Get to know Cardiff and its Attractions
Welcome to Cardiff, Wales’ capital city and Europe’s youngest capital. This Roman-founded settlement is now one of Britain’s liveliest cities, home to world-class sporting and cultural venues, historic attractions, and everyone’s favourite time-travelling Doctor.
In the heart of Cardiff’s compact city centre lies Cardiff Castle. Its walls and fairytale towers conceal over 2,000 years of history, kick-started by the Romans — the first to build a fort on the site. The National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’ national archaeology, geology and natural history collections, as well as one of Europe’s finest art collections. In addition, the Wales Millennium Centre is one of the most varied and lively performing arts centres in Europe. There are also plenty of other things to do in Cardiff Bay.
Just 5 minutes from the city centre is the chic Mermaid Quay — the perfect place to refuel after a busy day of sightseeing, or to relax with a romantic meal on the waterfront. Whisky fans will love Penderyn Distillery — the only distillery in Wales and one of the smallest in the world. And if you find yourself in Cardiff in September, be sure to sniff out the Great British Cheese Festival, where you’ll find over 450 amazing British cheeses to try, taste and buy.
When it comes to sport, Cardiff is a champion. The world-famous Millennium Stadium is the home of Welsh rugby and football and is also the regular venue for the British Speedway Grand Prix. At Cardiff City Stadium you can watch Cardiff City F.C. — the most supported football club in Wales — or head to the SWALEC Stadium to see Glamorgan Cricket Club in action. And if golf is your game, don’t miss your chance to follow in the footsteps of the Ryder Cup pros at The Celtic Manor Resort.
Don’t miss the city’s 6 Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades, which you’ll find in the Castle Quarter and Morgan Quarter. Keep your eyes peeled for Spillers Records, the oldest record shop in the world. If high street and designer names are more your thing, head to St David’s – Dewi Saint, the Capitol Shopping Centre and Queen’s Arcade. Our top shopping tip; bring your own bags with you, as there’s a 5p bag charge for carrier bags in Wales.
Cardiff is a hugely creative city with a vibrant cultural scene. Traditionalists will love St David’s Hall, the national concert hall of Wales and home of the Welsh Proms. At the Wales Millennium Centre you can catch the Welsh National Opera and The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, but don’t miss the free lunchtime concerts in the foyer. For something different, visit the Norwegian Church. Author Roald Dahl was christened here, and it’s now a renowned cultural venue, hosting events from live music to workshops and classes.
If you think Cardiff is lively by day, you’re in for a treat when the sun goes down. The city’s nightlife scene centres around the pub-lined St. Mary Street in the heart of the city, the chic waterfront Cardiff Bay bars, and the large and lively venues around Greyfriars. You’ll find live music in the city every night of the week at venues like Barfly, Clwb Ifor Bach and the Coal Exchange.
If you’ve got Doctor Who fans in the family, you’re in for a treat. Cardiff is the home of the sci-fi series, and the Doctor Who Experience is a must for any fan. This interactive journey through the Doctor’s world gives you a chance to fly the Tardis and come face to face with Daleks. For more hands-on family fun, head to Techniquest — a Science Discovery Centre that’s home to a planetarium, science theatre and a discovery room, covering topics from fossils to forensic science.
If Wales is the ‘Land of Castles’, Cardiff must be ‘Castle Capital’. As well as the magnificent Cardiff Castle, the area is home to the fairy-tale Castell Coch, Twmpath Castle, Llandaff Bishop's Palace and Saint Fagan’s Castle. Welsh Castles have a long a long and fascinating history which features the Romans, Vikings and Normans. Uncover the full tale of Castles in Wales at The Cardiff Story – a free museum that tells the story of the city through the eyes of its people.
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