‘Do not go gently into that good night’ wrote Dylan Thomas, and he knew a thing or two about being Welsh and losing weekends to a drunken haze.
And the same can be said of Cardiff, where the nights are rarely gentle.
Forget the stereotypes – the male voiced choirs, the proliferation of sheep, and men wearing vegetables on their lapels – consign them to the bin marked ‘daft’ and find out ‘what’s occurring’ in our Cardiff Stag Do Ideas Guide.
Barely a weekend goes by when the city isn’t descended upon by hordes of stags, hens and assorted revellers looking for fun, sport and whatever kind of after-dark action tickles your particular palette.
So the question is, of course, where do you start? If you’re on stag do organising duty then you’ve got some planning to do. But fear not – because Iamthebestman is here to help like a great stag-do superhero. With diligent, and really rather enjoyable, research, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive Cardiff stag do ideas guide to everything that this wonderful city has to offer for every kind of stag party; from adrenaline-fuelled adventure to alcohol-fuelled pub crawls, there’s something here for all.
We can take the hassle out of your planning, if that’s what you need, with one of our Cardiff Stag Weekend packages, with everything arranged for you from the daily activities to access into pubs, clubs and lap dancing venues or casinos. Or if you just want some Cardiff stag do ideas in Wales’s capital city then take a look below.
Cardiff Stag Do Ideas: Where to Go Out
A 2014 poll among 18-30 year olds across Britain voted Cardiff as the best city for young people to live. Spend a night, or better still, a weekend in the Welsh capital and you’ll get a feeling why this might be the case as you read through our Cardiff stag do ideas.
A blend of historic and thoroughly modern, Cardiff has the lot. And, sandwiched between the natural boundaries of the sea and the hills, everything is close at hand; no endless tube rides here. This is a city chock-full of activities, top-class sporting, music and cultural venues, pubs, clubs and eateries – most of which are within walking distance or at the very least a short taxi ride. Basically, an ideal location for your grand farewell to the single life.
With three large universities (Cardiff Uni, Cardiff Met and South Wales Uni) located in and around the city, as well as a pretty diverse population in terms of age and culture, there are plenty of Cardiff stag do ideas for you to choose from.
The city’s main hot-spots can be split roughly into four areas. Three areas within the city centre itself:
- The Friary
- The West End (St Mary St – Mill Lane)
- The Castle Area
And then, just over a mile away (5 mins in a cab) at the waterfront, you have The Bay Area (Mermaid Quay).
Each area is packed with a variety of differing bars, clubs, pubs and places to eat, each with its own distinctive vibe and all just minutes away from the other; making for some interesting pub crawls on any well-crafted stag night!
Recent years have seen this area of the city blossom into a major party zone for students, young gadabouts spending their weekly coin making it a good venue for Cardiff stag do ideas.
The area is a bit of a mix with some of the bars erring towards the trendy, with perhaps less tolerance for those stags in their Tellytubbies outfits!
But if you’re looking for some quality venues to sup your Jagerbombs then this part of town can fit the bill. Central to the area and the place many a Cardiff stag do will de-camp is Tiger Tiger. Self-styled as the party venue in Cardiff this is a club on a grand scale and liable to be the focal point for your night out. Located in the heart of the Friary on Greyfriar’s Road it boasts seven different themes rooms and other gathering points for groups large or small making it a staple for Cardiff stag do ideas. Whether you want to join the throng of revellers or indulge in a bit of privacy with your own VIP area – even your own karaoke booth – then the options are generally there for you. Be warned though, the place can get mega busy on weekends. It’s open until 3am with FREE entry before 10pm (£5 thereafter).
For Cardiff stag do ideas involving live music then consider the Live Lounge. The venue is another popular, and frequently packed, stop-off point on a night out with live music performed every night of the week and the chance to groove into the wee hours with a 4am closing time.
For those seeking the clubbing scene then you’ve got Pryzm. A new clubbing experience in the city it boasts three different zones from the chic to out and out dance, as well as VIP lounges. Catering to the stag do and hen crowd they also offer packages from £10 per head on groups of 8 or more making this one of the more affordable Cardiff stag do ideas. Alternately there’s Glam, set over two levels this is a club for the dance scene revellers (on Saturday’s in particular) with some reasonably classy house and guest DJs. It’s one of the current popular spots for students, whether that’s a good thing for you or not is entirely your call!
