Thursday, 11 June 2015

What To Do In Cardiff Bay On A Budget

I am a big fan of Cardiff Bay. This area of Cardiff has so much to see and do. A day out in Cardiff Bay needn't cost a fortune either. Here is my afternoon in Cardiff Bay on a budget, prices are per person.

Visit The Norwegian Church


The Norwegian Church arts centre is one of the landmark buildings in the Cardiff Bay area. This iconic and instantly recognisable building, originally a Norwegian Sailors church, dates back to the industrial revolution and was originally donated by the Marquis Of Bute. Now a registered charity the building is perfectly situated for panoramic views over the waterfront area.  

Today there are many free art exhibitions here where they showcase local artists and also a great little coffee shop, called Cafe Norsk. Have a tasty bowl of Cawl (Welsh lamb broth), a bacon sandwich or a scrumptious cake in the cafe and prices are very reasonable too.

Total cost £5



Visit The Dr Who Experience 



When I was a child I watched Dr Who every Saturday night with my dad. Tom Baker was the Dr then. When the new revamped Dr Who was launched about 10 years ago I started watching it with my son, who became a massive fan. 

The Dr Who Experience is an "interactive adventure through time and space" and well worth visiting if you have kids or not.  The interactive experience is a timed presentation, and I don't want to give too much away but you battle one of the Dr's greatest adversaries!  



After the interactive experience you can visit the exhibition of Dr Who costumes and artefacts. The costumes are brilliant - where else can you see all the outfits worn by the successive doctors, a variety of Cybermen and hear a Dalek speak? 

I visited The Dr Who Experience with my son and we both really enjoyed it, in fact we saw grandparents equally enjoying it with their primary aged grandchildren. The interactive experience, although short is great fun and better than we both expected too. Watch out for the Weeping Angels though!

It is also the winner of the 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor.

Total cost £14 (when you buy tickets in advance online)

Pay Your Respects To Ianto Jones


Science fiction fans are a loyal bunch. Ianto Jones was a fictional character from the Dr Who spin off series Torchwood. When the character was killed off in the show, a 'shrine' appeared almost overnight in Cardiff Bay, where many scenes of the series were filmed. It is fascinating to visit even if you are not a fan of the show, and I enjoy reading the many letters and cards from fans to their hero. 




In fact the management of Mermaid Quay have erected a plaque in recognition of how many tourists it brings into the area, with the words...

"Ianto Jones ... Gave His Life In Defence Of The Children Of This Planet... The Management of Mermaid Quay Salutes You."



Cost £0

Admire The Art At Craft In The Bay


Craft In The Bay is a retail shop and art exhibition space opposite the Wales Millennium Centre. It is housed in D Shed a grade II listed building and it well worth a visit. Operated by the Makers Guild Of Wales, an independent charity, it educates and informs as well as displays a variety of contemporary art from Wales and further afield. 

Admission is free too so pop in and have a look, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the work. They also run workshops where you can make jewellery and pottery for example and early booking is advisable.

Cost £0 

Have An Ice Cream

Lastly finish off your trip to Cardiff Bay with an ice cream at one of the cafes or Cadwaladers ice cream parlour.

Cost £2

So that's my recommendations on what to do in Cardiff Bay on a budget, for a little over £20 per person. Tell me, have you been to Cardiff Bay? Would you like to visit the area?

* in association with Think Money, all words and opinions are my own
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20 comments

  1. I love Cardiff Bay, there's so much to do. Techniquest is another fab place to go.

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    1. Techniquest is brilliant. I used to take my son there when he was small.

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  2. Oh this is really handy as we are off to Cardiff for a weekend in July! Can't wait to visit the Dr Who experience :)

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    1. It is brilliant Sonia, your son will love it, I am sure of that,

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  3. That Norweigan church is lovely. Reminds me of the ones we saw in Canada. I love weatherboarded buildings!

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  4. I visited on the weekend and will be writing a post soon :) I love walking around and you can have a lovely picnic in the summer. You can get the watertaxi over to Penarth for about £4 too x

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    1. Also in the summer they have a number of great festivals. The food one is particularly good.

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  5. Love the look of the craft centre and that amazing cake shop! Sadly it nearly always rains every time I go to Wales :(

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    1. Yes I know what you mean Suzanne. After I took these photos we did have some good weather though - typical!

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  6. I've never been here before as it's quite a journey from where I live although now I think it would be worth it for the cake alone ;-)

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    1. One day you have to visit. Cardiff is worth it, I promise.

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  7. Ooh what a great range of activities I love that church !

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    1. It is such an interesting place Claire.

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  8. I've just said to Ash we HAVE to go at some point I really want to go to the Doctor Who experience and of course visit Ianto's shrine.

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    1. Ianto's shrine is fascinating, and the Dr Who experience is great, we were really impressed.

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  9. I absolutely have to go for the Norwegian Church, that is really special and I had not heard of it before.

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    1. It is a lovely building and the cafe is good too.

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  10. I do love Cardiff bay - there is so much to see and do and it's free to walk across the Barrage to Penarth which is also lovely on a sunny day. The Norwegian church is always lovely and the cakes so good
    Great post

    Laura x

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    1. Penarth is a lovely place, I wish I lived there Laura.

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