A day out that won't break the bank
Welsh capital Cardiff is Europe's youngest capital city. It's energetic, historic, friendly and surprisingly cheap. Free attractions are easy on the wallet and the compact city centre is navigable on foot.
Cardiff city centre is compact, so you can walk practically everywhere you’d want to go. To venture outside the city or to speed around the sights, you can buy an all day bus ticket for £3.
Total spend: £3
Dip into Welsh culture at the St Fagans Natural History Museum (take bus 32 or 320 from the centre) or the National Museum of Wales. St Fagans has a 50-acre outdoor collection of historic Welsh buildings and the National Museum has a large collection of artistic works including a fine selection of Impressionist paintings. Other free attractions include Llandaff Cathedral, an interesting mix of Norman and modern styles and the Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades of the city centre crammed with independent shops and enticing cafés.
Total spend: £0/£3 return bus fare for St Fagans
The Cardiff Festival is a series of events taking place every year throughout July and August. Look out for the Cardiff Big Weekend, a free pop festival which always snags some great bands. The Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival is also a great free event with lots of tempting samples to try. For more information on free events in Cardiff, check out the Visit Cardiff website.
Total spend: £0
Free concerts at the Wales Millennium Centre
Stroll through town to the re-energised waterfront and to the striking Wales Millennium Centre. A showpiece arts venue, the building itself is well worth a look. Made with local materials it looks like a copper-plated snail. Head down at lunchtimes and early evenings to enjoy free concerts and performances.
Total spend: £0
Visit our Cheap and Free Britain section for more ideas on free things to see and do.
Picnic in Cathays Park
Relax and enjoy a picnic or coffee in Cathays Park, just north of the city centre. Eat lunch on the grass and admire the smart civic buildings that border the park.
Total spend: £5
Vegetarian Food Studio
This award-wining vegetarian restaurant serves up delicious curries at bargain prices. Try the Gujarati Thali Special that includes 2 starters, curry of the day, rice, a poppadom and a sweet dish.
Total spend: £5.99
It’s impossible to miss this lovely, white church on the waterfront. Once an old seamen’s chapel, it now serves as an arts centre and café. Fill up on breakfast or lunch for under a fiver.
Total spend: £5
Cardiff Caravan Park is only 25 minutes’ walk from the city centre and charges £5.75 per person for camping. Bikes are available for hire. To find out more about where to stay in Cardiff, check out our accommodation guide.
Total spend: £5.75
Total day spend: £13.75 (including all day bus ticket)
The Norwegian Church
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