Fun things to do in Cardiff

  • Friary Gardens
    Friary Gardens
    by Myfanwe
  • St John the Baptist City Parish Church, Cardiff
    St John the Baptist City Parish Church,...
    by spidermiss
  • Bute Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff
    Bute Building, Cathays Park, Cardiff
    by spidermiss

Most Viewed Things to Do in Cardiff

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Day trips out of Cardiff (without car)

    by ettiewyn Updated Jun 24, 2012

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As already explained, it is very easy to venture out of Cardiff and see some more places in Wales while staying in the capital. If you have any chance to do this, I really recommend it!

    Besides going to the typical places like Llandaff, Penarth, St Fagans and Caerphilly, it is even possible to go further and to some places not visited by that many day trippers.

    One possibility is to do guided tours. I did two with a company called See Wales Tours - one tour to the Gower Peninsula and another one to Caerleon, Tintern Abbey and Raglan Castle. The tours were very good and I am happy I did them, although I also had some difficulties with the tour company because one day I was the only passenger and they just cancelled my tour without telling me so that I waited at the pick-up point without them turning up. There are other tour companies, though, so it might be best if you do your own research and decide which company is best for you. Regarding See Wales Tours: the tours themselves were excellent, but they management does not seem to be very good. On the other hand, it seems to be a common problem during low season that tours are cancelled because of low passenger numbers - so if you are a solo traveller, this might not be the best option during the winter months.

    If you are not a person for guided tours, there are also many places that you can reach by bus or train. One day I took a bus to Brecon Beacons National Park, where I visited the country town of Brecon and also did some hiking in the mountains. The bus service I used does not operate anymore (it stopped operating on the 31st of March 2012), but stagecoach X43 still goes there. The journey takes about 75 minutes. I cannot tell you the exact cost but I think it should not be more than £5.
    I also went to the pleasant town of Abergavenny by train - well worth a visit, frequent trains from Cardiff and not even an hour journey. A prepaid ticket costs about £10.

    I think that if you invest a little time for research, or go to the tourist information and let them help you (they have so many good leaflets about public transport to make it easier for visitors), it is possible to visit many, many places by public transport, so there is no real need for tours if you don't like that kind of travel.

    To sum up - public transport is not nearly as bad and scary as people predicted to me when I was planning my trip, and even if you don't want to put up with busses and trains, there are guided tours on offer (at least in high season).
    There is no need to only hang around in Cardiff just because you don't travel by car :-)

    Picture 1: Rhossili, Gower Peninsula
    Picture 2: Cliff walking, Gower Peninsula
    Picture 3: Tintern Abbey
    Picture 4: Raglan Castle
    Picture 5: Brecon Beacons National Park

    Pages on the places I visited are to come soon and will be linked here

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Tinkinswood Burial Chamber

    by Balam Written Oct 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A short walk down a signposted path across a field brings you to this Megalithic Burial chamber that is some 4/5,000 years old.
    It was first excavated in 1914 and the remains of over 40 bodies were found in the main chamber which is enclosed by 5 upright stone slabs and covered by a massive capstone that is over 23 ft long and has an estimated weight of over 40 tons,
    Pottery from the Neolithic period, the Early Bronze Age and Roman period has been found nearby

    Tinkinswood Burial Chamber Tinkinswood Burial Chamber Tinkinswood Burial Chamber Tinkinswood Burial Chamber Tinkinswood Burial Chamber
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    St Lythans Burial Chamber

    by Balam Written Oct 11, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In a field just off the road St Lythans Burial Chamber is a fantastic Example of A Neolithic Burial Chamber and although not as big as nearby Tinkinswood it is equally impressive and is well worth a visit.

    St Lythans Burial Chamber St Lythans Burial Chamber St Lythans Burial Chamber St Lythans Burial Chamber St Lythans Burial Chamber
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Pier Head Building

    by Balam Written Oct 21, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A lovely brick and terracotta building facing the Cardiff Docks the Pier Head Building is Grade 1 listed, designed by William Frame it opened in 1897 as the headquarters of the Cardiff Railway Company (formerly the Bute Docks Company).

    There is free admission into the building to the Visitor and Education Centre for the National Assembly of Wales whose new building is located alongside the Pierhead Building.

    Pier Head Building Pier Head Building Pier Head Building
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    Admire the Cardiff University Buildings

    by Myfanwe Written Jul 23, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The older of the University Buildings are situated in the Civic Centre and form the epicentre of the University Campus which spans over a wide area known as Cathays not far from the City Centre. These fantastic buildings are set in lovely gardens and are great to look at (and photograph!!).

