What makes Cardiff so special is its mix of old and new culture, its vibrant food scene, its major events and the beautiful countryside on its doorstep. Enjoy!
Arts and culture
Cardiff is a city full of culture. National Museum Cardiff houses the largest collection of Impressionist art outside Paris as well as works spanning over 500 years of art history. The Museum of Cardiff tells the tale of the city from its 1300s origins to present day. For alternative culture, head to Chapter Arts Centre in Canton – a hive of independent film, art, theatre and creativity.
Weaving through the city is nearly a kilometre of arcades, dating back to Victorian and Edwardian times. Inside you can find independent shops, family-run cafes and cute boutiques. Highlights include Hobo's for vintage clothing, Rules of Play for board game enthusiasts and the world’s oldest record shop, Spillers Records. You can find high-end stores and well-known brands in the large modern shopping centre, St David's, just five minutes from the arcades. For more ideas, check out our specific guide to shopping in Cardiff.
This area of the city was hugely significant in the 1900s, being the main way of transporting coal from South Wales to the rest of the world. It has since been reinvented into a waterfront escape from the city's bustle. Wales Millennium Centre is the country's equivalent to the Sydney Opera House, hosting shows, performances and major events inside a spectacular architectural delight. The Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales, and the Pierhead are nearby, as is the Norwegian Church in which the legendary author Roald Dahl was baptised. Why not check out our guide to Cardiff Bay to make the most of your visit?
Originating from Roman times, Cardiff Castle sits right in the middle of the city. It had a major transformation during the 19th century, where the rooms were decorated in an ornate Gothic style by William Burges. There are plenty of things to see and do at Cardiff Castle. For example, a tour of the interior shows you the luxurious gold and marble furnishings, floral carvings and elaborate décor. Alternatively, you could visit Mansion House, the former official residence of the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. Book onto a tour of the opulent Grade II listed building, then indulge in afternoon tea.
A food safari
The city offers a world of food experiences to suit all tastes. Visit City Road in Roath or Cowbridge Road East in Canton for authentic international cuisine at fair prices. Highlights include for Bangkok Cafe Thai food and Mina for Lebanese cuisine. Mill Lane in the city centre has fancy bars for cocktails, and there are a number of good restaurants on High Street and St Mary’s Street, such as The Potted Pig.
The Chapel 1877 impresses not only with its outstanding cuisine, but also with its ambience. The chic restaurant is located in the former Pembroke Terrace Chapel from 1877. Or take a trip down Womanby Street to Tiny Rebel, famous for its beer made in a small brewery based near Cardiff. Don't forget Cardiff Indoor Market and the Cardiff Farmers’ Markets in Riverside, Roath and Rhiwbina for a wide range of tasty goods from some of the best food producers in Wales.