Welcome to the vibrant and historic city of Cardiff! Nestled on the picturesque coast of Wales, this bustling metropolis offers an array of exciting experiences for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking some retail therapy, Cardiff has something to delight every traveller. In this blog post, we will uncover the top things to do in Cardiff that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a longing to return again and again. So grab your camera and let’s dive into this captivating city together!
Best Things to Do in Cardiff
Things to Do in Cardiff with Kids
1. Visit Techniquest Science Discovery Centre
Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of science at Techniquest Science Discovery Centre! Located in Cardiff Bay, this interactive museum is a haven for curious young minds. From the moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a wide array of hands-on exhibits that will captivate both kids and adults alike.
One of the highlights of Techniquest is its live science demonstrations. These entertaining shows bring scientific concepts to life through exciting experiments and mind-blowing displays. Your children will have the opportunity to witness firsthand how things work, igniting their curiosity and sparking their interest in STEM subjects.
But it’s not just about fun – learning goes hand in hand with all the excitement at Techniquest. Each exhibit is designed to educate while engaging visitors through interactive elements. Kids can explore topics such as forces, light, sound, electricity, and more in an immersive environment that encourages discovery and experimentation.
Parents will appreciate that Techniquest offers a perfect balance between entertainment and education. As your little ones have a blast exploring the various exhibits, they’ll also be absorbing valuable knowledge without even realizing it!
2. Explore Cardiff Castle
Nestled in the heart of Cardiff, Cardiff Castle is a must-visit destination for families with kids. This remarkable historic landmark offers an enchanting experience that will transport your little ones back in time. As they step through the castle’s grand entrance, their imaginations will ignite with tales of knights and princesses.
The grounds surrounding the castle are vast and open, providing ample space for children to run around and let off some steam. They can explore the sprawling lawns or play hide-and-seek among the ancient trees. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy some outdoor fun while soaking up the rich history that surrounds them.
Inside the castle walls, kids will be captivated by its impressive architecture. The towering turrets and intricate details are sure to spark their curiosity as they wander through each magnificent room. From exploring medieval banquet halls to discovering hidden passageways, there is always something new and exciting waiting around every corner.
For an extra dose of adventure, don’t miss out on climbing to the top of one of Cardiff Castle’s imposing towers. As they ascend higher and higher, children will feel like true explorers conquering new heights – all while taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the city below.
Visiting Cardiff Castle is not just educational; it’s also a chance for young minds to unleash their creativity and indulge in imaginative play inspired by centuries past.
3. Discover St Fagans National Museum of History
Located just a short distance from Cardiff, the St Fagans National Museum of History is a hidden gem that offers an immersive experience for both kids and adults. This open-air museum takes visitors on a journey through Welsh history and culture with its collection of reconstructed buildings, farm animals, and interactive exhibits.
As you step into the museum grounds, you’ll be transported back in time as you explore the various historical buildings. From traditional cottages to grand manor houses, each structure tells a unique story about Wales’ past. Kids will love wandering through these old buildings and imagining what life was like centuries ago.
One of the highlights for children at St Fagans is undoubtedly the farm animals. They can get up close and personal with sheep, pigs, cows, and even rare breed chickens. It’s not every day that your little ones have the opportunity to pet these adorable creatures!
But it doesn’t stop there – there are also plenty of interactive exhibits throughout the museum that engage young minds and encourage learning through play. From hands-on activities to multimedia displays, children can delve deeper into Welsh history while having fun.
Whether it’s stepping inside a recreated Iron Age roundhouse or exploring an old school classroom from Victorian times, St Fagans National Museum of History offers endless opportunities for kids to learn about Wales’ rich heritage in an exciting way.
4. Take a Ride on the Cardiff Bay Barrage Beach
The Cardiff Bay Barrage Beach is a fantastic spot for families with kids to spend a day full of fun and relaxation. This sandy beach area offers the perfect opportunity for children to build sandcastles, play beach games, and enjoy the waterfront views.
