Canton and Pontcanna

To the west of Bute Park, running along the River Taff, Canton and Pontcanna are just outside of the city centre. Some say that Pontcanna is just the upmarket end of Canton, but both places are recognised for their multicultural food and community arts – not to mention their proximity to some beautiful stretches of greenery.

 A canoe travelling along the River Taff

River Taff, Cardiff, South Wales

What to see and do

Bute Park: One of the best green spaces in Cardiff, complete with riverside routes along the River Taff, a Champion Tree Trail, lots of wildlife and plenty of picnic spots.

Chapter Arts Centre: A multi-purpose arts venue that embraces the well-established, the obscure and the new in equal measure. It has two cinemas, performance spaces, a gallery and a cafe bar.

Boutiques and bars: Saunter around the fancy independent shops and swanky bars of Kings Road and Pontcanna Street.

Where to eat

Milkwood: Neighbourhood cafe that plates up breakfasts, brunches and nibbles with style.

Purple Poppadom: Authentic Indian dishes with modern twists from award-winning chef Anand George.

The famous lamb shank at the Purple Poppadom, Cardiff, South Wales

Transport links

Nearest railway station: Ninian Park.

Cardiff Bus routes: 1, 2, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 24, 25, 61, 64, 66

Cathays and Roath

Both Cathays and Roath are known for being the student areas of the city; many of the university undergraduates and postgraduates live and study there. It's not all scholastic, though. There are some lovely parks, tree-lined Victorian streets, cultural venues and independent businesses to explore. 

What to see and do

Roath Park: A Victorian recreational park with long-established trees, open grass, a conservatory of flora and fauna, colourful rose gardens and a wide boating lake to walk around or row across.

National Museum Cardiff: Wales’ largest art gallery, with collections of national and international artworks, a huge collection of work by the Impressionists, natural history exhibits and touring exhibitions. 

Bargain hunting: The main shopping streets in Roath are great for finding low-cost treasures. Head to City Road and Albany Road to find cut price wares in the well-stocked charity shops. 

Inside the National Museum Wales
Couple exploring the galleries at National Museum Cardiff.

The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, South Wales

Where to eat

Mina: Lebanese restaurant specialising in fragrant tagines, mezze plates and meat grills.

Ichiban: Japanese restaurant serving a range of sushi, soup, rice and noodle dishes.

Transport links

Nearest railway station: Cathays.

Cardiff Bus routes: 28, 28A, 28B, 35, 95

Cardiff Bay and Butetown

Centuries ago, during the Industrial Revolution, the modern-day Cardiff Bay and neighbouring Butetown were the heart of the Welsh import and export industry. Deals for coal and other valuable resources were struck here, while thousands of hardworking manual staff kept the supply lines running smoothly. Over the last few decades, the former docklands have been redeveloped into a vibrant waterfront, complete with food places, bars, leisure activities and glorious views over the barrage's freshwater lake.

For more ideas beyond what's mentioned here, read our guide to exploring Cardiff Bay.

a view over the water in Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay, South Wales

What to see and do

Wales Millennium Centre: The national arts centre for Wales, with multiple performance spaces to suit the variety of shows it hosts. Catch everything from small scale physical theatre to stand-up comedy and West End tours.

The Norwegian Church: Once serving Norwegian sailors who docked in the city during the Industrial Revolution, this cute restored church has a gallery space, a cafe and a patio overlooking the Bay. Interestingly, Roald Dahl was christened there.

Ride the water: At the waterfront, choose from a leisurely tour on the Daffodil, high-speed rib rides, water taxis to the city centre and more.

Exterior of Wales Millennium Centre at night.
interior of modern building, with seating and stairs.
Exterior view of the Norwegian Church

The Wales Millennium Centre and The Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay, South Wales

Where to eat

Quantum Coffee Roasters: Independent coffee shop serving the best espresso shots in the Bay, sweet treats, quick lunches and smoothies.

Cadwaladers: Ice cream parlour on the waterfront with plenty of ice cream flavours, cone choices and dessert options.

Fabulous Welshcakes: Small shop dedicated to making wonderful Welsh cakes, best enjoyed hot off the griddle.

Transport links

Nearest railway station: Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff Bus routes: 1, 2, 5, Bay Car 6, 8

Grangetown and Riverside

South of Canton and west of Cardiff Bay, Grangetown and Riverside are largely residential suburbs buffed by the River Taff. There's a real community feel in both, which results in there being friendly cafes, multicultural restaurants, entertainment spaces and riverside parkland to enjoy.

What to see and do

Tramshed: A converted tram shed that hosts live music, club nights, one-off events and the occasional weekend craft fair.

Riverside Market: Every Sunday between 10am and 2pm, Riverside Market takes over Fitzhamon Embankment opposite the Principality Stadium. Expect stalls selling local produce, crafts, baked goods and more, as well as hot coffee and brunch vendors.

Principality Stadium: Wales' largest stadium, on the very edge of Grangetown, has a busy calendar of sporting events and superstar concerts. Take a tour to go behind the scenes.

outdoor market stalls and shoppers in rain
A view of the stadium over the river

The bustling Riverside Market and the impressive Principality Stadium, Cardiff, South Wales

Where to eat

The Grange: Casual pub with a great range of craft beers, real ales and locally brewed booze.

Vegetarian Food Studio: Long-standing Indian and pan-Asian restaurant with incredible curries, dosas, Indian snacks and desserts.

Transport links

Nearest railway station: Cardiff Central.

Cardiff Bus routes: 1,2, 7,8, 9, 9A, X45

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