The Essential Cardiff Shopping Guide

Cardiff|©Andrew Gustar/Flickr
Cardiff|©Andrew Gustar/Flickr
Photo of Nicholas Witts
22 January 2017

Wales’s capital city is a patchwork of different styles of shops. From its Victorian arcades harbouring niche shoe shops to its high street stretch with all your big names, Cardiff has got everything you need to dress to impress. Check out some of the best areas in the city to get your retail therapy here.

Cardiff Arcades

These vibrant little trails breaking through the centre play host to some of the best independent shops. Want to top off your skater look with a flannel shirt? Sorted. Want to get a smart pair of loafers from a little label? Sorted. A summer dress ready for the sun? Sorted. There are several arcades that maze through the city, and exploring any one of them feels like an adventure. You’ll be sure to find something new every time.

Arcade | ©Tony Hisgett/Flickr

St David’s Centre

Arguably the pinnacle of Cardiff’s shopping locations, the shopping centre, named after the patron saint of Wales, attracts over 38 million visitors a year. It has been the destination of choice for over 180 stores, many of which are new to Wales. With an already impressive list of retailers and restaurants, the largest John Lewis outside of London, and a five-floor flagship Primark, St David’s is filled with enough to keep you going for the whole day.

St David's Centre | ©EG Focus/Flickr

Queen Street

Home to your typical household names, Cardiff’s Queen Street is a stretch of shops with some of the town’s biggest labels. It is a hub for retail therapy with stores such as Fat Face, Topman and River Island providing a number of stop off points. Come Christmas, the street takes on a festive vibe and makes weaving from shop to shop even more wonderful.

Cardiff Queen Street | ©Jon Candy/Flickr


Ideal if you want a closet overhaul, Cardiff’s Tramshed has played host to famous ‘kilo sales’ of vintage clothing. With a twist on your normal shopping habits, you are required to pay £2 entry on the door before making your way around. You’ll then grab all the goodies you want for your new look and pay just £15 per kilo. It is a great way to change up your style on a shoestring budget. Keep an eye open for online updates as the events are not held on a weekly basis.

Tramshed | ©Ben Salter/Flickr

Cardiff Bay

Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay is a stunning waterfront location just a short hop from the city centre. It has a selection of gorgeous gift boutiques where’ll you find everything traditional, Welsh gifts, shoes, accessories, vintage fashion and much more. If browsing through racks of classy clothes leaves you needing a break, you’re in luck as the area is blessed with a number of delicious eateries.

Mermaid Quay | ©Ben Salter/Flickr

Cardiff Market

The new blends superbly with the old at Cardiff Market. The market has traded in one guise or another since the 1700s and the striking glass-roofed Victorian structure it has inhabited for the past couple of centuries features some of the capital city’s most-loved butchers and fishmongers, as well as an array clothing stalls.

Cardiff Market | ©Dom Atreides/Flickr

Capitol Centre

Situated at the top of Queen Street, the Capitol Centre functions as one of the city’s retail malls. The building is built on the site of the former Capitol Theatre and opened in 1990. It is anchored by a large H&M store, but there is much more to this undercover, modern shopping centre.

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