Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd) is the capital of Wales in the United Kingdom and is on the south coast of the country. Though it had a reputation of being an industrial city, Cardiff has changed dramatically in recent decades. It is now a lively and modern capital city, gaining popularity with tourists interested in its history and Welsh culture. It is quickly becoming one of the United Kingdom's tourism hot spots. Summer is by far the best time to visit as the city hosts large festivals with al fresco dining and drinking becoming ever more popular due to large areas of pedestrianisation. The city centre has seen huge development over the last decade and is now considered to be one of the top ten shopping destinations in the United Kingdom. Cardiff is a very green city, having the most green space per person in the UK, and this is complimented by Bute Park which sits in the heart of the city. It has a reputation as a city of castles, having 5 different castles within its surroundings. The city's core population stands at roughly 341,000, with 861,000 living in the larger urban area.
Cardiff is on the south coast of the south Wales plain, with a shoreline on the Bristol Channel. It lies at the mouth of three rivers: the Taff, the Ely and the Rhymney, with the Taff flowing through the city centre and all three reaching the sea at Cardiff Bay. Cardiff is quite a flat city, a characteristic that helped it become one of the world's leading ports for the transport of coal from the rugged south Wales Valleys.
Around 12% of the residents of Cardiff speak Welsh, and all public signs in the city are in both Welsh and English. However, as elsewhere in Wales, English is universally understood. Read more