Cardiff's reputation as a good place for a night out dates back
to the 1840's when the crews of the ships loading coal in the Marquis
of Bute's new east dock flocked ashore to the pubs and dives of
Butetown. They were greeted with enthusiasm by the locals who soon
found they possessed a natural talent for parting sailors from their
money, a tradition that was to last for over a century. But the
docks are no more and the last drunks were thrown out of the Casablanca
and North Star Club donkey's years ago.
So where do
you go these days for a night on the razz as the locals say?
Leaving aside the city centre for a moment, you may like to consider
a stroll around some of the city's suburban pubs. There are a lot
of them still - and unlike the town centre pubs, many haven't been
tweaked and modernised to increase revenue - you can still find
strip lights, ripped vinyl seats and formica if you know where to
There are a few new pubs and sadly many, many that have called
'time' for ever - from the New Sea Lock in the Docks (Cardiff Bay)
via The Mitre in Llandaff to the Radyr Arms. Closed Pubs of Cardiff
are shown in Grey text.
The City Centre
is a popular destination for Hen and Stag nights and the catchment
area for Cardiff's city centre pubs and clubs covers the whole of
south Wales giving it a reputation for being lively especially on
If you're from outside the UK or Northern Europe, this can be
startling at first as, unlike their continental cousins, younger
brits do not believe in pacing themselves where alcohol is concerned
and will go all out to get drunk as quickly as possible.
When there are Rugby Matches on at the Millenium Stadium, the pubs
in the town centre are very busy but the atmosphere is
great. Cardiff is relatively small and the influx of thousands of
supporters for both home and away teams makes a noticeable difference.
The mood is always good humored even when Wales lose. ( Just as
well then! )
The partying and drinking culture tends to attract the most publicity
as it makes good copy for the media, but it can overshadow everything
else that goes on in town at night.
Less thirsty visitors will be glad to hear that alongside the bars
and clubs, there are also many great restaurants, cinemas, casinos
and top concert venues.
While often noisy and boisterous, a night out partying
in Cardiff is as safe as any big city, safer than most , and very
few vistors experience violence or crime.