LGBTQIA+ guide to Cardiff
The compact Welsh capital offers so much for a city of its size. From the culture and heritage of its historical centre to the cutting-edge architecture of Cardiff Bay waterfront and its lively LGBTQIA+ scene, expect to fall in love with the city’s infectious buzz and welcoming charm. Explore our LGBTQIA+ guide to Cardiff for the lowdown on the best neighbourhoods, hotels and events in the city.
Dates for the diary
17 – 18 June 2023
Showing its pride for all things LGBTQIA+, in addition to all things Welsh, Pride Cymru (the Welsh language word for Wales) is usually a massive event, where over 50,000 people come together to celebrate in the capital. Each year sees big-name Welsh and international pop acts performing live on the main stage, along with a cabaret garden, funfair rides, a cultural market with arts and crafts, and a family zone.
Iris Prize Festival
10 – 15 October 2023
Held every October, the annual Iris Prize Festival is Cardiff’s LGBTQIA+ alternative to Cannes. During five days of international film screenings, panel sessions and parties, thirty short films by or about the LGBTQIA+ community compete to win the top accolade, valued at £30,000.
Get to know Cardiff
For queer-positive books and zines, head to Cardiff’s Shelflife Bookshop. Full of rare DIY-zines from independent creators and books raising the voices of the underrepresented, this is a thought-provoking shop full of undiscovered gems.
Fancy some serene scenes? Take a relaxing trip to Cardiff Bay, home to the tranquil Penarth Marina and waterside dining spot, Mermaid Quay. If you’re longing for a day of retail therapy, you might prefer to explore the Victorian and Edwardian arcades and the vast St David’s shopping centre.
Like the city itself, Cardiff’s gay scene is small and compact but with something for everyone. The main venues are focused around Charles Street and Churchill Way in the city centre, all within walking distance of each other.
Out and about
Voco St David’s Cardiff
Voco St David’s luxurious interiors and spectacular setting on Cardiff Bay has seen it voted one of the top UK’s top 10 hotels by Conde Nast Traveller. Its renowned Marine Spa is great for celeb spotting, while its central location is in easy walking distance of the heart of the gay scene.
Located a fifteen-minute walk west of Cardiff city centre, Maison Galles is a self-catering townhouse with stylish Welsh-French fusion décor. Close to the green spaces of Llandaff Fields and Bute Park, it houses up to eight guests and boasts quirky details like bespoke wall coverings, king-size French beds and a mix of antique and contemporary furniture.
Welsh for “pink house”, Ty Rosa has earned accolades from TripAdvisor and Britain’s The Times newspaper for its friendly, openly-gay attitude. There are five homely guestrooms in the main house, all stylishly decorated. It’s located a fifteen-minute walk south of Cardiff city centre – but hosts Paul and Stuart will point you in the right direction.