Top Must Do Attractions In Cardiff Wales

Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is a vibrant bustling city perfect for a weekend away. What is just so perfect about Cardiff is that the centre, with its theatres, big brand shops, and independent boutiques and cafes, is easily walkable. It's a short car ride from my hometown on the South Wales coast, so we visit often and really love the city.

At the moment most of us can't travel in the UK, but when restrictions are lifted, and it's safe to do so, I can really recommend visiting Cardiff for a fun-filled city break.

Here are some of my top attractions in Cardiff. This is an advertorial.

Take in the history at Cardiff Castle

Cardiff castle stands in the centre of the city and is one of Wales' leading historic attractions. It consists of a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion, as well as an original motte and bailey castle built in the 11th century by Norman invaders on top of a 3rd century Roman fort. It's a really interesting place to visit for all you history buffs out there, and it also holds music concerts too. Tickets to visit the castle are £14.50 per adult, and £10 per child, with under 5's free and family tickets available too.

Shop the independent shops and eat in the independent cafes

Cardiff is known for its independent shops and cafes especially in the Victorian and Edwardian arcades. Hawkes Essentials is a stylish menswear shop favoured by Mr W and check out The Plan cafe, for a great cup of coffee and some healthy salads, both in Morgan Arcade. Other favourites include Cameraland and Wally's Deli which is almost a Cardiff institution in the Royal Arcade and Crystals, for well-priced jewellery in Castle Arcade. Outside of the arcades, a cute little place for some refreshments is Pettigrew Tea Rooms where all the cakes are homemade, see the deliciousness above. 

Immerse yourself in an escape room

If you are visiting Cardiff and are looking for something different to do, especially with a small group of people, try one of the many escape rooms. If you are not sure what an escape room is, then let me explain, you are locked into a room for 60 minutes with other people and have to use your intellect to get out by solving the themed puzzles. It's great family-friendly fun although you can also do more adult games involving serial killers and unsolved murders! I can recommend Escape Reality as well as Adventure Rooms Cardiff which is our personal favourite.

See how the Welsh used to live at St Fagans 

St Fagans - the National Museum Of History in Wales, is an excellent museum within 10 to 15 minutes drive of the centre of the city. This open-air museum documents Welsh life from the past and is free to enter. Walk around the original buildings some of which have been dismantled and re-erected there. A highlight of our trip was the Gwalia Supply Co, a typical general store from the South Wales valleys and St Teilos church with its unexpected 15th-century paintings inside. For more details check out this post and video on St Fagans on the travel blog I write with my husband, Fly Drive Explore.

Take a stroll around Cardiff Bay

A 25-minute walk or little over a 5-minute drive from the centre of the city, Cardiff Bay is a lovely area to take a stroll. You can walk around the Cardiff Bay Barrage to the little town of Penarth, see the Norweigan church, which was built to serve the Norwegian sailors who docked in the city and take in a show at the Millenium Centre. There are also plenty of restaurants too as well as a brilliant science museum for kids called Techniquest. If you are interested in politics you can also tour The Senedd, designed by Richard Rogers, where the Welsh parliament make the laws of the land.

See how Wales evolved at the National Museum Cardiff

National Museum Of Cardiff

The National Museum of Cardiff is a free to enter museum, an easy walk from the main shopping area of Cardiff. With a great national history section exploring the evolution of Wales and art from the 1500s to the modern-day, it's worth spending some time here if you enjoy visiting museums. At the moment there is a great exhibition on the actor Richard Burton which I would love to see.

Where to stay in Cardiff

Ok, you can't stay in Cardiff Castle but Cardiff has a number of hotels to stay in, at a range of budgets. Our favourites include the Hilton, Hotel Indigo, Premier Inn and the Clayton hotel. If you want to stay in a serviced apartment have a look at SITU Serviced Apartments. Apartments are great if you want that extra space as city centre hotels typically have small rooms, and serviced apartments can be surprisingly affordable as well. 

So here is my guide to some of the top attractions in Cardiff. Let me know, have you been to Cardiff? Would you like to visit?

* Image National Museum of Cardiff creative commons copyright free



  1. I have not been to Cardiff, but would love to visit one day, even if it is just for the cake shop

  2. I have never been to Cardiff but your photos of Cardiff looks amazing. I definitely want to visit it now and its attractions

  3. My mother in law has a caravan close by and we can not wait until we are able to go and visit and have a lovely get away there

  4. I have not been to Cardiff. You've made some great suggestions, I' definitely be up for the bakeries (always LOL) and the castle.

  5. How beautiful, I have never been to Wales but those who have visited have told me how much of a lovely city it is. I think travel restrictions will have people exploring the UK more x

  6. I've only been to Cardiff once as an adult and we did explore the castle, and then I just went around searching for traditional welsh cakes which were s yummy x

  7. Cardiff looks like a lovely city to visit. We visited the uni for my daughter but did not spend time sight seeing . I hope to return one day .

  8. Its been almost 10 years since I last went to Cardiff so this post is very helpful for when I visit in the near future.

  9. I'd love to visit Cardiff Castle - it seems so fascinating. I have only been into Cardiff once and it was a brief look around so would love to explore it in more detail.

  10. I haven't been to Cardiff for years! My MIL lives in Gloucestershire, so not too far from Wales. I can't wait to go and explore the areas around her a bit more, especially Cardiff.