A shopping guide to Cardiff

Cardiff has worked hard to earn its reputation as one of the top ten shopping destinations in Britain. It's a fresh, 21st century shopping experience featuring many of the high street’s most popular names across a spacious 1.4million square feet including Cardiff's shopping centres, markets and high street stores. Big brand shops in Cardiff include the Apple Store, as well as fashion retailers like Hollister, Warehouse, Jo Malone and Monsoon.

St David's Centre

Shoppers walking about inside St David's Centre, Cardiff

Inside St David's Centre, Cardiff by Huw John / Cardiff Council
John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams have major stores in the heart of the city at the St David's Centre and there are eating places galore.

The new blends superbly with the old. Cardiff Market has traded in one guise or another since the 1700s and the striking glass-roofed Victorian structure it has inhabited for the past couple of centuries features some of the capital city’s most-loved butchers and fishmongers, as well as an array of traditional sweetshops and bakers.

Inside Cardiff Central Market

Inside the Central Market, Cardiff

 by Paula J James

There are six Victorian arcades in Cardiff, offering an intimate environment for shoppers who enjoy an alternative to the well-trodden path of the high street. The Castle Quarter is made up of High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade and Castle Arcade. These are historic structures full of vintage clothes stores, craft shops and coffee shops. 
Royal Arcade, Cardiff

Royal Arcade, Cardiff

Just a short stroll away is The Royal Arcade, Wyndham Arcade and Morgan Arcade, full of clothes shops, jewellery stores and eating places. While there are just too many great places to list, it is worth noting that Morgan Arcade is home to a genuine Cardiff institution. Spillers Records first opened its doors in 1894, making it the oldest record shop in the world.

An enjoyable shopping experience

Italian market on Queens Street outside Capitol Shopping Centre

Capitol Shopping Centre, Cardiff

The pleasure of shopping in Cardiff city centre is that it is largely pedestrian, covering an area that is a comfortable stroll, rather than an exhausting marathon. Queen Street has an array of retail giants, flanked by the Queens Arcade. 

Seasonal attractions

Festive carvery stall at a snowy Cardiff Christmas market

Festive carvery at a snowy Christmas Market, Cardiff

 by algenon_iii

There are a variety of seasonal attractions, including the open-air Cardiff Christmas Market on The Hayes, right in the heart of the action. Imagine rows of beach cabins displaying a huge range of Welsh art and crafts and you’re halfway there. With the growth in popularity of the pop-up shop, these spaces have gained a certain street credibility that attracts more stallholders and customers with each passing year.

Cardiff Bay 

The Pierhead Building with Roald Dahl plaza in the background

Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay by Laurie Parker
Away from the city centre there are numerous independent clothes stores, restaurants and bars that are worth visiting. It’s also worth heading down to the waterfront to Mermaid Quay, which has become a vibrant cultural centre, thanks to the nearby Millennium Centre. If you want to come and watch Cardiff at play after hard day’s retail therapy, settle yourself in one of the many eating and drinking places overlooking Cardiff Bay.