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The Ultimate Six Nations Weekend Away In Cardiff

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2 months ago

Wales is playing on its home turf in Cardiff in Round Four and Super Saturday: first against France, then against Italy.

From the best pubs to soak in the Six Nations action to the essential sites of Cardiff to enjoy in between the matches, we’ve got you sorted for everything you need to know to make sure you have a memorable Six Nations Rugby weekend in Cardiff.

dragon red in front of castle

Upcoming matches

Wales vs France

Kick-off is at 3 pm GMT on Sunday, 10 March 2024 at Principality Stadium. The match will end at approximately 4:30 pm.

Wales vs Italy

Kick-off is at 2:15 pm on Super Saturday, 16 March 2024 at Principality Stadium. The match will end at approximately 3:45 pm.

(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Where to stay in Cardiff for the Six Nations Rugby

Cardiff is a very small city and there’s no better choice than Cardiff City Centre, only a 10-minute walk to Principality Stadium. Cardiff City Centre really comes alive during the Six Nations with the buzzing pubs on High Street hosting live bands and opening well into the night for post-match revelry.

Our picks for the best hotels in Cardiff City Centre are the Parkgate Hotel (5-minute walk to Principality Stadium), the Leonardo Hotel Cardiff and the Park Plaza Cardiff.

If you’re looking for more family-friendly accomodation or you are traveling with a big group of mates, Vrbo has excellent options in Cardiff close to the Stadium.

You can also snag an excellent hotel deal on Expedia at the moment.

If you’re coming in from London, Manchester or another city in the UK, make sure you book your train tickets in advance. Trains to Cardiff are limited and get very busy on match weekends. We would recommend that you leave plenty of time if you’re going to catch a train – and that means heading to Cardiff on the Saturday before the live Six Nations action begins in Cardiff on Sunday afternoon.

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How to get to Principality Stadium

By foot

If you’re staying in Cardiff City Centre, the walk to any of the entrances of Principality Stadium should be no more than 15 minutes. Legions of fans will be walking the same path, so the revelry will continue all the way to the match and back into the city afterward. This is the best (and only) way of getting to the Stadium.

Best pubs to watch the other Six Nations games that weekend

For Round Four on Saturday, 9 March, Italy will take on Scotland at 2:15 pm GMT in Rome, followed immediately by the much-anticipated England vs Ireland match in London kicking off at 4:45 pm GMT.

Man watching the Six Nations in a pub
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Below, we’ve rounded up the best pubs to soak in all of the Six Nations action, whether for pre-match drinks before Wales vs France on Sunday, or the best places to watch Italy vs Scotland and England vs Ireland in Cardiff on the Saturday.

Map of all Six Nations pubs

See below for a map of all of the pubs screening the Six Nations pub this year in all of the host cities:

Cambrian Tap

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Stadium and in the heart of Cardiff, Cambrian Tap is one of the best places in Cardiff to soak in the Six Nations action. The pub combines traditional bare-brick design with an innovative (and honestly quite impressive) selection of craft beers.

The Cambrian Tap will not be serving any food during the match days, but they will have music to keep you entertained before and after the matches! Last call is a little bit later than usual for Cardiff: 11 pm.

Porters

Right by St. David’s Cathedral sits Porter’s: a real Cardiff institution. On an ordinary night, this is the kind of cosy pub that hosts quiz nights and regular live music.

During the Six Nations, Porters transforms into the ultimate local Six Nations-watching haven. Here, you’ll want to book a table to get a meal and drinks. Porters is known for its friendly vibe, and Cardiff locals have been choosing Porters to watch the Six Nations for years so it’s got quite a local feel.

Tiny Rebel Cardiff

Tiny Rebel Cardiff is directly opposite Principality Stadium – making it truly the rugby pub. On a normal evening, the Tiny Rebel is buzzing, so you can just imagine how popular this place gets during the Six Nations. With several screens scattered throughout the venue, you won’t miss a minute of the Six Nations action.

