Although it’s bursting at the seams with galleries and museums, they’re not the only thing that makes Cardiff such a cultural capital. The city is a creative powerhouse, filled with a huge variety of media and design companies and, because it’s a university town, the arty scene always remains as fresh as it is diverse. And to get your cultural city break off to a great start, you can be sure you’ll find a Cardiff Premier Inn Hotel nearby to all of the main attractions.
Culture in Cardiff
Cardiff has a thriving arts scene, with galleries that showcase both the innovative and more traditional sides of Welsh visual art. So whether you want to browse or buy, there’ll be plenty to satisfy your inner art lover on your Welsh city break.
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.
Located in Cardiff Bay near to our Cardiff City South hotel, 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 ever-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.
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.
If the weather’s being a bit Welsh, Cardiff’s museums are a great way to keep you entertained. Stay dry as you experiment with science, meet some dinosaurs or find out more about the history of the city.
With more than 120 excellent exhibits, a spectacular Science Theatre and a dazzling Planetarium, the whole family will love the hands-on 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 discover it all for yourself.
Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s city centre, nestled amongst its elegant Edwardian civic buildings, the National Museum houses Wales’s 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 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.
Explore the student side of Cardiff culture with a look around one of its universities. The city has not one but four cracking campuses, steeped in history and heritage. And if you’re going to be visiting one of the city’s celebrated institutions for an open day or graduation, our Cardiff City Centre hotel is close to all of them.
Located right in the centre of the city, Cardiff University puts you at the heart of the action. With a great academic reputation, good community connections and one of the biggest and best student unions in the country, at this university you’ll find everything needed for a superb student life. Just here to soak up the culture? There’s a wonderful range of architectural styles to discover, from Gothic to modern.
Set in a green and leafy campus on the edge of the city, Cardiff Metropolitan University has a history that stretches back to 1865, when it was the School of Art. Today it offers an excellent selection of career-focused courses. With plenty of space to study and relax, but not far to go to head into the city centre, you get the best of both worlds at this university.
With its central campus set amongst the grand Edwardian civic buildings in Cathays Park, it’s clear that the University of Wales is steeped in history. Established in 1893, the university has played an important role in developing higher education in Wales and continues to innovate to this day.
Follow in the footsteps of famous performers, like Anthony Hopkins and Rob Brydon, by heading to the Royal College of Music and Drama. With its dramatic modern architecture, it’s the perfect place to see the stars of tomorrow pushing the boundaries of music and theatre today.