Culture on a Budget in Cardiff
|February 11, 2012||Posted by under Places|
You don’t have to visit far flung Eastern countries to discover new and interesting cultures. If you want a budget cultural break, visit Cardiff: the capital city of Wales. Cardiff is a great place to find out all about Welsh culture, which is very different from British culture as a whole. Take a short flight with Aer Lingus and you’ll soon find that there’s more to Wales than leeks and daffodils.
Learn the lingo
The first thing you’ll notice is the language. When you check into your hotels in Cardiff you may be greeted with a cheery “Croeso i Gaerdydd”; which means “welcome to Cardiff” in the Welsh language. Most Welsh people speak English, but do keep your eyes peeled as you’ll often see Welsh translations on street and road signs.
If you really want to impress the locals, you could try your hand at the local language. I’m sure you’ll agree the most important phrase is probably “Dau cwrw os gwelwch yn dda”, pronounced “dye cooroo os gwelook un thar”: two beers please.
Enjoy some music
The sing song tones of the Welsh accent lend themselves well to music. Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, and Katherine Jenkins all hail from this little corner of Britain. The Wales Millennium Centre is the perfect place to listen to some Welsh musicians. At 1pm each day the centre hosts free choir and jazz sessions. Or, if you’re feeling really cultured, you could pick up tickets for a performance of the Welsh National Opera.
Learn about Welsh history
Like most British countries, Wales has a long and rich history. The best place to discover this is the hands on St Fagan’s museum. The open air museum features reconstructed Welsh villages, covering Welsh history from Celtic times until today. It stands in the grounds of the gorgeous 16th Century St Fagan’s Castle: perfect for exploring after your history lesson.
Discover an ancient castle
Another castle you won’t want to miss is Cardiff Castle itself. Perched above the town centre for over 2000 years, Cardiff Castle has been occupied by Romans, Normans, and was rebuilt by the Victorians. Visitors can tour the gothic apartments of the Bute family, which are chock full of gorgeous period artwork. Look out for events such as open air Shakespeare performances and art classes, which are regularly held at the castle.
Meet the Doctor
If pop culture is more your style, then don’t miss a trip to Cardiff Bay and the BBC Wales studios. While many British TV shows are filmed here, the studios are most famous as home to sci fi sensation Dr Who. Real fans are sure to enjoy a trip to the Dr Who experience, which features multi sensory activities and a museum with props from the show’s history.