If you're visiting the UK capital city of Cardiff, there's plenty to see and do. From awe-inspiring architecture to quality entertainment, there are plenty of attractions and activities that are sure to keep you busy!
If you're an art lover, be sure to visit the National Museum of Wales. It's a fun, interactive museum that explores the culture of Wales.
1. Cardiff Castle
Located in the centre of the city, Cardiff Castle has a history that spans over 2000 years. Built around 50 AD, the Romans first inhabited this site and the outer walls still show their original masonry.
Originally a motte and bailey castle, Cardiff Castle was remodelled by the Normans in the 11th century. Today, you can see the original Roman remains, climb the Norman Keep and marvel at the opulent state apartments inside the palace.
You’ll also discover a pair of military museums, as well as a series of underground tunnels that were used as air raid shelters during World War II. It’s one of the top attractions in Wales and a must-visit when you visit this city.
2. National Museum of Wales
The National Museum of Wales is one of Amgueddfa Cymru’s flagship venues, and has a fantastic collection of art, geology, history and more. Sitting in the heart of Cardiff’s Civic Centre, it receives around 500,000 visitors a year.
This is a fun and fascinating place to visit, with plenty to see for everyone! The Evolution of Wales journey explains how Wales has changed over time.
There’s a dinosaur section that features fossils and casts from all of the Mesozoic periods together, as well as a Triceratops horn; Polocanthus back bones and bony plates; and remarkable skeletal casts of Hypsilophodon, Coelophysis, Plateosaurus, Neovenator, Rutiodon and Archaeopteryx.
3. St Fagans National Museum of History
St Fagans National Museum of History is one of the most popular heritage attractions in Wales. It is a people's museum where visitors can explore centuries of Welsh social history.
The open-air museum features over 40 buildings from various historical periods, each frozen in time and allowing you to experience the lifestyles and culture of Wales. Among them are houses, a farm, a chapel and a splendid Workmen's Institute.
The museum also focuses on preserving traditional skills, such as wood turning and traditional cooking. It has a small working farm that concentrates on local native breeds of livestock.
4. Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay is a major regeneration area in the city centre. It’s a bustling waterfront destination surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars.
To get a feel for this thriving region, take one of the boat trips that run from Mermaid Quay. These trips offer a great way to learn about the history and wildlife of this exciting new area while taking in all the sights.
Another way to explore this area is by foot. Start with a stroll through Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve which is a wildlife hot spot. You’ll find reedy marshland and floating timber structures that provide sheltered breeding areas for birds.
5. Cardiff Bay Barrage
Developed as part of an extensive redevelopment scheme, the Cardiff Bay Barrage impounds freshwater from the rivers Taff and Ely to create a 200 hectare fresh water lake. This pound220 million project transformed the tidal mud flats of the bay into an attractive and functional landscape.
The 1.1 km long barrage consists of a rockfill embankment flanked by a concrete section with five sluice gates, three locks and a fish pass. Its operation is controlled from the barrage control room.
6. New Theatre
Located on Park Place near Cathays Park, the New Theatre is one of Wales' premier theatres. Originally opened in 1906 with Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, it has since entertained many of the country's most famous artists.
It has a capacity of 1,144 visitors and offers a range of shows in drama, musicals, dance, children's shows and pantomime. It also has a restaurant and bar.
The New Theatre is a beautiful Edwardian building and has been refurbished over the years. It is a Grade II Listed building.