Things to do in Cardiff

About Cardiff

Essential attractions in Cardiff include the historic Cardiff Castle, the futuristic Wales Millennium Centre, and the natural beauty of Bute Park. Delve into the National Museum Cardiff to explore Welsh art, history, and geology. For a unique experience, visit Cardiff Bay and take a tour around the Senedd (Welsh Parliament building).
Cardiff is fantastic for children, with attractions like the interactive Techniquest Science Museum, the enchanting Cardiff Castle, and the immersive St Fagans National Museum of History. Boat rides in Cardiff Bay and exploring Bute Park's playgrounds also make for excellent family-friendly activities.
Enjoy the fresh air with a walk or cycling in Bute Park, boat tours and watersports at Cardiff Bay, or a scenic hike along the Cardiff Bay Trail. For a more structured outdoor activity, visitors can partake in guided walks through the city to uncover its rich history and sights.
Indoor enthusiasts can relish the National Museum Cardiff, enjoy performances at the Wales Millennium Centre, or experience the Victorian shopping arcades. Indoor intrigues also include exploring the Cardiff Story Museum or enjoying a rugby game at Principality Stadium.
Among the best Cardiff tours are heritage walks around Cardiff Castle, the Cardiff Bay guided journey, and audio tours through the city's historical sites. Gastronomy tours through local eateries, and ale trails are also popular for exploring Cardiff's cultural scene.
Popular museums include the National Museum Cardiff for natural history and art, St Fagans National Museum of History for Welsh cultural heritage, and The Cardiff Story Museum for the city's rich narrative. These institutions offer insightful exhibitions suitable for all visitors.
On rainy days, indoor audio tours of historic landmarks like Cardiff Castle or the National Museum are ideal. Cardiff's covered shopping arcades offer architectural tours while staying sheltered from the rain.
Short Cardiff tours include a quick overview of Cardiff Castle, a brief excursion in the Cardiff Bay area, or a condensed walk through the city's center highlighting key landmarks. These short tours cater to those with a limited schedule.

Best Things to Do In Cardiff

Discover the vibrant heart of Wales with an array of attractions and activities that promise a memorable experience.

Cardiff: Llandaff Cathedral

What is it?
An architectural and spiritual beacon with a history dating back to the 12th century.
Why you should go?
Standing majestically in the city's ancient "City of Llandaff," the cathedral is a site of worship and a storied landmark. Visitors can appreciate the blend of different architectural styles, stunning medieval artworks, and the peaceful ambiance. The Cathedral magnificently showcases resilience through its war-torn history and subsequent restorations, making it a poignant place to visit for both history buffs and those seeking tranquility.

Cardiff: Techniquest

What is it?
An interactive science center with a planetarium, designed to inspire minds of all ages.
Why you should go?
Promising a day filled with discovery, Techniquest offers educational entertainment through hands-on exhibits and immersive experiences. The science theatre and planetarium sessions provide unique learning opportunities that make science accessible and enjoyable. It's a perfect destination in Cardiff to spark curiosity and encourage scientific understanding amongst young and eager explorers as well as adults.

Cardiff: Castell Coch

What is it?
A 19th-century Gothic Revival castle that appears as if taken straight out of a fairy tale.
Why you should go?
Nestled in the woods near Cardiff, Castell Coch (Red Castle) offers a fantasy escape with its round towers and conical roofs. It is an example of Victorian extravagance and design brought to life by architect William Burges. With lavishly decorated rooms and murals, the castle invites visitors to step into a living storybook, making it an enchanting addition to what to do in Cardiff.

Cardiff: Cardiff Central Market

What is it?
A historical market with a cornucopia of local produce, crafts, and eateries under a Victorian glass roof.
Why you should go?
For a slice of local life and a sensorial delight, Cardiff Central Market is an unmissable destination. Dating back to the 18th century, this bustling hub offers an array of shops selling everything from fresh fish to vintage records. The market is not only a shopper's paradise but also a window into Cardiff's soul, offering insights into the day-to-day vibrancy and culinary culture of the Welsh capital.