Cardiff’s West End
This is the heartbeat, the central hub of Cardiff’s night time partying. The part of Cardiff to which The Valley’s (if you ever seen the MTV show – it’s ok, you can admit it here!) descend on a Friday or Saturday night out. It may be more popular for hens but one of the Cardiff stag do ideas to emerge in recent times is a Valleys themed night. Either that or dress in Vincent Tan stag outfits!
Along the mainly pedestrianized St Mary St, into the Brewery Quarter and the café quarter of Mill Lane you’ll find pretty much everything you need to cater to the tastes of everyone on your Cardiff stag do. Yes, even the teetotallers!
The area is pretty much designed for Cardiff stag weekends, hen parties, students and twenty-somethings with most Saturday’s seeing the area become a swaying sea of party goers, wandering, singing and often staggering between the bars, clubs and takeaways.
Now, whilst the area can get a little wild it should be noted that it does boast a reasonable mix of different venues. There’s the customary Wetherspoons pub, the Prince of Wales, on the corner of St Mary St and Wood St. An interesting venue this large old building has, at various times been a theatre, nightclub, retail outlet and, perhaps most famously a cinema of the very adult variety. To be honest, there are plenty of nearby options from which we’d suggest starting the evening’s proceedings.
Across the road you’ll find yourself in the Brewery Quarter, so named for its connection to the brewery of local ale purveyors SA Brain. It’s something of a purpose built meeting point for Cardiff night’s out and home to standard chain restaurants like Nando’s and Chiquitos. At the front is The Yard, a Brains pub that serves the local brew and fairly decent pub grub. St Mary St is largely dominated by brand pubs and party venues, such as Walkabout, O’Neills and 80s theme bar Reflex. However one of the Cardiff stag do ideas put forward by previous groups is to sample something a bit more traditional get off the beaten track and head along some of the side streets to old Brains pubs such as the City Arms on Quay St. This is your classic old boozer, steeped in Cardiff history and a bustling favourite for locals and visitors – especially on rugby match days.
At the lower end of the city you can find Mill Lane – an area re-invented in recent years as a café quarter, with lines of bars and cafes running from the bottom of St Mary St up to the Hayes. Popular with the after-work crowd and a good place to sit with a cold beer on a sunny afternoon (yes, the sun does sometimes shine in Cardiff!).
Now, we can’t talk about Cardiff stag do ideas without giving mention to the (in)famous CHIP ALLEY. Otherwise known as Caroline St, this narrow lane is a place of local legend; the row of chippies that stay open into the very small hours to feed the considerable munchies of the drunken masses. A congregation of staggering, slurring post-party people lining up for their Doner Kebabs and Chicken Curry half’n’half (half rice, half chips – obviously).
The Castle Area
You’ll know which area the castle area is on account of the great big castle which resides there.
It’s a smaller zone of bars and restaurants that starts in the shadow of the castle walls. On Castle St itself you’ll come across Revolution, a UK chain bar/club, popular with students and a younger crowd and based around its selection of vodkas. For the more traditional, local vibe you’ve got the Old Arcade (along the lines of the City Arms) and the Owain Glyndwr, one of the oldest pubs in the city. For live music there’s usually something decent going on at Ten Feet Tall and adjoining club Undertone. Now it would be remiss of us in a Cardiff stag do ideas guide not to mention doing something Welsh! So, if you really want to get in with the Welshies then there’s Clwb Ifor Bach which remains very Welsh and proud of it – it also happens to be one of the coolest venues for touring bands.
The Bay (Mermaid Quay)
An area of major redevelopment over the past fifteen years, Mermaid Quay is now a thriving and hugely popular leisure and entertainment spot in Cardiff. A short ride by taxi or bus (mere minutes!) takes you to the waterfront and a range of bars, clubs, restaurants and other sources of entertainment and culture.
It’s a different feel to the throb of the city centre, appealing to a broader audience, but the Quay is a decent a great place to while away an afternoon or evening as you hit the Peroni’s or the Brains SA and take in the view. As Cardiff stag do ideas go we’d suggest it as a place for day time drinks rather than the end goal.
On the waterfront itself you’ve got the large Brains pub Terra Nova; a cool pub with a distinctive triangular shape it tends to attract a slightly older crowd and gets busy on the weekends, particularly during the summer months when the Bay’s popularity is at its peak. Directly across the way is Salt, which is basically an accompanying venue to Terra Nova offering Al Fresco dining and a good cocktail menu, if that’s your thing.
Cardiff Stag Do Ideas: Daytime & Nightime Activities
It’s not all about the boozing you know. Frankly, there’s a huge amount on offer for any kind of stag do you wish to have from the traditional to the distinctly Welsh.