You can pack a picnic and spread out your blanket on the soft sands while taking in the picturesque scenery around you. The gentle waves lapping against the shore create a soothing ambience that adds to the overall experience.
For those who love being active, there are plenty of activities available at the beach. You can bring along some outdoor toys like frisbees or beach balls to keep your little ones entertained. The spaciousness of this area ensures that there’s enough room for everyone to run around and have a great time.
One of the highlights of visiting Cardiff Bay Barrage Beach is its stunning location. Situated between two bodies of water, it provides breathtaking views across both Cardiff Bay and Bristol Channel. Watching boats sail by or catching glimpses of seabirds adds an extra touch of magic to your visit.
5. Enjoy Roath Park
Roath Park is a true gem for families visiting Cardiff. With its picturesque boating lake, playground, and beautiful gardens, this park has something to offer for everyone.
One of the highlights of Roath Park is definitely the boating lake. Kids can hop onto a pedal boat and explore the calm waters while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding nature. It’s a great way to bond as a family and create unforgettable memories together.
For those who prefer dry land, the park also features an impressive playground that will keep children entertained for hours. From swings to slides, there are plenty of activities to enjoy and burn off some energy.
But it’s not just about fun and games at Roath Park – there’s also an opportunity for kids to learn about wildlife conservation. Children can feed the ducks that call the park their home, teaching them valuable lessons about compassion and respect for animals.
And let’s not forget about the beautiful gardens in Roath Park! Take a leisurely stroll with your little ones among vibrant flowers and lush greenery. The tranquil atmosphere provides a perfect escape from city life.
Roath Park is a must-visit destination when exploring Cardiff with kids. Its combination of natural beauty, interactive play areas, and educational experiences make it an ideal spot for family fun in the heart of Wales’s capital city.
Things to Do in Cardiff for Couples
1. Romantic Walk in Bute Park
Nestled in the heart of Cardiff, Bute Park beckons couples to embark on a romantic walk amidst its enchanting landscape. As you step into this serene oasis, you’ll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking gardens that are meticulously maintained all year round. Take a leisurely stroll hand in hand through vibrant flower beds and lush green lawns, immersing yourselves in the tranquility of nature.
For those with an affinity for trees, the arboretum within Bute Park is a must-visit. Lose yourselves among towering oaks and majestic conifers as you explore this rich collection of diverse tree species. The gentle rustle of leaves overhead sets the perfect backdrop for intimate conversations and stolen glances.
As you continue your romantic journey through Bute Park, don’t forget to wander along its picturesque riverside paths. Follow the meandering River Taff as it flows peacefully alongside you, creating a sense of serenity unmatched by any bustling cityscape.
Bute Park offers more than just scenic beauty; it provides ample opportunities for quiet moments together – sitting on a bench overlooking a tranquil pond or finding solace beneath the shade of an ancient tree. Let go of everyday worries and immerse yourselves in each other’s company amidst this idyllic setting.
2. Fine Dining at The Potted Pig
Located in the heart of Cardiff, The Potted Pig offers couples a truly unique and romantic dining experience. Housed in a former bank vault, this restaurant exudes charm and character like no other. As you step inside, you’ll be captivated by its intimate ambience and stylish decor.
But it’s not just the setting that makes The Potted Pig special; it’s the food as well. Known for their creative dishes using locally sourced ingredients, every bite is a culinary adventure. From succulent pork belly to perfectly seared scallops, each dish is expertly crafted to tantalize your taste buds.
The menu at The Potted Pig changes regularly, so you can always expect something new and exciting when you visit. Whether you’re a fan of seafood or prefer hearty meat dishes, there’s something to please every palate.
To complement your meal, The Potted Pig also has an extensive wine list featuring both local and international selections. Let their knowledgeable staff guide you towards the perfect pairing to enhance your dining experience.
For couples looking for an extraordinary date night or special occasion celebration, The Potted Pig is undoubtedly one of Cardiff’s top choices. Book a table today and indulge in an unforgettable evening of fine dining in this enchanting restaurant housed within a historic bank vault!
