A trip to Wales is not complete without a stay in the capital city of Cardiff. The city on Cardiff Bay is a great place to explore, with an ancient castle, huge rugby scene and modern museums. The city proper is quite small, with under 7000 residents, so it’s easy to navigate and many attractions are within walking distance of the city centre.
There are many places to stay in Cardiff, so we’ve broken out the best neighborhoods to stay in Cardiff, with hotel recommendations for any budget or travel style. While we’re happy to help sort out the Cardiff neighborhoods, you’re on your own when it comes to deciphering the Welsh language!
We will cover off all types of Cardiff accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Cardiff hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Cardiff, the best Cardiff hotels, best places in Cardiff to visit, the best places to stay in Cardiff, hotels near Cardiff attractions, Cardiff neighborhood guide and many more.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
Cardiff City Centre – Where to stay in Cardiff for first timers
Cardiff City Centre is the best area for tourists visiting Cardiff for the first time. The city grew up around Cardiff Castle, so you’ll sometimes hear this referred to as the castle district. The main train station is in the city centre, so day trips to and from Cardiff are easy. Bordered on the east by the River Taff, and Cooper’s Field to the north, the city center is a very family-friendly place to explore.
Cooper’s Field has an arboretum, woodlands, museums, cricket grounds and even a stone druid circle that is still used today. This area also has the highest concentration of hotels, so you’ll be spoilt for choice of places to stay in Cardiff City Centre. If you are looking for budget-friendly accommodations, the city centre also has cheap places to stay in Cardiff, including many hostels.
Best places to stay in Cardiff City Centre
Cardiff Bay – Where to stay in Cardiff for tourists
The old Cardiff Docks have been transformed and revitalized into the Cardiff Bay neighborhood. Once the center of the global coal industry, Cardiff Bay is now a trendy neighborhood with loads of entertainment options. A prominent fixture on the bay is the Wales Millennium Centre, an exhibition space with a unique, and controversial, design.
From here, you have easy access to the city centre or the nearby wetlands reserve. For shopping and entertainment, the Mermaid Quay and Red Dragon Centre both offer many shopping, dining and entertainment options.
Best places to stay in Cardiff Bay
Riverside – Where to stay in Cardiff with family
Across the River Taff from the Cardiff City Centre is an area called Riverside. This area includes Cooper’s Fields to the east and the Canton railyards to the south. Art is very much a fixture in this hip residential area. If you are planning to stay in Cardiff for more than a few days and would like to experience the local culture through food, music, and festivals, then Riverside is a great choice. The central thoroughfare of Cowbridge Road has tons of shops, cafes, and pubs to explore, with lots of ethnic food offerings as well.
Best places to stay in Riverside
Roath – Where to stay in Cardiff on a budget
Just minutes north of the city centre, the Cardiff suburb of Roath is a popular place for students to congregate. Roath Park and Roath Park Lake are popular destinations for outdoor recreation, with pedal-boat rentals, cafes, and the Botanical and Rose Gardens. The adjacent neighborhood of Cathays is home to several universities.With a great selection of international cuisine along City Road, this is the place to have a budget-friendly night out in Cardiff. Made in Roath is an annual art festival that draws eclectic crowds from all over.
Best places to stay in Roath
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Roath
Beautiful Victorian House
If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.