We recently had the pleasure of attending an event at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff for the very first time.
Given that we don’t attend large stadium events regularly, we naively assumed that there would be on-site parking at the event similar to how I’d experienced at the AO Arena Manchester or Utilita Arena Sheffield in the past.
However, sadly this wasn’t the case.
Luckily we found this out in advance because when it comes to parking near the Principality Stadium in Cardiff it’s important to be prepared and book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
We say this because given the location of the Principality Stadium within Cardiff and as a result the increased traffic many roads around the city are often closed by the council.
This makes parking close to the venue incredibly difficult, however, in many cases beneficial since exiting the city centre onto one of the nearby A roads after an event at the stadium can take multiple hours.
As such, we’d recommend parking at least a 30-minute walk or 15-minute ride (on a park and ride service) from the venue to minimise the amount of time you’ll have to spend queueing in your vehicle post-event.
Meanwhile, if you can we’d recommend spending the night in Cardiff and driving home the following day to minimise the amount of time (and stress) you’ll spend trying to go home.
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Cardiff Council Park & Ride
To help support getting people in and out of the city easily, Cardiff Council provides special parking arrangements with a number of Park and Ride facilities.
This is done on an event-by-event basis, so it’s worth looking on the Cardiff Council website to see if this service is offered for your upcoming event.
Parking at a Park and Ride location costs £10 per vehicle which is payable on the day either by cash or card.
Once you’ve parked your vehicle at the selected Park and Ride car park (in our case it was the CCFC Leckwith Stadium) then you’ll be able to take the bus to the drop-off and pick-up point (which in our case was Fitzamon Embankment).
The journey from the car park to the pick-up and drop-off zone for our event was between 10 and 15 minutes.
Personally, we opted against using the Park and Ride service since we could not reserve a space in advance and instead had to wait and hope there was parking availability upon our arrival.
Given the competition for parking in Cardiff when events are on at the Principality Stadium this isn’t something we wanted to risk doing.
That being said, if we’d not managed to reserve a parking space online in advance using any of the options highlighted below, then this would have been the option we would have chosen.
We’d have done this for two reasons;
- The capacity of the car park – meaning that it’s unlikely you’ll not be able to get a space
- The bus lanes that run in and out of the city centre – minimising the amount of time you’ll spend waiting in traffic when leaving the event
Council Car Parks
In addition to the Park and Ride services, Cardiff Council also offers a number of set-priced car parks across the city.
Again the exact car parks, cost, opening and closing times will vary between events.
However, in our case, it was between the Civic Center and Sophia Gardens, both of which are roughly 0.5 miles from the Principality Stadium.
Parking at either of these locations costs £15 per vehicle and can be paid for using both cash and card.
However, much like the Park and Ride services, a car parking space in a council car park can not be reserved in advance.
Again, given the competition for car parking spaces in Cardiff during events, this isn’t something we wanted to risk doing and instead wanted to ensure we had a car parking space reserved in advance wherever possible.
NCP Car Parks
NCP has a number of car parks located very close to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium, however, all of the company’s car parks had sold out of spaces by the time we began looking to reserve one (roughly one week prior to our event).
Luckily, this didn’t end up being too much of a bad thing since videos on social media post the event showed people queuing in their cars for up to three hours to get out of the multistory car parks.
Given that the parking had been paid for up to a certain time in advance, this did on occasion leave some exits invalid upon which visitors had to try and contact a staff member to let them out (which isn’t easily done after 11pm).
Just Park is a third-party provider that allows both individuals and companies to offer car parking spaces to the general public.
As such this means you could book to park your car on someone’s drive or in a company car park.
In our case most car parking spaces had already been booked in advance, giving us little option to choose from.
That being said, we did find Sainsbury’s Car Park both affordable and to be in a good location.
Unfortunately, when it came to booking the car park the space(s) were no longer available.
In hindsight, if Sainsbury’s was available on JustPark we would have booked this location given its location, easy access and price.
By this point, our search for a car parking space in Cardiff for an event at the Principality Stadium was becoming increasingly difficult.
However, luckily we did find that one of the options listed on the Principality Parking website still had availability.
Principality Parking works together with local sports teams to raise funds in exchange for car parking spaces during major events.
In our case three of the four options had already sold out (one week prior to the event) leaving us with Llandaff Rugby Club, which had eight spaces remaining.
Details about each car park are provided on the Principality Parking website and in our case, we were able to see that the Llandaff Rugby Club car park was roughly a 40-minute walk from the stadium.
We reserved this car parking space, and upon doing so didn’t get any email confirmation.
Luckily, during the check-out process, we were requested to input our car’s registration plate, and I went ahead and screenshotted the confirmation page in case we needed any additional proof upon our arrival at the car park.
Staff were on hand at the car park upon our arrival and checked us in using the details that we provided during the booking process.
Walking to / from the stadium took the expected 40 minutes and exiting the car park after the event was simple with minimal traffic compared to what we’d seen elsewhere during our walk from the venue back to the car park.
If we were to go to an event at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff again, we’d book this car park.
Turning Head Car Park
If you have been unable to book a car parking space online in advance using any of the methods highlighted above then you’re likely going to have to find a car parking space upon your arrival in Cardiff.
In this case, I’d recommend the park and ride put on by the council (as discussed above) however, if that option doesn’t suit your needs you could try the Turning Head Car Park.
This car park is located south of Llandaff Fields, a roughly 30-minute walk (1.5 miles) from the Principality Stadium.
There are roughly 25 spaces available here, however, we noted upon leaving the event that some cars had parked outside of bays on the grass verges (do so at your own risk as this may incur a fine or damage to your vehicle).
Parking charges vary here depending on the duration of your stay, however, charges only apply Monday to Friday from 8am until 6pm.
If you do park here, note that you may be stuck in traffic on Penhill and Cardiff Road for up to 30 minutes after the event.