Cardiff is located in South Wales and is about two hours by train from London Paddington. You can also get the train to Cardiff from Bristol, a journey that takes about an hour. Cardiff first became the Welsh capital in 1955 and the city has recently undergone an extensive regeneration project. One of the most transformed areas is the modernised waterfront area, Cardiff Bay, which features a variety of bars, restaurants and pavement cafes for alfresco dining in summer.


How to find cheap train tickets to Cardiff

Good news – there are a handful of tactics for getting cheap train tickets to Cardiff. Whether you’re taking to the rails for leisure or business, we’ll share our handy tips for saving money when booking your tickets.

Our top tips for finding cheap train tickets to Cardiff:

  • Get a Railcard: Save up to 1/3 for a whole year
  • Book tickets to Cardiff in advance: Transport for Wales, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry usually release tickets 12 weeks in advance
  • Travel Off-Peak: Tickets are usually cheaper during quieter times on weekdays and weekends
  • Use GroupSave: If you're travelling in a group of 3-9 people you could save 34%

1. Get a Railcard

The first thing you’ll want to do is grab a Railcard. On most train journeys, you’ll be able to use your it for a discount of up to 1/3*. Head over to our Railcards page for an overview of the different types available, as well as prices for each one.

2. Book tickets to Cardiff in advance

If you know the exact date on which you’ll be heading to the Welsh capital, then purchasing an Advance ticket is one of the best ways to get organised and secure a lower price for your train tickets to Cardiff. These tickets typically go on sale 12 weeks in Advance, and by signing up to our Ticket alerts tool, you’ll be able to receive emails as soon as tickets go on sale for your preferred route.

If you’d like more details, check out our Advance train tickets page.

3. Travel during Off-Peak times

The cheapest train tickets to Cardiff often require you to travel during Off-Peak times. As trains are less busy at these times, Off-Peak tickets are usually cheaper – when you search for tickets with us, we’ll often highlight Off-Peak times to help you save money. The best part is that you can combine the above methods – book an Advance ticket for an Off-Peak time and apply your Railcard for a super money-saving combo!

For a complete guide, head over to our Off-Peak train tickets page.

4. Travelling as a group? Use GroupSave

If you’re looking for cheap train tickets to Cardiff and you’re travelling in a group, why not make the most of GroupSave. It’s a type of discount for those travelling in groups of three to nine, and it can be selected in the Railcard dropdown when booking tickets. You could save up to 34%, perfect if you’re travelling with family or friends! Please bear in mind that GroupSave is not applicable for all journeys by the different train companies and will automatically be applied if valid for your journey and selected in the Railcard dropdown. All tickets must be purchased in a single booking, and all passengers must travel together on the day of departure.

For more tips on how to save money on your train tickets to Cardiff, check out our cheap train tickets page.

*Conditions and peak travel time exclusions may apply on some Railcard types.

Travel to Cardiff by train

Cardiff as a city is trending in the right direction. You can find cheap travel to Cardiff if you book early enough and get drawn into the national pastime of rugby, and many of the city’s visitors will head straight to the iconic Principality Stadium, formerly the Millennium Stadium. The three-tier stadium holds 74,500 people and is the ideal venue to watch the Welsh national sport in action as well as boxing matches and music gigs. The new Cardiff Bay area has had a tremendous amount of development, transforming it into a hub for restaurants, bars, and shopping, especially around Mermaid Quay. Just to the east, Roald Dahl Plass, dedicated to the Cardiff-born author, is an old dock basin that now acts as a public space for street performers.

When in Cardiff make sure you visit a relic of the city’s past by heading to the medieval castle. The castle was privately owned until 1947 when it was donated to the city. The central motte-and-bailey keep was originally built in wood around 1081, before being reconstructed in stone in 1135. 

A trip to the National Museum is highly recommended for anyone interested in natural history and art. Put aside at least three hours to browse displays that include a history of Wales’ geological history, a 9-metre humpback whale skeleton, and paintings by Ceri Richards and David Hockney.

For more information on how to get to Cardiff by train, Time Travella have put together an in-depth guide on when to go to Cardiff, so be sure to check that out too.

If you're travelling from Liverpool to Cardiff by train, make sure you also read our dedicated travel guide to how to get from Liverpool to Wales by train.


Frequently asked questions

What's the main train station in Cardiff?

The main train station in Cardiff is Cardiff Central station, located on the edge of the city centre by the River Taff. Depending on where you’re travelling from, you’re likely to arrive into Cardiff Central station or Queen Street, Cathays or Ninian Park – the other stations in the city.

Which train companies run trains to Cardiff?

There are a number of trains companies in the UK that operate trains to Cardiff, including Transport for Wales, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry.

How can I get cheap train tickets to Cardiff?

It’s easy to grab yourself cheap train tickets to Cardiff. We’d recommend using a Railcard, buying your ticket in advance or travelling during Off-Peak hours if you can. Read our cheap train tickets guide to find out more.

Are trains running to Cardiff?

Trains run frequently almost every day to Cardiff, although there may be less services during the weekends and bank holidays. Check our live train times for up-to-date information on trains to Cardiff.

Can I use my Railcard to save up to 1/3 on my trip to Cardiff?

Yes, there are several types of Railcards you can use to save up to 1/3 on your trip to Cardiff, these include:

  • Two-Together Railcard (Great for couples and friends who always travel together)
  • 16-17 Saver (You can save up to 50% with this one)
  • 16-25 Railcard (Ideal for students)
  • 26-30 Railcard (Also known as the Millennial Railcard)
  • Senior Railcard (For those aged 60 and over)
  • Friends & Family Railcard (Great for families of up to 4 adults with up to 4 kids)
  • Disabled Railcard (If travelling with another adult they can save too)

Having a Railcard means you can use it whenever you want outside of Peak times for a whole year too. 

Average savings on advance fares booked at least one week before day of travel vs Anytime fares purchased on day of travel. Subject to availability. Excludes coach.

Europe’s leading train and coach app

We help customers across Europe make more than 172,000 smarter journeys every day.