15 Best Things to Do in Cardiff, Wales

15 Best Things to Do in Cardiff, Wales

By will

Cardiff, the capital of Wales, is a vibrant and lively city with plenty to explore.

From stunning natural scenery to exciting attractions, Cardiff has something for everyone.

It’s no wonder then that tourists flock here throughout the year to experience all that this city has to offer.

So if you’re looking for a unique destination with plenty to do, Cardiff should be at the top of your list!

Here are 15 of the best things to do in Cardiff that will help you make the most of your trip.

1. Embrace Modern Democracy At The Senedd

The Senedd, Cardiff Bay
Photo by Adrian Platt

Follow the footsteps of modern democracy and explore the Senedd in Cardiff, Wales.

Built-in 2006, this iconic building is home to the Welsh Assembly and it’s a symbol of Welsh independence and freedom.

Get up close and personal with history here, as you wander through the corridors of government.

Discover all about this institution as you explore its vast grounds – from the debating chamber to the art gallery.

The building also offers plenty of opportunities for education, with guided tours available throughout the week.

Learn all about how decisions are made that affect everyday life in Wales and beyond.

Be inspired by democracy at work, while soaking up the stunning views of Cardiff Bay from atop this remarkable building.

Make sure to take some time out to discover the many stories hidden inside – from ancient folklore tales to modern-day political debates.

Come here for an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling empowered and energized by Wales’ spirit of freedom.

2. Wander The Grounds Of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle
Photo by David Dixon

Cardiff Castle is a must-see for anyone visiting Wales.

Located in the heart of Cardiff, the castle grounds offer a stunning view of the city and its surrounding areas.

With its rich history, Cardiff Castle has been part of Wales’s culture for centuries.

The grounds are perfect for an afternoon walk or exploring with family and friends.

There are plenty of green spaces, gardens, and pathways to explore while taking in the beauty of this historic landmark.

You can take a guided tour around the castle, learn about its history and hear stories about its past inhabitants.

The castle also offers several activities such as falconry displays, children’s activities, educational talks, and concerts throughout the year.

The grounds of Cardiff Castle provide an opportunity to escape into a beautiful world where time stands still.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll or an exciting adventure, Cardiff Castle is sure to satisfy your craving for exploration.

It’s no wonder why so many people come from all over the world to visit this magnificent place!

3. Study The Masters At The National Museum

The National Museum, Cardiff
Photo bu Jeremy Bolwell

The National Museum Cardiff is a must-see for any visitor to the city.

Located in the heart of the capital, this impressive building houses some of Wales’ most renowned works of art.

From masters like Monet and Turner to contemporary pieces from Welsh artists, there is something to inspire everyone.

This museum showcases works from across Europe, allowing visitors to appreciate the rich history and culture of Wales.

Whether you take a guided tour or explore at your own pace, you’re sure to leave with a renewed appreciation for the area’s artistic treasures.

Plus, with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits that bring these masterpieces to life, you can truly experience art like never before!

So whether you’re an experienced art aficionado or just getting started on your viewing journey, make sure to check out The National Museum Cardiff while in Wales.

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4. Visit Shopping Arcades

Cardiff boasts a rich history when it comes to shopping arcades.

Many of them, like Castle Arcade and Wyndham Arcade, date back to the Victorian era and have been lovingly restored to their former glory.

Whether you’re looking for antiques, vintage curiosities, or just some unique souvenirs to take home with you, these arcades are the perfect place to explore.

Take a stroll through Castle Arcade and marvel at its stunning architecture.

With its ornate ceilings, intricate mosaic floors, and stained glass windows, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this historic building.

You’ll find plenty of interesting shops here – from independent boutiques selling homewares and gifts to high-end designer stores offering the latest trends.

For something truly unique, head up to the top floor where you’ll find an eclectic mix of vintage stores full of retro clothing and accessories.

The Wyndham Arcade is another must-see spot for shoppers in Cardiff.

This Grade II listed building was built around 1890 and has an impressive art deco interior that will transport you back in time as soon as you step inside.

Here you’ll find a selection of independent retailers selling one-off pieces from jewelry makers and local artists, as well as food stalls offering delicious snacks like Welsh cakes and fudge.

It’s the perfect place for those seeking something special for themselves or someone else – so why not make a day out of it?

5. Walk Through Cardiff Market

Cardiff Market is a must-see when visiting the city.

This traditional market has been in operation since the 1800s, and it’s still bustling with activity.

You’ll find a wide variety of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to local crafts and souvenirs.

Wander through the aisles and take in all the sights, smells, and sounds of this vibrant market.

At Cardiff Market, you can sample delicious Welsh delicacies such as bara brith, or ‘fruit bread’, made with dried fruit, spices, and honey.

Or try some traditional Welsh cakes – small round cakes cooked on a griddle – which are usually served with butter or clotted cream.

There’s also the chance to pick up some unique gifts for friends and family back home – from handmade jewelry to quirky homewares.

The experience of walking through Cardiff Market is truly unforgettable; it’s like stepping into another world!

