How to explore Cardiff in 24 hours

A young woman and man walking down the street

St Mary's Street, Cardiff, Capital of Wales 

Croeso! On a whistle-stop visit to Wales' capital city? Cardiff has plenty to offer within the city centre, so you can cover a lot of ground in just one day. Here are a few ideas to get you going. Remember: if you’re experiencing Cardiff for the first time and fully plan on finding your epic, tell us about it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #FindYourEpic. 

Take in Cardiff Castle

Inside Cardiff Castle, sun shines through the big windows onto the dining hall and table

A look inside Cardiff Castle, Cardiff

 by Wales on View
Take an hour to explore the city's epic castle. It's nearly 2000 years old, but in the 19th century the interior had a lavish makeover by architect William Burges. The tour will take you 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.

Enjoy the lungs of the city

A mixture of bikes and trikes with children and adults enjoying themselves are being ridden through the park

Fun in the park on the bikes, Cardiff,

 by Pedal Power
Cardiff is gifted with sprawling green spaces. You can explore the beautiful Bute Park on foot; walk along the Taff, spot local wildlife or enjoy a picnic stop. It is part of the Taff Trail, a popular path between Cardiff Bay and Brecon, which brings in lots of cyclists. If you're keen to cycle, you can hire decent quality bikes from Pedal Power next to the park.

Time for a pint

A view from the outside of Y Mochyn Du pub in Cardiff on a clear day

Quench your thirst, Cardiff

 by Y Mochyn Du
Once you've finished exploring the parks, stop off in Y Mochyn Du to recharge. Translating from Welsh as 'The Black Pig', it's a pub that is popular with locals and visitors. Sip on a Welsh ale while taking in the hearty community atmosphere and the sound of Welsh being spoken.

Soak up local history

Outside the steps leading up to the stone building of Yr Hen Lyfrgell, which translates into 'The Old Library'

Yr Hen Lyfrgell, which translates into 'The Old Library', Cardiff

 by Amy Pay
Yr Hen Lyfrgell, which translates into 'The Old Library', hosts The Cardiff Story Museum - capturing the history of Cardiff through stories, photographs, films and objects. Walk around the interactive exhibits then stop off in Bodlon, its gift shop full of Welsh goods. Some of the best buys include bars of Nom Nom chocolate made in West Wales and Melin Tregwynt Welsh wool blankets.

Eat at Gareth Bale's Elevens

Facing the bar inside Gareth Bale's Elevens Bar and Grill with an array of drinks available and sport on the TV

Not just a world famous footballer, Cardiff,

 by Elevens Bar and Grill
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. He partnered with Cardiff's biggest brewery, Brains, to bring local food and beer to the venue, which is directly opposite the Castle. Stop at Elevens for a pint of Brains and you may even catch a match on one of the sports screens!

Get musical at Spillers Records

An image from outside Spillers: the world's oldest record shop, the window is filled with posters and records

The world's oldest record shop, Cardiff

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.

A cultural end to the day

A view from the outside of a busy City Arms Pub, Cardiff

One of Cardiff's oldest city centre pubs, The City Arms, Cardiff

 by City Arms
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.