3. Cruise on Cardiff Bay
Cruising on Cardiff Bay is a must-do activity for couples visiting the city. Imagine gliding along the calm waters, hand in hand with your loved one, as you soak in the breathtaking views around you. The bay itself is a hub of activity, with its vibrant atmosphere and stunning array of landmarks.
As you embark on your romantic boat ride, prepare to be mesmerized by iconic sights such as the Wales Millennium Centre and Mermaid Quay. These architectural marvels add an extra touch of grandeur to an already picturesque setting. Snap some photos together against this backdrop – they’ll make for cherished memories.
The gentle motion of the boat creates a soothing experience that allows you to unwind and enjoy each other’s company fully. Take this opportunity to have intimate conversations or simply revel in quiet moments together.
Whether it’s a sunny day or under twinkling stars at night, cruising on Cardiff Bay offers unparalleled romance. You’re sure to feel like characters straight out of a love story as you glide through the water surrounded by beauty.
4. Visit Castell Coch
Nestled amidst the lush woods just outside Cardiff, lies a magical wonderland – Castell Coch. This enchanting castle is straight out of a fairy tale, with its stunning architecture and whimsical charm. Step inside and be transported to a world of ornate rooms adorned with intricate designs and vibrant colours.
As you wander through the castle’s halls, it’s impossible not to feel like royalty. Each room tells a story of grandeur and opulence, from the lavish dining hall to the cosy sitting rooms filled with antique furniture. The attention to detail is truly mesmerizing, making it an ideal destination for couples looking to immerse themselves in history and romance.
Once you’ve explored the castle’s interior, take a leisurely stroll through the surrounding forest. The wooded paths offer tranquillity and seclusion, allowing you to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Hand in hand, venture deeper into nature as you discover hidden gems along the way – perhaps stumbling upon a picturesque clearing or encountering wildlife at every turn.
Castell Coch provides couples with an idyllic backdrop for creating lasting memories together. Whether you’re capturing photos against this fairytale-like setting or simply enjoying each other’s company surrounded by beauty, this enchanted castle will leave an everlasting impression on your heart.
5. Watch a Show at the New Theatre
The New Theatre in Cardiff is a must-visit for couples seeking a memorable night out. This historic venue has been entertaining audiences since 1906, and its grand architecture adds to the overall charm. As you step inside, you’ll be transported to another era, where elegance and sophistication reign.
Watching a show at the New Theatre is an experience like no other. From classic plays to mesmerizing musicals, there’s always something on that will capture your attention and fill your heart with joy. The talented actors take the stage and transport you into their world of storytelling, leaving you spellbound.
One of the highlights of catching a show here is witnessing the incredible talent on display. Whether it’s breathtaking vocals or captivating performances, each production leaves a lasting impression. You’ll find yourself immersed in the emotions unfolding before your eyes – laughter, tears, excitement – all shared with your loved one by your side.
The atmosphere at the New Theatre is electric as fellow theatregoers eagerly await what promises to be an unforgettable performance. The anticipation builds as lights dim and curtains rise; it’s truly magical being part of this collective experience.
After enjoying an evening filled with entertainment and enchantment at the New Theatre, why not end the night with a romantic stroll through Cardiff’s vibrant streets? Hand in hand, soak up the city’s ambience under twinkling lights while reflecting on the wonderful memories created during this special date night.
Things to Do in Cardiff Bay
1. Wales Millennium Centre
Step into a world of artistic brilliance at the Wales Millennium Centre, an iconic landmark in Cardiff Bay. This architectural masterpiece is not only visually stunning but also serves as a vibrant hub for the arts. Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of Cardiff by checking out their schedule of events which includes everything from concerts and theater performances to thought-provoking exhibitions.
The Wales Millennium Centre has something for every artistic taste. Catch a soul-stirring opera performance or be left spellbound by a mesmerizing ballet production. With its state-of-the-art facilities and acoustics, this venue guarantees an unforgettable experience.
But it’s not just about attending shows; you can also take part in workshops and educational programs offered here. Dive deeper into your creative side with acting classes or unleash your inner musician through music lessons.