One of the best Cardiff stag do ideas is watching a rugby game. Or even just being in the city when there’s one on. The Millennium Stadium is one of the premier stadiums in the UK and, located almost improbably between the buildings in the very heart of the city centre it makes for an extremely lively atmosphere come match days. Because, frankly, nothing brings Cardiff to life more than a Wales home rugby match. All roads lead to the stadium and all bars are fit to burst as traffic is stopped and the city becomes a sea of red, a swill of Brains Bitter and Guinness and awash to the sound of badly tuned but delightfully harmonised renditions of Delilah. For a unique sporting occasion, one of our top Cardiff stag do ideas is to ensure you coincide the bash with an International weekend to create some pretty distinctive memories.
And if there’s no game on then another one of the good Cardiff stag ideas is to book for a stadium tour to see behind the scenes at the venue that’s hosted everything from a World Cup Final to the Rolling Stones.
Rafting & Surfing
You don’t need to travel too far out of the city for white water rafting or a surfing session. In fact, you don’t have to travel out of the city at all making this one of the unique Cardiff stag do ideas. The International White Water Centre is located in Cardiff Bay with its man-made rafting course offering a chance for some adrenaline thrills and a superb laugh among all in the party. It also has an indoor surfing pool for those looking to work up a thirst and ‘hang ten’ (if you’ve haven’t guessed – I’m not a surfer dude).
There’s a whole lotta golf to be enjoyed in and around Cardiff. With a number of excellent courses within the city – Whitchurch, Cardiff, Radyr and Creigau in particular – as well as the Vale of Glamorgan resort a few miles along the M4 golf makes for one of the dependable Cardiff stag do ideas. And, a mere twenty minutes away by car is the Celtic Manor Resort; host to the 2010 Ryder Cup and annual venue for the Welsh Open (and an Ant & Dec celebrity golf event!) this should be on any golf lovers ‘to play list’.
Doctor Who Experience
Ok, so it’s not going to be for everyone, but for one of the more unusual Cardiff stag do ideas then then why not spend some time with Cardiff’s resident Timelord at the Doctor Who Experience.
Always a favourite, and one of the staple Cardiff stag do ideas, you can get your paintball fix in Cardiff with Delta Force in Pentyrch providing the closest venue to the city centre. Offering six different war games this is always popular for those stags wanting to get nicely bruised before the night begins.
Coasteering / Canyoning
Cardiff is somewhat blessed by location in that it’s just a short distance away from some fairly spectacular and rugged coastline in one direction and inland waterways, mountains and forestry in the other. It means that, for the real adventurers among you, one of the recommended Cardiff stag do ideas is to go yomping through cold water, scrambling over rocks and jumping off cliffs and stunning waterfalls. If you like that sort of thing. To be perfectly honest, this particular author didn’t think he’d fancy it at all. Until he tried it and found it to be – as they say around these parts – epic.
A relatively new fad but rising in popularity as one of the favourite Cardiff stag do ideas is zorb football. This is basically a chance to play football whilst your top half is encased in a massive bubble. A few chances exist for this within Cardiff – including an outdoor match at Powerleagues in North Cardiff or indoors at the Cardiff City run House of Sport in Canton.
Horse Racing at Chepstow
Ok, strictly speaking this might not be classed as one of the Cardiff stag ideas as you’ll need to head out to Chepstow Races, about 40 minutes away. But if you’re basing yourself in the capital then organising a trip to the races can always be a winner on a stag do (unless you lose). Chepstow hold meetings throughout the year both on the flat and over the fences.
If your stag do requires a visit to a lap dancing venue, and let’s face it, many do – then a Cardiff stag do can accommodate. There are three clubs within the city centre, all within the hub of your main night time hot spots. The oldest club in town is the Fantasy Lounge on St Mary St, with The Playhouse, just along the street, a more recent addition. For Your Eyes Only on Church Street makes up the triumvirate and, as you might imagine, all cater to the somewhat lucrative stag crowd.
And Finally…Your own Welsh Phrase Guide.
Remember, when you cross the Severn Bridge you’re entering a foreign land (of a sort) and the final one in our series of Cardiff stag do ideas is to have a few key phrases to hand that’ll help you along the way. And don’t be giving it all that Iechyd Da (Yakky Dah) stuff – that won’t wash.
S’appenin bra How are you?
Tidy Darts Great
Epic Really Great
Lush Absolutely Amazing
Now in a minute Soon
Boggin’ Not very nice
Where to? Where?
Tampin’ Very Annoyed
Half’n’Half Curry with chips and rice