Cardiff is a small but charming city with plenty on offer to suit everyone’s interests. Although it’s the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom, Cardiff is both the youngest and one of the smallest capital cities in Europe. Cardiff is well known for its sport, especially rugby, and its Principality Stadium has one of the largest sliding roofs in the world. It can seat 74,000 and has hosted many concerts, including the Rolling Stones, as well as rugby and football matches and other sporting events. About 18 million tourists visit the city each year, for the shopping, sights, museums and culture.
So if you’re planning a day out in Cardiff, we’ve rounded up some of the best attractions on offer:
Start your day off with a stroll around the grounds of Cardiff Castle. Easily accessible, the castle is located in the heart of Cardiff city centre and is open seven days a week.
The castle itself is over 2,000 years old and features the remains of a Roman fort and Norman keep on the grounds. The castle and grounds were gifted to the city of Cardiff many years ago and it was home to the National College of Music and Drama for over twenty years. Since 1974, it has become one of Wales’ most popular visitor attractions.
While visiting, you can take a tour of the main castle and its grounds, as well as the residencies and the wartime shelters in the walls. It has been estimated that nearly 2,000 people could take shelter within the walls of Cardiff Castle when the sirens sounded during the Second World War.
Check the castle website in advance to see what special events or tours might be on offer during your visit.
Roath Park and Lake
Roath Park is in a beautiful location at the centre of Cardiff and has managed to maintain its classic Victorian Park atmosphere where locals and visitors alike enjoy their leisure time in many different ways.
One of the best options for couples in the park is the sailing. You can rent a rowing boat or a pedalo and sail around the scenic lake while taking in the beautiful surroundings. The lake is also home to four different islands that are home to a range of protected birds. So keep your eyes peeled for mallard, cormorants and herons while you are on the water.
Once you’re back on dry land, you can take a walk along the park’s floral flanked promenade to the famous rose garden, which includes the trial beds for the National Rose Society.
For music lovers, this is a must. Spillers Records is located in the Morgan Arcade in Cardiff city centre and is said to be the oldest record store in the world. It was founded in 1894 by Henry Spiller and stocks a wide selection of music on CD and vinyl and occasionally, there will be gigs in the store.
The store is part of a collective that aims to secure exclusive editions of newly released music, alongside an excellently curated set of archival releases.
Treetop Adventure Golf
Based at St David’s Shopping Centre, Treetop Adventure Golf has two indoor, 18-hole mini-golf courses to choose from – the Tropical Trail and Ancient Explorer. With no booking necessary, you can turn up and tee off any time from 10am until 10pm every day.
The newly revamped clubhouse also offers a range of freshly made pizzas, alongside tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, cocktails and mocktails.
Finish off the afternoon in style by dining in one of Cardiff’s most vibrant restaurants. Built in 1877, the Grade II listed restaurant and bar spans three floors and still maintains the style of the original chapel.
Open from 11am until late every day, you can get everything from a quick cup of coffee to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner here.
And if you fancy sticking around, Chapel 1877 also offers a cocktail making class and gin tasting experience. Available to groups of two or more with advance booking, this would make the perfect date in Cardiff city centre.
After Hours at Techniquest
Cardiff’s science museum, Techniquest, is known worldwide for its programmes and exhibits. It has been visited by over 5 million people since opening its doors in Cardiff in 1986.
Today, you’ll find a whole host of exhibits, science theatre shows and a digital planetarium inside. After Hours is a specially curated evening for adults only where the bar is open, and everyone can enjoy the museum’s exhibits and workshops after the usual opening hours.
These nights are limited so be sure to check the website before planning your visit.
If you’re looking for more things to do in Cardiff use our Clayton Hotel Cardiff online concierge tool for tips and recommendations to see the city like a local.