    Front of the building o'looking Alexandra Gardens Rear of the University buildings
    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    St Johns Parish Church

    by Balam Written Aug 10, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Parish Church of St John the Baptist is situated in Cardiff's centre and has been a place of worship for over 800 years and is among the few remaining medieval buildings and with the exception only of the Castle keep it is the Oldest Remaining building in the City Centre.

    The first recorded mention of the Church is in 1180 when it formed a part of the estate belonging to the Monks of Tewkesbury Abbey. it was in 1243 that the Abbot of Tewkesbury appointed a vicar to the Chapel which at that time was one of several Chapels attached to the Parish church of St Mary which once stood at the southern end of St Mary St.
    During the 16th C it was awarded the Status of Parish Church and then after St Marys Church was destroyed by a Great flood in 1607 it became the towns main church.

    Unfortunately there is very little remaining of the early buildings except for a few pillars and arches on the Chancels southern side which date from around 1213 to 1239. The Arched doorway which faces along Church St also seems to outdate most of the building.

    Shortly after Cardiff was sacked by Owain Glyndwr the nave was built (around 1443) and the Tower (which is the present one) around 30 years later. The tower is one of the Finest examples in Wales of this late Perpendicular style and has a ring of 11 bells (6 were hung in 1708 another 2 in 1814 2 more in 1893 and the eleventh is a bell rung during services at the Sanctus.

    There has been some major restoration of the Interior and exterior over the years which some enlargement of the Church and the tower taking place in the late 19th c which gave the Church its present appearance with a new chancel having been built along with the outer aisles to the north and south and old wooden galleries in the inner aisles removed adding much space.

    The Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (also known as The Knights of Rhodes / The Knights of Malta) have a Chapel at the Church
    The Chapel of the Order of St John in the south isle has a lovely East facing window of some great significance and represents the most Distinguished Grand Masters of the Order during Medieval times.

    The Lady Chapel (Herbert Chapel)
    This chapel is on the north side of the chancel and is enclosed by a pre reformation screen which contains some panels that date from the Reign of Queen Mary and others dating from the time of Charles I. The chapel has a monument from the Jacobean era which bears the effigies of 2 brothers. one was Sir William Herbert who was the Keeper of Cardiff Castle and died on 1609 and the other of Sir John Herbert who was the private secretary to Queen Elizabeth I and to James I and died in 1617

    St Johns Parish Church St Johns Parish Church St Johns Parish Church
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Old Library - Cardiff Story - Tourist Info

    by ettiewyn Updated Apr 5, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Old Library is a building in the city centre that houses both Cardiff's tourist information, and the museum "Cardiff Story".

    The building of the Old Library itself is really interesting. It was built in 1896 and has allegoric statues and engravings all over it. They for example depict study, rhetoric and literature. I think they are beautifully done and really enjoyed walking around the building and looking at the different art works.

    The Cardiff Story is a very new museum, only opened in 2011. It presents, as the name says, the history of Cardiff, but there are not many historical artifacts. Instead, the story is told through many interactive displays, big screens of pictures, and models. I think that some things are hard to understand if so far you do not know much about Cardiff's history, and as I don't like this modern, interactive style that much I was done quite quickly in this museum. There were still some things I found really interesting, for example models of the animals on Animal Wall, and also a huge model of Cardiff Bay as it looked like in the 19th century. Staff were also very friendly and much more engaging with the visitors than in most other museums, chatting to the visitors and pointing out things to them.

    The tourist information is located in the same building and has the usual array of souvenirs, books and leaflets. When I went there because one of my tours was cancelled on short notice and I was looking for an alternative they gave me lots of information on public transport, which was very helpful. However, they were not able to book another day tour for me - this does not belong to their services.

    You can get the very handy leaflet about busses to the common tourist attractions around Cardiff here, telling you how to get to St Fagans, Castell Coch, Caerphilly Castle, Llandaff and the Bay - if you plan to do any of these things by public transport, the leaflet will make it much easier, so come here and ask for it!

    Pictures 1 to 3 show some of the engravings on the building.
    Picture 4 shows the front of the building, where the entrance to the museum is - the entrance to the tourist info is on the other side, but it does not really matter because the two are connected anyway and you can just walk through.
    Picture 5 shows the main room in the museum.

