Wales’ capital has a long and fascinating history, from Vikings to Romans to Normans, to name but a few. This walkable city which is just 2 hours from London by train has lots of interesting things to see and do. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Cardiff.
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1. Cardiff Castle
Explore the majestic Cardiff Castle (pictured), a medieval fortress dating back to ancient Roman times but with palatial Victorian Gothic opulence inside. Wander through its extravagant interiors and enjoy the beautiful surrounding parkland. Don’t forget to check out the keep with its replica trebuchet. If the skies are blue, take in the fresh air at Bute Park which are on the castle grounds.
2. St. Fagans National Museum of History
tep back in time at Wales’ most popular attraction: an interactive, open-air museum showcasing over 40 historic buildings from around the country. Experience what it was like to live in rural Wales and discover it’s fascinating history. (PS: they’ve got some great dining options too!) The museum is around 35 minutes by local bus from central Cardiff and it is absolutely free to enter.
3. Cardiff Bay
Discover Cardiff’s maritime history and vibrant waterfront at Cardiff Bay. This part of the city is packed with great shops and restaurants so there’s plenty to do, including The Giant Wheel for views over the bay. Take a boat cruise on Cardiff Bay or, if you have a whole day, enjoy a day trip out to Flat Holm Island. (Note that cruises and boat trips usually only run in summer months.) Visit the iconic Norwegian Church Arts Centre, one of Cardiff’s most iconic buildings to take in an exhibition and view the church. Or simply stroll along the Cardiff Bay Barrage’s walking trail with its views over the Severn Estuary.
4. Principality Stadium
If you’re a sports enthusiast, take a stadium tour of this famous stadium, also called the Millenium Stadium. Or perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to catch a rugby match, concert, or other entertainment event.
5. Eat Welsh foods
Cuisine isn’t usually the first thing people think of about Cardiff, but you may be surprised to know that there really is so much deliciousness to try and enjoy, from traditional foods like Bara Brith (tea bread), Laverbread (bread made with seaweed), to cawl (lamb stew), Glamorgan sausage, Welsh cakes, and Welsh rarebit, to more modern additions to the scene, and excellent beers and ciders. Not sure where to start? We love foodie tours as they give you a taste of history, culture, and, of course, delicious food.
7. Cardiff Market
This historic Victorian indoor market has a charming atmosphere and is the perfect place to stock up on treats and lovely gifts. Browse through a variety of stalls offering fresh produce, local products, crafts, and traditional Welsh foods.
8. The Arcades
Cardiff boasts no less than seven delightful Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades. They’re beautiful in their own right, plus they have plenty of wonderful independent boutiques, quirky shops, and little cafes to tempt you.
9. National Museum Cardiff
Explore the National Museum Cardiff’s extensive collection of art, archaeology, and natural history. Marvel at works by Monet, Turner, and Rodin, among others, and learn more about Welsh history.
10. The Museum of Cardiff
Not to be confused with the National Museum Cardiff, this small but fascinating museum is packed with insights into the city, and its people and heritage. Housed in the Old Library, the Museum of Cardiff is free to enter and offers interactive displays that will keep visitors of all ages entertained.
Bonus Reason: Welsh Hospitality
Saving the best for last, there’s Welsh hospitality. Welsh people are generally among the friendliest in the British Isles and there are so many welcoming locals who are proud of their heritage and eager to share their unique culture.
Please note: all information is subject to change, so always check before you visit.