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PRACTICAL AND HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR TOURISTS
THE WELSH LANGUAGE
As you travel around Cardiff you will often hear Welsh spoken, and see Welsh signs everywhere. Here are some basic Welsh words that you may like to use. Don’t be scared, it will be fun to test out on the locals!
Croeso – Welcome
Diolch – Thank You
Iechyd Da – Cheers
Hwyl Fawr – Goodbye
Bore Da – Good Morning
Prynhawn Da – Good Afternoon
Nos Da – Good Night
INTERNET & WIFI
You can access free Wi-Fi at number of hotspots in Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay, as well as on Cardiff Bus. Cardiff Free Wi-Fi is also available at a number of public buildings across the city. Look for the network called CardiffFreeWifi!
In an emergency call 999 and ask for Police, Fire, or Ambulance. Calls are free from any phone but should only be made in real emergencies.
The international dialling code for Cardiff is 00 44 29. Directory enquiries can be contacted on 118 500.
The main Post Office in Cardiff is inside the WH Smith store on Queen Street. It is open Monday-Saturday 8.00-18.00 and Sunday 11.00-15.00. There are no post collections or deliveries on Sundays.
Along with the rest of the UK, Cardiff uses pound sterling (£). One pound is the equivelant of 100 pence. Notes are commonly available in £5, £10 and £20; £50 are also used, however, some high street retailers will not accept them.
Most banks in Cardiff city centre are open Monday-Friday 9.00-17.00 with many closing earlier on Saturdays.
You can change currency at the Post Office inside the WH Smith store on Queen Street. At the St Mary Street Post Office you can change your home currency into pound sterling but the only foreign currency they can provide is Euros.
Bureau de change services are also available at:
- Marks & Spencer
- No 1 Currency Exchange
UK PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- Christmas Day – 25 December
- Boxing Day – 26 December
- New Year’s Day – 1 January
- Good Friday – varies, March-April
- Easter Monday – varies, March-April
- Early May Bank Holiday – Usually first Monday in May
- Late May Bank Holiday – Usually last Monday in May
- Late Summer Bank Holiday – Usually last Monday in August
Most of the larger shops in Cardiff city centre are open Monday-Friday 9.00-20.00, Saturday 9.00-19.00 and Sunday 11.00-17.00. Smaller shops and those outside the centre will have shorter opening hours. Many convenience food stores are open 7.00-23.00 every day.
CARRIER BAG LEVY
All Cardiff retailers must charge at least 5p for new carrier bags by law. This aims to save natural resources and reduce waste, protecting the environment in the process.
Driving in Cardiff is on the left hand side of the road and all persons in a vehicle are required to wear a seatbelt at all times. Use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited at all times.
Roads in Cardiff are prefixed with an M to denote motorways, or A and B for lesser roads.
All signposts and speed indicators are in mile and miles per hour, along with the rest of the UK.
The weather in Cardiff, and the UK in general, is very changeable and can be unpredictable. We rarely experience extremes in temperature with mild winters and cool summers being normal.
Make sure you have clothes suitable for both dry and wet weather, bring your sun cream and an umbrella. Keep an eye on the weather forecast as things can vary greatly from one day to the next.
LUGGAGE STORAGE & LOCKERS
Most hotels will let you leave your luggage for the day after you’ve checked out, so that you can make the most of your final day in Cardiff. There are also a few other options:
A luggage storage facility is available at the Old Library building on The Hayes, in Cardiff City Centre.
Lockers: Small £5 / Medium £8 / Large £10
(Available 10.00 – 15.30)
Shop & Drop Lockers are available in St David’s shopping centre, near the Information Desk on the Upper Level. It’s £1 per locker and you need to collect your items by 20.00 as they’re emptied daily at this time.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
In the Winter Cardiff is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). From late March until late October, clocks go forward one hour to British Summer Time (BST).
The largest pharmacy in Cardiff city centre is in the main Boots store, accessible from Queen Street and also from inside St David’s shopping centre. It is open 8.00-20.00 Monday-Friday, 8.00-19.00 Saturday, and 11.00-17.00 Sunday.
A later opening pharmacy is available at Boots at Cardiff Bay Retail Park. This is open until 22.30 every day.
Smoking in public places has been banned in Wales since April 2007, this includes bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels and public transport. Some, but not all, bars and restaurants will have dedicated outddor areas where you will be permitted to smoke.