Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, is a vibrant, exciting city with excellent shopping and cultural activities. It’s a brilliant city destination with so much to see and do. Here are our top ten things to do in Cardiff, South Wales.
1. See World Class Theatre And Music
From amazing cultural shows at the Chapter art house theatre to world class operatics at the Welsh National Opera and the latest award winning musicals at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff has much to entertain. See top plays and panto at The New Theatre while great bands and singers play at St Davids Hall and for world renowned artists the Motorpoint arena is the place to go.
2. Come On A Match Day
There’s nothing like watching an international football or rugby match in the Millennium Stadium or at Cardiff city football ground. Rugby internationals are family friendly with the whole city taking on a carnival vibe. Get ready with chants of ‘Oggy Oggy Oggy’, renditions of Tom Jones’ Delilah and sing along to the Welsh national anthem.
3. Shop Til You Drop
From all the top stores in St Davids 2 including John Lewis to Pandora and high street shopping from the likes of Next, Marks and Spencer and HMV on Queen Street, to independent shops on the old Victorian arcades – Cardiff has it all.
The Victorian arcades have some great independent shops like delicatessen Wallys, Rossisters of Bath for homeware and gifts and Hawks Essentials for the stylish man around town. If you are looking for vintage and antique clothes and furniture then Jacobs market is worth a browse and Cardiff market has lots of little stalls selling food, crafts and gifts.
4. Visit Cardiff Castle For Amazing History
If you have a rainy day, of which Wales has many you may be looking for something to do to avoid the Cardiff weather. Situated in the city centre, just off the main shopping street, Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion. Throughout the year be sure to check out the event listings on their website, for special Welsh banquets, medieval battle re-enactments and jousting events.
5. A Night (Or Day) At The Museums
The National Museum Of Cardiff is an excellent and free museum with one of Europe’s finest art collections as well as a wonderful natural history section including dinosaur skeletons. To see how the Welsh used to live from Celtic times to the present day, stop by The Museum of Welsh life, St Fagans, a short drive out of the city.
The Dr Who exhibition at Cardiff Bay is great for young and old ‘Whovians’ alike, with an interactive experience as well as an exciting museum for costumes and props, where you can see the Cybermen, the Daleks, and much much more.
Whilst not technically a museum in the old sense, Techniquest, in Cardiff Bay is a science and educational charity where children and adults can play ‘hands on’ with the exhibits and have fun whilst learning too.
6. Ride A Boat On Cardiff Bay
For adventure seekers, the Cardiff Sea Safari will give you a high speed tour to get the adrenaline going, whilst those that like something more sedate take the Open Boat Tours for great views of the harbour and the bay.
7. Visit A Green Space
Bute Park is a beautiful area in the centre of Cardiff with many paths to explore and a couple of great cafes and tea rooms, whilst Roath Park, a short drive from the centre of the city, has sports pitches, bowling greens and rowing boats which you can hire to spend family time on the lovely lake. If you are lucky you may even catch the RHS society flower show while you are there.
8. Laugh Yourself Silly At A Comedy Show
The Glee Club in Cardiff Bay hosts regular comedy nights where you can see up and coming comedians as well as more famous people trying out new material for the Edinburgh festival. We were lucky one night to catch Michael Macintyre at a bargain price preparing for a new show.
The New Theatre, The Welsh Millenium Centre and St Davids Hall also host many comedians such as Lee Mack, Bill Bailey and Sarah Millican and for a great night out you can’t go wrong with a comedy show.
9. Walk Along The Cardiff Bay Barrage
Don your trainers and take an easy six mile walk from Cardiff Bay along the barrage to the small but perfectly formed town of Penarth. Along the way see the Norwegian Church and the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve.
10. Eat Mouthwatering Food
Local specialities include Cawl – Welsh lamb soup, Bara Brith – a traditional dried fruit tea bread and Laverbread – which is made from seaweed and often eaten fried and tossed in oats with bacon and cockles. For a great place to source Welsh speciality food browse the stalls in Cardiff market, where you can pick up some warm Welsh cakes as well as Welsh butter and other local delights.
From local independent cafes and restaurants to well known restaurant chains you will be spoilt for choice on where to eat in Cardiff.
The Potted Pig is a favourite independent restaurant of ours on Mary Street, with belly pork to die for and great mouthwatering steaks, whilst Le Bistrot Pierre is a French chain selling classics like Beef Bourguignon and has an excellent value 2 course lunch. The Plan Cafe in Morgan’s Arcade is a foodie delight for vegan and vegetarians alike. For something different, why not eat at The Clink. This restaurant attached to Cardiff prison is run by inmates and has some of the best food in the city, but be sure to book in advance or you won’t get in.
So here are my top 10 things to do in Cardiff. Tell me have you visited?