6. Visit The National Museum Cardiff

If you’re looking for a taste of history and culture in Cardiff, then the National Museum Cardiff is a must-visit.

Located in the heart of the city, it’s easy to get to and provides an amazing insight into Wales’ rich past.

With exhibitions ranging from prehistory right up to modern times, there’s something for everyone.

On arrival, you’ll be taken on a journey through the museum’s galleries.

Here you’ll find artifacts from all periods of Welsh history – including Roman coins, medieval manuscripts, and even some modern artworks.

You’ll also be able to learn more about the nation’s proud literary tradition with displays dedicated to both classic Welsh authors, such as Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl, as well as contemporary writers like Sarah Waters.

The museum also hosts regular events such as talks and workshops which provide an opportunity to engage with local experts who can provide further insight into Welsh culture.

The National Museum Cardiff is open 7 days a week, so you can take your time exploring the various exhibitions before finding time for lunch or dinner at one of the nearby eateries.

Whether you’re visiting for just a few hours or staying for longer, there’s plenty here to keep even the most curious minds entertained!

7. Visit Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay is a must-see for anyone visiting Wales.

With miles of waterfront, it’s the perfect place to get out and explore.

You can take a stroll along the bay, or take a ride in one of the many boats that cruise the waters. From luxury yachts to traditional fishing vessels, there’s something for everyone.

There are also plenty of opportunities for water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.

Cardiff Bay is also home to some fantastic attractions.

The Wales Millennium Centre is an iconic building with an impressive range of shows and performances for all ages.

The nearby Techniquest science center is great for kids, while adult visitors will love the Senedd building where you can learn more about Welsh politics and history.

Don’t forget the shopping centers, restaurants, and bars that line Cardiff Bay; there’s something for everyone here!

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Cardiff Bay has it all – so make sure to add it to your itinerary when you visit Wales!

8. Enjoy A Game Of Rugby At Principality Stadium

If you’re in Cardiff, Wales, there’s no better way to experience the culture than by attending a rugby match at Principality Stadium.

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This is Wales’ national stadium and it’s home to some of the best sporting events in Europe.

With its electrifying atmosphere, passionate fans, and intense competition, there’s nothing quite like a game of rugby here.

The Principality Stadium is an impressive venue, with a capacity of 74,500.

It offers an exceptional experience for visitors with its luxurious seating areas and remarkable view of the pitch.

When the teams take the field and the crowd begins to roar, it’s an unforgettable experience that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime.

Enjoying a game of rugby at this iconic stadium is sure to be one of your most memorable experiences in Cardiff!

9. See A Performance At The Wales Millennium Centre

Continuing your journey in Cardiff, Wales, the Wales Millennium Centre is an absolute must-see.

Located in the heart of Cardiff Bay, this theatre offers a wide range of performances from musicals to plays and concerts.

The building itself is a sight to behold, with its stunning design and glass exterior that reflects the beauty of its surroundings.

The interior of the Wales Millennium Centre is just as impressive, with its sweeping staircases, vast lobbies, and beautiful auditoriums.

There are also several smaller venues for more intimate performances such as cabaret shows, comedy nights, and cinema screenings.

Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or an evening of culture and entertainment, there’s something for everyone at this iconic venue.

With top-notch facilities and breathtaking views over Cardiff Bay, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular venues in Wales.

So whatever your taste in entertainment may be, you’re sure to find something special at the Wales Millennium Centre.

10. Explore Bute Park

Bute Park, located in the heart of Cardiff, is an oasis of tranquility, and a must-visit site for any traveler to Wales.

From its lush green landscapes to its winding pathways and tranquil lakeside views, Bute Park offers plenty of opportunities to explore and reconnect with nature.

The park is home to a number of impressive gardens, including the Rose Garden, the Arboretum, and the Wildflower Meadow.

Visitors can also take part in a variety of activities within the park, such as fishing or bird watching; or simply take a leisurely stroll along one of the many paths that meander through this picturesque landscape.

The park is also home to several historic monuments, including Cardiff Castle, which stands proudly at the entrance.

A visit here is truly worthwhile – visitors can wander through looming medieval walls and get lost in history while admiring stunning stained glass windows.

For those looking for something more active, the castle grounds are available for sports such as tennis and croquet.

Bute Park also hosts various events throughout the year, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for these fun occasions – there’s always something new to discover!

11. Stroll Down The Centenary Walk

Next on our tour of Cardiff’s must-sees is the Centenary Walk.

This stunning, wooded trail takes you along the River Taff and offers breathtaking views of the city skyline.

It’s easy to get lost in the beauty of this place – it’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll or even a romantic picnic with someone special.

The walk is well-lit at night, so if you’re looking for something to do after dark, this is definitely an option!

There are plenty of benches along the way and places to stop and take in all the beauty around you.

You can also find art installations that tell stories about Cardiff’s history and culture – perfect for those who want to learn more about this vibrant city.

12. See The Senedd

Located on Cardiff Bay, the Senedd is an iconic symbol of Wales.

