So you’re travelling to Cardiff to watch your favourite team take on the Cardiff Devils and you’re wondering what to do with the rest of your time while you’re here. Well, ponder no longer! Because you’ve come to the right place. We’ve written an expert itinerary especially for hockey fans, striking the perfect balance between adrenaline fuelled sporting activities, must see tourist attractions, beautiful scenery and local Welsh heritage and culture.
9:00 AM – 9:45 – Start your day the right way
Make sure you’ve filled your belly with a large breakfast as you’ve got a lot of activities to pack into your day to make the most of your time here in Cardiff. You may want to add an extra shot to your morning coffee or go large on your order.
As your first stop of the day is a tour of Cardiff Castle we would recommend having breakfast in the Keep Terrace Bistro which offers a selection of scrumptious breakfasts and daily chef’s specials. The café has the best view in Cardiff, you can relax inside or sit out on the terrace and take in the spectacular views of the Castle.
10:00 – 12:00 – Time for a Tour
Cardiff Castle is without a doubt Cardiff’s most iconic landmark and most popular tourist attraction and there’s good reason for it too, it’s steeped with rich history and has tales of hauntings. Discover more behind the walls and find a secret rooftop garden, a Norman keep, wartime shelters, ‘Firing Line’ military museum and beautifully restored rooms. It really is a sight to behold!
The full cost of entry to the castle with the tour included is £16 for an adult and just under £12 for a Child. The tour takes approximately an hour and you’ll want to spend an extra hour to explore the castle grounds and take a selfie from the top of the Norman keep.
12:00 -13:00 – Park life
After visiting the home of Lord and Lady Bute it’s time to visit Bute Park for an hour long stroll. Entrance to the park are conveniently located a 2 minute stroll from Cardiff Castle’s main gate.
Bute Park is the “green heart” of Cardiff and is one of the largest urban parks in Wales. It’s astonishingly beautiful, so much so it’s easy to forget that you are in the middle of a city.
Comprised of a broad mix of historic landscape, urban woodland, horticultural delights, sports pitches, wooden sculptures and hidden assault courses. We recommend getting lost in this urban paradise for an hour (not literally though, you’ve got a tight schedule to stick to!)
13:00-13:30 – Spot of Tea anyone?
You will have done a fair bit of walking by now and you’ll probably be in need of a quick lunch and a drink so we have picked one of our favourite spots for a light bite. Everyone loves a spot of tea, and what could be better than a spot of English Tea (I mean Welsh Tea) in the idyllic grounds of Bute Park? Pettigrew Tea Rooms is a quaint tea house located at the old stone building at the West Lodge, which is one of the entrances to the park to the east of the Castle along the Animal Wall. Sit back, relax, and watch the world go by while you try some traditional afternoon tea with scones, cream and jam or finger sandwiches for the quintessentially British experience.
13:30 – 14:00 All Aboard!
We hope you’ve got your sea legs, as we’re about to catch the Princes Katherine water bus from Bute Park to Cardiff Bay. The best thing about this is that the stop to catch the water bus is literally a stone’s throw away from Pettigrew Tea Rooms. The boat trip costs £4 per person and takes 25 minutes to get to Cardiff Bay, passing beautiful vistas of the Principality Stadium, Brains Brewery, the River Taff and Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff bay has loads of hands-on sporting and adventure activities to get stuck into and your first point of call is the International Sports Village. You can get there by many means of travel from Nextbike, bus, taxi, Uber or a stroll along the Cardiff Bay Trail. If you chose to walk or cycle the Cardiff Bay Trail, a 10km circular trail runs through the Sports Village there is plenty to see and do along the way. You can enjoy learning about Cardiff Bay’s rich cultural heritage such as famous explorer Captain Scott, The Booming industry of coal, and local landmarks such as the Norwegian Church and Pierhead Building.
14:30 – 16:30 – Don’t be just a spectator!
So you’ve arrived at the International Sports Village, home to the Ice Arena Wales; where in a few hours you will watch the almighty Cardiff Devils go head to head in a clash with your favourite team… But don’t be just a spectator, it’s time for some serious fun!
Our destination of choice is Cardiff International White Water and it’s time for some extreme water sports. After all… you hockey fans are tough, right?
Cardiff International White Water is an exhilarating, adventure facility which caters for thrill-seekers of all ages and abilities and offers a wide range of water sports courses. Navigate the choppy waves of the white water rafting course with up to 6 friends; try out the gnarly ‘indoor wave’ simulated surf machine; or perhaps canoeing and kayaking is more up your street? If you’re more of a land bird Cardiff International White Water also offer an ‘Air Trail’ and a ‘Climbing Wall’.
For those of you who may have had enough action for one day, or perhaps simply prefer your city breaks with a little bit of R&R, don’t worry we’ve thought of you too and have just the ticket! A short stroll from CIWW is The International pool, we’d recommend an hour or two in the Health Suite. Take full advantage of the sauna, steam and spa and you will leave feeling revitalised and rejuvenated. The facility also offers an impressive 50m Olympic swimming pool, and for those of you with little-ones there is also a leisure pool with fun twisting slides, toys, inflatables and floats.
