The capital and most important city of Wales, Cardiff is home to the Welsh National Assembly. Once a coal-exporting center, downtown Cardiff Bay is now in the midst of a modern transformation, full of youthful energy, with a hub of restaurants and nightlife. But history buffs won’t be disappointed, as there are plenty of centuries-old sights, including the unusual Cardiff Castle that began as a Roman garrison site in 44 AD.
The gay scene in Cardiff is fun and frisky. Many of the bars, restaurants and the gay sauna are close to one another, on or around Charles Street, St David's Centre and Churchill Way. The main event of the season, and one of the biggest gay events in the United Kingdom, is the Pride Cymru Festival at Coopers Field, a sprawling party in August. The Cardiff Festival from June through September includes the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival, and the Cardiff Harbour Festival.
Cardiff International Airport is about 19 mils from downtown. There are direct flights from London, Dublin, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Orlando, among other cities. Buses and trains will get you to the center in a snap.
Trains arrive at Cardiff Central from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports by way of London Paddington Station, or from Manchester on Arriva Wales by way of Manchester Piccadilly Station. National Express coaches can get you here from most anyway in the UK, and Eurolines has connections from almost all other European cities.
Cardiff is a walkable city. Buses from Cardiff Bus will get you to the more far-flung sights. Bay Island Voyages offers trips out on the waters of Cardiff Bay for cruises, and one to two-hour coastal explorations.
Media & Resources
Visit Wales has an online Out & About article on gay Cardiff, with bars, clubs, hotels, and other listings. Attitude and Gay Times are national UK gay papers with local coverage and listings for Cardiff.
For a city map with locations and website links to local businesses, see our gay Cardiff listings pages.
Church Guesthouse (109 Cathedral Rd; 44 29-2034-0881), Victorian townhouse on quiet tree-lined street, walk to Castle and downtown, traditional full breakfast, WiFi.
Ty Rosa (118 Clive St; 44 845-643-9962), GLBT B&B, straight-friendly, Welsh hospitality, big gourmet breakfasts, optional dinners, cozy common lounge, garden Wi-Fi, free parking.
See more hotels & guesthouses at our map & listings pages.
Bar Icon (60 Charles St), mixed-crowd gay bar on two levels, open seven nights 'til 4am, home-style food noon to 4pm, jukebox, free Wi-Fi, warm-up cocktail lounge before dance club.
Eagle Cardiff (39 Charles St, basement), men's club open nightly 5pm-3am, weekends 5am; levi/leather and bears' nights, theme nights, Monday karaoke, male strippers.
Golden Cross (283 Hayes Bridge Rd), friendly neighborhood pub, cabaret shows, bingo, karoake, games, live music ansd comedy, DJ camp classics, home-style food, some of the UK’s top male strippers.
Kings (10 Churchill Way), open nightly, weekend warm-up bar for Pulse, karaoke, bingo, diva MCs.
Minsky's Show Bar (St David's Centre, Cathedral Walk), traditional pub, cheap drinks and food, theme nights, weekend diva comedy drag cabaret shows.
Pulse (3 Churchill Way), daytime bar and restaurant, full meals, burgers and snacks; popular nightspot gay/straight-friendly dance and video club, mixed men/women crowd, karaoke, foam parties,
Wow Bar (4 Churchill Way), daily from 9am, hot & cold food and drinks, 4pm-8pm drinks specials, live music, drag entertainment and DJs every night.
Wow Club (4 Churchill Way, basement), Friday/Saturday basement nightclub dancing, DJs, drag diva MCs, special events.
Wow Deli (6 Churchill Way), open daily 8am-6pm, except Sundays noon-4pm; hot/cold deli food, sandwiches, burgers, curries, coffee espresso bar.
See two dozen restaurant suggestions at our map & listings pages.
Eagle 50 (50 Charles St), 4-floor men's dry and steam sauna facilities, newly renovated; Jacuzzi, dark room, maze, glory holes, cabins, 2 cinema rooms, cafe/ TV lounge with free internet. Formerly Locker Room.