharf hotel, making it especially appealing for those traveling by car.

Where To Eat

Cardiff Bay offers a wide variety of great places to eat, with cuisines to suit every taste. Highlights include Wagamama, Nandos, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Strada restaurants but there really are too many to list.

Where To Drink

The bay is a popular place to relax with a drink, with fifteen bars for revellers to choose from. Many Cardiff Bay venues also offer al fresco drinking with fabulous views of the water, making it the perfect place to linger on a sunny afternoon.

What To Enjoy

You can enjoy relaxing boat rides around the bay or, if you fancy indoor frolics and are traveling with children you will want to head to the Red Dragon Centre that has bowling and arcades. You’ll also enjoy the Wales Millennium Centre (the Armadillo!) by the waterfront, which is one of the world’s best arts and cultural destinations.

Those heading to Cardiff for a break will find the bay a great place to spend time. There’s something to suit everyone – families, couples and groups – so it really should be at the top of all ‘to do’ lists.

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