Central Cardiff is a mecca for shoppers. The paved pedestrian streets are lined with shops and shopping malls with department stores and high street boutiques.
There are some huge outlets of UK favourites such as H&M, Next & Top Shop, but you can also find some independently owned stores to browse in. Several large and modern shopping malls offer a haven from wet or wintery weather.
Where there are shops there are undoubtedly plenty of cafes to keep those shoppers topped up nicely on caffeine. We stopped off for lunch at a small café, giving us a much needed rest before hitting the shops again.
What to buy: Whatever your heart desires!
Cardiff's central market is a historic part of the city. Located at its current site since 1891, the market dates back to the 1700's.
This interesting covered market sells mainly food, but you can also check out some home wares, jewellery and local crafts.
What to buy: Food on offer includes fresh fruit and vegetables, locally produced meats, and a great range of fish and other seafood. You can also buy hot BBQ chickens, breads and choose from a tempting selection of cakes and pastries.
We really enjoyed a walk through the market, checking out some interesting cuts of meat and stopping to buy some flat 'Welsh Cakes' to enjoy later.
Cardiff Market is open from Mon – Sat, 8.00 am – 5.30 pm
Queen Street is the pedestrianised heart of Cardiff's shopping area. It runs west from near Cardiff Castle for 500m and contains many of Britain's best known shops and department stores.
Cardiff's three main indoor shopping centres - Queen Street Centre, St David's Centre and the Capitol Centre - run off Queen Street.
Queen Street was pedestrianised in 1975. Until the 19th century it was called Crockherbton Street and was known for its market gardens. The line of Cardiff's old city walls is marked on modern-day Queen Street with different coloured bricks.
At the west end of Queen Street is a statue of Aneurin ('Nye') Bevan, a Welsh member of the Labour Party cabinet in the 1945-51 British government. He founded the free National Health Service.
Cardiff Council completed a refurbishment of Queen Street in 2004. It is now repaved with new street furniture. It now features large eco-litter bins with different compartments for recyclable materials such as drink cans and glass.
What to buy: You can buy most things in Queen Street apart from food, though there is a Sainsbury's supermarket at the far east end.
Lots and lots of well-known national clothes shops.
HMV (half way up) and Virgin Megastore (Capitol Centre) for music.
Large Dixons electronics store half way up for all your camera, audio and computer needs.
On Cathedral Road, just outside the Campsite you will find a variety of shop's.
There are excellent Deli 's, Butchers, Bakery, Fruit and Veg, Spa shop, Launderette, Wine shop and a Chinese take away.
You will also find a barbers shop and Florist.
What to buy: Try one of the home made cakes at the Delicatessen's. The Bakery next door, sells the best Steak pie's I have ever tasted.
Right opposite the bus terminal we noticed 2 stores that sell mostly clothes but also cds, books and toys. Most of them are second hand (but usually in good condition) or just new items that people don’t want and donate them to these stores!
These stores sell the items in low prices, and all that because all the money go for Cancer research or to the Red Cross. I think some of the people that work there are volunteers.
We found the whole idea very nice so we went inside and bought some books in low, very low prices (1 pound for a book!).
The stores are open Monday to Saturday 9.00-17.00 (closed on Sunday)
Oxfam is a store that according to their official site: Oxfam is a global movement of people working with others to overcome poverty and suffering.
For us it looked like a typical charity store with a lot of music second hand cds and vinyls (including some rare ones) but also a huge variety of books covering from literature to travel guides.
By the way some of the goods are brand new and what we really liked that they use alphabetical order for the books (unlike other charity stores)
I bought some music books (biographies) in good prices
This shop is located in Cardiff Bay, only a short walk from Mermaid Quay. If you are interested in art and craft, or just in purchasing something of really good quality, it is certainly worth the short stroll!
The shop is quite big, and you can buy a lot of different artworks here, all of it is contemporary craft worked by members of the Makers Guild in Wales. There is pottery, jewelry, scarves, stationary, small sculptures and lots of other things... I must admit that most things were well beyond my budget, but there are also some things that are not that expensive (which I found surprising, considering everything here is handmade and unique!)