As one of the most popular breweries in Wales, the Tiny Rebel offers extensive beer options (dark, light, fruity). Outside of Six Nations games, this pub tends to be popular among younger crowds. But with some of the most friendly staff (and tacos) in Cardiff, this truly is the full-package pub.

Tiny Rebel has some of the most generous opening hours in Cardiff, kicking off at 12 pm daily with the bar closing at 2 am.

Duke of Wellington

The Duke of Wellington offers one of Cardiff’s more traditional pub experiences. Housed in Cardiff’s former Post Office, the Duke of Wellington is full of character. Think a wooden bar and grand redbrick architecture.

colorful streets with umbrella and old church in background and tudor architecture

The Duke of Wellington isn’t taking reservations for match days, so this is a great option if you are running a bit last minute and looking for a walk-in option! We’re big fans of the Duke of Wellington’s ‘grazers menu’ which is full of loaded snacks like nachos, buttermilk chicken strips and all the other perfectly greasy accompaniments to your fourth (or fifth) beer.

Best restaurants in Cardiff

Cardiff is very small, which means most of the best restaurants are also within walking distance to Principality Stadium.

people lining up in market to buy bread

Casanova

Transport yourself to Italy at Casanova, which is not your ordinary Italian restaurant. Rather than a standard selection of pizza and pasta, Casanova offers regional specialities from all across Italy. Casanova is currently taking reservations for during the Six Nations, but will require a £20 in advance.

Casanova offer a great value 3-course meal for £60 with varied options options for each course, including unique dishes like slow-roast Welsh lamb on a potato fondant and seared Wagyu beef with 30-month parmesan.

Pettigrew Tea Rooms

A few minutes walk from Cardiff Castle, Pettigrew tea rooms is Cardiff’s most atmospheric afternoon tea. Set in an 1863 gatehouse, Pettigrew offer a very tasteful selection of sandwiches, scones and soft-tone 1920s tunes.

Pettigrew open at 10 am on Saturdays and Sundays, making this a more refined breakfast option before hitting the pub to watch the games.

Coffee Barker

Set in the majestic Victorian-era Castle Arcade, Coffee Barker wouldn’t be out of place in the suave streets of East London. This is the kind of café which should probably remain a local secret: low-cast lighting, plush leather seats, quirky wall-hangings and the most satisfying pancake stacks.

The Potted Pig

If you are looking for the best restaurant for Welsh flavors (including the very un-Welsh stuffy ambience), the Potted Pig is your place.

Offering a menu of modern British and Welsh cuisine (with a noticeable French influence). The food at the Potted Pig is nothing short of top quality. If your Saturday goes well, this would be the place to celebrate with a lavish Sunday roast. And trust us, you want to save room for the sticky toffee pudding.

Cardiff Market

This is the perfect stop for an on-the-go breakfast in the morning before the game. The Cardiff Market offers two levels of various stalls including both fresh produce and small restaurants.

entrance to cardiff market with sign in english and welsh

You can’t say you have really been to Cardiff without stopping past Bakestones and buying one of their freshly-made Welsh cakes. You’ll also find sandwiches, scones and other snacks for the road.

welsh cakes
The iconic Welsh Cakes

The best things to do in Cardiff in between matches

Cardiff is one of the easiest and friendliest cities in the UK: easy because of its walkability, and friendly because of the Welsh charm. Take advantage of your time in between matches to explore the Welsh capital.

Rugby fans cheering on a team in Rome
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

1. Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle keeps the medieval heart of Wales alive and will quickly transport you to another era.

tower of cardiff castle with blue sky

From 1766 onwards, Cardiff Castle was the private home of the Butes – the family who singlehandedly transformed Cardiff into the world’s largest coal port. A visit to Cardiff Castle isn’t just any other castle, it is a deep dive into the history, culture and tradition of Wales.

cardiff castle with blue sky and lush green

If you are keen to get inside the castle, the ticket desk sells a 50-minute guided tour. This tour takes you into the mysterious interior rooms full of symbols, Norse gods and magnificent clock towers.

