Cardiff is actually Europe’s youngest capital city with a rich and interesting history. With so many free activities to enjoy in the city, it’s easy to discover Cardiff’s charm for yourself. Here are 10 free Travelodgical things to do while you’re there:
1. Get cultured at the National Museum and Art Gallery
Found amongst the beautiful architecture of the civic centre, this museum is a must for anyone with an interest in natural and geological history. There are plenty of interactive activities and fascinating exhibitions to enjoy throughout the year.
> National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP. Open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Sunday.
2. Take an invigorating walk through Cardiff Bay
If you’re feeling energetic, the Cardiff Bay trail makes for a fantastic day of outdoor exploration. Stretching over 10 kilometres, the trail leads you through Cardiff Bay towards the wetlands, passing Cardiff Bay Barrage – a fascinating feat of engineering and construction.
> Cardiff Bay Trail
The trail is circular, but the best place to pick it up is Roald Dahl Plass: Cardiff CF10.
3. Watch democracy in action at the Senedd
For something a little different, why not take a trip to the Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales. Built in order to represent transparency and sustainability, the building is comprised mostly of glass and wood, making it incredible to look at from the outside. Once you’re inside, relax in the Oriel cafe with views of the bay or take a seat in the gallery above the debating chamber and listen in to the day’s discussions. There are also lots of exciting exhibitions, music acts and fun activities all year round to get involved in. Pre-booking is essential to ensure a place in the viewing gallery.
Cardiff CF10 4PZ. Open 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday and 10.30am – 4.30pm Saturday – Sunday.
4. Discover Welsh tradition at St Fagans National History Museum
Covering 100 acres, St Fagans is One of Europe’s leading open-air museums and is a great place to learn all out about Welsh traditions over the years. The museum features over 40 re-erected original Welsh buildings from various historical periods, including a school and the old Workmen’s Institute, as well as beautiful gardens and lots of friendly animals.
> St Fagans National Museum of History
Cardiff CF5 6XB. Open 10am – 5pm every day.
5. Chill out at Bute Park
If the weather is looking good, Bute Park is the perfect place to spend a lazy summer afternoon. Visit the arboretum, chill out on the grass or take a stroll along the peaceful River Taff. With 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland to explore, there’s plenty to do at Bute, one of the UK’s largest parks.
> Bute park
North Rd, Cardiff CF10 3DX. Open 7.30am – 30 minutes before sunset everyday.
6. Get creative at Chapter Arts Centre
Cardiff has plenty of amazing art galleries to choose from, but Chapter comes up trumps when it comes to atmosphere. Welcoming, creative and very trendy, this cultural space celebrates art in all its forms including galleries and exhibitions from around the world, film and theatre. When you’ve finished exploring, there’s a huge cafe and bar area where you can relax and unwind.
Cardiff CF5 1QE. Open 8.30am – late every day.
7. Explore the Castle Quarter Arcades
Even if you’re not spending any money, Cardiff’s meandering Victorian Arcades are full of hidden treasures waiting to be found. You’ll stumble across some of the city’s most charming and unusual boutique shops, where you’ll find a wide variety of handmade and vintage items- perfect for the nostalgic traveller.
> Cardiff Castle Quarter Arcade
Cardiff CF10. Open Monday to Saturday- 8:30am-18:00pm, Sundays- 10:30am to 17:00pm
8. See the wildlife at Glamorgan Canal Nature Reserve
You can discover country life without leaving the city at Glamorgan Canal Nature Reserve. Take a walk around and feel your worries melt away as you relax amongst the trees, flowers and wildlife including kingfishers and herons.
> Glamorgan Canal Nature Reserve
Forest Farm Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 7JH.
9. Enjoy a peaceful day at Llandaff Cathedral
Built on the site of a 6th-century monastery near the River Taff, this imposing cathedral is full of history. The cathedral has been restored and rebuilt plenty of times over the centuries, resulting in a unique blend of older and more modern styles.
> Llandaff Cathedral
Cathedral Green, Cardiff CF5 2LA. Open 9am – last service Monday – Saturday and 7am – last service on Sundays.
10. Learn about Cardiff’s journey at the Story Museum
If you really want to discover the story of Cardiff, why not find out through the eyes of the people who know it best – the people! The Cardiff Story Museum highlights how life has changed for the people of Cardiff as it transformed from a small market town in the 1300s to one of the world’s biggest ports in the 1900s, eventually becoming the cool, cosmopolitan capital we know today.
> The Cardiff Story Museum
The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1BH. Open 10am – 4pm Monday – Sunday.