They also don't mind at all if you just wonder around looking at the things on offer - which was nice, because there were many things I found really beautiful. The building itself is a historical Victorian shed that has been completely renovated and provides a wonderfully spacious place full of light.
What to buy: Unique and handmade craft items - if you are looking for something special to take home from your trip or as a unique present!
What to pay: Everything from £10 to thousands of £££...
I do usually try to find a good bookshop wherever I travel. At the tourist information centre they recommended the Waterstones bookshop which was just across the street. Although the bookshop is quite large (and apparently belongs to a big UK chain) I was a bit disappointed by their "Local interest" section.
If we ignore numerous books about rugby teams and players, there weren't even the usual touristy picture-books available. Still, I managed to find two books for me - a brief overview of Welsh architecture and a good book about Cardiff's urban regeneration in the past three decades.
Well it's that time of year again, all the department stores now have late night shopping from 1st December, some even as far back as the 13th November! The hours vary from store to store so best get in touch with the store in quetion. However as a guidline stores are now open to 8pm, some as late as 9pm.
Christmas Eve tends to be a late night shopping heaven for some last minute shopping.
Although the sales don't officially start until the 27th December, you will find some stores starting their sales as early as the 20th December to get in the guaranteed sales and clear the stock. Plenty of bargains to be had.
What to buy: You can pick up anything you want (within reason) - as I said, the closer you get to Christmas, the more bargains and discounted special offers are available.
What to pay: How many kids do you have ? !
Although most of the city centre looks like a huge shopping centre Queen street is definitely the most popular spot for shopping.
It is a nice pedestrian street that I even did some sightseeing (there are many sculptures) but this is a shopping tip so I guess you are interested about the stores.
There are many clothes stores (Bennetton, Zara, H&M etc) but also HMV music store, but also cafes, some super markets, McDonalds etc
You can also enter into Queen Arcade for some more expensive stores but also an entrance for the huge St Davids Hall
One thing that seems to be a good idea this year is a creche has been made available for parents who wants to do some shopping but don't want the kids around.
Courtesy of Cardiff City Council - there is a free, yes free creche available from the 16th December until the 23rd December.
Opening hours are 10:30am - 1:00pm and 2:00pm - 4:30pm
What to pay: Free
Located in the Castle Arcade in Cardiff, Troutmark is an incredible little shop - our favorite used bookstore in the world. My girlfriend and I are avid readers and this Welsh treasure was the absolute best of many bookshops we stopped in during our 3-month journey around Britain. The books are well-organized and plentiful, in good condition, and they don't seem to buy junk novels (like much of the historical romance out there) in large quantities. We found at least three books we had been searching for that we weren't able to find anywhere else in Britain.
What to buy: Buy whatever you want, especially books you would have considered buying new. There are also lots of collectible books, paperback series, comics, and roleplaying games.
What to pay: The prices here are very reasonable - it will cost you 2 to 3 pounds for a good-condition used paperback, if I remember correctly.
This a shop that I must go whenever there is one in the city. It is my place to get a souvenir for myself and I like their City-Tee designs.
The merchandise shop is opened from Monday to Sunday (10:00am to 11:00pm).
What to buy: Of course Cardiff City Tee!
What to pay: GBP14.95 for a City Tee
Lots of shops, great atmosphere, specially the days before Christmas...
Even if it was very very cold!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cardiff has lots of shopping centers, Old style Arcades..... A paradise lol for shopping lovers hehehehe
Cardiff gives visitors the chance to relish the alternative shopping experience and enjoy a large range of gifts or just tasting the seasonal food and drink on offer, from a glass of mulled wine or a selection of whisky, wines, fruit and cream liqueurs, fresh hot pancakes and cinnamon roasted nuts.
Annually, usually from around second week in November to end of third week in December (2011 is November 10 to December 23)
Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
What to buy: Wooden chalets sell a diverse range of high quality products such as enamel and pewter work, heritage images of Wales and Welsh slate products, carved Welsh lovespoons, metalwork, photography, hand built and thrown pottery, silver and precious stone jewellery, quality yarns with accessories, traditional wooden items and toys, art works and cards for all occasions, specialist knotting, leatherwork, glasswork, and needlework together with many original decorative items for the house and garden - to name but a few
What to pay: Various
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