20 Unmissable Attractions in Cardiff, Wales

Merchant Seafarers' Memorial © tom1068/Pixabay
Merchant Seafarers' Memorial © tom1068/Pixabay
Photo of Poppy Jacob
26 September 2017

Here are the best attractions you should put at the top of your list when you visit Wales’ capital city!

A stroll along a Victorian pier

Penarth is a seaside town outside Cardiff’s centre. It’s the perfect place to go for a cup of tea, a walk along the pebbled beach finished by fish and chips on the pier.

Beautiful blue skies down at the pier today!

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A fairytale castle

Castell Coch or Red Castle, is a beautiful gothic relic found in lush woodland. You can get to it by cycling along the River Taff from the centre of the city, out into the countryside. There are plenty of activities going on inside too, making it great for taking the kids.

Tongwynlais, Cardiff, +44 (0) 4429 2081 0101

Views like this

Cardiff is a city full of vibrantly green parkland – one of the benefits of being in rainy Wales. This view is from a bridge near the city centre overlooking the River Taff.

The Roald Dahl Church

This unusual and attractive church provides a link between Cardiff and Norway. With stunning views over Cardiff Bay, it is the oldest church in the UK founded by the Norwegian Seamens’ mission, and is now an arts centre and café. None other than Roald Dahl used to worship here, hence the nickname.

Harbour Dr, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, +44 (0) 29 2087 7959

Cosy independent bookshops

The are plenty dotted around Cardiff – this is called Troutmark Books and from floor to ceiling is chock full of books – rare, specialist, classic and contemporary – and all expertly categorised.

Troutmark #literature #bookheaven #bookshop #cardiff

A post shared by Samantha Gough (@samwisejg) on

Majestic botanical gardens

Outside of the city but well worth a visit are these magical gardens, tended by dedicated volunteers who are creative and playful in their planting – making a feature out of vegetables and using rows of parsley to border flower beds. There are lots of different sections, from the grand central lawns to the cactus house and wilder wooded parts.

#dyffryngardens #wales

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Sculptures like this…

A couple and their dog pose at Mermaid Quay, representing the people of what used to be Tiger Bay – a busy port which created a lot of industry in the city.

People Like Us | © Richard Croft/Geograph

The Rugby

There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a rugby match when Wales are playing on at the Millennium Stadium. Rugby is a way of life here, something the Welsh are truly passionate about. Pictured is Cardiff Castle during the Rugby World Cup, with a giant ball looking like it had been booted into the wall…

Rugby Ball in Cardiff Castle | © Rockschaf/ Pixabay

Architecture like this

The Senedd is where the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff meets but it is also a public building, with places to eat and drink and all sorts of events being held there. But the architecture in itself is unmissable.

The Senedd © Tidy/ Pixabay | © Tidy/ Pixabay

And more impressive sculptures

This sculpture of a sleeping head which turns into a ship’s hull is found in front of the Welsh Parliament (the Senedd).

Merchant Seafarers’ Memorial | © tom1068/Pixabay

Winding arcades

One of the best things about shopping in Cardiff is the Victorian arcades which house a rich collection of independent businesses – great for finding unusual gifts and goods.

Royal Arcade | © Geograph