Hey there fellow travelers and welcome to my post where we will cover 10 ways to spend one day in Cardiff. Now, we all know the joys that travel can bring, from visiting far off places, experiencing different cultures and of course, all the new foods. But there is also a downside, – that dreaded day to ‘waste’ in a city whilst waiting for a midnight flight.
So if you are like me (as I live in Australia, all outgoing flights seems to leave late at night), there has been many a day where you need to find something to do that is enjoyable, but doesn’t take too much time – or cost too much money. So if you have a long layover or a day to kill in Cardiff, here are 10 things you can do to pass the time in an enjoyable way.
Let’s check them out…
Ways to Spend One Day in Cardiff
Ok, so let’s check out 10 things you can do in your one day in Cardiff:
1. Explore Cardiff Castle
If you only have one day to spend in Cardiff, visiting Cardiff Castle is a must. This stunning castle is located right in the heart of the city and offers a glimpse into Wales’ rich history and culture. Some ways to spend your time here include:
To fully appreciate the castle’s history, take a guided tour where knowledgeable guides will take you through the castle’s many rooms and share fascinating stories about the castle’s past. You’ll see the opulent State Apartments, the impressive Banqueting Hall and the atmospheric underground tunnels.
Picnic in the Castle Grounds
After your tour, take some time to relax in the castle’s beautiful grounds. Spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy some local Welsh delicacies while taking in the stunning views of the castle and surrounding city.
If you’re feeling a bit more active, climb to the top of the castle’s Norman Keep for breath-taking views of the city and beyond as well.
2. Stroll Through Bute Park
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Bute Park is the perfect spot. This beautiful park spans over 130 acres and is located in the heart of Cardiff, just a short walk from the city center.
As you stroll through the park, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, stunning flowers and even a river. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables scattered throughout the park, so you can sit and enjoy the scenery or enjoy a picnic lunch as well.
Bute Park is also home to several historic landmarks including the Blackweir Bridge, which was built in the 18th century and you can also visit the Pettigrew Tea Rooms, which are housed in a beautiful Victorian conservatory.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to check out the children’s play area which features a climbing frame, swings and a sandpit and there’s also a miniature railway that runs through the park on weekends and during school holidays.
3. Visit the National Museum Cardiff
If you’re interested in art, history and natural sciences, the National Museum Cardiff is a must-visit destination in the city. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and it’s located in the heart of Cardiff. Attractions here include:
The art gallery at the National Museum Cardiff is home to one of the most extensive collections of impressionist paintings outside of Paris. You can see works by Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh, among others.
The gallery also features contemporary art and a collection of Welsh art.
Natural History Exhibit
The natural history exhibit at the National Museum Cardiff is a fascinating display of the flora and fauna of Wales. You can see skeletons of whales, dolphins and other marine animals as well as a collection of birds and insects.
The exhibit also features a section on geology with displays of rocks and minerals found in Wales.
When you visit the National Museum Cardiff, make sure to check out the gift shop, where you can find souvenirs and gifts inspired by the museum’s collections. You can also grab a coffee or a snack at the museum cafe.
4. Shop at Cardiff Central Market
If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience, head to Cardiff Central Market. This indoor market has been around since the 1700s and is home to over 100 independent businesses where you’ll find everything from fresh produce and meats to handmade crafts and souvenirs.
One of the best things about shopping at Cardiff Central Market is the opportunity to support local businesses. Many of the vendors have been operating in the market for generations, and their passion for their products is evident in the quality of their goods.
In addition to food and gifts, Cardiff Central Market also has several clothing and accessory shops where you can find vintage clothing, handmade jewelry and even traditional Welsh clothing like the iconic red dragon sweater.
Oh, and be sure to check out the famous Welsh cakes, a traditional treat that can be found at several stalls throughout the market as well.
5. Cycle the Taff Trail
If you’re looking for a fun and active way to spend a day in Cardiff, consider cycling the Taff Trail. This 55-mile route runs from Cardiff to Brecon and offers stunning views of the Welsh countryside along the way.
The Taff Trail is a mainly traffic-free route that takes in the sights of Wales’ vibrant capital before heading to the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and ending in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. You can start your journey in Cardiff Bay and follow the river through Grangetown, Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna Fields, Hailey Park, Forest Farm to Tongwynlais near Castell Coch. The Trail continues North ending in Brecon.
Not only is the Taff Trail a great way to see the city and surrounding countryside, it’s also a great way to get some exercise. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or just looking for a leisurely ride, the Taff Trail has something for everyone.
Along the way, you’ll pass by castles, canals, and pretty green open spaces. You can stop for a picnic lunch, take a dip in one of the many rivers, or simply enjoy the scenery. There are plenty of places in Cardiff where you can rent a bike for the day as well.
6. Relaxing at Roath Park
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Roath Park is the perfect spot for you. This beautiful park, located in the heart of Cardiff, offers a tranquil oasis where you can relax and unwind.
