Destinations UK

Top Ten Things To Do In Cardiff

Cardiff Castle and Grounds

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

Cardiff Millenium Centre

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

Cardiff Rugby

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 Tardis at Dr Who

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

Norwegian Church Cardiff

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?

Top 10 things to do in Cardiff, Wales

Top 10 Things To Do In Cardiff – Pin For Later

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  • Tami
    February 20, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Sounds and looks like a woderful place to visit. There’s a Cardiff near my home in San Diego, and it’s very different!! Would love to explore “your” Cardiff!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      We’ve been to San Diego. It’s a lovely place.

  • Megan
    February 20, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I really don’t know much about Cardiff but I do know they often film Doctor Who there and that the exhibition is supposed to be worth a visit. Looks like there are a few other things worth explore too.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      The exhibition is great for fans of the show. I’ve been there with my son.

  • noel
    February 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I haven’t visited, but it looks like there is plenty to do there. I love smaller cities that have a lot of personality where you can really dig in and see things and have a fantastic experience.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      Cardiff centre is easy to walk around too and explore.

  • India
    February 20, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Fantastic post – I live about an hour outside Cardiff, I love the bay!

  • Wandering Carol
    February 20, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I’ve been to Cardiff a couple of times and found it a lovely destination. I never knew about the Dr Who exhibition in Cardiff Bay, though. Great tip!

  • Jazmin Williams
    February 21, 2016 at 4:44 am

    I love this! I always recommend Queen Street to my friends who aren’t from Wales. Another thing I love is the Pettigrew Tea Rooms or going for a speedboat trip at The Bay for £7!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      I’m hoping to go to Pettigrew tea rooms very soon Jazmin.

  • Lesley
    February 21, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Watching a rugby match in the Millennium Stadium is on my list. I’ve never been to Cardiff. Thanks for the reminder that I need to visit.

  • Emily
    February 21, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I live in Cardiff and would never live anywhere else! It’s a great city, with plenty of things to do and see x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      April 5, 2016 at 5:35 pm

      It is a fabulous city, we both agree!

  • Vicky and Buddy
    February 21, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I would love to go to a rugby game!! I really like sports, especially American football, so I’d love to see the differences and similarities. Plus, I love the excitement of the crowds; it’s contagious!

  • shiv
    February 21, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Cardiff has been on my list for long, I must visit! Thanks for inspiring! 🙂

  • Brenda Tolentino
    February 21, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Here I come Potted Pig! We’re thinking of going to Wales again and Cardiff is definitely on the list, will bookmark this great post!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Cardiff is a great city, I do hope you get to visit one day.

  • Laura
    February 22, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I’d be found at the Potted Pig digging into an order of pork belly, for sure. The museums can wait.

  • Kaylene Chadwell
    February 22, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I’m planning to spend a lot of time in the UK later this year! I’ll definitely have to check Cardiff out! Sounds like there’s lots of fun things to do, thanks for the tips 🙂

  • Joe Ankenbauer
    February 23, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Love the T.A.R.D.I.S. and the rugby ball smashing into the brick wall! Great post!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      March 5, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      The rugby ball was there for the rugby world cup, but is gone now. In was ‘smashed’ into the side of Cardiff castle!

  • Fatima
    March 3, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    Haven’t visited Cardiff yet but planning to visit soon. I have a cousin sister there who is really looking forward to see us. Your list sounds fab! Thanks for the recommendations.

    Fatima |

  • Rickie Amburn
    March 13, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    It seems strange that a place with such a vivid past is best known as Europe’s youngest capital city. But that’s just one of the unexpected things about Cardiff that makes a visit essential.