A treasure trove of art and culture, Cardiff is the capital of Wales.

Located in the south of the country, it is one of the most important port cities in Great Britain. Its vocation for commerce still remains intact today, but it is enriched by the great cultural attraction that this destination exerts on tourists.

In addition to holding the role of capital (recognised in 1955), Cardiff is a must on any trip to Wales due to the splendid castles that characterize it. Structures that are also very different from each other, designed for defense and as residences of the rulers, but in any case fascinating and with a very ancient history.

Without forgetting the beauties contained in the city museums and the enchanting Llandaff Cathedral. So let’s see what are the 10 things to see absolutely in Cardiff.

Cardiff Castle

With around 2000 years of history, Cardiff Castle is the symbol of the Welsh capital. It is literally the heart of the city, as the historic center develops around the city walls.

The original building stands on the site of an ancient Roman fortress, dating back to the times when Rome ruled over Britain. A Norman fortress was built here around 1090, later restructured in the Victorian period with the construction of some new buildings.

Today it presents itself as an eclectic and large complex. The Norman fortress and the changes made in the Victorian era have not in fact erased the traces of the ancient Roman fortress. With the result that the walls and the ancient ramparts have been preserved and restored.

They can be admired while walking near the north gate of the castle.

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If the exteriors of the castle are extremely powerful, so much so that during the Second World War the defensive walls were used as air-raid shelters, the interiors are a concentration of luxury and magnificence. Merit of the renovation and embellishment activities carried out in the Victorian era, during which the rooms were richly furnished, with furniture and furnishing accessories of great value.

Also worth a visit is the keep of the ancient Norman fortress, which offers a magnificent view of the city and the sea. But among the areas of the castle that are absolutely worth seeing there are also the basements, the apartments, the banquet hall and the clock tower. Also part of the complex is a museum dedicated to the regiments of the Welsh Army.

City Hall

City Hall is Cardiff’s town hall, designed by Vincent Harris. It captivates you from the first glance for the facade in the traditional English Renaissance style, with wide and thin bricks. The internal rooms are also very beautiful, furnished with valuable works of art.

Most of the city’s recreational and cultural activities take place in City Hall. The park in front of the structure is the scene of concerts and shows in the warmer seasons of the year, as well as one of the most popular areas for residents to organize picnics on sunny days.

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Cardiff Central Market

The other focal point of the city is the Cardiff Central Market. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the castle and is still today the most important market in the city.

It is housed in a glass and steel Victorian structure, and is the right place for those who want to taste local food, shop at affordable prices and see the daily life of the locals up close.

Among the many local specialities, at Cardiff Central Market it is possible to taste the laverbread, a mashed seaweed breaded, fried and served with bacon. It is generally used as breakfast.

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Cardiff Bay

It is a very large port area, in the past it was used for the transit of cargoes of coal, but it is currently one of the most popular areas for those visiting the Welsh capital. It has been the subject of an important urban redevelopment project and today the port district has been replaced by hotels and restaurants, but also parks and theaters.

Any examples? The Pierhead, built in the late 1800s and home to a valuable collection of Welsh history documents. And then the

Techniquest: a scientific entertainment center equipped with a planetarium. Last, but not least, the Senedd, the building which houses the National Assembly of Wales.

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St. Fagans National History Museum

The St. Fagans National History Museum is located about 6 km from the city centre, in an open-air park with farms, workshops and mills. It is a museum with a very different approach to the traditional one.

In fact, visiting it means finding yourself strolling among historical reconstructions and craftsmen at work, but also admiring period costumes and British-style gardens.

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Cardiff National Museum

Staying on the subject of museums, a visit to Cardiff cannot miss the Cardiff National Museum. Inside its rooms you can admire collections of archeology and geology, but also artifacts that tell the entire evolution of the Welsh territory, with a path that winds through 4 million years. Of particular value are the fossils and weapons dating back to the Bronze Age.

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The large presence of paintings and sculptures also deserves a mention: works of art that tell the evolution of technique and artistic taste over 500 years. Although there are many valuable pieces, visitors are always fascinated by the impressionist collection, which includes works by Picasso and Monet.

Rhondda Mines

The history of Wales is closely connected to the production of coal, an activity that has brought wealth to this area, but has also indelibly marked its habits and lifestyle.

That’s why anyone visiting Cardiff shouldn’t do without entering the mines of Rhondda, an area located in the southern valleys of the country.

It is possible to visit the mines by entering the passages that were once walked by the miners, with a guided tour that leads to the discovery of another face of Wales.

Castell Coch

About 10 km from the capital, Castell Coch is one of the most famous castles in the area. It is characterized by the Gothic style and the presence of several circular towers.

Its construction dates back to the second half of the 19th century, based on a project by William Burges: the architect who also designed Cardiff Castle and Salisbury Cathedral.

Immersed in the magnificent Fawr Forest, the castle captivates with its suggestive atmosphere and richly decorated rooms. Walking through its rooms is a must-try experience to discover how the nobles of Great Britain lived in the past.

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Llandaff Cathedral

Llandaff Cathedral was built in the 12th century on the remains of an ancient church, dated around the second half of the 16th century. It is Cardiff’s most important Anglican place of worship and strikes you from the first glance for its markedly Gothic style.

Regarded as one of the finest religious buildings in Wales, it underwent renovations in the 9th century, including the rebuilding of the north west tower.

Inside there is the so-called “Italian temple”, which was built during the 1700s and houses several valuable works, including a sculpture of Christ created by Jacob Epstein.

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Cardiff Principality stadium

The Cardiff Principality stadium is a real cult place for rugby lovers. Also known as the Millennium stadium, it looks like a state-of-the-art arena and is the field where the exciting matches of the Welsh national team are played.

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Since rugby in Wales is lived with great passion, attending a match in Cardiff’s most important stadium means truly getting in touch with the citizens and the local sporting spirit.

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