The Welsh capital, Cardiff, has a great mix of history and culture and displays some truly enchanting ancient castles as well as some equally beautiful modern architecture. The ciders, beers, and wines produced in the region are famous throughout the world and you’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking options in this city! And not just that! The city is the home of the TV series Doctor Who. Planning a trip to Cardiff? Don’t miss out on the must-do attractions and activities.
1. Revisit history at the St. Fagans National Museum of History
This heritage attraction is an open-air museum situated on the grounds of the St. Fagan’s Castle, a late 16th century manor. Over forty original buildings from different historical periods including a farm, a school, and a chapel have been re-erected in the parkland that spreads over 100 acres (40.5 hectares). Visitors can also gain insight into the rich culture of Wales through craft workshops, music and dance events, and farming demonstrations. The parkland is also a sanctuary for birds, bats, and rare animals with visitors having an option to go on bat walks.
St. Fagans National Museum of History
Address: St. Fagans, Cardiff CF5 6XB, UK
Open: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: +44 300 111 2333
2. Take a stroll in some beautiful gardens
Cardiff is home to a number of beautiful gardens and parks, including the famous Bute Park, which boasts a significant tree and horicultural collection. Dyffryn Gardens, a 55 acre (22 hectare) lawn, features a collection of flower gardens, ponds, and a large glasshouse.
Address: North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3DX, UK
Phone: +44 29 2087 2730
Website: Bute Park
Address: Saint Nicholas CF5 6SU, UK
Open: 10: 00 am to 6:00 pm
Phone: +44 29 2059 3328
Website: Dyffryn Gardens
3. Explore history through these famous ruins
Cardiff has stood witness to the rise and fall of many noble families and their splendour. The Caerphilly Castle is the largest castle in Wales. It was built in the 13th century by Gilbert de Clare, a nobleman of Norman descent who also built the original Castell Coch. The Castell Coch you see now is the work of the Third Marquess of Bute and his architect William Burgess. As for the Cardiff Castle, the site has been a Roman Fort, a Victorian Gothic Mansion as well as a bomb shelter during the Second World War. One can explore the castle’s basements and grounds as well as climb to the top and experience the most breathtaking view of the city.
There are guided tours available as well which take you around the castle apartments and rooms that have ornate interiors and beautiful architectural details.
Castell Coch, designed with dazzling ceilings and luxurious furnishings is primarily the product of a wealthy man’s vivid imagination.
Address: Tongwynlais, Cardiff CF15 7JS, United Kingdom
Open: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Phone: +44 29 2081 0101
Website: Castell Coch
The Cardiff Castle, once a Roman fort, is a fantasy palace with fairy-tale apartments and elegant wood carvings.
Address: Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB, UK
Open: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: +44 29 2087 8100
Website: Cardiff Castle
Caerphilly Castle located on the other side of the Caerphilly Mountain, is a stone structure in comparison, surrounded by moats and watery islands.
Address: Castle St, Caerphilly CF83 1JD, UK
Open: 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
Phone: +44 29 2088 3143
Website: Caerphilly Castle
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4. Watch a game at the Principality Stadium
One of the most iconic stadiums in the world, the Principality has stood witness to a number of games and other events like rock concerts. Visitors are offered a mini-tour to see the current events in action.
Address: Westgate St, Cardiff CF10 1NS, UK
Open: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: +44 29 2082 2432
Website: Principality Stadium
5. Enjoy mother nature at the Howardian Local Nature Reserve
The reserve, which began as 6 acres (2.5 hectares) of grass and woodland has grown to approximately 32 acres (13 hectares) and become a wildlife oasis of woodland, wildflower meadows, ponds, and reed beds, with a good network of paths between the great variety of habitats. It is home to a great variety of rather interesting and unique flora and fauna.
Howardian Local Nature Reserve
Address: Ipswich Rd, Cardiff CF23 9AQ, UK
Phone: +44 29 2025 4008
Website: Howardian Local Nature Reserve
6. Sail into the World of Boats
World of Boats offers visitors a chance get up and close with an enormous collection of boats and models from around the world along with an opportunity to learn about Cardiff’s maritime heritage. There are a number of hands-on, touchscreen exhibits as well. Besides this, active workshops are held on sailing and the process of restoring sailing ships. The shipwright guides are happy to answer any questions and often give guided tours to groups.
World of Boats
Address: Heol Porth Teigr, Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay CF10 4GA, UK
Open: 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: +44 7761 026322
Website: World of Boats
7. Relive the making of Cardiff at the Cardiff Story Museum
The Cradiff Story Museum tells visitors the history of the city through the eyes of those who created. The museum, decorated with stories, objects, photographs, and films, shows the journey of Cardiff from a small market town in the 1300s, to one of the world’s biggest ports in the 1900s, to the cosmopolitan capital it is today.
Cardiff Story Museum
Address: The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1BH, UK
Open: 10 am to 4 pm
Phone: +44 29 2034 6214
Website: Cardiff Story Museum
8. Spend a day at the Oakwood Theme Park
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Oakwood Theme Park is the biggest theme park in Wales. From the Brave Speed ( a steel rollercoaster with loops, twists, and a beyond vertical drop ) to the Lost Kingdom and the Megaphobia (a thrilling wooden coaster), the park has it all. Spread over 90 acres (36 hectares) with over 35 rides and a wide range of attractions for kids as young as six years old. Other attractions at the park include a mini golf course, a 3D horror show and boating.
Oakwood Theme Park
Address: Canaston Bridge, Narberth SA67 8DE, UK
Open: Late March / Early April to Early November
Phone: +44 1834 815170
Website: Oakwood Theme Park
9. Llandaff Cathedral
Standing on one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain, Llandaff Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral, that acts as the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff and is dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and three Welsh saints: Dubricius, Teilo, and Oudoceus. Even if you’re not religious, it makes for an interesting visit because of its mesmerizing architectural details, and a walk in the well-manicured lawns surrounding the cathedral is well worth it.
Address: The Deanery The Cathedral Green, Cardiff CF5 2YF
10. Shop at Mermaid Quay
Set in a waterfront location close to the city centre, Mermaid Quay is a place where you will find everything from fashion accessories to interior decorations and amazing gifts. It has restaurants serving cuisines from around the world and numerous bars and cafes to enjoy a drink.
Address: 14 Mermaid Quay Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 5BZ, UK
Phone: +44 29 2048 0077
Website: Mermaid Quay
Head over to Cardiff!
Just two hours from London, the place has some top class entertainment options and quality shopping coupled with an eclectic culture, making it the perfect holiday destination for families, couples, or groups.
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