Exploring the Welsh capital doesn’t need to be expensive. This beautiful port city has a wealth of free activities for all the family to enjoy.
Stroll through Bute Park
A tranquil oasis in the middle of the metropolis, Bute Park is the ideal place to spend some time outdoors in Cardiff. The best time to take a wander is in spring, when the flora and fauna truly come into their own. Stroll through the friary ruins, amble alongside the Taff and stop for a picnic to soak up the area’s natural beauty.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Learn in the National Museum Cardiff
Just one of seven national museums across Wales, the National Museum Cardiff has such varied collections that you can spend a whole day wandering around without getting bored. This spectacular building is home to exhibitions of zoology, botany, archeology, geology and more. Kids will love exploring the dinosaur installation, which is arguably the museum’s pièce de résistance. The museum also boasts an extensive art collection, with works by Magritte, Renoir, Degas and Monet.
Step back in time at St Fagans National History Museum
Wales’ historic past comes to life at this 100-acre open-air museum. It contains over 40 re-erected buildings from various ages of Welsh history, with old schools, butchers, bakeries, ironsmiths and workmen’s institutes all featuring. As it is a living museum, you will see craftspeople practising traditional skills and selling their wares. In the grounds, you’ll also meet local breeds of livestock, which are still farmed here. Check before you go to see if your visit coincides with one of the museum’s seasonal celebrations of traditional music and dance.
Marvel at the Millennium Centre
Head down to the bay and you’ll find this architectural masterpiece, which houses the National Arts Centre of Wales. Although the majority of the events on offer here are ticketed, they also hold public performances such as dance shows, contemporary music concerts and festivals on the Glanfa Stage in the lobby, which are free to watch. Even if you can’t catch a show, the building itself is impressive; made of Welsh wood, slate, steel and glass, the structure is seen to embody all that is good about the national spirit.
Go on an adventure with the Fforest Fawr sculpture trail
The Fforest Fawr sculpture trail is a woodland area located near the captivating Castell Coch, just a short drive from Cardiff. The path is roughly 1.5 miles long and is designed to take children on a magical journey through the forest. In 2018, several of the original sculptures, damaged after years of exposure to the elements, were removed and replaced with 10 new figures depicting animals which would have once roamed the Welsh forest, all carved by artist Simon O’Rourke from a single redwood tree. Some original sculptures, such as a giant Welsh dragon, remain alongside the newer arrivals of an elk and European wolf.
Jump into the action at the Senedd
The Senedd is Wales’ National Assembly, and is open for you to wander into seven days a week to watch democracy in action. It is one of Cardiff’s most beautiful structures, and you can find plenty of tour guides on hand who are willing to give you a full understanding of its design, which makes use of around 1,000 tonnes of Welsh slate. As well as the National Assembly, the building is home to the Heart of Wales, a beautiful piece of glass artwork by Swansea-based artist Alexander Beleschenko.
Browse the arcades
These intricately designed Victorian arcades, which have been home to Cardiff’s markets for generations, are filled with rows of quirky, independent boutiques. From bookshops filled with the smell of forgotten pages to music stores that will transport you back to the age of vinyl, taking a leisurely stroll around these undercover arcades gives you a truly unique window-shopping experience.
Make some furry friends at the Amelia Trust Farm
The Amelia Trust Farm is a 160-acre working farm and donkey sanctuary where you can meet a range of animals including alpacas, Shetland ponies, rabbits and degus. The park farm also has a number of nature trails, which you can follow to spot and identify local wildlife. While the farm is situated in Barry, just outside Cardiff, it is well worth a visit, especially if you have little ones who need entertaining.
Escape to Sully Island
This enchanting island is just a half-hour drive from Cardiff, but do check tide tables to ensure you are able to return safely over the causeway as the island does not have a bridge. Once across, there is plenty to explore; the hill at the end of the island is said to have been a Viking look-out fort, and you can also see the visible ribs of a ship from a Victorian wreckage, washed ashore and now part of the landscape. Take provisions, wear suitable clothing and footwear, and enjoy a day scrambling over the rocks.
Promenade down Penarth Pier
Penarth Pier is a beautiful Art Deco structure that has been enjoyed by visitors to the Welsh seaside since 1898. The Victorian pier has benefitted from substantial redevelopment but retains some of its original features, and there are plenty of small shops and restaurants close by to explore. Wander along the pier for free, then sit and relax while enjoying the sea breeze and some fish and chips.
Admire the Norwegian Church Arts Centre
Formerly a church used by Scandinavian sailors and the lively Nordic community who settled in Cardiff’s multicultural Tiger Bay, this distinctive architectural landmark is now a gallery. It hosts touring exhibits and displays works by local artists, and is free to enter. One of its rooms is known as the The Dahl Gallery, named after Cardiff native and prolific children’s author Roald Dahl, who was baptised in the church.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.