A wealth of attractions without spending a penny
Cardiff is Europe's youngest capital city and is fast becoming one of the most fashionable cities in the United Kingdom. But even within the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city, it's possible to visit a wealth of fascinating attractions for free.
To start off you can learn more about Wales and Cardiff itself at The National Assembly For Wales Visitors Centre at the Pierhead and Cardiff Bay Visitors Centre. The first has an informative exhibition about the Assembly and its role and responsibilities in Welsh life and is open 10:30 to 16:30 October to Easter and 10:30 to 18:00 Easter to September.
The Cardiff Bay Visitors Centre also known as ‘The Tube’ due to its modern design can be found at Harbour Drive, and offers a fascinating journey through Cardiff's maritime history and regeneration as well as providing panoramic views across the bay. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 09:30-1800 (17:00 November-March), Saturday and Sunday 10:30-18:00 (17:00 November-March), Bank holidays 10:30-17:00.
St Fagans National History Museum, located 4 miles west of the city centre in the grounds of St Fagan’s Castle, is one of Europe's foremost open-air museums representing the life and culture of Wales and situated in 100 acres of parkland. The museum also has displays of costume, daily life and farming implements. Open 10:00-17:00 daily.
Another free museum in Cardiff well worth a visit is The National Museum Cardiff at the Civic Centre, which has fantastic displays of art, archaeology, natural history and geology as well as a changing programme of exhibitions and events. It’s open 10:00-17:00 Tuesday - Sunday and Bank Holidays.
You’ll find a number of working art galleries exhibiting a wide variety of styles and mediums. The Bay Art Gallery on Bute Street promotes major exhibitions by Welsh and International Artists (open Tuesday - Saturday 11:00-17:00). The Albany Gallery at 74b Albany Road is a popular commercial art gallery offering a wide variety of exhibitions (open Monday -Saturday 10:00-17:00). And The Open Art Gallery, 123 Bute Street, promotes local art in the Cardiff area (open Monday -Friday 12:00-17:00).
The city is also host to one of the UK’s largest free festivals, the Cardiff Summer Festival with events such as Alice Through The Looking Glass Parade, open-air theatre, food and drink, children’s festival, Welsh proms, carnivals, and The Red Dragon Family Festival. For more details see Cardiff festivals, or call +44 (0)29 2087 2087.