Our capital city of Cardiff hosts around 22 million tourists each year. Cardiff is home to the recognisable Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay and the iconic Principality Stadium in the city centre, where the national rugby team plays and trains. There really is something for everyone with an abundance of shops, restaurants, bars and parks.
Within the southeast corner of Wales, there are a number of fascinating towns to explore, including Newport, Usk, and Abergavenny, but within Cardiff itself, there are numerous things to do whether you’re looking for family-friendly options, a spot of culture, or some time for yourself.
1. Enjoy Some Retail Therapy at Cardiff Market
In the Castle Quarter of the city centre, you’ll find Cardiff Central Market.
Under the great Victorian glass roof, the market buzzes with activity as countless stalls do business. Alongside the more traditional merchants, such as green grocers, butchers and book sellers, you’ll find many independent sellers showcasing local arts and crafts, artisanal products and more - there’s even a psychic medium. The friendly atmosphere invites you in, and even if you don’t plan on purchasing, you can spend many happy hours exploring and tasting the wonderful array of local produce and freshly cooked food on offer.
- Just a 5 minute walk from Cardiff Central
- Local arts and crafts
- Cardiff Central Market Website
2. Dive into Cardiff’s Past at the Museum
In the heart of Cardiff, lies the National Museum.
Founded in 1905, the museum houses some of the finest collections seen in Europe, while the art gallery is home to pieces dating from before the 16th century right up to the present day.
French and Post Impressionism, 18th century Chinese Porcelain, and traditional Welsh carvings - over 500 years of the finest works of art gathered in one place, including silver, sculptures, textiles and ceramics.
The Evolution of Wales exhibition takes visitors on a journey through 4,600 million years of history, from the Big Bang, dinosaurs, and how the land was shaped by volcanic eruptions to the beginning of the modern era. An absolutely breath-taking collection of fossils, film, interactive displays, and light shows - this is a must-see for adults and children alike.
With collections focusing on natural history, relics and found artefacts documenting man’s development, and numerous exciting temporary exhibits, the National Museum of Cardiff is free, fun and fascinating.
- Location: Just 5 minute walk from Cathays Station
- Free entry
- Cardiff National Museum Website
3. Explore the Principality Stadium
Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or not, the iconic Principality Stadium is well worth exploring.
Formerly known as the Millennium Stadium, it has been the home of Welsh rugby since its inaugural match in 1999. The stadium can accommodate 75,000 people and is only the second stadium in Europe to feature a retractable roof.
Hosting a wide variety of events from live music to Monster Jam, the Principality Stadium has also appeared in several TV shows, including Dr Who, the spin-off Torchwood and has even played the role of Wembley Arena in the cult film 28 Weeks Later.
A range of tour options allow visitors to follow in the footsteps of giants, through the dressing rooms, press conference suite and out onto the hallowed turf. Looking up and imagining the thousands of screaming fans, the 800 tonne roof structure and the vast green swathe stretching out in front, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- Location: Just over a mile from Cardiff Central Station
- Stadium tours from just £12
- Principality Stadium Website
4. Step back in time at Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Situated in the heart of the city centre, you can walk through the Castle gates and discover the history of 2000 years in the making. With guided tours, an open-air theatre and a gift shop, a trip to Cardiff Castle is a must for all visitors to Cardiff.
- Cardiff Castle website
- Great for history lovers
- One of the most popular attractions in Cardiff
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