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You are here: About Cardiff > Essential Information

Essential Information

Yr Senedd

Whether you are coming for a weekend break, or plan to study here for a period of time, it is always helpful to know some basic information about your destination. Below you'll find details of language, population, currency and other useful information.

Minimum bag charge

On October 1st 2011 the 5p minimum bag charge came into effect in Wales. The charge on single-use carrier bags aims to reduce the amount of plastic bags used in the country, with the money raised going to Welsh charities.

Location: South East Wales (Cymru)

Key Dates: First Roman fort established in AD55. Made a city in 1905 by King Edward VII. Made capital of Wales in 1955.

Welsh name: Caerdydd  (pronounced Cayer- deeth)

Currency: British Pound Sterling

Population: 321,000 (2009 approx) 10% students

Phone Code: Country code: 44, area code: 029

Emergency telephone number: 999 (Use country code if applicable)

Time zone: GMT British Summer Time (=GMT + 1) from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

Geography: Situated on the Bristol Channel, Cardiff is a waterside city, with a freshwater lake which is controlled by the Barrage. Cardiff is an extremely flat city, only rising to hills in the north of the city suburbs. Surrounding Cardiff is open countryside, leading to the Vale of Glamorgan in the west, Newport in the east and into Caerphilly in the north.  

Distance: Cardiff to London journey time by train is approximately 21/2 hours. By car London is easily accessible via the M4 motorway.

Politics: Cardiff is the capital of Wales, and is the focal point for devolved government and decision making at the National Assembly of Wales, The Senedd, in Cardiff Bay.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz; square three-pin plugs are standard.

Average January temp: 4.5°C (40°F).

Average July temp: 16°C (61°F).

Language: English and Welsh (for more information on the Welsh language click here)

Tipping: A tip of around 10% is customary in restaurants. Round up for taxis. Tipping in bars is rare.


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