The main train station of Cardiff is called Cardiff Central and is located south of the city centre. Considering that it is the main station of a capital, I found it very small, and unfortunately not very convenient. In the entrance hall, there are no chairs or benches at all, and neither are there any outside of the building, so waiting for a train here is not very nice. At least there are benches on the platforms, though, where you can also find the bathrooms. In the entrance hall there is a café and newsagent if you need refreshments or something to read.
There is another train station west of the city centre, called Queen Street, and Cathay train station in the north. Some trains stop there as well, so it is worth it to check which train station is closest to your accommodation. Most trains going to England or bigger cities and towns in Wales will only stop at Central, but regional trains might stop at the other ones, too, and this might save you a long walk or a taxi ride.
Trains in Wales are operated by Arriva Wales, and you can book online on the website of National Rail (see links below). I usually travelled by bus, but I took a train to Abergavenny and back, and also took a train from Penarth to Cardiff - I can't say anything negative about the trains I used, the conductors were very friendly, and the prices more expensive than in Germany, but still ok (£10,50 for a one way ticket to Abergavenny that I booked online a few weeks before the date I travelled on, £2,40 for a ticket from Penarth to Cardiff, bought on the train).
There are plenty of taxis at the train station, and the bus station is also very close.
Cardiff Central Station was improved a couple of years ago. The 1999 Rugby World Cup meant thousands of people arriving by train and walking the short distance to the new Millennium Stadium!
There are excellent train connections East, to Bristol, Oxford and London. London is only 2 hours away on a very smooth, reliable high-speed service (well, I mean 100 mph... ).
Trains to/from Birmingham and central England also run very regularly, but are slower, and take about 3 and half hours. The route through the Welsh borders is very beautiful, especially on a misty summer morning.
Swansea is only 55 minutes West. You pass the industrial landscape of South Wales on the way. Train services then continue West to Carmarthen, Haverfordwest, Pembroke and Tenby. This route is stunningly beautiful, passing along the Towy valley opposite Llanstephan Castle.
From Cardiff you can head North too, on the 'Valley Lines' to Merthyr Tydfil. In the Summer, regular tourist buses run on from there to Brecon and the Welsh mountains.
The rest of Wales is difficult to reach from Cardiff by public transport. To get to Aberystwyth, or North wales, you need to head back into England. However, the Central Wales line to Aberystwyth is also incredibly picturesque.
I arrived in Cardiff by train from Birmingham. There are frequent train services to and from most major cities in England and Wales.
London and Birmingham are only 2 hours away by InterCity. Most trains stop at Cardiff Central Station, which is located just in the centre of the city.
Cardiff has several train stations for local trains; they are: Queen Street Station, Cardiff Bay Station or Ninian Park Station.
To reach Cardiff from Bristol I used local train that took around one hour stopping at several stations along the way. The "train" consisted of a single-carriage diesel unit. Apparently, this was a regional service and there are some high-speed trains connecting Cardiff with London.
A standard one-way ticket between Bristol and Cardiff costed 8,20 GBP (Feb 2007). Railways in the Uk can be a bit confusing because there are numerous operators but the good thing is that they are all fare and time coordinated by the NationalRail.
The train for Cardiff leaves Paddington Station in London. The trip is only 147 miles and takes 2 hours 15 minutes.
When traveling in the UK for a couple of weeks it's worth the money to buy a Britrail Pass before leaving for the trip as it costs 50 GBP from London to Cardiff one way.
There is a single track railway that opened in 1911 and has survived closure many times. It was built when mining was at its peak, and is now still running throughout the day [except SUNDAYS] between Cardiff Central or Cardiff Bay and Coryton. It shuttles back and forwards all day long, and is very convenient for people living out in the suburbs.
The train runs twice per hour. It leaves Cardiff Central at 8 and 38 minutes past the hour. It stops at Cardiff Queen Street, Heath Low Level, Ty Glas, Birchgrove, Rhiwbina, Whitchurch and terminates at Coryton.
Cardiff Central is the main station in Cardiff. It has links to all parts of the country, and within Wales itself.
The service to London Paddington is good, and takes about 2-3 hours. On Sundays there is the longer route via Stroud and Gloucester.
No rail fares in UK are cheap, in fact the return fare to and from London- Cardiff is only £0.65 more than the single. It is always wiser to book a seat the day before to ensure getting a seat as frequently the train is full.
In December 2012, I travelled via Birmingham New Street Station from Leeds to Cardiff Central with Cross Country Trains. It cost me 66 gbp for an advance return (37 gbp outbound and 29 gbp inbound - booked in September 2012).
It took me approximately 4.5 hours in total including connections at Birmingham New Street Railway Station from Leeds. On my way down to Cardiff I missed my connection because of a train delay. I had to wait an hour at Birmingham New Street Station.
On my return visit in April 2013, I travelled from Birmingham New Street Station with Cross Country Trains to Cardiff Central which cost me 15 gbp (April 2013) and returned home, to Leeds, via Birmingham, which cost me 30.50 gbp (April 2013). The tickets were booked in advance.
To reach Cardiff Bay from the City Centre I travelled on a local service (Arriva Trains's Valley Lines) from Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay Stations. The journey only takes approximately five minutes. A day return cost me 2.10 gbp (December 2012).
The trains run approximately every 12-20 minutes. Please check the website for further information.
Fly into Cardiff International Airport
Train links are excellent
If travelling from another city in the UK jump on a national express coach
On Foot because you get to see more or maybe hire bicycles.
Public transport is very reliable with an abundance of buses and taxis
I travelled from Manchester to Cardiff by train, British Rail. It's a good alternative, British trains are very comfortable... If you are coming from London I advice you to do it by train too, it's a two-hours journey...
To move around we did not even need a map! This was great, when we got to Cardiff we went straight to the Information Centre and asked how to get to our Hotel...they let us know and we went...walking!!! It was a 5-minute walk from the train station...
You won't need a map, just go on walking and you will get to the place you want, there are lots of signs in the street, and the people are really eager to help you!!!
The Cardiff bay development is an attempt to bring the 'Barcelona effect' to the welsh coast. The derelict docks are being reborn as a travel and leisure development on a grand scale.
Unlike other cities wich may opt to silent sleek new trams to connect to their new developments in Cardiff they do things differently.
Welcome to the delights of a crappy welsh train trundling the one mile branch line from Cardiff Queen street (centre) to Cardiff bay in an amazing four minutes. Alight at the derelict remains of wales' oldest train station. 21st century here we come.
On the plus side you pay on the train and according to a local I talked to "They can never be A**sed to collect the fare, I have no idea how much it is"
Cardiff has some great Rail links with most of the UK. Cardiff Central is only a small station compared to the likes of Waterloo, and Manchester's Piccadilly
Cardiff's Main train station (Cardiff central) is in the heart of the City, located near the Millenium Stadium
We went to Cardiff by train. The station is Centrally located with the bus station outside and the Milleniun stadium 3 minutes away.