2. Take a short audio tour of Cardiff

The history of Cardiff is particularly interesting, and there is no better way to get to understand the local culture than through an audio tour of the city. From the Tudor influence to becoming the world’s largest coal port – Cardiff will surprise and fascinate you!

3. Visit the National Museum Cardiff

We know you didn’t come to Cardiff for the museums, but just in case the weather isn’t on your side, we really recommend visiting the National Museum Cardiff.

The National Museum Cardiff is a grand neoclassic building and forms part of the Welsh National Museum. This place is huge and you’ll need at least two to three hours to really do it justice.

Travel tip: Art enthusiasts will be excited to know that Monet’s trio of Water Lilies calls the National Museum Cardiff home!

4. Take a Doctor Who walking tour

There are many things that Cardiff is known for, but many people don’t know that Cardiff was the primary location for over 75 episodes of Doctor Who. Whether the episode was set in World War II Berlin or Victorian London, Cardiff has always been the set!

5. Relax in Bute Park

Looking for a relaxed afternoon with some beers and mates? Pick up some fresh produce and welsh-cakes from the Cardiff Market and head over to Bute Park. Just beside the Cardiff Castle, Bute Park was donated to the city in 1947 by the Bute Family and is a magnificent (and absolutely huge) urban park.

6. Marvel at Cardiff’s arcades

Cardiff is often referred to as the ‘City of Arcades‘. Hidden among Cardiff’s city centre are seven Victorian and Edwardian era arcades.

chairs outdoors from cafe under covered arcade in wales cardiff

We absolutely love weaving in and out of the arcades, from the best cafes to an excellent selection of independent Welsh boutiques – exploring Cardiff’s arcades is one of the most unique things to do in Cardiff. Don’t miss the High St Arcade, Morgan Arcade and Castle Arcade!

6. Enjoy Cardiff Bay

At Cardiff Bay you can really feel and understand the face of modern Wales. Here you will find a buzzing commercial district full of modern architecture, public art displays and large open-plan areas.

The centrepiece of Cardiff Bay is the magnificent Wales Millennium Centre. A real masterpiece of modern Wales, the Millennium Centre is increasingly challenging Cardiff Castle as the symbol of the city!

If you are looking for a change of scene (Cardiff City Centre can be a little small), or just somewhere to have a drink, the main commercial area of Cardiff Bay is centred on Mermaid Quay – where you will find excellent bars, restaurants and shops.

Right beside the famous Wales Millennium Centre is the Senedd. This is the home of the National Assembly for Wales and is a grand modernist building combining the best of concrete, steel and glass. The Welsh parliament is free to visit but is closed on Sundays.

There is obviously so much more to do in Cardiff if you have a bit more time, but we’ve handpicked the above to fit in with your Six Nations schedule.

Cardiff by night

Cardiff is known for its wild nightlife, and there is no better time to experience it than during the Six Nations. The pubs that we’ve mentioned above will be going late into the evening, but if you’re looking to experience a deeper level of Cardiff nightlife, check out the nightclubs in Cardiff City Centre like Popworld and Metros. There is so much to keep you occupied there, and the venues here will be open much later than the pubs.

Cardiff for young families

If you’re taking kids to Cardiff, in addition to the National Museum, you might also want to take the kids to the Techniquest, which is surely one of the most unique museums in the city. Through hands-on exhibits, the Techniquest takes inquisitive kids on an interactive journey into the world of science.

Beyond Cardiff

With some more time up your sleeve, Cardiff is the ideal base for exploring southern England or the gorgeous coastal landscapes of Wales.

Little Haven Pembrokeshire
Small coastal inlets by Little Haven, Pembrokeshire

If you have another day to spare in Cardiff, you can easily visit Bristol (one hour by train) or Bath (one hour, twenty minutes by train).

The UK is filled with incredible places to visit for the weekend, so make sure you check out our guide to unusual weekend breaks in the UK.

Broad Haven beach in Pembrokeshire Wales
The magnificent wind swept beach of Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire

But for the more dramatic and unique scenery of Wales, you will need to plan for a few extra days. Or better yet, start planning for another weekend away in one of our most unusual weekend destinations in the British Isles!


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