17:00 – 17:45 Cardiffian Cuisine
You’re bound to have worked up a huge appetite after all of that and it’s time to replace those calories before the big match. We recommend heading over to Ice Arena Wales a little early, beating the queues and grabbing yourself a Grazing Shed Burger for the authentic Cardiff experience.
You’ve never had a Grazing Shed?! This Cardiff Based independent burger co. have a diner inside Ice Arena Wales, and were recently voted the number 1 burger joint in Wales. For meat eaters we would recommend the ‘Hula Hula’ burger, a Hawaiian inspired burger which melts in your mouth and for the Veggies amongst you, you have to try the ‘Naughty Shepard’ burger which comes with Honey glazed goat’s cheese fondue, and apple cider chutney.
17:30 – 18:00 Get your game face on!
Now it’s time to grab a pint, find your seats, enjoy the pre-game show and revel in the atmosphere before the match begins. You should try a pint of Brains if you haven’t already-It’s a proper Cardiff Brew and the perfect way to wash down your proper Cardiff burger!
21:30 onwards – Where’s the party at?!
The game may be over, but the night isn’t. Head over to Mermaid Quay for live comedy at the Glee Club, or perhaps some cocktails at Pitch. If you’re in the mood for partying until the early hours then get a taxi to the city centre. St Mary Street and Mill Lane are where it’s at for cocktails, Womanby Street is the place to go if you want to see live music in quirky independent venues, and if you’re looking for night clubs then look no further than Greyfriars Road.
Hopefully you didn’t party too hard the night before, but if you did- not to worry as today is the quieter day of your city break. After an action packed first day today we are going to take it slow, see some fantastic attractions, absorb some welsh history and heritage, and end the day with a fun activity.
09:30 – 10:00 – Time for breakfast
We recommend breakfast in one of the cafes located in any of the 8 arcades. The beautiful Victorian arcades are home to Cardiff’s independent scene; bursting with character and charm and the best place to check out Cardiff’s café culture.
We recommend you take a look at the Cafés & Lunch section of our Eat and Drink page ahead of time to pick the perfect breakfast bistro for you, but our personal recommendations would be Garlands in Duke St Arcade, and Madame Fromage in the Castle Arcade.
10:30 – 12:00 – Principality Stadium Tour
You’ve come to Cardiff for a sporting city break, so you simply have to have a tour of Cardiff’s most iconic sporting venue, Principality Stadium (formerly Millennium Stadium). Experience the inner workings of the 74,000 seater stadium and see where the Welsh Rugby Team battle against opponents from across the globe and where the football titans of Europe fought for the 2017 Champions League Trophy. The tour takes approx. one and a half hours
12:00 – 17:00 – A walk around Wales – from Celtic times to the present day
St. Fagans has been ranked as one of the top 3 open air museums in Europe and entry is completely free. It’s the perfect place to learn about Welsh heritage and culture by immersing yourself in the surroundings of a bygone era.
St Fagans is a museum of Welsh history, the museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and gardens, a late 16th-century manor house. Since 1948 over forty original buildings from different historical periods have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland, among them houses, a farm, a school, a chapel and a splendid Workmen’s Institute. You can even mill your own flour or watch traditional tradesmen and women such as blacksmiths and weavers at work.
As Wales’ most popular historic attraction it’s not to be missed and is only a 25 minute bus route from directly outside the Principality Stadium. Hop on the 32A at Westgate Street and get transported to the front entrance of the museum.
While you’re there be sure to have lunch at one of the three cafes on site, and head over to the traditional bakery and sweet shop for some sweet treats (we recommend the ginger bread and welsh cakes!)
17:00 – 17:30 Time to end the evening on a high
You’re time in Cardiff is coming to a close so it’s time to head back to the hotel and spruce up before dinner and drinks.
18:00 – 20:00 Dine like a local
It’s time to end your stay here in Cardiff on a high, and what better way than with dinner and drinks?
We recommend heading to the Cardiff Suburbs for dinner. Check out Roath or Pontcanna, these areas are the quaint leafy suburbs of Cardiff with beautiful Victorian architecture and are home to some of the best independent bistros, cocktail bars and restaurants Cardiff has to offer. These places have a fantastic atmosphere, attentive staff and beautiful décor.
If you would like to visit Roath we would recommend Juno Lounge, this cosy and quirky restaurant is bursting with colour and flair and even has its own rooftop terrace. The cocktails are fantastic and the food is even tastier!
If you wish to visit Pontcanna then we recommend the Pontcanna Inn. One of Cardiff’s newest pub-restaurants and a short stroll from the city centre, its burst onto the food and drink scene with a bang. Not only is it a pub and a restaurant, but a B&B as well. The drinks are made by knowledgeable, friendly and attentive staff; and the food is hearty, homely and delicious.