Ling Tang / © Culture Trip

The Insider Guide to Cardiff

While Wales is famous for a rich mythical history and natural wonders plucked straight from a fairytale, its capital is a dynamic, forward-thinking city with a thriving cultural scene.

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Bant a ni! The Main Attractions

Sport, music and the arts make Cardiff tick. The Welsh capital has passionately supported football, rugby, cricket and ice hockey teams, as well as the 75,000-seater Principality Stadium, which hosts world-class speedway, boxing, football and rugby events. In the shadow of that gigantic arena lies the soul of Cardiff’s music scene – Womanby Street – where you can see the country’s most exciting talents cause havoc in venues such as Clwb Ifor Bach and the Moon. This road embodies the city’s creative spirit, which spreads across to places such as Chapter – a hub of contemporary art, performance and film – and the countless festivals, art spaces and theatres across the capital. While the city centre is fantastic for shopping – get lost in the arcades, where you’ll find hidden gems such as Spillers, the oldest record shop in the world – take a detour through Bute Park towards fashionable Pontcanna and into Llandaff, the birthplace of Roald Dahl and home to Llandaff Cathedral. Alternatively, head down to Cardiff Bay, which has gone from transporting coal across the globe to hosting operas and orchestras in the Wales Millennium Centre. That’s not to ignore the wealth of history here, from the National Museum Cardiff in the city centre, to St Fagans National History Museum, a short drive away where ancient buildings have been meticulously transported and rebuilt to create an immersive museum experience. And, of course, there are the castles. Wales has more castles per square mile than any country in Europe. You’ll find one of the most impressive, Cardiff Castle, slap bang in the middle of the city. On the outskirts is the forest-sheltered, fantastical Castell Coch – Red Castle in English, or Castle Coch in Wenglish – and in nearby Caerphilly lies the largest castle in Wales, complete with a well-preserved moat.

Neighborhoods in Cardiff