Gay Cardiff

Emergency measures in the wake of Covid-19:

As of March 20th, all UK restaurants/ food and drink venues, pubs, bars and clubs, cinemas, theatres, concert and bingo halls, spas, indoor leisure and gyms, casinos, betting shops, museums and galleries were temporarily closed. Restaurants were allowed to sell takeaway food and drinks.

On March 23rd Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an Italian-style lockdown, with people allowed to leave home only for essentials: shopping for necessities; once a day exercise - running or cycling, alone or with household members; medical or care needs; work, but only those who cannot work from home. Meeting friends, shopping for non-essentials, and gathering in crowds are also banned.

All shops selling non-essential goods were forced to close, as were libraries, outdoor gyms and playgrounds, churches or other places of worship. Public gatherings of more than two people were banned.

All international passengers must provide contact and accommodation information and required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

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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. Other Summertime events include the Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival, and the Cardiff Harbour Festival.

 

Getting here

Cardiff International Airport is about 19 miles from downtown. The collapse of Flybe in March 2020 affected many flights in and out of the airport, but many Air France/KLM, Delta, Ryanair, TUI, and Vueling flights are still scheduled. 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 departing 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.

Getting around

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 general tourist information see the website Visit Cardiff.  For useful listings of sports (Rugby is a local passion), entertainment events, and dining options, see WalesOnline and Wales.com

For a city map with locations and website links to local businesses, see our gay Cardiff listings pages.

 

Accommodations

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), LGBT 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.

 

Going out

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, student nights; Dreamboys muscle, magic and mayhem every Saturday.

Wow Bar (4 Churchill Way), daily from 9am, hot & cold food and drinks, Sunday roasts, 4pm-8pm drinks specials, live music, karaoke, drag entertainment and DJs every night; Saturday basement dancing and special events.

CLOSED: Bar Icon (60 Charles St), mixed-crowd gay bar, two levels, seven nights 'til 4am dance club.

See two dozen restaurant suggestions at our map & listings pages.

 

Sauna

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.

 

For more UK cities see: Birmingham, Blackpool, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester in England, plus Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Belfast, Northern Ireland.

- Staff 2020