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Whether you’ve taken a trip to Cardiff for a scenic weekend away or you’ve made your way over to the Welsh capital to see the rugby and you’re looking for activities to make the most of your visit, there’s plenty of things to do on your Cardiff city break:
Venturing down to Cardiff Bay is the perfect way to kick-off your weekend (especially if the weather is being kind). Aside from being a lovely area to walk around in itself, the Bay has a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing.
The Wales Millennium Centre, for one, is a modern creativity hub which offers much more than just tickets for some of the most popular shows in the UK. Head over to their events page to see what show and exhibitions they’ve got on during your visit.
Just a few steps away from the Millennium Centre you’d also find the seat of the Welsh Assembly – the Senedd. In addition to being gorgeous to look at from the outside, the parliament building is a treasure-trove of interesting information on Welsh politics. If that’s your cup of tea, you can pop in for a free tour between 10.30am–4.30pm.
Other Cardiff Bay highlights include the iconic red-brick Pierhead Building – formerly a base of the Bute Dock Company, now a history museum – as well as the charming Norwegian Church, most famously the christening place of author Roald Dahl, and the Cardiff Barrage Embankment. The latter spans 1,200 yards and connects the Bay area to Penarth – perfect for an afternoon stroll!
We can’t put together a Cardiff sightseeing guide and not include the city’s stunning castle. Ideal for history enthusiasts and curious tourists alike, Cardiff Castle is conveniently positioned smack in the middle of the city and offers over 2,000 years’ worth of history. Past the main entrance and castle walls you’d also find the Animal Wall – a local favourite, it does what it says on the tin, featuring some adorable hand-carved animals.
Head in the opposite direction and you’ll stumble upon Cardiff City Hall and the National Museum. The former is a stunning landmark with an elaborate clock tower. The latter is the perfect hide-out should the weather be less than ideal – free to enter, the museum houses a fascinating mixture of natural history, geology and contemporary art exhibitions, catering to a range of interests.
Across the castle, nestled in between the vintage arcades, sports fans will find a real gem - Elevens Bar & Grill, the sports bar collaboration between Welsh sports icon Gareth Bale and Brains Brewery. Situated not far from the city stadium, the bar is the perfect spot for pre- or post-game drinks, as well as a great choice for watching the game on TV without straying far from the action.
Water sports lovers and adrenaline addicts alike will fall head over heels with Cardiff International White Water course. Possibly the best venue in the city for the actively inclined, CIWW offers a choice of white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking sessions as well as indoor surfing and stand up paddle boarding courses, starting from as little as £22.50.
If you have a longer block of free time, visiting the open-air museum of St Fagan’s is a must! Favoured by tourists and locals alike, this heritage site is located just outside Cardiff on the grounds of the titular St Fagans Castle.
Another attraction that’s free to visit, the site houses dozens of historic Welsh buildings from different eras, which have been reconstructed on the castle lands. As well as the historic architecture, you’d be able to enjoy crafts stations, traditional food and exhibitions featuring nuggets of daily life in the past.