If you’re new to the Cardiff area or are a local looking for new places to explore, you may be wondering what are the best things to do in this historical Welsh city.
From castles to museums, Cardiff is full of culture, and you’ll never be stuck for something to do in this beautiful city.
So sit back and relax while we take you on a whistle-stop tour of Cardiff’s best attractions!
Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of the city and is a beautiful mediaeval fortress steeped in over 2,000 years of history. Built in the 11th century by Victorian architect William Burges, Cardiff Castle provides many interesting talking points including the Roman origins, Norman keep, and Victorian Gothic mansion.
Whether you’re a history buff or not, Cardiff Castle is a great place to visit for the day, with beautiful gardens and architecture making it a well-worth a visit for the whole family.
National Museum Cardiff
Another top attraction for history lovers is the National Museum of Cardiff. It’s so easy to spend a day in this top-rated museum, with memorable exhibits including the 100 years of BBC in Wales, Wales 100, and the Rules of Art.
This cultural gem is home to wide collections of famous art, with over five hundred years of historical paintings, sculptures, silver, and ceramic collections from Wales and around the globe. There are also many interactive displays and educational offerings, making it a great place for both children and adults to enjoy.
If seaside towns are your thing, you should definitely pay a visit to Cardiff Bay. Once a bustling port, Cardiff Bay has something for everyone with beautiful views, historical culture, and a vibrant atmosphere that will make you want to stay forever.
Whether you enjoy walking along the waterfront or indulging in some local dining, you’ll never be stuck for something to do in Cardiff Bay. The area is also home to some great attractions including the Techniquest Science Discovery Centre and the Norwegian Church Arts Centre.
For the sports fans out there, you can’t miss a visit to Wales’ national stadium, the Principality Stadium. With a capacity for over 70,000 spectators, the atmosphere is simply staggering whether you’re visiting for a match or a guided tour.
The Principality Stadium provides a venue for rugby matches, football games, and live events, and guided tours include a visit to the player’s changing rooms, walk through the tunnel, plus some facts about the stadium’s history.
If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, take a trip down to Bute Park, one of Wales’ largest urban parks.
Bute Park spans over 130 acres, the equivalent of 80 football pitches, providing you with many paths and tracks to explore. With the River Taff running through Bute Park, you can enjoy a picnic by the river or rent a bicycle and explore the beautiful nature this park has to offer. There are also historic landmarks such as the Blackfriars Friary and the Gorsedd Stones if you want a little bit of culture with your rural escape too.
Flat Holm Island
Another rural area that is popular with ramblers and history buffs alike is Flat Holm Island. This tranquil nature reserve is based within the Bristol Channel and is accessible via boat trip from Cardiff at certain times each month.
Less than half a mile wide, Flat Holm Island is truly a hidden gem. The island offers breathtaking views and plenty of wildlife including seals and seabirds, plus a historic island lighthouse, Victorian buildings and World War II defences that the public can explore.
St Fagans National Museum of History
Don’t miss St Fagans National Museum of History if you’re keen to learn about the rich culture and heritage of Wales. This fantastic museum is set on the grounds of St Fagans Castle and provides access to over 40 historic buildings from different periods such as farms, workshops, and churches.
One of Europe’s leading open-air museums, St Fagans National Museum of History is one of Wales’ most popular heritage attractions and even offers demonstrations of crafts and many interactive activities that make it a great visiting spot if you have young children.
Next up on our tour of Cardiff is Castell Coch, a fairy-tale-like castle based in woodlands near Cardiff. Also known as Red Castle, Castell Coch provides a rare insight into Victorian Gothic architecture, with its red exterior, turrets, and stunning interiors.
Built in the 19th century on the ruins of a 13th-century fortress, Castell Coch is steeped in history. There are guided tours for the public to enjoy with guided headsets and tour professionals, plus the beautiful surroundings make it the perfect spot for a weekend visit to the countryside.
Wales Millennium Centre
We highly recommend checking out the Wales Millennium Centre if you love live events and the performing arts. Opened in 2004, the Wales Millennium Centre is a stunning arts centre located in Cardiff Bay, covering a total area of 4.7 acres and home to a diverse range of performances such as ballet, opera, theatre and live music.
It offers state-of-the-art acoustics within its grand auditorium and was created as a stage for Wales, reflecting the country’s passionate spirit and offering a home for the performing arts. It even reflects Wales in its design, constructed using structural steel to reflect the famous steel industry of South Wales and featuring hardwood floors from sustainable Welsh woodlands.
Last up on our list of places to visit in Cardiff is Llandaff Cathedral, a stunning cathedral dating back to 1120 based in Llandaff village.
Llandaff Cathedral is well worth a visit if you’re partial to viewing beautiful architecture, featuring a stunning Gothic tower and intricate wall carvings. The cathedral is often home to events such as live concerts and carol services, allowing the local community to enjoy and learn about the area’s stunning history.
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