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The Best Things to See and Do in Cardiff

What are the best things to see and do in Cardiff? As the cultural, commercial and financial “hub” of Wales, the capital City is not only the largest city in Wales, but everything those 3 words can be to describe it. There are some wonderful attractions in and around Cardiff, which is no more than you would expect from a capital city.

things to do in cardiff

So, what we have here is some of the best places to visit in and around Cardiff and a little bit about each.

Cardiff Castle

things to do in cardiff castle

Cardiff Castle Keep

The Castle, found in the centre of the city, has been everything from a Roman fort, an impressive Norman castle and an extraordinary Victorian Gothic palace, and was created for one of the world’s richest men.

Art- architect William Burges created a medieval dream-world for the 3rd Marquess of Bute back in the 19th century. With opulent interiors rich with gilding, elaborate wood carving, murals and stained glass, the results are stunning. You need to see the spectacular fairy-tale apartments, rich with murals, gilding and elaborate wood carvings, stained glass and marble to experience the ultimate Victorian medieval dream world.

With the totally exposed Roman Wall to check out, the medieval Keep to go up and the atmospheric Wartime Shelters to investigate, be sure to allow enough time for your visit.

MUST DO AND SEE

• Go on a House Tour to find out more about the wonderful Castle Apartments

• Pick Up a FREE Audio Guide

• Panoramic views from the top of the Norman Keep

• Atmospheric Wartime Shelters

• Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier

• A selection of expert tours are available incorporating the Clock Tower Tour, Film Location Tour and exclusive private Connoisseur Tours.

St Fagans National History Museum

natural history museum st fagans

St Fagans Outdoor museum

Wales's most-frequented heritage tourist attraction situated in the grounds of the fantastic St Fagans Castle, found just outside Cardiff.

St Fagans National Museum of History is among the worlds major open–air museums and Wales’s most-attended heritage tourist attraction. You will discover a "new welcome" since 2018 due to the main building and Gweithdy now open. Brand new galleries may already be open because they were expected autumn 2018.

The museum is built in the grounds of the splendid St Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house generously donated to the people of Wales by the Earl of Plymouth. Over the last five decades, over 50 original buildings from many places in Wales and from a variety of historical periods have been re-built in the 100-acre site. Every building is suspended in time and opens up a door into Welsh history providing a remarkable peek into bygone times.

Techniquest

the bay's top attraction

Techniquest Cardiff

There are lots of great reasons to explore Techniquest, the hands on interactive science discovery centre in the middle of Cardiff Bay, with over 120 impressive displays, amazing Science Theatre and Planetarium shows for the whole family at weekends and throughout school holidays.

Get active with The Big Machine – the biggest exhibit ever put in at Techniquest – that has secured its place on the spectacular exhibition floor.  This phenomenal exhibit, moved from the Science Museum in London, is a distinctive hands on chance to play around and learn a lot more about engineering.  Furthermore – do you have what it takes to be an astronaut?  Try your hand at the perplexing robotic arm exhibit, influenced by the International Space Station, to see!

View the stars as never before as we go on a trip through space for a detailed glimpse at remote galaxies and exploded stars at the remarkable presenter-led shows in Wales’ exclusive digital Planetarium.

There is something to keep anyone captivated for a few hours or more… and you will find puzzles, books, science kits and a lot more in Techniquest’s shop – the biggest gift shop in the Bay.   When it’s time for a break, take it easy in the coffee shop and select from its wide range of locally-sourced drinks, sandwiches and snacks.

When you have your Techniquest band, you will be able to come and go all day long, so why not pop out for a wander round the Bay and make your visit into an entire day out?

Techniquest welcomes public visitors all year round and is open weekends, on Bank Holidays and all week during school holidays (from 10 am to 5 pm). During school term time Techniquest is closed on Mondays while the opening hours from Tuesday to Friday are 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

Castell Coch

Top Cardiff attractions - Castell Coch

Castell Coch - The Red Castle

Despite resting on aged foundations, Castell Coch (Red Castle) is pretty modern, the consequence of a brilliant Victorian imagination, helped by enormous wealth. The Middle Ages captivated the Victorians just as much as the Victorians captivate us right now. High Gothic was the market demand back then. The ‘eccentric mastermind’ William Burges was handed free rein by his paymaster, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd marquess of Bute, to build a rural retreat to complement the luxury of his main residency, Cardiff Castle. He didn’t hold-back. Stunning ceilings, extraordinary fixtures and furniture were generously chosen. Comprehensive architectural plans still survive nowadays and after Burges’s death in 1881, associates diligently continued work on the interior spaces for the next ten years. The castle wasn't ideal for, nor was it supposed to be, a long-term residence and the family’s visits were occasional.

Multi-sensory sources permit straight forward exploration of the site with touchscreen innovation that will be of specific help to guests with sensory or physical problems.

Theatres and Culture

The Wales Millennium Centre, situated at the heart of Cardiff Bay, is the nation's home for performing arts and world class entertainment.

Wales top theatre millenium centre

Millenium Centre, Cardiff

Wales Millennium Centre opened up in 2004 and has established its standing among the world`s iconic arts and cultural locations.

The mission of the Centre is being an internationally significant cultural landmark and centre for the performing arts, recognised for inspiration, excellence and leadership. The Centre is among the most distinctive and vibrant performing arts centres in Europe. Look past the magnificent exterior, as highlighted in Torchwood and Dr Who, and you'll detect a bustling environment that makes our visitors want to come back again and again. We’re a lot more than a theatre though.

Wales’s largest performing arts venue with the most diverse artistic programmes.

st david'shall - Cardiff's concert hall

St Davids Hall Cardiff

St David’s Hall, located in the centre of Cardiff, is the National Concert Hall and Conference Centre of Wales. Owned, managed and financed by Cardiff Council, the Hall features a large selection of live entertainment. With two bars, as well as participation workshops, conferences, very helpful staff and pleasant surroundings, St David’s Hall is a building to enjoy during the day and evening all year round.

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