Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

An iconic building on the Cardiff skyline, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is one of the key attractions in the Welsh capital. The original national stadium for Wales lagged behind its more modern counterparts around the rest of the UK, both in terms of facilities and crowd capacity.

An exciting development project, partly funded by the Millennium Commission, was finished in 1999, and the Millennium Stadium was born. The stadium was one of the first UK venues to have a fully retractable roof, and more than fulfilled the original aims of regenerating the West Cardiff area, and breathing new life into an ageing building. Today’s venue attracts 1.3 million visitors on average each year, and can hold up to a maximum of 74,500 people.

The original national stadium for Wales had little more than toilets for its visitors, so it should come as no surprise, that today’s stats connected to the stadium are much more impressive. Along with the main stands, there are hospitality suites and lounges, 23 food and drink outlets, 15 bars, a combined total of 19 escalators and lifts, and 13 merchandise outlets.

In keeping with the modern way of working, the Millennium Stadium is also a multi-functional venue, capable of holding major pop concerts, football, rugby, speedway, and exhibitions.  Highlights in its events program have included matches from two Rugby World Cups, Six Nations rugby and FA Cup Finals. When it comes to music, the records are equally as exciting, with acts like Take That, The Manic Street Preachers, Bon Jovi, Madonna, U2, and Bruce Springsteen taking to the Millennium Stadium stage.

When the stadium isn’t in use for special events, it is still open for business and visitors can book onto a special tour. Tours last about an hour, starting at the Cardiff Arms store in Westgate Street, and will travel through the press conference suite, the Welsh team dressing room, a VIP hospitality suite, the president’s box, and the famous players tunnel. You can imagine where all the magic happens, find out about the pitch and retractable roof, and if you and your family book a tour in December, you’ll also have the chance to meet Santa Claus.

Business users haven’t been forgotten at the Millennium Stadium either, with a wide choice of lounges, meeting rooms, and executive suites, which can hold anything from small meetings to exhibitions, product launches, and full scale conferences for your workforce.  These multi-functional rooms are also open to the general public for weddings, parties, and graduation balls.

If you decide to pay a visit to the Millennium Stadium or attend an event, you’ll have a choice of transport options, all easily accessible. The venue is just 30 minutes from Cardiff Airport, 45 minutes from Bristol Airport, and is just a mere 5 minutes walk from Cardiff bus and central rail stations. Although there is no parking on the stadium site, it is easily reachable via motorways and A-roads from the North, East and West, so there’s no excuse not to visit.