One of the main attractions of Roath Park is its stunning lake where you can take a leisurely stroll admiring the beautiful scenery and watching the various waterfowl that call the lake home. You can also hire a rowing boat and take a gentle paddle around the lake as well.
If you prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Roath Park. The park is home to a variety of exotic plants and trees, including the impressive monkey puzzle tree and you can also enjoy a picnic on the grassy areas of the park or simply sit and read a book under the shade of a tree.
7. Dine in Cardiff Bay
If you’re looking for a place to dine in Cardiff Bay, you’re in luck. The area is home to a variety of restaurants and cafes, offering everything from seafood delights to traditional Welsh cuisine. Here are some options for your one-day visit:
Cardiff Bay is known for its fresh seafood and there are plenty of restaurants that specialize in serving it up. If you’re a fan of seafood, here are a few places you should check out:
- The Dock Bar & Kitchen: This restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes including fish and chips, calamari, and seafood linguine.
Fish at 85: This seafood restaurant is known for its fresh, sustainable seafood. The menu changes daily based on what’s available but you can expect dishes like oysters, scallops, and lobster.
The Custom House: This restaurant offers a seafood platter that’s perfect for sharing. It includes crab, prawns, mussels, and more.
Traditional Welsh Cuisine
If you want to try some traditional Welsh dishes, Cardiff Bay has plenty of options for you. Here are a few places to check out:
- The Potted Pig: This restaurant offers a modern take on traditional Welsh cuisine. Some of the dishes on the menu include lamb rump, pork belly and leek and Caerphilly cheese tart.
- The Clink: This restaurant is located inside Cardiff Prison and is staffed by inmates who are training for careers in the hospitality industry. The menu features Welsh classics like cawl (a hearty soup) and Welsh rarebit (a cheese and beer sauce served on toast).
- The Cardiff Bay Tavern: This pub offers a variety of pub grub, including Welsh dishes like Glamorgan sausages (a vegetarian sausage made with cheese and leeks) and Welsh rarebit.
8. Watch a Match at Principality Stadium
If you’re a sports fan, watching a match at Principality Stadium is a must-do activity when in Cardiff. The stadium is located in the heart of the city and is the home of Welsh rugby but is also used for other sports and events, such as football and concerts.
Before the match, you can take a tour of the stadium to learn about its history and see behind the scenes. The tour is informative and entertaining and you can even walk out onto the pitch.
On match day, the atmosphere at Principality Stadium is electric. The Welsh are passionate about their rugby and the stadium is packed with supporters wearing red and singing the Welsh national anthem. You’ll feel the energy and excitement as soon as you walk through the gates.
There are plenty of food and drink options available at the stadium as well so you won’t go hungry or thirsty during the match. You can also buy souvenirs to remember your experience. Be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds and to soak up the pre-match atmosphere.
9. Doctor Who Experience
The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff is a must-visit attraction for fans of the iconic British science fiction series, Doctor Who. Located in the heart of Cardiff Bay, the experience allows fans to explore the TARDIS, the Doctor’s time machine and spaceship as well as encounter various monsters, aliens, and artifacts from the series. This hands-on engagement, which includes interactive elements and thrilling exhibitions, provides an exciting and memorable experience for fans of all ages.
Tourists can take part in guided tours, witness behind-the-scenes glimpses and even participate in mini-adventures, all of which create an authentic Doctor Who experience. It’s not just a museum but an immersive journey through time and space, making it a must-visit for both die-hard Whovians and casual viewers.
Moreover, the Doctor Who Experience adds an extra layer of appeal to Cardiff’s tourism landscape and has become a pilgrimage destination for Doctor Who enthusiasts. This attraction contributes to the city’s reputation as a hub for television and film tourism, drawing visitors from around the world who want to explore the real-life locations featured in the show.
10. Experience the Nightlife in Womanby Street
If you’re looking for a night out in Cardiff, Womanby Street is the place to be. This historic street is lined with a variety of bars and clubs, each with its own unique vibe. Here are some of the top spots to check out:
Live Music Venues
Womanby Street is known for its live music scene and there are several venues to choose from. Clwb Ifor Bach is one of the oldest live music venues on the street with a history dating back to 1983. The venue hosts a variety of acts from up-and-coming local bands to established international acts.
Another great option is Fuel Rock Club, which is Cardiff’s only dedicated rock club. The venue hosts regular live music events as well as DJ nights and other events.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back vibe, there are plenty of local pubs to choose from on Womanby Street. The Bootlegger is a quirky hidden cocktail bar that’s worth checking out with a speakeasy vibe and a small unassuming facade on the street. Inside, you’ll find a spacious locale with delights up and down stairs.
The Star Inn is another great option, with a friendly atmosphere and a range of drinks to choose from. The pub has a traditional feel with exposed brick walls and a cozy fireplace.
here you have it, 10 things you can try if you find yourself in Cardiff with a day to kill. As usual, let me know of your experiences here or if there is anything you think I need to add.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.