Cardiff: Cardiff International White Water

What is it?
An exhilarating, Olympic-standard white water rafting facility open to adrenaline seekers.
Why you should go?
For an active and adventurous spin on things to do in Cardiff, Cardiff International White Water offers a rush like no other. Whether you're experienced or a beginner, the center provides white water rafting, canoeing, and kayaking experiences that cater to all skill levels. The controlled river flow ensures safety while simulating challenging conditions, making it an ideal outing for thrill-seekers and water sports enthusiasts.

Cardiff: Cardiff Castle

What is it?
An iconic historical fortress that offers a glimpse into the past of Wales.
Why you should go?
Cardiff Castle stands as a testament to various architectural styles and epochs. From Roman fort ruins to Norman keep and Victorian Gothic revival mansion, the castle’s layered history captivates visitors. Engage with interactive exhibitions, roam the opulent apartments, and enjoy panoramic views from the keep. It's a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the enduring legacy of Welsh nobility and the city's evolution.

Cardiff: Principality Stadium

What is it?
A state-of-the-art venue known for hosting thrilling sporting events and concerts.
Why you should go?
Regarded as one of the most impressive arenas in the UK, the Principality Stadium combines modern facilities with an electric atmosphere. Whether it’s a rousing rugby match or a major music performance, the stadium promises an unforgettable experience. Tours offer a behind-the-scenes look at the players' tunnel, VIP suites, and the majestic pitch – a treat for sports and music fans alike.

Cardiff: St Fagans National Museum of History

What is it?
An open-air museum showcasing the historical lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the Welsh people.
Why you should go?
St Fagans is an enchanting journey through time, featuring over forty original buildings from various historical periods. Each building has been carefully reassembled, telling a unique story of Wales's social history. From an ancient church to a traditional ironmonger's shop, the museum offers an engaging and educational day out for visitors of all ages, making it one of the top Cardiff excursions.

Cardiff: Cardiff Bay

What is it?
A vibrant waterfront offering a mix of entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences.
Why you should go?
Cardiff Bay epitomizes the dynamic regeneration of the city, presenting a striking contrast to the historical sites. Its array of architectural wonders, including the Wales Millennium Centre, is an elegant reminder of Cardiff's cosmopolitan flair. With boat tours, waterside eateries, and cultural venues, the bay area is a great place to relax, take in the views, and enjoy a slice of local life.

Cardiff: The Cardiff Story Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the narratives and transformation of Cardiff through the ages.
Why you should go?
Discover Cardiff's rich heritage at The Cardiff Story Museum, where interactive galleries and fascinating exhibits take visitors on a journey through the city's evolution. The museum's collection, woven with the personal stories of its citizens, offers a poignant reflection of Cardiff's diverse community and its growth from a small market town to the bustling capital it is today. This venue is particularly ideal for families and history enthusiasts.

Fun things to do in Cardiff with kids

Cardiff, the thriving capital of Wales, is a treasure trove of activities that cater to curious youngsters and their families. A visit to Techniquest offers an enthralling educational experience with its interactive science exhibits and cutting-edge planetarium shows that ignite the spark of discovery in young minds. Bute Park provides a sprawling outdoor playground for both relaxation and adventure; children can revel in the expansive green space, perfect for picnics, play, and exploration. As a cultural highlight, Cardiff International White Water allows families to indulge in exciting water sport activities, from white water rafting to flat water paddling, ideal for older kids and teens looking for an adrenaline boost. These attractions encapsulate the joyful spirit of the best things to do in Cardiff with kids, blending learning with leisure for an unforgettable family day out.

Things to do in Cardiff with family

Cardiff bursts with attractions that promise unforgettable moments for families. Kickstart your exploration at the iconic Cardiff Castle, which sweeps visitors of all ages into a fairy-tale like past with its medieval towers, Norman keep, and wartime shelters. The castle's colorful history and panoramic viewpoints over the city will spark the imagination of both children and adults. Next, immerse yourself in the Welsh culture at St Fagans National Museum of History, an open-air museum depicting life in Wales through the ages. With historical buildings set in lush countryside and interactive exhibits, it's an excellent spot for cultural education and outdoor enjoyment. Cap off your day at Cardiff Bay, a lively and picturesque area ideal for leisurely waterfront strolls. Enjoy the playgrounds, snack on delicious treats from local eateries, and watch boats drift by for a serene family outing. Each of these destinations offers a unique touch to the array of things to do in Cardiff with family.

