With historic buildings, parks and attractions just waiting to be explored, your perfect day out is just a stone’s throw from your Cardiff Premier Inn hotel. But where will you go first? Narrow down your options by checking out our guide to the best sightseeing opportunities in and around Cardiff.
Attractions in Cardiff
Cameras at the ready! From fairytale castles to grand civic buildings, there’s plenty of beautiful architecture to get excited about - and our Cardiff City Centre hotel makes a great base for exploring them all. You won’t know where to point your lens first.
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.
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.
A whole host of incredible buildings can be found at Cardiff Bay. Near to our Cardiff City South hotel, the Bay is the city’s most popular tourist attraction. 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, and is now home to some jaw-dropping architecture, most notably at the Wales Millennium Centre, a beautiful structure made entirely of local Welsh slate, metal, wood and glass.
Once forming the grounds of Cardiff Castle, Bute Park sits across 130 acres in the centre of the city. It’s made up of landscaped gardens and mature parkland with a wealth of horticulture and wildlife, as well as playgrounds, an education centre and cafés. Whether you fancy choosing one of the trails around the park, checking out the arboretum or just relaxing, you’ll find the perfect spot in Bute Park, the city's green heart.
Stretching along the west bank of the River Taff in the centre of the city, Sophia Gardens is most famous for its sporting facilities. Boasting the likes of the SWALEC Cricket Stadium and the National Sports Centre for Wales, it also plays host to indoor and outdoor bowling greens and plenty of other pitches. That may make it the gardens sound pretty packed, but that’s far from the truth. In fact, there’s still lots of room to fit a riding school, cycle hire and open-air theatre in the summer.
One of Cardiff’s best loved green spaces, Victoria Park, is packed with colourful floral borders, leafy trees and green spaces, as well as a boating pond, a paddling pool and a playpark for youngsters. The park was created in 1898 to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and contains a number of Victorian features including a bandstand and fountain. If you visit the park, be sure to check out Billy the Seal, a sculpture who’s a firm favourite with locals.
From huge concerts to big sporting events, having its own large, multi-purpose arena has really given Cardiff’s tourism a boost.
The Motorpoint Arena is a versatile venue where you’ll find everyone from conference speakers to comedians, pop stars to pool champions – not to mention plenty of fans. With room for up to 7,500, the Arena hosts a huge number of different stars and shows each year, including Katy Perry, Lee Evans and kids’ favourite Paw Patrol Live.
Cardiff loves its sport. But while you could be forgiven for thinking it’s all about rugby, there’s also football, speedway and even huge music concerts on offer at the city’s stadiums, too. Even if you don’t fancy watching a game, you could always take a tour to check out what goes on behind the scenes.
The Principality Stadium, previously known as the Wales Millennium Stadium, is the national stadium of Wales and the home of the Welsh national rugby team. Opened for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, its first game saw Wales beating South Africa 29-19. It’s since hosted indoor cricket, speedway and football, and is now seen as one of the world's very best sporting venues.
First opened in 2009 and with a massive capacity of 33,000, Cardiff City Stadium is the 24th largest in the UK, and the second biggest in Wales. Home to Cardiff City FC, it doesn’t just host the Bluebirds’ home games. You’ll also find rugby, along with major rock shows from the likes of Bon Jovi and the Stereophonics.
If you fancied catching a game of rugby, there’s nowhere finer (or more famous) than Cardiff Arms Park. Home to the Welsh national team since the 1800s, the stadium is named after the old hotel that once stood on the site in the 17th century. Over the years this stadium has hosted everything from the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1958 to the Rugby World Cup in 1991, as well as concerts from legends such as Tina Turner, U2 and Michael Jackson.