What sets the Wales Millennium Centre apart is its commitment to showcasing diverse art forms that celebrate Welsh culture while embracing global influences. It’s truly a melting pot where creativity knows no bounds.
2. Cardiff Bay Barrage
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Cardiff Bay is by taking a leisurely walk or bike ride along the Cardiff Bay Barrage. This impressive structure not only provides flood protection for the area but also offers breathtaking panoramic views of the bay.
As you stroll or cycle along the barrage, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of sparkling blue water, dotted with sailboats and yachts. The gentle breeze carries with it a sense of tranquillity that’s hard to find in bustling city centres.
For nature enthusiasts, this spot is a haven for bird-watching. Keep your eyes peeled for various species soaring through the skies or perched on rocks along the shoreline. Binoculars are highly recommended if you want to get up close and personal with these feathered friends.
If you’re planning a picnic, there are plenty of grassy areas where you can spread out your blanket and enjoy some al fresco dining. Imagine tucking into delicious sandwiches while gazing out at the peaceful waters – pure bliss!
Whether you choose to explore on foot or by bike, don’t forget your camera! The Cardiff Bay Barrage provides countless opportunities for capturing Instagram-worthy shots that will make all your friends back home green with envy.
3. Visit Mermaid Quay
Mermaid Quay is the perfect destination for those looking to unwind and indulge in some retail therapy while soaking in the stunning bay views. This vibrant waterfront area boasts a plethora of shops, cafes, and restaurants that cater to all tastes and preferences.
For the avid shopper, Mermaid Quay offers an array of unique boutiques and well-known brands where you can find everything from fashion to home decor. From trendy clothing stores to charming gift shops, there’s something here for everyone.
When hunger strikes, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the wide variety of dining options available at Mermaid Quay. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or local delicacies, there’s a restaurant or cafe that will satisfy your taste buds. Imagine savouring fresh seafood while gazing out at the picturesque bay – it doesn’t get much better than that!
After a day of shopping and dining, take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and enjoy the serene ambience of Cardiff Bay. The breathtaking views provide a tranquil backdrop as you relax and unwind.
4. Cardiff Bay Water Taxi
Hop aboard the Cardiff Bay Water Taxi for an exciting adventure on the water! This unique mode of transportation offers a fresh perspective of the bay, allowing you to take in its beauty from a different angle. As you glide across the shimmering waters, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The water taxi not only provides a scenic experience but also serves as a convenient way to access various points of interest around Cardiff Bay. Want to explore Penarth? Just hop on the water taxi and enjoy a leisurely ride while taking in the sights along the way. And if you’re looking to visit the Cardiff Barrage, this is your ticket!
One of the great things about travelling by water taxi is that it adds an element of excitement and adventure to your journey. It’s not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s about enjoying every moment and embracing all that Cardiff Bay has to offer.
Things to Do in Cardiff in the Rain
1. National Museum Cardiff
Step into a world of wonder and discovery at the National Museum Cardiff, where raindrops are transformed into inspiration. This magnificent museum is not only a shelter from the storm but also a treasure trove of art, natural history, and archaeology that will captivate your imagination.
Start your journey through time by exploring the vast collection of archaeological artefacts. From ancient weapons to exquisite pottery, each item tells a story of Wales’ rich history. Marvel at the intricacies of Celtic art or delve into the mysteries of prehistoric life as you wander through this captivating exhibition.
Next, immerse yourself in the realm of art with masterpieces spanning centuries. Admire works by renowned artists such as Monet and Van Gogh or discover lesser-known gems from local talents. The diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and installations will leave you awestruck at every turn.
But it’s not just about history and art – nature enthusiasts will find solace in the Natural History section. Get up close and personal with fascinating specimens that showcase Wales’ biodiversity. From delicate butterflies to towering dinosaur skeletons, there’s something for everyone with an interest in our natural world.
2. Indoor Climbing at Boulders
When it’s raining in Cardiff, staying active and getting some exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But fear not! Boulders is here to save the day. Located right in the heart of the city, this indoor climbing centre offers a fantastic opportunity to get moving and have fun, all while staying dry.