    Admission to the museum is free!
    Opening times of the museum: 10.00am to 05.00pm Monday to Saturday, 11.00am to 04.00pm Sunday
    Opening times of the tourist info: 09.30am to 05.30pm Monday to Saturday, 10.00am to 04.00pm Sunday

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    Caerphilly Castle

    by ettiewyn Updated Apr 12, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The town of Caerphilly is only a 45 minute bus ride from Cardiff and thus makes the perfect destination for a half day trip.

    Caerphilly Castle is usually described as one of the grandest castles in the UK, and I can only agree. It really is huge, and looks as if it comes directly out of a history book. Most of it was constructed in the 13th century when it was a totally ingenious castle with the best defenses you could find anywhere - portcullises, gates and drawbridges galore! It later became a ruin, but restoration started in the 19th century and was later continued by - yes, you guessed it - the Marquess of Bute. Who else. But thankfully he did only restore it to to some extent - parts of it still look like a ruin, most of all the leaning tower, and all the rooms are empty, not full of colorful fairtytale stuff. It is thus a much more authentic and original place than Cardiff Castle, and I recommend a visit here very much.

    The town Caerphilly is dominated very much by its large castle (the castle is located directly in the city centre), but it is also a pleasant town in its own right, although there are not many tourist attractions.

    Admission fee to the castle: Adult £4,00, child and concession £3,60, family £11,60 - included in the cadw Explorer Pass
    Opening times: March to October daily 09.30am to 05.00pm, to 06.00pm in July and August. November to February: 10.00am to 04.00pm Monday to Saturday, 11.00am to 04.00pm Sunday

    Getting from Cardiff to Caerphilly by bus is easy: Take Bus 26 or bus A/B from the main bus station. Bus 26 runs every hour on the hour (09.00, 10.00 and so on), bus A/B runs at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour. On sundays, bus 26 runs at 12.15 and 14.15. A return ticket is £3,70.
    You can also easily combine a trip to Caerphilly with a visit to Castell Coch, as bus 26 stops there as well.

    A seperate page on Caerphilly is to come soon

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    Cardiff Bay Wetlands

    by Myfanwe Written Mar 10, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Wetlands reserve area is an area of lakes and scrubland which was designed to re-create the wildlife habitats which were lost due to the construction of the Cardiff Bay Barrage.

    I love this side of the bay, it's just the other side of St Davids Hotel - not far away from the hustle and bustle of the bars & retaurants of Mermaid Quay but it's like a peaceful oasis set aside for nature. Many birds have adopted this area for their home; cormorants, mute swans, coots & ducks to name a few. There is an easily accessible path running through the wetlands with plenty of benches for you to site & while away the hours and watch the birds and boats go by; at the end of the path is a short boardwalk which gives an ideal vantage point for watching the birds & Yachts from the nearby Cardiff Yacht club. Along the paths you will find some information boards with plenty of useful information about the species of birds and other wildlife which can be found there.

    Wetlands with St Davids Hotel in the background Iron bird sculptures..
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Adventure Travel
    • Birdwatching

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    The Welsh National War Memorial

    by Balam Updated Aug 10, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Designed by J. Ninian Cooper and unveiled in June 1928 by the then Prince of Wales to commemorate the servicemen who died during the First World War, In 1949 an addition of a plaque was made for those who died during the Second World War. Situated in Alexandra Gardens in the Catheys area of Cardiff

    A number of other war memorials can also be found in Alexandra Gardens including one to the men of Cardiff who were killed in action during the Falklands War, One to Raoul Wallenberg who was the Swedish Ambassador to Hungary and saved 100,000 people by issuing them with Swedish passports enabling them to flee to safety. There is also a memorial dedicated to the men of the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War.

    I FEIBION CYMRU A RODDES EU BYWYD DROS EI GWLAD YN RHYFEL MCMXVIII

    The Welsh National War Memorial The Welsh National War Memorial The Welsh National War Memorial The Welsh National War Memorial
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    St John's Church & Tea House

    by sue_stone Written Aug 29, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Located amid the shopping malls in the centre of Cardiff is St John's Church. A church has stood on this site since at least 1180, with the current one dating back to the 15th Century. After the castle, it is Cardiff's second oldest building.

    The church has a tall tower which the locals describe as a 'gem of medieval architecture'. It contains 10 bells which are rung on Sundays and on special occasions. The inside is a peaceful retreat from the hectic shoppers, with its elegant arched interior. When we visited we were the only ones in there!

    The best part of a visit here though is hidden in the church's Vestry. From Wednesday to Saturday each week it is home to a delightful tea room, run by volunteers. Here you can relax and enjoy tasty looking home-made cakes and sandwiches, along with some light meals and hot and cold drinks.

