Take in Cardiff Castle

A fun way to spend your first hour in the city is by exploring the city's epic Cardiff Castle. It's nearly 2000 years old, but in the 19th century the interior had a lavish makeover by architect William Burges. Join a tour, to see the ornate decor, intricate carvings and rich colours that fuse together Arabian, Gothic and Mediterranean styles. For a fantastic view of the city and beyond, climb to the top of the keep before you leave

Cardiff skyline from Cardiff Castle
Banqueting Hall in Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle, South Wales

Enjoy the green lungs of the city

Next to Cardiff Castle lies Bute Park, one of the city's sprawling green spaces. You can explore the expansive grounds of Bute Park on foot: walk along the River Taff, which runs through the park, spot local wildlife, or enjoy a picnic stop.

The park forms part of the Taff Trail, a popular path between Cardiff Bay and Brecon, which brings in lots of cyclists. If you're keen to spend some of your day cycling, you can hire decent quality bikes from Pedal Power next to the park. Fuel up at Secret Garden café - it's a wonderful café in the heart of the park, which uses local produce and creates wonderful vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Blackweir Bridge over the River Taff, Bute Park, Cardiff
Couple walking through a green park with flowers around

Bute Park, the 'green lungs' of the city

Soak up some culture

Spend some time in one of Cardiff's museums. The Old Library hosts Museum of Cardiff, where the history of the city is told through stories, photographs, films, objects and interactive exhibits. Alternatively, wile away a few hours in National Museum Cardiff. The grand building hosts a huge collection of Impressionist art, as well as pieces from over 500 years of art history, natural history exhibits and touring exhibitions.

Cardiff Castle Summer Room

Cardiff Castle

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.

Museum of Cardiff

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Waterlilies by Monet

National Museum Cardiff

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.

Go backstage at the BBC

Ever wondered what it's like to read the news? Or how sound effects are added to your favourite podcasts? Join the friendly guides for an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of BBC Cymru Wales. Visit the state-of-the-art television and radio studios to discover the secrets of making BBC programmes. BBC Cymru Wales has received a coveted Visit Wales gold award for the quality of its tours and a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice award. These guided tours are available in Welsh, English and BSL. 

 

Get musical in the oldest record shop in the world

Wales is the land of song, and Cardiff is home to the world's oldest record shop. Spillers Records opened in 1894, bringing records, live performances and a hub for musicians to mingle. It's moved a few times, but is now perched on the corner of Morgan Arcade. Pop in to rummage through racks of music history. It's easy for time to fly there!

You can explore the various arcades or there's the free City of Arcades history and culture guided walking tour with Fogo’s Free Tours, which operates a 'pay as you feel' basis after the tour. Or if you fancy a food walking tour around the diverse shopping arcades of the city then Loving Welsh Food provide a City of Arcades Testing Tour.

An outdoor view of a record shop.
A man looking at a tray full of vinyl records inside a record shop.
Spiller Records Signage

Spillers Records, Cardiff

Eat at Gareth Bale's Elevens

As if being a world famous footballer for Real Madrid and Wales wasn't enough, international star Gareth Bale has his own premium sports bar and restaurant in his home town. When Elevens first opened in 2017, Bale partnered with Cardiff's biggest brewery, Brains, to bring local food and beer to the venue. It's now an independent venture, but retains its reputation for an ideal place to grab a pint and a bite to eat while watching a match on one of the sports screens.

A relaxing end to the day

To see the night out, you could relax at one of Cardiff's great music and arts venues, such as Chapter Arts Centre in Canton or Tramshed in Riverside. Or, if you fancy one more for the road, enjoy a pint in one of Cardiff's oldest city centre pubs, the City Arms, located opposite the stadium.

BBC Tours

BBC Tours

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Cardiff Walking Tour

Fogo's Free Tours

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Cardiff Tasting Tour

Loving Welsh Food

Activity
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
Welcome to Chapter | Croeso i Chapter

Chapter Arts Centre

Attraction
Cardiff
Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
The City Arms Pub.
Interior of a busy cafe bar

The City Arms and Chapter Arts Centre

Related stories