Guides

Top 10 cultural things to do in Cardiff

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A talent for hitting high notes, a strong sense of identity and forward-thinking architecture have made Cardiff one of Europe's most culturally exciting cities. Book a Cardiff hotel and immerse yourself in Cardiff‘s culture.

Welsh vocals at the Wales Millennium Centre

The curving slate-and-glass Wales Millennium Centre showcases Cardiff culture at its best, with a first-class programme of opera, musicals, theatre and ballet. Book tickets to see the celebrated Welsh National Opera perform or come at 1 pm for free live jazz and choral music. 

Bute Place, Cardiff, CF10 5AL
Wales Millennium Centre Website


Impressionists at the National Gallery

Cardiff's National Gallery has one of the biggest collections of French impressionist paintings outside of Paris – for free and with fewer crowds. Star pieces like Monet's dreamy Waterlilies and Alfred Sisley's local Welsh scene The Cliff at Penarth are displayed in rotating exhibitions.

Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NP
National Museums Website


Hands-on history at St Fagans Museum

Revisit Wales’ rural past at St Fagans Museum, a reconstructed village complete with thatched cottages, chapel and schoolhouse. Frequent performances of folk dancing and singing, and demonstrations of crafts like weaving and wood-turning bring Welsh heritage to life.

Cardiff, CF5 6XB
St Fagans Museum Website

Open-air art in Cardiff Bay

For art beyond the canvas, take a stroll around Cardiff Bay. Mermaid Quay is scattered with public art related to dock life. Traditional figurative sculpture sits alongside conceptual pieces including a polished metal globe reflecting the waters of the bay.

Mermaid Quay Website


Gothic fantasy at Cardiff Castle

From its Roman roots and Norman heritage, through centuries of royal intrigue and its Victorian rebirth, Cardiff Castle has borne witness to over 2000 years of history. Today culture buffs can tour the Bute family's eccentric neo-Gothic apartments brimming with murals and stained glass, or book tickets for events like painting workshops and open-air Shakespeare plays.
 
Castle Street, Cardiff, CF10 3RB
Cardiff Castle Website

 

Orchestral highs at St David's Hall

Cardiff is a city of music. St David’s Hall is home to the Welsh Proms and hosts regular performances by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. As well as classic music, the venue’s diverse calendar of events covers everything from Welsh choirs to folk troupes, jazz bands to comedy. Even without tickets, visitors can take in the gallery's free contemporary exhibitions.

The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1HA
St David's Hall Website


Life stories at the Butetown History and Arts Centre

Touching in its simplicity, Butetown History and Arts Centre houses an attic-like collection of faded black-and-white snapshots portraying dock life. Audio and video recordings of life stories, artefacts and books take you on a nostalgic journey through Cardiff's history as seen through the eyes of its people.    

5 Dock Chambers, Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 5AG
Butetown History and Arts Centre Website


Shipshape exhibitions at the Norwegian Church

Seafarers once said their prayers before setting sail at the whitewashed Norwegian Church, where author Roald Dahl was christened in 1916. Today the praise is for innovative local art and photography exhibitions, storytelling and folk performances.

Harbour Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4PA
Norwegian Church Website


Cutting-edge dance and drama at the New Theatre

Compelling dramas, contemporary dance and ballet lure theatre-goers to the redbrick Edwardian New Theatre. Book tickets in advance for performances by the resident dance company Diversions.

Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN
New Theatre Website


Emerging local art at g39

Tune into the Welsh contemporary art scene at the artist-run g39 gallery, which pushes artistic boundaries with thought-provoking exhibitions of installations, sculpture and photography. Works by up-and-coming local creatives hang beside those of established artists in this narrow, three-storey building.

Wyndham Arcade, Mill Lane, Cardiff, CF10 1FH
g39 Website