The Rugby World Cup is set to kick off on September 18th, so with just a few weeks left to go Centurion is offering some help and advice on hotels, restaurants and nightlife within the areas of the UK picked to host the matches.
Eleven cities across England and Wales have been selected to host the Rugby World Cup 2015, and we've picked Cardiff as one of our chosen places of interest. Cardiff houses the Millennium Stadium, the second largest sports venue in the world with a capacity of 74,154.
If you're looking for places to stay, eat or go out, we've put together a short guide below to Cardiff, to help celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Saturday 19th September - Ireland v Canada - 14.30
Sunday 20th September - Wales v Uruguay - 14.30
Wednesday 23rd September - Australia v Fiji - 16.45
Thursday 1st October - Wales v Fiji - 16.45
Friday 2nd October - New Zealand v Georgia - 20.00
Sunday 11th October - France v Ireland - 16.45
Saturday 17th October - Quarter Finals - 20.00
Sunday 18th October - Quarter Finals - 13.00
Top places to stay
Cardiff is a large city, so if you're visiting to watch the World Cup, it is advisable to pick a hotel near to the Millennium Stadium itself, to cut down on travel time to and from the match. Below we've put together our pick of some of the more popular hotels within this area.
This luxury hotel is situated within the heart of the city centre with views of Cardiff Castle and City Hall. Located a stone's throw from the busy shopping area of Queen Street, and a few minute's walk from the night life on St Mary's Street, it provides the perfect location for a short stay. You can reach the Millennium Stadium on foot - its only a 2 minute walk away.
The Royal Hotel
Just a 2 minute walk from the Millennium Stadium, The Royal Hotel is the perfect choice for those on a budget. The hotel is set in a Grade II listed building, and some rooms boast views of the Millenium Stadium itself. The hotel is close to the city's shops and night life, but if you're feeling lazy, you can enjoy the en site Fitz's bar which offers a selection of light meals, snacks and cocktails made to order.
Holiday Inn, Cardiff
Situated between the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle, this hotel is a perfect base for visitors to the Rugby World Cup. The hotel is situated in a prominent location within the cirt centre, and offers free parking to guests. In addition, many rooms offer great views of the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Castle. Futhermore, the modern, comfortable lounge offers the perfect location for a drink or light snack before or after the match.
The Bunkhouse, Cardiff
Bunkhouse is the only hostel located in the centre of Cardiff and close to the Millenium Stadium, in fact, for a budget price you can even enjoy views of Cardiff Castle and Millenium Stadium. Rooms at Bunkhouse are sound-proofed ensuring guests get a great night sleep despite being amongst the hustle and bustle of city life. With the bus and train stations a short walk away, this hostel provides the perfect base for those looking for clean, cheap and central accommodation in Cardiff.
Top places to eat
There are so many places to eat in Cardiff, you'll be spoilt for choice. We've tried to make things a little easier for you by splitting the city up into areas. Take a look below at some of the most popular eating areas within the city, and close to the Millennium Stadium.
St David's Shopping Centre
Located in Cardiff City Centre, St David's Shopping Centre offers a full of a variety of restaurants and cafés, providing food to cater to all tastes. Some of our favourite restaurants include James Italian, Pizza Express, Wagamamas, Prezzo, Nandos and the Gourmet Burger Kitchen.
The Hayes is a bustling pedestrianised shopping thoroughfare in the heart of the city centre which is very popular both in the daytime and at night. To sample some of the very best cuisine, why not pop along to Giovannis Italian at 38, The Hayes or visit The Duke of Wellington pub at 42, The Hayes serving classic pub grub for all the family.
St Mary's Street
St Mary's Street is located in the Castle quarter of Cardiff city centre and home to a number of shops, restaurants, pubs and bars. Try the Yard Bar and Kitchen for a tasty selection of grilled meats and classic pub food - it's a great place to fill yourself up before a match! The Mia Porto Due located at 40, Mary Street offers a different experience to the norm, serving delicious classic portugese dishes at very good prices - great food and great service.
Mill Lane is another popular area of Cardiff City Centre equidistant from the Millennium stadium and the Motorpoint Arena it offers an excellent location for grabbing a bite to eat before a match or show. Las Iguanas located at 8, Mill Lane offers diners a proper dining experience, and is very popular with the locals with a selection of food from Latin America, India, Spain, Portugal and Africa. Or, the Parisien themed Cote's restaurant sports a friendly and informal atmosphere serving authentic classic brasserie dishes with a modern twist at great prices.
Top pubs and bars
Due to the loaction of the Millennium Stadium, you are never far away from a pub or bar, in fact, there is a choice of more than 70 bars within a quarter mile radius of the stadium as well as 23 bars within the Stadium itself - although you can't take alcohol back to your seat. Get to the Stadium early on match days to get into the most popular bars as there are usually queues forming outside before they are due to open!
The Prince of Wales
Part of the popular Wetherspoons chain of pubs, this drinking venue was formerly the Prince of Wales Theatre and offers a wide choice of drinks and ales at affordable prices. The highlight of your pre or post-match visit will be the chance to have a pint in what was formerly the royal box!
Located at 94, St Mary's Street, and previously mentioned above in our places to stay, the Bunkhouse is a hostel which sports a fantastically, quirky pub decked out in bunting, fairy lights and upside-down umbrellas that adorn the ceiling. The pub also houses a number of four poster beds used for sitting on or lying on - the choice is yours, and on match days, the owners limit the capacity to keep the atmosphere inside one of peace and tranquility.
The Full Moon
The newest live music venue on trendy Womanby Street is not to be missed. Soul, hip-hop, funk, ska, reggae, rock, blues and more is offered alongside an impressive drinks list of spirits and cocktails. Once a month, the Moon also plays host to ‘Ultimate Power’, a night of pure unadulterated, power-ballad glory.
The City Arms
Built in the 1800s, the City Arms located at 10-12 Quay Street was voted Cardiff’s best pub by CAMRA in 2012. Situated a stone’s throw from the Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Arms Park, this central pub is cherished by sports fans, students and professionals alike, offering a huge draught beer selection and a regularly changing selection of guest ales from welsh micro-breweries.
Next to the South Stand of the Millennium Stadium itself, is a tall building called the Millennium Plaza. Upstairs you will find “Jumpin Jaks" night club, which opens before and after the match. This bar is a hidden gem - whilst many others get crammed full with queues outside, this one remains relatively easy to get into and to get served in, but shhh, don't tell anyone!
Getting There & Away
Millennium Stadium plc
Vehicular access to the Millennium Stadium can be made by Gate 4 on Westgate Street in Cardiff's City Centre. Cardiff's location on the M4 corridor means that it is easily situated within two hours drive of London and the East Midlands.
Millennium Stadium is situated within five minutes walk of Cardiff Central Bus Station which is located next to Cardiff Central Railway Station. Passengers can access the Stadium by exiting the bus station and bearing left along Wood Street for Gates 5, 6 and 7 or by bearing right along Wood Street to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street.
Millennium Stadium is situated within five minutes walk of Cardiff Central Railway Station. Passengers can access the Stadium by leaving the station's main entrance on the Northern side and bearing left at the exit for Gates 5, 6 and 7 via Wood Street or by bearing straight ahead from the exit to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street.
Useful websites for further information on Cardiff: