14 Best Things To Do In Cardiff – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: September 22, 2022)

Cardiff is the Welsh capital, and is located on the Southern coast of Wales.

It is known for its stunning castle, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Cardiff also has a rich history and is home to many museums and art galleries.

If you’re looking for a place to relax, see some top attractions and enjoy the scenery, visiting Cardiff is a must.

Things To Do In Cardiff

1. Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

This top Cardiff attraction is located in the city centre and is a medieval castle built on the site of a Roman fort.

The first recorded mention of the castle was in 1160, after which the medieval Lords of Glamorgan began work on the House during the 15th century.

The new castle had an outer bailey and inner court, and was surrounded by a moat.

The Castle is now a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Monument that is owned by the Cardiff Castle Trust and open to the public.

There is plenty to explore at Cardiff Castle with interesting castle rooms and tall towers to climb with stone spiral staircases.

During World War II the walls were used as air raid shelters and a reconstruction of the shelters is open for visitors to explore.

There are also Castle grounds, a Castle Cafe, Gift Shop and Visitor Information Point.

Cardiff Castle is open daily from 9am to 5pm in the winter and until 6pm in the summer.

Address: Cardiff Castle, Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB

2. Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay area was once a busy shipping and docks area, with many vessels coming in and out each day.

However, over time the shipping industry declined and the area became less popular and in recent years Cardiff Bay has undergone a transformation.

Cardiff Bay is now a popular destination for both residents and visitors alike with attractions such as The Senedd, Pierhead, The Norwegian Church and Mermaid Quay.

Mermaid Quay is a lovely place for walking around and has loads of family-friendly restaurants if you fancy a spot to eat.

Visitors can also enjoy the views of the city from the water’s edge and see a variety of wildlife, including seabirds, dolphins, and seals.

Address: Cardiff Bay, Cardiff

3. Wales Millennium Centre

Wales Millennium Centre

Located in Cardiff Bay, the Wales Millennium Centre is one of the most recognisable buildings in Cardiff.

It’s a truly iconic structure, and is home to some of the best arts and culture in the city.

The Centre was opened in 2004, and it’s been a hugely popular tourist destination ever since.

It’s got everything you could want from a cultural centre – there are theatres, galleries, restaurants, bars, and a gift shop.

The Centre also offers behind the scenes backstage tours, as well as technical and architectural tours.

The Wales Millennium Centre is a must-visit for anyone who’s interested in the arts, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of Cardiff.

Address: Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Pl, Cardiff CF10 5AL

4. National Museum Cardiff

National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as having temporary exhibitions that visit.

The museum officially opened in 1927 and houses a collection of over two million objects, including natural history specimens, archaeological artefacts, coins and medals, and art.

The art gallery has a collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings, as well as a large number of works by Welsh artists.

This is a great museum for families, as there’s plenty to see for everyone, including dinosaurs and giant mammals for younger kids.

There are also family trails and activity sheets to help visitors explore the galleries.

Admission is free, however there may be charges for some special events and temporary exhibitions.

Address: National Museum Cardiff, Cardiff CF10 3NP

5. Cardiff Bay Barrage

Cardiff Bay Barrage

The Cardiff Bay Barrage is a massive engineering feat that has transformed the city of Cardiff.

The barrage is 1.1km long and was built to protect the city from flooding, and to create a new freshwater bay in the heart of the city.

The project involved the construction of low level dam, and features locks and bridges, sluice gates and a fish pass.

Today, the barrage is a popular tourist attraction, and provides a beautiful setting for walks, picnics and other outdoor activities.

Address: Cardiff Bay Barrage, Queen Alexandra House, Cargo Rd, Cardiff Bay CF10 4LY

6. Cardiff City Hall

Cardiff City Hall

Cardiff City Hall is located in Cathays Park and is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city.

It features a number of towers and turrets as well as a 194 foot high clock tower that is surmounted by statues of four lions.

The building’s exterior is constructed from Portland stone and has an ornate design.

The interior of the city hall is just as ornate as the exterior and features a grand staircase, marble floors and a number of large paintings and sculptures.

Address: Cardiff City Hall, King Edward VII Ave, Cardiff CF10 3ND

7. Cardiff Central Market

Cardiff Central Market

The Cardiff market is a Victorian indoor market located in the Castle Quarter of Cardiff city centre.

It has been a central part of life in the city for over 100 years.

It is a thriving community hub, with a wide variety of stalls selling everything from fresh quality produce to vintage clothes.

The market is a great place to find bargains, try new foods or simply soak up the atmosphere.

