Cardiff is preparing a capital welcome for the Wales's biggest cultural festival when it returns to the city for the first time in 10 years next week.


The 2018 National Eisteddfod will be held in the capital from August 3 - 11 and this year's festival will be a whole new experience with events and competitions taking place in a variety of landmark venues in the city rather than the traditional pavilion tent and surrounding Maes.


Cardiff Bay will be at the heart of the festival with the main competitions and concerts taking place in theWales Millennium Centre, while the surrounding area including Roald Dahl Plass and the waterfront will host the open air stage and food village, as well as more than 150 stalls and exhibitors.


The Norwegian Church will be used formusical events including performances, presentations and talks while TheSeneddis home toY Lle Celfand the iconic Pierhead Building will be Shw'mae Caerdydd, the centre for learning Welsh.Maes B- the popular fringe rock and pop music festival will be based in the former Doctor Who Experience building in the bay.


Leader of Cardiff Council, Cllr Huw Thomas, said: "It's going to be a real pleasure to welcome the National Eisteddfod back to Cardiff for the first time since 2008. This is certainly going to be an Eisteddfod with a difference and the bay will be a fantastic backdrop for the main activities throughout the nine days.


"Making this year's Eisteddfod a "fence-free" festival creates an open, inclusive and welcoming festival for all, very much like Cardiff itself. So with free entry to most activities, my hope is that all Cardiff residents, whether they are Eisteddfod regulars or have never been before, will come along and enjoy the fantastic atmosphere on the Maes. Everyone is welcome.


 "The National Eisteddfod is a one stop shop for all things Welsh and as a city with a strong ambition to grow and nurture the use of the Welsh language to become a truly bilingual capital, we are delighted to be hosting the pinnacle of Welsh cultural events."


Around 150,000 visitors are expected at the Eisteddfod and entry to the Maes will be free of charge allowing visitors to enjoy hundreds of daily events.


Cardiff Council will have its own stand on the Maes, near the Wales Millennium Centre, to promote the city and its Bilingual Capital vision. The Council's Bilingual Cardiff team have been working with local shops, businesses and organisations ahead of the Eisteddfod, providing Welsh language support and advice so they are ready to welcome visitors as well as contribute to making Cardiff truly bilingual.


The Council's stand will provide public information about the city and the council's work as well as the chance to try a virtual reality experience of events like the Extreme Sailing Series, activities at Cardiff International White Water and a visit to Flat Holm Island in the Bristol Channel.


Cllr Thomas added: "Visitors will be coming from all corners of Wales to the Eisteddfod and aside from the competitions, events and attractions on the Maes, there's also plenty to see and do in the city and we hope they will make the most of their stay in Cardiff by taking in some of the city's highlights."


To facilitate the event, road closures will be put in place from 6am on Saturday, July 28until 6am on Thursday, August 16. These include Harbour Drive; Britannia Quay; Bute Place; Pierhead Street; Lloyd George Avenue and The Flourish.

Access for traders, residents and businesses will be managed by staff throughout the event.

All those travelling to the Eisteddfod are strongly encouraged to use public transport. For those travelling by car, car parking and a Park & Ride facility are available.

On August 3, 4 and 5 - all those travelling by car are encouraged to use car parking available in both the city centre and Cardiff Bay. A free parking app is available to download and more information can be read here -

FromMonday, August 6 to Friday, August 10, the Event Park & Ride will be at Cardiff City Stadium (Leckwith)and can be accessed from junction 33 off the M4.

The cost is £8 per car if you pre-book through

or £10 payable in cash on the day.

If customers pre-book Park & Ride, they are required to print the pre booking confirmation and hand it to staff at site on arrival.

The drop off point is Hemingway Road, next to the County Hall. The Park & Ride is 3.5 miles from the Bay which take approximately 10 to 15 minutes by bus (dependent on traffic).

Staff will arrive at the car park at 6am, with the site opening at 6:30am and the first bus leaving at 7am.The last bus will leave the pick-up point at Hemingway Road at midnight with the car park closing at half past midnight.

On the last day of the event, Saturday August 11, all motorists are again advised to use car parks in both the city centre and Cardiff Bay.