Cardiff is one of the most vibrant and popular cities in the UK and sees thousands of tourists visit the capital of the red dragon nation every year. You'll find that the little urban and historical city nestled between the picturesque mountain landscapes of the South Wales Valleys and the open sea really does have something for everyone.
Whatever reason you may be visiting the beautiful city of Cardiff, whether that’s for a business trip, a city break or meeting up with friends or family, we have put together a helpful guide on the top 10 things to do in Cardiff which will give you some great ideas when you step foot into the Welsh capital.
If you are someone who loves shopping and adores top of the range stores and brands, then the St David's Dewi Sant Shopping centre will most definitely be up your street. Located in the heart of the city, the shopping centre is home to over 180 shops, cafes and restaurants and has around 40 million visitors each year and is regarded as one of the best retail destinations in the UK.
A visit to the St David’s Dewi Sant will make a perfect day out and with so many outlets, including the likes of John Lewis, Zara, Apple and many more, the shopping centre will be sure to satisfy those who visit.
Cardiff Castle is by far one of Wales’ most popular heritage attractions and is a great place to visit for those looking to really explore Cardiff’s rich history. Once a Roman Fort, A Norman Stronghold and lastly a Victorian Palace, Cardiff Castle is a remarkable landsite to visit which holds 2,000 years of history. One of the great things about Cardiff is that it's a relatively small city so everything is within walking distance of the castle situated on the outskirts of the Capital’s highstreets.
Admission prices for Cardiff Castle are:
Some of Cardiff’s hidden gems can be found in the multiple historical arcades situated within the city centre. Referred to as the ‘City Of Arcades’ which is a name that has been given to the seven aesthetically beautiful victorian and edwardian arcades, these arcades are home to over 100 independent boutiques, popular high-street brands and award winning cafes and restaurants.
The list of arcades to explore include:
We highly recommend exploring the Morgan Arcade where you’ll find some delicious eateries, including a much loved local favourite, ‘Fresh The Baguette Bar’, which produces delicious baguettes, paninis and everyday specials. You also have some bohemian artisan coffee houses to unwind and catch a break from exploring the city.
Right next to the Morgan Arcade is Cardiff’s famous brewery quarter which has a set of infamous steps which people love to gather to when the weather is fine and you’ll find great bars and food places like 5 guys, Nandos, Bella Italia and the new american fast food chain, Wingstop to indulge in.
Trading since the 1700s, Cardiff Indoor Market is a lively hotspot for locals and offers a warm welcome to those visiting the city. The building itself offers an elegant Victorian feel and is home to a fantastic range of independent businesses offering rich welsh cuisine foods (best lure to try the welsh cakes!), street style foods and all of your typical market products. This is a greater place to visit when wandering around the city where you can explore all that the market has to offer.
For lovers of natural history and fine arts, The National Museum Cardiff will make for a great place to visit and often hosts temporary exhibitions and events. Famous paintings at the museum include works from Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. You’ll also be happy to know that admission is completely free so it can’t hurt to pop in and take a visit now can it?
Cardiff has a great nightlife scene and offers a multitude of different nightlife experiences for everyone. There are a number of hidden cocktail gems, bars and popular nightclub chains for revellers to enjoy. If you are looking for a unique cocktail experience, then we highly recommend visiting the award winning establishment, ‘The Dead Canary’.
Not just infamous for its drinking nightlife, Cardiff is a great hotspot home to many exquisite restaurants, from your well known food chains to independent local favourites, there’ll be a restaurant to satisfy everyone's taste buds. For Italian lovers, we recommend visiting Giovannis which offers spectacular Italian delicacies and for a luxury fire-based steak house, you must visit Pasture.
Just like Cardiff Castle, St Fagans National Museum Of History is another great historical site to visit to delve into Welsh heritage history. Located in the grounds of the late 16th century manor house. St Fagans contains over fifty original buildings that capture different historical periods and locations from across Wales which have been re-built on the historical ground to make a remarkable museum. Entry into the museum is completely free.
Speller Records is the world's oldest record shop and is located in the historic Morgan Arcade. Formed in 1894, Spiller Records has an extensive selection of records and CDS covering every music genre that you could imagine. This is a fantastic story to visit for music lovers and once you enter you instantly feel a sense of nostalgia, that sense of independent brilliance.
Situated right next to Cardiff Castle and the National Museum Cardiff, Bute Park is a 130 acre park filled with lush landscape gardens and greenlands that make for a perfect stroll. The park has many different walking paths, cycle routes are very popular for locals and students, especially during bouts of fine weather.
Just a 10 minute drive from Cardiff City Centre you'll be able to find Cardiff Bay. Cardiff Bay is another popular place to visit as it’s right next to the sea and offers another great selection of things to do. We recommend that you visit the Mermaid Quay which is the main hub of the bay and offers stunning views from a number of different restaurants, cafes and bars. Cardiff Bay is also home to the Senedd, which houses Wales’ Welsh Parliament and is open to visitors.
Now that we have given you some inspiration on the top 10 things to do in Cardiff, if you need accommodation either in Cardiff City Centre or Cardiff Bay, we have you covered. We offer premium quality serviced accommodation in Cardiff that will give you the feel of a home away from home, perfect for when you explore the City or if you are here on a business trip. If you would like to enquire about our serviced apartments, get in touch with our friendly team today.
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