Living historyTwo thousand years of history unfold within the walls of Cardiff Castle. Travel through time and discover its Roman wall, Norman keep and dramatic neo-Gothic apartments on fascinating Cardiff city breaks. Return to the age of the woolly mammoth and come face to face with the works of the Old Masters in the free
National Museum. You can learn all about traditional rural crafts in the reconstructed cottages at open-air
St Fagans Museum. Evensong is the best time to appreciate medieval
Llandaff Cathedral at its most atmospheric.
World flavoursAlfresco diners tuck into the catch of the day in
Cardiff Bay's fashionable waterfront brasseries, and Italian or tapas in
Mermaid Quay's glass-fronted bistros.
Cathays' gastropubs serve flavoursome Welsh fare like leek tart, tender lamb and black beef washed down with a pint of local Brains bitter. The city has a spicy side - the
Old Brewery Quarter is home to good-value Thai and Indian restaurants.
Local shoppingTake a stroll around
Mermaid Quay's galleries for contemporary crafts from wicker to ceramics. Cardiff's boutique-lined
Victorian arcades stock everything from Welsh lovespoons to vintage clothing. For high-street fashion, head to
St David's Shopping Centre and
Queen Street. Foodies can leave their Cardiff hotel and browse the
Central Market for creamy Welsh cheeses and seaweed-based laverbread, or Sunday's
Riverside Farmers' Market for local fudge, organic ham and cockles.
Great outdoorsThere are picture-postcard views of Cardiff Castle from laid-back
Bute Park on the River Taff. Take a breather in
Roath Park's rose and dahlia gardens, looking out for roosting cormorants on the islands. Cyclists and ramblers can explore the
Cardiff Bay Barrage Coastal Path or tackle the 55-mile
Taff Trail to Brecon Beacons National Park.