Cardiff is our dynamic capital, seamlessly blending our rich Welsh heritage with modern city life. The city centre is fairly compact - so really easy get around, with good public transport to Cardiff Bay and the nearby countryside. Whether you’re interested in history, sports, nature, or just looking for a fun and relaxing day out, Cardiff has something to offer for everyone.

map of Wales showing the cities.

Map of the cities in Wales, including the capital city Cardiff in South Wales

Wander around Cardiff’s museums

Cardiff is a city full of culture and heritage. The Old Library in The Hayes hosts the Museum of Cardiff, where the history of the city is told from its 1300s origins to the present day through stories, photographs, films, objects and interactive exhibits.

National Museum Cardiff's 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. St Fagans National Museum of History is a brilliant family-friendly open air museum. The site is full of reconstructed buildings to explore, telling the social history of Wales.

Inside Cardiff Castle's walls, you'll find the fascinating Firing Line Museum. Discover over 300 years of Welsh military history through displays, events, exhibitions and educational events.

A large, grand, pale stoned building with a dome on the roof, with columns at the entrance.
A couple looking at a small statue, with a painting behind them, and a large sculpture to the side in the foreground

National Museum Cardiff, South Wales

Waterlilies by Monet

National Museum Cardiff

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

Museum of Cardiff

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Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
HRH The Prince of Wales opens the Firing Line

Firing Line Museum

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

Catch a show...

If you're looking for a memorable night out in Cardiff, there are plenty of options to suit your taste and budget. The Wales Millennium Centre is the country's equivalent to the Sydney Opera House, hosting a variety of shows, from West End hits to Welsh language productions, inside a spectacular architectural delight. The New Theatre is the oldest theatre in Cardiff, dating back to 1906. Expect classic and contemporary plays, as well as pantomimes, ballets, and musicals.

 

Wales Millennium Centre

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

New Theatre

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

Sherman Cymru is a modern, innovative venue showcasing new and emerging talent from Wales and beyond. It produces original and diverse works, ranging from intimate dramas to family-friendly shows. Chapter Arts Centre is a vibrant hub where you can watch independent films, theatre, and dance performances, join workshops and classes, or explore the gallery and the bookshop. The Glee Club in Mermaid Quay hosts live comedy most nights, drawing in big names and newcomers alike to Cardiff Bay.

If you fancy a backstage pass, explore behind the scenes on a BBC Cymru Wales studio tour. Discover the secrets behind the making of BBC TV and radio programmes and follow in the footsteps of some of Wales' famous faces.

A red bricked old school building with a large hoarding over the entrance.

Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, South Wales

Sherman Cymru

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

Chapter Arts Centre

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

The Glee Club

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Landscape of the attractions at Cardiff Bay seen from the water.
BBC Tours

BBC Tours

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

…or a gig

Cardiff has loads of live music and DJ venues spread around the city. Womanby Street is home to iconic music venues and nightclubs Clwb Ifor Bach and The Moon, while Jacobs Roof Garden has rooftop gigs overlooking the city centre. Sŵn festival founder and DJ Huw Stephens shares a few of his favourite Cardiff music venues in his guide to Cardiff.

Read more: Your essential guide to Cardiff's cultural venues

A band playing live on stage, with a drummer and two guitarists.
A woman playing guitar and singing on stage with a drummer in the background.
A band on a stage with a drummer and two guitarists.

SŴN Music Festival, Cardiff, South Wales

Explore Cardiff Bay

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. The Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales, and the Pierhead are nearby, as is the Norwegian Church in which author Roald Dahl was baptised. There are loads of independent coffee shops, bars and restaurants to try out as you explore the area. 

Read more: Guide to Cardiff Bay

People on a boat in a bay, looking at a marina, a Ferris wheel and architecturally striking buildings.
A small church with white cladding.

Cardiff Bay, South Wales

Shop in Victorian arcades

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.

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. 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. For more ideas, check out our specific guide to shopping in Cardiff.

Exterior of a small orange painted shop in a covered arcade. The shop window is full of vintage clothing.
An outdoor view of a record shop.

Hobo's and Spillers Records, Cardiff, South Wales

Conquer Cardiff Castle

Originating from Roman times, Cardiff Castle sits right in the middle of the city. It had a major transformation during the 19th century, when the rooms were decorated in an ornate Gothic style by William Burges. A tour of the interior shows you the luxurious gold and marble furnishings, floral carvings and elaborate décor. For a fantastic view of the city and beyond, climb to the top of the keep before you leave.

Read more: Things to see and do at Cardiff Castle

Entrance to a castle with people walking through a gatehouse.
A man giving a tour to a group of people inside an ornate castle room.

Cardiff Castle, South Wales

Cardiff Castle Summer Room

Cardiff Castle

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

Loving Welsh Food

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

Fogo's Free Tours

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

Where to eat in Cardiff

The city offers a world of diverse 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.

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.

Read more: A local's guide to eating in Cardiff

An indoor market under a triangular roof with skylights. There are lots of different stalls in rows.

Cardiff Market, South Wales

Things to do in Cardiff with the kids

One of the nicest things about Cardiff is plenty of accessible green spaces to enjoy. As well as the city centre's Bute Park, there are several lovely parks, gardens and play areas scattered across the city, including Roath ParkVictoria ParkCardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve and Cosmeston Lakes. You could also hire cycles, including adaptive bikes, from Pedal Power in Pontcanna, to explore the Taff Trail.

As well as the family-friendly museums, Techniquest in Cardiff Bay is full of interactive science exhibits designed specifically for children of all ages to learn and enjoy.

Read more: Buggy routes around Cardiff and the Vale

Two children and an adult interacting with a display screen.

Techniquest, Cardiff Bay, South Wales

Things to do in Cardiff for couples

If you're up for a bit of entertaining competition, Cardiff city centre has a lot to offer! Treetop Adventure Golf in St David's Shopping Centre is fantastic fun, or go retro arcade gaming at NQ64 in St Mary Street. We've got escape rooms, games venues and adventure activities so there really is something for everyone to enjoy. 

End the day with a romantic sunset stroll around Cardiff Bay, exploring the cocktail bars and restaurants, or take a relaxing boat trip around the bay.

Read more: Nightlife in Cardiff

Croeso Cardiff

Making a weekend of it?

Planning a weekend or a short break in Cardiff? Discover a range of great places to stay for all tastes and budgets on our Cardiff city breaks page.

Our capital city is well-connected by public transport, so it's easy to explore the city and its surroundings. Traveline Cymru is a useful public transport journey planner.

A couple walking along a path round a city bay.

Cardiff Bay, South Wales

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