The Cardiff market is open Monday to Saturday, with different stalls operating on different days.

Address: Cardiff Market, 5-7 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AU

8. Principality Stadium

Principality Stadium

The Principality Stadium, previously known as the Millennium Stadium and before that as the National Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales.

The all-seater stadium in Cardiff, Wales, is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also hosted Wales national football team matches.

Visitors can see a rugby match or take a stadium tour that includes the indoor areas of the stadium with the home and away dressing rooms, Conference Suite and the tunnel walk.

One of the best places to visit if you are interested in Rugby or just want to experience a magnificent stadium.

Address: Principality Stadium, Westgate St, Cardiff CF10 1NS

9. Bute Park

Bute Park

Bute Park is a large green space in the centre of Cardiff that comprises 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland, making it one of the largest urban parks in Wales.

It includes features such as ornamental flower beds, mature trees, a meandering river, and several ponds.

The park also contains a number of historical monuments and buildings, sculptures and an ornate Gothic-revival fountain.

For kids and families there is the Woodland Play trail and outdoor play areas.

Address: Bute Park, North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3ER

10. Cathays Park

Cathays Park

Cathays Park is a green oasis and is home to some of the city’s most important buildings.

It covers an area of 59 acres and is a Grade 1 listed historic park.

The park is home to a number of key attractions, including City Hall, the National Museum and Gallery of Wales.

Cathays Park is also a popular spot for picnics, concerts, and other events.

Address: Cardiff, CF24 3QR

11. St Fagans National Museum of History

St Fagans National Museum of History

St Fagans National Museum of History is one of Europe’s leading open-air museums.

Located just outside Cardiff, Wales, the museum stands in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle and gardens.

It is home to more than 40 historic buildings from different historical periods that have been re-erected on the site.

The museum tells the story of the Welsh people and their way of life, from the earliest times to the present day.

It is also a working farm, with animals such as sheep, cattle, pigs and chickens.

Visitors can explore the buildings and grounds at their own pace, and there are also regular events and activities taking place throughout the year.

The museum is open daily and is free to visit, although children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Address: St. Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff CF5 6XB

12. Roath Park

Roath Park

Roath Park is a large urban park located at the centre of Cardiff, South Wales.

The park covers an area of over 70 acres and is home to a 30 acre man-made lake in the centre of the park.

Roath park has many areas for visitors to explore including the Wild Gardens, Botanical Gardens, Rose Gardens, Pleasure Gardens, Roath Brook Gardens, Roath Mill Gardens, Waterloo Gardens and the Sandies Open Space.

There is also a Victorian glass house that is home to tropical plants, koi carp and terrapins.

The park is a popular spot for visitors with plenty of space for activities such as walking, picnicking, and playing sports.

Address: Roath Park, Lake Rd W, Cardiff CF23 5PA

13. Castell Coch

Castell Coch

Castell Coch is a castle restored in the 19th-century, located a few miles north-west of Cardiff in South Wales.

The original Castell Coch castle is thought to have been constructed in the late 11th century.

Visitors can see many areas of the castle including the bedrooms, the drawing room, the banqueting hall and more.

Castell Coch is a Fairy-tale castle and it’s unique design and spectacular setting makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Wales.

Address: Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, Cardiff, CF15 7JS

14. Cardiff Bay Trail

Cardiff Bay Trail

The Cardiff Bay Trail is a walking, jogging and cycling route that is perfect for enjoying the waterfront.

The circular trail is 10km (6.2 miles) long and runs around Cardiff Bay and across to the seaside town of Penarth.

Along the trail you can enjoy Cardiff’s heritage and see historic landmarks, such as the Norwegian Church and the renowned Wales Millennium Centre.

There are also waterfront cafés, bars and restaurants along the trail when you need some refreshment.

Address: Cardiff Bay Trail, Cardiff

FAQ

Is it good for families to visit Cardiff?

Cardiff is worth visiting especially for a long weekend.

It’s a great place for all the family, with so many places to visit, including historic sites, museums and kids attractions.

The National Museum Cardiff has activities for pre-schoolers and weekend family sessions.

Where is the Royal Arcade Cardiff?

Located in the city centre between St Mary Street and The Hayes, the Royal Arcade is Cardiff’s oldest arcade.

There are six Victorian shopping arcades in Cardiff with over 100 unique shops.

What is the main shopping area in Cardiff?

Queen Street is where Cardiff’s main pedestrianised shopping area is located.

Queen Street stretches from the Capitol Shopping Centre to Cardiff Castle on the west side.

Author

  • Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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