It’s happening! The Bluebirds are back in the Premier League, returning to top-flight matches for the first time since 2014.
And while the boys in blue are off to Bournemouth this Saturday, we’re excited to see them play their first home match next weekend (18 August) as Newcastle Utd. step out onto the Cardiff City Stadium pitch.
Predictions might be mixed for the Bluebirds, but we’re still backing Neil Warnock and his boys to ruffle a few feathers in the league.
The manager isn’t letting any negative press dampen the spirits of his team:“We were 33-1 this year to get in the play-offs, let alone win promotion”, he’s said of Cardiff’s chances, “So we’re going to enjoy it. We know we’re up against it”.
Here at the Exchange Hotel Cardiff, we can’t wait to see what the new season will offer the Bluebirds.
But a football match isn’t all about those 90 minutes – make a day out of the game and follow our guide for a football-themed adventure in the Welsh capital…
Take your seat in the Ninian Stand
One of the best things about being a Cardiff City FC fan is that tickets are still relatively affordable to watch your heroes play the beautiful game. With adult tickets starting from £29, the promotion of the team to the Premier League gives a chance to see some top quality football without a Premier League price tag.
September looks set to be a great month to get down to the stadium with matches against Arsenal on 2 September and Man City on 22 September – let’s just hope the boys in blue can give us a game to remember!
Or watch it from the comfort of a bar
If you prefer to watch a game with a pint in hand and a comfortable seat underneath you, there’s plenty of spots around the city that will be showing the Bluebird matches this season.
The newly reopened Pontcanna Inn is showing all the Cardiff City matches and will be serving local beers including Tiny Rebel’s Cwtch and the Vale of Glamorgan’s South Island from its freshly refurbished bar.
For a more traditional sports bar, head to the Old Arcade on Church Street which shows all the latest fixtures and serves up some great food alongside the match-day action.
Grab a pre-match pint at a Blue’s pub
If you’re heading to the stadium, a trip to watch the football isn’t complete without a pre-match pint at a popular Bluebird haunt.
Luckily, in Cardiff we’ve got loads of pubs to choose from.
Some of the best blue blue boozers are located around the old Ninian Park area, but they’re still only a 15-minute walk away from the new Cardiff City Stadium.
Try The Cornwall, on Cornwall Street, for traditional grub and a pint of Cardiff’s very own Brains.
For a bit of Welsh history, head across the railway lines to Canton’s oldest pub, the Canton Cross Vaults.
Alongside being an old coach house, this old boozer also has links to the city’s football heritage. The son of the landlord is Curtis McDonald, a Chippenham town midfielder who started his career with the Bluebirds in 2006.
And if neither of them takes your fancy, take a walk around the area next to the stadium – you’re sure to find a pub around every corner filled with pre-match nerves and plenty of ever-accommodating Cardiff hospitality.
Take a behind the scenes tour of the stadium
Cardiff City FC Foundation runs regular stadium tours of the Bluebirds’ home, so you can get a behind the scenes look at what gets a team promoted to the Premier League.
From pitch-side walks to discovering the dug-outs, as well as peeking inside the changing rooms, you’ll get an in-depth exploration of the stadium which seats just over 33,000 people.
Pay your respects to a bluebirds’ legend
Outside Cardiff city stadium, you’ll be able to spot a statue of one of the club’s greatest ever players, Fred Keenor.
This titan of the Welsh team helped lead the Bluebirds to FA Cup victory in 1927 after they’d won promotion to the First Division just one season after joining the football league in 1920.
Keenor started playing for Cardiff City in 1912 but his career was interrupted by the first world war. He joined the 17th (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment.
After the war, Keenor defied the odds by re-taking his place on the team, as a shrapnel wound inflicted during the Battle of the Somme created doubts about whether he would ever play football again.
The Welsh footballer earned 32 caps for the national team and played for Cardiff City until 1931. When the side defeated Arsenal in the FA Cup final of 1927, Keenor was club captain.
On your way to the stadium, why not take a walk along Ffordd Fred Keenor? The road was named after the legendary footballer following a petition to Cardiff Civic Authorities.
Visit the place where it all began
Head out to Sophia Gardens, on the west bank of the River Taff, to experience where the history of Cardiff City FC all began.
The club played on the recreational grounds here from 1899 until 1910, before moving to a newly built stadium at Ninian Park.
Today, Sophia Gardens is famous for its cricket grounds, which are home to the Glamorgan County Cricket Club. But you can enjoy the adjacent public green spaces of Pontcanna Fields and Bute Park and have a kick-around in the home of Cardiff’s football team.
Grab some grub at the best restaurants in the city
If you’re a foodie as well as a football fanatic, why not check out our guide to the best places to eat in Cardiff?
Our favourites include Got Beef for succulent burgers that mean business – try the Welsh Buck for a taste of their secret burger sauce – and The Stable on House Bridge Street for delicious pizzas topped with locally sourced ingredients.
Celebrate a victory with a night out
If the Bluebirds come away with a victory, you’re sure to want to head out into the city for a celebratory drink (or two).
Our guide to the top bars in Cardiff is a helpful list of where you’ll find the best places to enjoy a beer or discover cocktail hotspots in the Welsh capital.
We recommend Crafty Devil’s Cellar for beer connoisseurs and the sophisticated Dead Canary for exotic cocktail concoctions.
Stay at The Exchange Hotel
If you’re heading to Cardiff to watch the boys in blue play, why not make a weekend of it and book a stay at the luxury Exchange Hotel in the city centre?
Just a 10-minute taxi ride away from the stadium, or a 30-minute walk, it’s the perfect place to rest your head after an exciting match day.
If you’re staying the night before the match, fuel up for the day ahead with a hearty welsh breakfast from R.P Culleys & Co., or grab a pre-match pint at the bar where you’re sure to find some other football fanatics preparing to head to the stadium.
And don’t worry about getting a good night’s sleep: our luxurious suites include comfortable double beds and spectacular amenities including spa baths, flat screen TVs and walk-in showers.
Why not check out some of our offers and see if we can accommodate everything you want from a weekend away in Cardiff?
Call our friendly team today on 02920 107050 or visit our website to book now.