This impressive building sits in the heart of Cardiff and houses the National Assembly for Wales.

It is a must-see destination for any traveler eager to learn more about Welsh culture and history.

The Senedd is filled with interesting stories, artifacts, and exhibits that are sure to educate and inspire anyone who visits.

The building itself is a striking piece of architecture, with its curved glass walls and modern design.

Inside you can explore the debating chambers and galleries, where you will discover how decisions are made in Wales today.

There’s also a cafe where you can enjoy delicious Welsh treats while admiring the breathtaking views of Cardiff Bay.

At the Senedd, visitors are given a chance to explore their own freedom through education and discussion.

With its stunning view of the bay and its informative displays, this building offers a unique experience that should not be missed!

13. White Water Rafting

Ready for an adrenaline rush?

White water rafting in Cardiff is the perfect activity for thrill seekers!

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Located just a few miles outside of the city center, Cardiff’s white water rafting center offers an unforgettable experience.

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be welcomed by a friendly team of experienced guides who will provide you with all the safety equipment you need.

You’ll then have the chance to get kitted up and receive a safety briefing before heading out onto the rapids.

You’ll be taken on a thrilling ride through some of Wales’ most beautiful scenery as you navigate your way downriver.

With powerful rapids, big drops, and plenty of obstacles to overcome, this is an adventure like no other!

It’s also great fun for all levels of experience – from first-timers to seasoned veterans.

So why not grab your friends and family and make some incredible memories together?

White water rafting in Cardiff is an unforgettable experience that gives you the freedom to explore wild nature while pushing yourself to new limits!

With expert guides leading the way, it’s sure to be an exhilarating adventure that won’t soon be forgotten.

So what are you waiting for?

Get ready for some serious thrills and book your white water rafting trip today!

14. Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park is a must-see when visiting Cardiff, Wales.

Located just two hours away from the city, it makes for a perfect day trip.

This stunning natural landscape is home to hundreds of miles of hiking trails, sparkling lakes and rivers, and rugged mountains.

Its beauty will take your breath away!

The park offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or a leisurely stroll along the lake, there’s something for everyone in Snowdonia National Park.

You can camp overnight or explore the many caves and waterfalls that make up this incredible landscape.

And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some rare wildlife like red kites or wild ponies.

No matter how you choose to spend your time here, Snowdonia National Park is sure to give you an unforgettable experience.

So don’t miss out – add it to your list of things to do in Cardiff!

15. Visit Caerphilly Castle

From the stunning scenery of Snowdonia National Park to the historic sites of Cardiff, a visit to Wales is a must for any traveler.

One of the most iconic attractions in the area is Caerphilly Castle.

This impressive fortress was built by Gilbert de Clare in 1268, and it remains one of the largest castles in Britain.

It’s situated just outside Cardiff and easily be reached via train or car.

The castle itself is awe-inspiring, with its large towers and expansive grounds.

You’ll want to spend a few hours here exploring the grounds, visiting the Great Hall, and trying your hand at archery on the castle’s grounds.

The lake that surrounds it adds to its charm, allowing visitors to take boat rides around the island or explore its moat on foot.

There are also plenty of events held here throughout the year including medieval jousts, outdoor theatre performances, and more.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip from Cardiff or an immersive experience in Welsh history, Caerphilly Castle offers something for everyone.

With its striking architecture, exciting events, and picturesque setting, it’s easy to see why this iconic fortress remains one of Wales’ most beloved attractions.

So if you’re planning a trip to Wales be sure to add Caerphilly Castle to your itinerary – you won’t regret it!

Best Things to Do in Cardiff – Final Thoughts

The rich culture and history of Cardiff, Wales make it a great destination for all types of travelers.

From the famous Senedd to the beautiful Caerphilly Castle, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied during your stay.

White water rafting and Snowdonia National Park give those seeking an adrenaline rush plenty of options, while those who prefer a more leisurely pace can take in the sights at Cardiff Castle or explore the arcades and marketplaces of the city.

No matter what you’re looking for, Cardiff has something special to offer everyone.

For me, visiting Cardiff was a truly memorable experience that I won’t soon forget.

The atmosphere of the city is so welcoming and inviting that I felt like I was part of its fabric from the very first day.

The landscape is remarkable and breathtaking in its beauty – from the bustling city center to the majestic Snowdonia National Park – making it easy to understand why this region is so beloved by locals and tourists alike.

If you’re looking for a unique destination with plenty of fun activities, then Cardiff is definitely worth considering.

With its friendly people and stunning landscapes, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular destinations in Wales!

FAQs

What are the best things to do in Cardiff with kids?

The best things to do in Cardiff with kids are visiting Cardiff Bay, National Museum Cardiff, and Cardiff Castle.

What to do during the day in Cardiff?

The best things to do during the day in Cardiff are visiting Cardiff Bay, experiencing Treetop Adventure Golf, and the Superbowl UK.

Is Cardiff worth visiting?

Yes, Cardiff is worth visiting because there are so many things to do in the city, and its mesmerizing Cardiff beaches.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.