Boulders cater to climbers of all skill levels, so whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, there’s something for everyone. The facility boasts a variety of bouldering walls that challenge your strength and agility without the need for ropes or harnesses. If you prefer roped climbing, they also have an array of top-rope and lead climbing routes available.
The best part about Boulders is its welcoming atmosphere. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, always willing to offer guidance or answer any questions you may have. They even offer introductory courses for those who are new to climbing and want to learn the basics in a safe environment.
3. Cardiff Indoor Market
When the rain starts pouring in Cardiff, don’t let it dampen your spirits. Head over to the lively Cardiff Indoor Market and immerse yourself in a world of bustling activity and delightful discoveries. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant atmosphere filled with colorful stalls offering an array of food, drinks, and unique artisan products.
Take your time to wander through the market’s narrow aisles, exploring each nook and cranny that holds treasures waiting to be found. Indulge your taste buds at the various food stalls offering everything from traditional Welsh delicacies to international cuisine. From freshly baked breads and pastries to local cheeses and meats, there’s something here for every palate.
As you continue your exploration, you’ll come across charming shops selling handmade crafts, jewellery, clothing, and more. Support local artisans by purchasing one-of-a-kind souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home. Admire their craftsmanship as they create beautiful pieces right before your eyes.
The Cardiff Indoor Market is not just a place for shopping; it’s also a hub of community spirit where locals gather to socialize while enjoying delicious treats or sipping on steaming cups of coffee. Join in on conversations with friendly vendors who are always ready to share stories about their products or recommendations on what else to explore in the city.
Rainy days may have initially put a damper on your plans, but wandering through this bustling market will surely lift your spirits and make you forget all about the weather outside.
4. St. David’s Shopping Centre
When the rain starts pouring in Cardiff, there’s no need to let it dampen your shopping spirits. Head over to St. David’s Shopping Centre and indulge in a little retail therapy! This bustling mall is the perfect place to escape from the rain and explore a wide range of shops, boutiques, and restaurants all conveniently located under one roof.
As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by an impressive array of stores offering everything from high-end fashion brands to quirky independent retailers. Whether you’re on the hunt for stylish clothing, accessories, or homeware items, St. David’s has got you covered.
Take your time strolling through the bright and modern corridors of this shopping haven. Browse through racks of trendy outfits or discover unique treasures at speciality stores. From well-known global brands to local Welsh designers showcasing their talent, there’s something here for every shopper.
Feeling hungry after all that shopping? No problem – St. David’s boasts a variety of dining options where you can refuel and recharge before continuing your retail adventure. Whether you prefer a cosy café or an elegant restaurant with panoramic views over Cardiff city centre, there are plenty of choices available.
5. Cardiff International White Water
When it comes to embracing the rain in Cardiff, there’s no better way than experiencing the thrill of indoor white-water rafting and canoeing at Cardiff International White Water. This unique attraction offers an exciting adventure for all skill levels, whether you’re a seasoned water sports enthusiast or a beginner looking for some wet and wild fun.
Step into this state-of-the-art facility and prepare to be amazed by the incredible artificial white-water course that simulates challenging rapids. Whether you choose to navigate through the rushing waters on a raft or paddle your way in a canoe, you’ll be guaranteed an adrenaline-pumping experience that will leave you drenched but exhilarated.
Don’t worry if you’re new to these water sports – Cardiff International White Water provides expert guidance and instruction so that even beginners can enjoy this thrilling activity safely. And with various courses tailored to different skill levels, everyone can find their perfect challenge.
In conclusion, exploring the hidden gems of Cardiff is an adventure that promises to unveil unique and offbeat experiences. From discovering underrated attractions to immersing oneself in the city’s rich history and indulging in culinary delights, Cardiff has much to offer beyond its well-known landmarks. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, family-friendly activities, or a taste of the vibrant nightlife, Cardiff’s hidden gems will leave you enchanted and eager to return for more. So, pack your bags, venture off the beaten path, and embrace the magic of Cardiff’s lesser-known treasures.