Guides

Arts and Culture in Cardiff

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As you might expect from a capital city, Cardiff has a wealth of cultural attractions to keep visitors busy. They range from world-class performance venues to stately museums filled with masterpieces, as well as regal Victorian landmarks left to the city by its uber-wealthy 19th century citizens.

 

Museums

 

From stately exhibitions to living history you can literally walk through, there's mind-expanding museums a-plenty in this part of Wales.

 

National Museum Cardiff

 

You literally can't miss the National Museum Cardiff – it's a vast Neo-Classical building right in the city centre. Here you'll wander past shark exhibits and the awesome skeleton of a humpback whale, as well as landmark paintings by Van Gogh and Renoir. Paintings by Welsh artists like Augustus John also reflect the cultural riches of the region.

 

Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP. Tel: +44 292 057 3000

 

National Museum Cardiff website

 

St Fagans National History Museum

 

St Fagans National History Museum is on the grounds of a 16th century manor and features Welsh buildings from as far back as the medieval period, brought here and rebuilt brick by brick. Most fascinating of all is the special row of houses, each of which is decked out in the decor and furniture of a different decade – walking from house to house and era to era is as close to time travel as you can get.

 

Cardiff CF5 6XB. Tel: +44 292 057 3500

 

St Fagans National History Museum website

 

Performing arts

 

Whether you want to lose yourself in the lush strings of a classical symphony, or fancy kicking back and enjoying a colourful musical straight from London's West End, Cardiff's theatrical venues have it covered.
St David's Hall

 

An emblematic venue which is known the world over, St David's Hall is also very conveniently located right in the middle of the city centre – so you can catch a show straight after a spot of shopping. From ballet and classical concerts to jazz gigs and RnB, the listings here should excite every taste.

 

The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH. Tel: +44 292 087 8500

 

St David's Hall website

 

 

New Theatre

 

Cardiff's most famous theatre has been wowing the crowds since it opened with a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night back in 1906. Occupying a distinctive brick building in the heart of town, it hosts blockbuster, star-studded productions ranging from thrilling whodunits to refined costume dramas.

 

Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3LN. Tel: +44 292 087 8889

 

New Theatre website

 

Landmarks

 

On the outskirts of Cardiff you'll spy the fairytale fortress of Castell Coch peeking from the trees, and that's not the only vintage landmark you'll find in these parts. The biggest and best is right in the heart of the city.

 

Cardiff Castle

 

Cardiff Castle is a giant medieval fantasy standing in the centre of the city. Built by a wealthy Cardiff dynasty back in the Victorian era, it looks like something from a movie and is filled with richly regal rooms and sumptuous murals. You can also tour the iconic clock tower, and step up to the original Norman Keep which stands beyond the Victorian exteriors.

 

Castle Street, Cardiff CF10 3RB. Tel: +44 292 087 8100

 

Cardiff Castle website

 

Churches

 

While the most respected religious building in Cardiff is the looming, Gothic-style Llandaff Cathedral, which features an eye-catching aluminium sculpture by Jacob Epstein, there's plenty of other sites to explore. Including this quirky one by the bay.Norwegian Church

 

With its strikingly angular, white clapboard exterior, the Norwegian Church – so called because it once catered to Norwegian sailors staying in Cardiff – is now an arts centre on the waterfront. Here you can enjoy panoramic views, as well as an exhibition in honour of Roald Dahl – the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was actually christened here.

 

Harbour Drive, Cardiff CF10 4PA. Tel: +44 292 087 7959

 

Norwegian Church website