February means one thing for Rugby Fans in the UK – the start of the Six Nations Championship.
Every year, Europe’s six most powerful Rugby playing Nations play each other to discover who is best over 80-minutes of big hits, pacy runs and thunderous scrums.
Along the way, historical scores are settled and ancient rivalries reignited with national pride running at fever pitch.
With hotels in Cardiff and Edinburgh, two host venue cities for the 2016 Six Nations Championship, Sleeperz Hotels is an ideal choice for fans looking for convenient quality accommodation and a good night’s sleep.
Here is our essential Rugby Fan’s Guide to Cardiff
The Principality Stadium – formerly the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Wales, surely one of the proudest of Rugby nations, plays its matches at The Principality Stadium in the centre of Cardiff – less than five minutes’ walk from Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff.
With seating for 74,500, The Principality Stadium is one of the world’s truly great Rugby venues. It is also the second largest football stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof.
Photo – David Roberts
Sleeperz Cardiff is one of the nearest hotels to the Principality Stadium.
Wales used to play at the historic Cardiff Arms Park, which still stands next door and is home to The Cardiff Rugby Football Club.
The stadium is on Westgate Street, situated near major Cardiff attractions such as Cardiff Castle and The Motorpoint Arena. The stadium overlooks the River Taff.
Photo – Ben Salter
Getting to Cardiff
Cardiff Central is the nearest rail station to the Stadium and operates mainline services from West Wales, the Midlands, the South Coast and London.
Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff is the nearest hotel to Cardiff Station.
Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff in view left near Central Station
Cardiff Queen Street Station is a 15 minute walk to the east of the Stadium and offers local rail services across Cardiff and from the South Wales Valleys.
People usually have to queue at Cardiff Central Station after matches so please check the Arriva Trains website before travelling for further information.
When arriving from Cardiff Central station passengers should bear left along Wood Street for Principality Stadium Gates 5, 6 and 7 or bear right along Wood Street to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street.
You can travel to Cardiff by coach from most UK cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. There are also with regular buses services between most town/cities in Wales if you staying outside of Cardiff.
Cardiff Central Bus Station is a five minute walk from the stadium, passengers exit the bus station and bear left along Wood Street for Gates 5, 6 and 7 or bear right along Wood Street to Westgate Street for Gates 4, 3, 2 continuing around to Gate 1 on Castle Street.
Coach parking on event days is usually located at Sophia Gardens which is just a five minute walk away, following the river.
Principality Stadium is located within 30 minutes’ drive of Cardiff Airport and 45 minutes’ drive of Bristol Airport. An express bus service (T9) operates directly from the terminal to the City Centre.
A short shuttle bus journey connects the Airport to the train station at Rhoose, which is a 30-minute rail journey to Cardiff Central Station.
Best for Pre-Match Beers
Nothing goes with Rugby quite like a pint, or several, of beer.
These are our top Cardiff pubs for watching the Rugby or having pre-match beers before heading to the Stadium.
The Old Arcade
Locals call this Cardiff’s ultimate Rugby pub. On match day it’s heaving but what makes it so special is all the International and Club memorabilia that adorn its walls.
It was all kindly donated by the Welsh Rugby Union and makes the pub feel like a holy place for Welsh Rugby lovers.
Image – We Are Cardiff
There’s even a timeline of Welsh Rugby history from 1881 to the present day and press clippings galore.
You can even get your picture up on its ‘Wall of Fame,’ by walking in with a Welsh jersey on and buying a pint.
They’ll take your picture and put you on the wall, this has to be your first stop-off when coming to Cardiff for a rugby weekend.
14 Church Street, Cardiff CF10 1BG, 029 2021 7999, www.sabrain.com/oldarcade
The City Arms Cardiff
One of Cardiff’s oldest and most celebrated pubs, The City Arms was built in the 1880’s, the same decade as the iconic Welsh Brewery Brains was founded.
It’s a beer lover’s paradise where staff are trained in every aspect of sourcing, storing and serving delicious real ales and ciders. Voted Cardiff’s Pub of the Year in 2012 and Highly Commended in 2013 and 2014, it’s one of the best pubs close to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
10-12 Quay St, Cardiff, CF10 1EA, Tel: 029 2064 1913, www.thecityarmscardiff.com
The Goat Major
A classic small cask ale house located directly across from Cardiff Castle, The Goat Major is packed with character, history and quality ales.
There has been a pub on this site since 1830 but it changed its name to The Goat Major in 1995 to celebrate its links to the Royal Regiment of Wales.
Image – Creative Commons DncnH
As well as being a short walk from Principality Stadium, it serves a menu consisting entirely of pies. What full-blooded Rugby fan wouldn’t like pie and a pint before heading to the ground.
High Street, Cardiff, CF10 1PU, Tel: 029 20337161, www.sabrain.com/goatmajor
Street Food and Big Screens at The Depot
If you’ve come to Cardiff for the weekend but couldn’t get a ticket for a 2016 Six Nations match, you’re in luck.
The Depot Cardiff is a warehouse that is home to the Cardiff Street Food extravaganza and will be showing the 2016 Six Nations on 15 foot screens for up to 1,000 Rugby Fans, and best of it’s all it’s free entry.
While you’re there you can enjoy scrumptious street food from pop-up traders making everything from burgers to pizza, falafel, burritos and fried chicken. There’s also great craft ales, German Steins, Margaritas and premium gin cocktails to choose from.
Depot is a truly rocking place to watch Rugby.
Construction House, Dumballs Road, Cardiff, CF10 5FE, Tel: 02920 34 11 99
Full fixture list for 2016 Six Nations Matches
Saturday 6th February 2016
France v Italy at Stade de France, Paris 2:25pm (GMT)
Scotland v England at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh 4:50pm
Sunday 7th February 2016
Ireland v Wales at Aviva Stadium, Dublin 3:00pm
Saturday 13th February 2016
France v Ireland at Stade de France, Paris 2:25pm (GMT)
Wales v Scotland at Principality Stadium, Cardiff 4:50pm
Sunday 14th February 2016
Italy v England at Stadio Olimpico, Rome 2:00pm (GMT)
Friday 26th February 2016
Wales v France at Principality Stadium, Cardiff 8:05pm
Saturday 27th February 2016
Italy v Scotland at Stadio Olimpico, Rome 2:25pm (GMT)
England v Ireland at Twickenham Stadium, London 4:50pm
Saturday 12th March 2016
Ireland v Italy at Aviva Stadium, Dublin 1:30pm
England v Wales at Twickenham Stadium, London 4:00pm
Sunday 13th March 2016
Scotland v France at BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh 3:00pm
Saturday 19th March 2016
Wales v Italy at Principality Stadium, Cardiff 2:30pm
Ireland v Scotland at Aviva Stadium, Dublin 5:00pm
France v England at Stade de France, Paris 8:00pm (GMT)
Stay at Sleeperz Cardiff for Rugby Weekends
To make the most of your Rugby weekend in Cardiff, it’s best to stay overnight and spend as much time as possible in the city centre soaking up the atmosphere.
Sleeperz Hotel Cardiff is a funky budget hotel less than a minutes’ walk from Cardiff Rail Station and only five minutes from the Principality Stadium.
There are 74 stylish rooms featuring en-suite bathroom pods, bespoke beds and mattresses, fast free wi-fi and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.
With a choice of cooked or continental breakfast, there are few cooler and better value places to stay in Cardiff.
Even better, book direct at www.sleeperz.com and you’ll receive £5 to spend on food and drink in the hotel.