Cardiff is 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, All Saints, Jo Malone and Calvin Klein.

Taking it all in

John Lewis and Marks & Spencer 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.

Welshcakes being cooked on a bakestone
Interior of Cardiff Market

Fresh Welsh cakes being cooked and the view from the second floor of Cardiff Market

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.

Shoppers walking through a victorian arcade in Cardiff.
interior of Victorian arcade, roof, windows and light

The beautiful arcades in Cardiff town centre

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.

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. 

An outdoor view of a record shop.

Spillers Records, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff

Seasonal attractions

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.

Large illuminated deer Christmas decorations outside Cardiff Castle walls.

Christmas lights outside Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Bay

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.

A crowd of people enjoying Cardiff Food Festival

The Pierhead during Cardiff International Food Festival

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