    St John's Church Inside St John's Church The tea room upstairs
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Budget Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    The Senedd - National Assembly

    by sue_stone Written Aug 29, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cardiff Bay is home to the Welsh National Assembly, and in a prime position on the bay is the stunning new assembly building, The Senedd. Opened on the 1st of March 2006, this landmark building has been constructed based on 'green' principals, and its renewable energy systems will hopefully mean that running costs are reduced by up to half of what they would be in a similar sized building.

    The Senedd has been constructed using slate, glass, timber & steel, and has a huge wooden 'chimney' in the middle which is used to ventilate the inner space.

    You can have a look over the circular Debating Chamber from the public gallery and see the big wigs in action, or maybe just relax for a while in the café and enjoy the impressive architecture around you.

    The Senedd wooden 'chimney' inside The Senedd Debating Chamber The Senedd wooden ceiling
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Wales Millennium Centre

    by sue_stone Written Aug 29, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the stunning buildings in the Cardiff Bay development is the Wales Millennium Centre. The centre is home to several of Wales' major cultural organisations, including the Welsh National Opera, and houses concerts, opera and theatre performances.

    Building commenced in 2001 and was finished in 2003. Stone was used from Northern Wales for the walls, and sheets of glass were fused together and constructed like glass veins between the stone.

    The building really is impressive, with its massive shell-like roof and its slate, glass and steel construction. The inside of the building is also beautifully designed, with wood panelled features and curved walls. There are a couple of cafes and bars, and clean (and free) toilets. You can take a browse in the gift shop as well.

    Wales Millennium Centre Wales Millennium Centre inside the Wales Millennium Centre Wales Millennium Centre Wales Millennium Centre
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Comeston Medieval Village

    by Balam Written Jun 8, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Comeston Medieval Village is a living history medieval village near Lavernock Just outside Penarth, The village is based and built upon remains of a Medieval village discovered during an archaeological dig in the grounds of Cosmeston Lakes Country Park in the 1980's.
    It is a great recreation peasant life in 14th century Wales and is looked after by authenticaly dressed staff.
    The village regularly has groups of reenactors, who with their authentic tents pitched around the outskirts of the village perform displays of historical combat and scenes of medieval life.
    The Village has been described as "the best representation of a medieval village currently available in Britain"

    Cosmeston has also been used in the filming of television programs such as Merlin

    11am to 4pm (November to March) and 11am to 5pm (April to October).

    Last tour: 3pm (November to March) and 4pm (April to October)

    Adult tickets - Self Guided Tours £3.50 - Guided Tours £5.00 - Special Events £5.00

    Concessions £3.00
    Under 5s Free

    Comeston Medieval Village Comeston Medieval Village Comeston Medieval Village Comeston Medieval Village Comeston Medieval Village
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    St Fagans

    by Balam Written Jun 8, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since opening in 1948, St Fagans National History Museum has become a fantastic place to visit and is one of Europe's most outstanding open air museums and one of the most visited attractions in Wales.
    The museum shows how the people of Wales have lived,worked and spent their leisure time over hundreds of years.
    The Museum stands in beautiful countryside in the grounds of St Fagans Castle a late 16th C manor house that was donated to the people of Wales in 1946 by the Earl of Plymouth.
    The museum site covers 42.3 hectares (104.5 acres) some of which remains woodland which is managed as a part of the lower Ely Conservation Area

    It's a great place to visit and is one of my favorite places in Wales. Have a look at my St Fagans pages

    St Fagans St Fagans St Fagans St Fagans St Fagans
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

Cardiff Hotels

See all 131 Hotels in Cardiff

Latest Cardiff Hotel Reviews

The St David's Hotel & Spa Cardiff
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 6 Reviews
Cardiff Hilton
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Novotel Cardiff Centre
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 3 Reviews
Travelodge Cardiff Central
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 4 Reviews
Cardiff Backpacker
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
The Big Sleep Hotel
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 7 Reviews
Copthorne Hotel Cardiff Caerdydd
Great (4.0 out of 5.0) 1 Review
Nomad
Pleasant (2.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Lincoln House Hotel
Very Good (3.5 out of 5.0) 2 Reviews
Regan Hotel
1 Review

Instant Answers: Cardiff

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

30 travelers online now

Comments (1)

  • richardchown's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Cardiff is the nice place to visit. During our cardiff vacation we had sped one hour in rhondda heritage park, we brought some gift from gift shop. overal experience was good.

Cardiff Things to Do

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Cardiff locals.
Map of Cardiff