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Where to Spend Your Weekend in Cardiff

Cardiff, Europe’s newest capital, perfectly blends history and culture. Between its modern architecture in Cardiff Bay, to the ancient ruins found on the grounds of its castles, the city doesn’t hesitate to embrace its rich heritage, and it’s continuously popped up in TV’s Doctor Who.

Cardiff leaves you spoiled for options when it comes to dining and drinks. The emphasis on seasonal, local produce is a trend that Wales has long mastered. And let’s not forget about the delightful selection of local ciders, beers, and even wines.

Keeping all that in mind, we recommend a minimum seven-day stay, but if you’re short on time, our curated list of top attractions can help you create a perfect 48-hour itinerary for an unforgettable weekend in Cardiff.

Cardiff Castle

The beautiful city renowned for its abundance of castles is the home of Cardiff Castle, which stands out among them all as the most prominent.

It is a highly popular tourist attraction in Wales, capturing the attention of visitors from all over. This ancient monolith has graced the heart of Cardiff for nearly two millennia. Cardiff Castle is widely regarded as the most renowned, visually appealing, and well-preserved castle in both Cardiff and Wales as a whole.

Without a doubt, Cardiff Castle offers an exceptional experience for adults, children, and families alike. Many consider it a romantic destination due to its picturesque exterior and stunning gothic-style interiors, making it a must-visit attraction in Cardiff. Each room within the castle possesses a distinct style and utilizes displays to recount captivating stories about the people who once inhabited and worked in them.

Getting there: A train journey to Cardiff Central Station can take you within a 10-minute walk of the castle, or a 2-3 minute taxi ride for those wanting to save their energy to explore the beautiful grounds.

Price of Admission: Adults – £14.50; Children – £10; Under 5 – free.

Cardiff Market (Cardiff Gaol)   

Cardiff Market, a Victorian structure listed as Grade II, is located near the castle and has been operating as a market since the 1700s. Before its existence as a market, this site served as the Cardiff gaol, with the gallows situated at the St. Mary’s Street entrance where criminals were once executed.

With two floors to explore, visitors can browse and purchase local produce while appreciating the enduring beauty of the market’s architecture.

Afterwards, you can indulge in a lunch of delectable street food options available at various outlets. Diners can pick from Tukka Tuk for Indian cuisine, Delish Cafe for Thai and Asian delicacies, Market Deli for various choices, Ffwrnes for pizza, or The Naked Vegan for baked goods.

Getting there: A bus or taxi is perhaps the simplest form of transport to reach the Cardiff market, and there are multiple entrances to the Cardiff Market; one is located on Trinity Street, near St. John’s Church, and the other can be found on St. Mary Street.

Price of Admission: Free

Cardiff Bay & Mermaid Quay

The area of Cardiff we are referring to is the former impoverished docklands, which at one point held the title of the world’s largest coal-exporting port. Today, as part of the Cardiff Bay revitalisation project, Mermaid Quay preserves some of its maritime heritage through its attractive bridges, terraces, decking, and towers.

Visitors can leisurely stroll along the Quay and admire the surroundings or dine at one of the many restaurants that cater to various tastes and budgets. Additionally, there is a comedy club and one of the UK’s largest boutique cinemas, Everyman, which features five screens. With such a wide range of activities to choose from, a weekend getaway in Cardiff offers endless possibilities.

Getting there: Via train, Cardiff Bay Station will position you directly on the bay. There are also regular buses as it’s one of the most popular areas in the capital.

Price of Admission: Free

Grosvenor Casino Cardiff   

Grosvenor Casino Cardiff offers more than just a typical gambling experience. It serves as an all-in-one destination for both daytime and nighttime entertainment. With its exceptional restaurant, impressive bar, sports and entertainment lounge, top-notch poker facilities, conference room, and much more, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Suppose you want to swap the top-rated online casinos to choose from in the UK in exchange for the real-life experience; you’ll find a wide range of gaming options at the Grosvenor, including numerous Roulette, Blackjack, and Poker tables. In addition, they feature popular slot games such as Cleopatra and Lucky Lady’s Charm, ensuring that your gaming experience is unparalleled in the city.

Situated in the vibrant Cardiff Bay, the casino is versatile and lively. It has hosted various events, including beauty pageants and fashion shows. Whether you’re planning a special occasion or a corporate gathering, the venue can accommodate various events.

Getting there: Close to the Cardiff Docks, the Grosvenor Casino is on the Red Dragon Centre, CF10 4JY.

Price of Admission: Admission is free, but you’ll need a form of ID to enter.

Bute Park

Experience 130 acres of beautiful gardens located in the centre of the city!

When the weather is favourable, there is no place better to be in Cardiff. Bute Park, designed by the renowned Capability Brown, offers a vast expanse of lush serenity. Previously the private grounds of Cardiff Castle, it is now open to the public for leisurely walks, lively gatherings, and all the other enjoyable activities that make urban parks so delightful. Explore the park’s hidden gems, including 21 sculptures and the popular Animal Wall, which is often photographed. Choose a trail and leisurely explore the park at your own pace.

Getting there: Bute Park is in the city’s heart and is a short walk from the main high streets. It’s also within walking distance of Cathays, Queen Street, and Central stations.

Price of Admission: Free

St. Fagans National Museum of History  

One of the top-rated tourist destinations in Cardiff, it is also a place where you can fully immerse yourself in Welsh culture. This can be experienced through living history encounters at the St. Fagans National Museum of History. This outdoor attraction provides insight into the traditional skills and crafts that have shaped the country. You can engage with costumed interpreters who bring the exhibits to life.

Some notable highlights of this attraction include exploring various original and replica buildings, such as charming farmhouses and cottages. Additionally, there are well-maintained gardens and, workshops and mills where you can witness demonstrations of outdated machinery. If possible, the best times to visit are during spring, summer, and the Christmas season. Each of these seasons is marked by special events and festivals that enhance the overall experience.

Getting there: St Fagans National Museum is 4 miles west of Cardiff City Centre. Cars will be charged for parking, busses stop at the St Fagans village, and the nearby train station is Waun-gron Park.

Price of Admission: Free.