It can be tough deciding where to visit in a city with so much going on, but relax, we’ve done the hard part for you. Here's our ten of the best.
This fascinating museum boasts a collection spanning art, natural history, archaeology and geology.
Alongside one of the best art collections in Europe, you can discover Welsh history, wildlife and geology, hang out with full-size dinosaurs, and explore how our planet was formed.
Based in the city’s beautiful neo-classical Civic Centre, it also hosts major temporary exhibitions and offers a great programme of events and activities.
It’s right in the middle of the city, yet the castle feels like a world apart – an oasis of calm set apart from the bustle by its ancient walls.
Learn about its Roman origins, the amazing Gothic transformation of the nineteenth-century and its part in the Second World War. Climb the Great Clock Tower, sneak into the tunnels or stay until the evening and attend a Welsh banquet.
Housed in the elegant Old Library building, the Museum of Cardiff tells the tale of how Cardiff was transformed from a small market town in the 1300s to one of the world’s biggest ports in the 1900s, and onwards to become today’s cosmopolitan capital.
The fun, interactive galleries use stories of the people who lived and worked in the city over past centuries to bring its history to life.
4. Victorian Arcades and the Old Market
Cardiff’s beautifully preserved Victorian arcades offer a genteel shopping experience, sheltered by glorious high glass roofs.
Browse vintage clothes stores, craft and coffee shops in the Castle Quarter, or clothes and jewellery boutiques and indie eating places in the Royal, Wyndham and Morgan Arcades.
Cardiff Market – trading since the 1700s – features a much-loved array of butchers and fishmongers, traditional sweet shops and bakers
Get hands on with the exhibits at the UK’s longest established science centre in Cardiff Bay. It’s great for families, and you can come and go all day with a Techniquest wristband.
Take in an amazing Science Theatre show, and journey through space on a spectacular Planetarium star tour. Worth checking the website in advance for timings.
Cardiff International White Water offers the most comprehensive range of water-based activities you could ever need… whether you want to try rafting, canoeing, bodyboarding or paddleboarding, you can do it all here with bells on.
With additional off-site activities such as gorge walking and bike hire, it’s a one-stop shop for energetic days out.
For those who prefer their water frozen, it’s a short hop to Ice Arena Wales, official home of the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey team, for some skating fun.
Stretch your legs on this walk between Cardiff Bay and the delightful seaside town of Penarth.
You’ll walk along the barrage, crossing Pont y Werin (the People’s Bridge) with its sculptures of great Welsh sports people, and watch the bridge opening to let boats in and out of the marina.
Once in Penarth, stop for a bite to eat at the fully restored Art Deco Pier Pavilion, which houses a gallery, cinema, café and restaurant. Give your tired legs a break by taking a water taxi back across the bay.
Walk or cycle from Cardiff to Pontypridd on this route that leads you through green urban parks into rural heaven.
Following the River Taff upstream, you’ll pass crashing weirs, wildlife aplenty, mountains above, and the fairy-tale Castell Coch.
Take a picnic to enjoy along the way, but save a bit of space for tea and Welsh cakes when you arrive at the industrial heritage town of Pontypridd.
Spend a varied day exploring Cardiff Bay’s heritage sites which starts with a trip on the Aqua Bus, taking in Mermaid Quay, the wetlands nature reserve and the Barrage.
Then stop off at The Senedd, the home of the Welsh Government and one of the world’s most environmentally friendly parliament buildings, before checking out the Grieg Room and Dahl Gallery at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, where you can also relax over a delicious lunch.
Just outside the city centre, the cathedral lies in the ancient City of Llandaff. The building itself has had a chequered history, living through battles and rough weather from the 1400s through to the Second World War.
Knowledgeable guides will help you identify the old versus the new, or leave you to contemplate the striking interior.
Then repair to the lovely village with its independent cafés and pubs, or buy a picnic and stroll across to sit on the village green near the old Bishop’s Palace.