Cardiff | Museums and galleries

Museums and galleries

Filled to the brim with impressionist paintings, geological gems and the stories of local people, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in Cardiff’s museums and galleries. Experiment with science at Techniquest, meet some dinosaurs at the National Museum, hear how the city came to be from the people who built it at Cardiff Story, or go on a journey through time at the Doctor Who Experience. The choice is yours! If you're still unsure about whether you want to take in some art, discover the city’s heritage or go on an adventure, our guide will give you a rundown of the city’s best museums and galleries. Whichever you choose to visit, there’s a Cardiff Premier Inn nearby that will get your stay off to a good start.

Techniquest

With more than 120 excellent exhibits, a spectacular Science Theatre and Planetarium, you’ll find plenty to keep the whole family busy at Techniquest. Try some mind-boggling experiments, see if you’ve got what it takes to be an astronaut or take a trip into the stars, this is a museum that lets you get hands on and discover for yourself. The museum is currently celebrating 100 years since the birth of author Roald Dahl with Splendiferous Science, offering a magical take on science.

National Museum Cardiff

Situated in the heart of Cardiff centre amongst its elegant Edwardian civic buildings, the National Museum houses Wales’ art, natural history and geology collections. See hundreds of years of paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics or take a journey into the evolution of Wales by coming face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. From impressionist masterpieces to gigantic skeletons, you’ll discover plenty to keep your attention in this museum.

Cardiff Art Centre

Chapter Arts Centre

For over 40 years now, the Chapter Arts Centre has been at the beating heart of creativity in Cardiff. Welcoming nearly 800,000 visitors every year, this gallery presents, produces and promotes an exciting array of international art, live performance and film, as well as offering dynamic social space used by the local community.
If you make a visit to the Chapter Arts Centre, you’ll find a unique hub for art, ideas and innovation.

St. Fagan's Museum

St Fagans National Museum

Standing in the grounds of the magnificent St Fagans Castle, the National Museum is one of the world’s best open air museums. Over the last fifty years, more than fifty original buildings from different parts of Wales and different historical periods have been rebuilt in the museum’s 100-acre parkland. Step back in time and get a glimpse of how people in Wales have lived, worked and spent their leisure time over the years.

Cardiff Castle Museum

Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier, also known as Firing Line, celebrates the lives of Welsh soldiers over a 300 year period. From battles, such as Waterloo in 1815 and Rorke’s Drift in 1879, to modern day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, discover the stories of ordinary Welshmen who travelled the world and took part in military service. With real life tales, hands-on activities and dressing up, this museum offers something for all the family.

Cardiff Bay

Craft in the Bay

Located in Cardiff Bay, Craft in the Bay is the home of The Makers Guild in Wales. Within this gallery you’ll find exhibitions of arts and craft from both emerging names and some of the biggest artists in Wales and further afield. Whether you’re exploring the changing showcase of jewellery, ceramics, textiles, metalwork and furniture, attending an artist talk or meeting the makers, there’s plenty for you to see and do at this small gallery.


Cardiff Story Museum

Discover the history of Cardiff through the eyes of people who created the city at Cardiff Story. From its roots as a small market town in the 1300s to becoming one of the world’s busiest ports in the 1900s, this museum tells the tale of how Cardiff became the cool, buzzing, modern city you are visiting today.
There’s no better place to start your visit, get your bearings and understand what makes Cardiff so special.

Butetown Arts Centre

Opening in 1987, Butetown History and Arts Centre (BHAC) aims to collect, preserve and present the lived history of old Cardiff Bay. Acting as a historical archive, educational centre and art gallery, the centre draws on the photographs, documents and memories of local people to build a picture of how the area has developed. Regularly changing displays and a calendar of performances mean you’ll always find something new to see at BHAC.

Doctor Who experience

Are you ready to go on a journey through time and help the Doctor grapple with a threat that could destroy the universe forever? At the Doctor Who Experience Cardiff you will go to the heart of the TARDIS, come face to face with monsters and take part in your own Doctor Who mini episode, as well as go behind the scenes with the largest collection of Doctor Who costumes, sets and props from the TV show’s past and present.

Norwegian Church Arts

One of the landmark buildings in the city, the Norwegian Church Arts Centre is located in Cardiff Bay with great panoramic views over the waterfront. Formerly a Church for Norwegian Sailors, this iconic building dates back to the industrial revolution, when the docks were busy making Wales the world's greatest exporter of coal.
These days the centre plays host to a series of regularly changing art and photography exhibitions.

Third Floor Gallery

Located a stone's throw away from Cardiff's bustling waterfront and the Millennium Centre, the Third Floor Gallery is a space dedicated to contemporary photography. Showcasing some of the most exciting national and international photographers, the Third Floor Gallery has a reputation for being the most daring and innovative photographic gallery in the UK. Currently undergoing an extension into two further gallery spaces, you’ll find plenty to see in this gallery.

World of Boats

Head to the docks to explore all things nautical at the World of Boats. This Cardiff Bay museum gives you a chance to delve into the maritime heritage of the city and the rest of the world. Take a trip through the history of Wales’ capital city with the museum’s enormous collection of boats, models and books, explore the active traditional workshop or just sit back in the café and enjoy the beautiful bayside setting – this museum is a great day out for salty sea dogs of all ages.


Looking for a hotel in Cardiff?

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.