Free things to do in Cardiff

Cardiff is a welcoming destination that offers plenty of engaging activities without a price tag. For art and history enthusiasts, the National Museum Cardiff is a cultural haven, providing free access to world-class art, natural history, and geology exhibits - inviting discovery and learning for all ages. When looking for what to see in Cardiff that captures both beauty and tranquility, Bute Park is a sanctuary of lush landscapes, perfect for picnics, scenic walks, and enjoying nature's canvas through the year. The park is also a historical treasure, with remnants of Cardiff's past scattered throughout the grounds. Another gem is the Cardiff Story Museum, where interactive galleries tell the compelling tale of the city's transformation from a small market town to the vibrant capital it is today. These top three attractions stand out among the free things to do in Cardiff, ensuring that your visit is enriching, memorable, and affordable for everyone.

Cheap things to do in Cardiff

Exploring Cardiff on a budget is a delightful experience with several affordable attractions on offer. The Cardiff Central Market is a perfect starting point for a day of frugal fun. This historic venue invites guests to meander through stalls teeming with local produce, rare finds and artisanal goods, making for an authentic and budget-friendly shopping experience. Roath Park, with its classic Victorian atmosphere and scenic lake, offers a tranquil retreat from city life. Families can enjoy feeding ducks, relaxing by the water, or a leisurely boat ride for a small fee. Finally, consider joining one of the Cardiff tours that explore the city's street art - a cost-effective way to immerse yourself in the local culture and creativity. These tours showcase the vibrant murals that adorn the city's walls, combining the thrill of discovery with the joy of outdoor accessibility. Each of these attractions exemplifies the cheap things to do in Cardiff, ensuring a rich experience without straining your wallet.

Things to do in Cardiff for couples

Couples looking for a romantic getaway in Cardiff will find an array of charming activities. Stroll hand in hand through the idyllic paths of Bute Park, which becomes particularly enchanting during the golden hours of sunset, offering a perfect backdrop for an intimate evening. For those keen on what to see in Cardiff that sparks a bit of adventure, a visit to Cardiff Bay presents an opportunity to bond over boat rides and waterfront dining, with the shimmering water creating a serene ambience. History-loving pairs might delight in taking one of the many Cardiff tours around the city's historical heart – Cardiff Castle. This architectural marvel provides a journey back in time and a chance to explore the lush castle grounds or enjoy panoramic city views from the medieval keep. Each of these top attractions for couples ensures a memorable experience filled with the beauty and vibrancy of Wales' capital.

Things to do in Cardiff at night

Nighttime unveils a different facet of Cardiff, with a variety of nocturnal attractions for visitors. One of the essential Cardiff activities is to immerse oneself in the local performing arts scene at the Wales Millennium Centre. This architectural marvel hosts an array of evening shows, from opera to modern theatre, providing world-class entertainment. For a taste of Cardiff's nightlife, couples and groups alike can embark on a spirited exploration of the city's pubs and bars. The vibrant atmosphere of Cardiff's historic arcades and brewery quarters are ideal for those wondering what to do in Cardiff to experience its local brews and live music. Lastly, the city's illuminations bring Cardiff Castle to life after dark, offering a majestic evening backdrop — a casual walk around this iconic landmark can lead to memorable night photography, romantic moments, and a newfound appreciation for Cardiff's historical charm.

TOP-5 tours in Cardiff for first time visitors

  • Explore the historic Cardiff Castle, a cornerstone among places to visit in Cardiff, with an audio tour revealing its intricate past and architecture.
  • Delve into the bustling Cardiff Bay on a guided audio excursion, one of the best Cardiff tours that combines scenic views with cultural insights.
  • The National Museum Cardiff offers a wealth of treasures. Learn about Welsh history and art on a comprehensive self-guided tour, a quintessential Cardiff activity.
  • Wander through the charming streets of Cardiff's city center, immersing in the ambience with stories and music enhancing the things to see in Cardiff.
  • Indulge in the verdant oasis of Bute Park. A guided audio walk not only tickles the senses but is also one of the fun things to do in Cardiff.