In Welsh, Cardiff is called Caerdydd, which means ‘Fort on the Taff’. It’s fitting, as the River Taff flows through the centre of the city. The name probably originated in 75AD when the Roman’s built a fort here.
As a costal settlement, Cardiff was raided by Viking warriors in the 9th century, and they stayed and used the port as a base for their raids into Ireland and the rest of the UK. When the Norman’s conquered in 1066, they quickly made their way along the South Wales’ coast and built the first castle at Cardiff in 1081. Around the castle, a thriving town soon built up that served as an important centre for trade during the medieval period. Town walls were constructed in the 12th century, and several centuries of skirmishes between the Welsh and Normans followed until the Welsh rebel hero Owain Glyndwr captured the castle in 1404.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Cardiff became the country town of Glamorgan under the Act of Union in 1536, and the first shipment of coal left Cardiff docks in 1595. Within two centuries, Cardiff was at the heart of the Welsh coal industry. Having received a royal charter from James I, Cardiff continued to grow, and the docks were the primary focus. The English Civil War (1642-1651) brought more bloodshed, and the Battle of St Fagans saw 8,000 Royalists defeated by 3,000 Parliamentarians. The site is now part of The Welsh National Museum of History, which is well worth a visit.
In 1766 John Stuart, Marquess of Bute, married into the important landowning Herbert family, and his descendants were instrumental in Cardiff’s history. His son, John Crichton-Stuart, the 2nd Marquess of Bute, is known as the creator of modern Cardiff and is best remembered. Chrichton-Stuart commissioned the West Bute Dock, which opened in 1839. Soon after, the railways came, which allowed for the easy transport of Welsh coal. The Coal Exchange, recently renovated and now a luxury hotel, opened in the docks in 1886, and it was here that Welsh coal was auctioned before being shipped across the globe. The Queen Alexandra Dock opened in 1907, and in 1913, 107 million tonnes of coal shipped from the docks.
The wealth of the city was reflected in the design and construction of the university, museum and civic buildings, all of which can be visited today. The docks fell into decline during the later 20th century, but have been redeveloped into a wonderfully vibrant quarter with attractions such as the Millennium Centre and The Senydd (Welsh Parliament) at its heart.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.