Everyone from history buffs to sci fi fans will find the perfect day out in Cardiff’s many attractions. Discover over 2,000 years of history at Cardiff Castle, hang out in the city’s buzzing docklands or take a trip through time and space at the Doctor Who Experience. You’ll find a vast and varied list of fun days out in Cardiff. If you want to get out of the city, take a trip to castle that’s the stuff of myths and legends in Caerphilly or discover a history of pirates and smugglers on Sully Island. Narrow down your top picks by checking out our guide to the best visitor attractions in and around Cardiff. Whether you want to stay close to Cardiff Bay or explore the surrounding countryside, you’ll find a Premier Inn nearby where you can get your stay off to a great start.
Sitting on the site of an ancient fort in the heart of the city, you’ll discover over 2,000 years of Welsh history in and around Cardiff Castle.
Explore the Roman ruins, check out the view from the medieval keep and discover the story of local soldiers in the museum. Plus, don’t forget to take a tour of the opulent apartments in the Victorian Gothic fantasy palace.
Once a buzzing industrial hub transporting millions of tonnes of coal, Cardiff’s docklands were left to decay when the coal industry fell into decline. Luckily for visitors it has since been reborn as one of the city’s most popular tourist attraction. Today Cardiff Bay offers cuisine from around the world, an entertainment complex, craft workshops, art gallery and comedy club, as well as the Welsh Assembly Government’s debating chamber.
Caerphilly is famous for its cheese but Caerphilly Castle is the stuff of myths and legend.
Built by Gilbert ‘the Red’ de Clare, a redheaded nobleman, it’s made up of concentric ‘walls within walls’ which thwarted attack successfully for many years.
Boasting dramatic turrets and a fairytale moat, you may recognise the castle from its starring role in the popular BBC TV series Merlin.
Located in the heart of Cardiff, you’ll find the City Hall standing amongst the city’s other elegant Edwardian civic buildings, landscaped gardens and broad tree-lined avenues. The City Hall was opened in 1906, after Cardiff was given its Royal Charter and became a city. These days it’s a venue for exhibitions and events but is also open to visitors during the day. Head inside and pick up a free guide to find out more about the Marble Hall, decorative interiors and impressive collection of art.
Set in the stunning waterfront location of Cardiff Bay, Mermaid Quay is the perfect place for an evening of entertainment, a sunset stroll or spot to eat and drink. With over 30 restaurants, bars and cafes, serving cuisine from around the world, you’re bound to find something to tickle your taste buds. Steeped in history, be sure to check out Mermaid Quay’s distinctive architecture, inspired by its maritime location and heritage. This includes decking, towers, balconies, terraces and colonnades.
It’s time to go on a journey through time and help the Doctor save the universe from a threat that could destroy it forever. At the Doctor Who Experience Cardiff you’ll enter the TARDIS, confront monsters and play a leading role in your own Doctor Who mini episode. Want to find out more about the show?
This attraction also allows you to go behind the scenes and explore costumes, sets and props from past and present episodes.
Want to spend a day reliving the glory days of Victorian seaside holidays? Head out of Cardiff to the town of Penarth for a day on the pier. Opening in 1898, this pier has always been a popular attraction with day trippers, offering games, entertainment and pleasure steamer rides. These days the pier’s Art Deco Pavilion has been beautifully restored and now houses a gallery, cinema and café. A perfect day out, whatever the weather.
Situated in the heart of Cardiff, Llandaff Cathedral is a tranquil, unspoilt spot in this busy city. Located in the ancient 'City of Llandaff' – one of the oldest Christian sites in Britain, the Cathedral was built in 1107. Over the years the cathedral was extended, enlarged, left to fall into disrepair and damaged by bombing during World War II, before being fully restored to the impressive monument you can see here today.
Follow in the footsteps of a notorious 13th century pirate, The Night Hawk, discover historical smuggling routes or take in the local wildlife. History buffs and outdoors types alike will find lots of interest on Sully Island. This small island is accessed by taking the footpath near the Captain’s Wife pub when the sea is out.
Be sure to find out the tide times before you visit, as you don’t want to get stuck!
One of Europe’s most ambitious engineering projects, Cardiff Bay Barrage has transformed the docklands and attracted lots of visitor attractions to the area. Take a ride on the Road Train through the docks and hop off at the Barrage to learn more about this award winning 1.1 km long site. Enjoy views across the Bristol Channel, watch boats pass through the locks, keep an eye out for fish using the fish pass, then sit back and enjoy a drink at the Barrage Café.
Located on the Welsh coast, Cardiff is a haven for rugby fans, Doctor Who devotees, adrenalin junkies and culture vultures looking for a weekend away. Expect great shopping, elegant quayside dining, art, history and sport while never being too far away from the breathtaking Welsh countryside. Our Premier Inn Cardiff hotels are perfectly placed to explore everything Cardiff has to offer.