Cardiff Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Cardiff

The capital of Wales Cardiff is an exciting tourist destination, rich in historic sights and places to visit. The city center and Cardiff Bay area are particularly popular with visitors for the number of cultural locations contained - museums, theaters, art centers and more. Take this self-guided tour and have a great time exploring key attractions of Cardiff.
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Cardiff Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Cardiff Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Wales » Cardiff (See other walking tours in Cardiff)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 Km or 3.1 Miles
Author: Nick
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • City Hall
  • National Museum Cardiff
  • The New Theater
  • Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Queen Street
  • Cardiff Castle
  • Millennium Stadium
  • Cardiff Central Market
  • The Hayes
  • Wales Millennium Centre
  • Techniquest
  • Pierhead Building
City Hall

1) City Hall (must see)

City Hall is a civic building in Cathays Park, Cardiff. Built of Portland stone, it became the fifth building to serve as Cardiff's centre of local government when it opened in October 1906. The competition to design a town hall and adjacent law courts for Cardiff was won in 1897 by the firm of Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards. Construction was carried out by local builders, E. Turner and Sons. Cardiff received its city charter while construction was underway, in 1905. The building is an important early example of the Edwardian Baroque style.
Sight description based on wikipedia
National Museum Cardiff

2) National Museum Cardiff (must see)

National Museum Cardiff is a museum and art gallery in Cardiff, Wales. The museum is part of the wider network of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (formerly the National Museums and Galleries of Wales). Entry is free thanks to a grant from the Welsh Assembly Government. The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1907, when it inherited the collection of the Cardiff Museum, which shared the building of Cardiff Central Library. Construction of a new building in the civic complex of Cathays Park began in 1912, but owing to the First World War, it did not open to the public until 1927. The architects were Arnold Dunbar Smith and Cecil Brewer, although the building as it now stands is a heavily truncated version of their design. The museum has collections of archaeology, botany, fine and applied art, geology and zoology.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
The New Theater

3) The New Theater (must see)

The New Theatre is one of the principal theatres in Cardiff and celebrated its centenary in 2006. It is located in Cardiff city centre on Park Place, close to Cathays Park. The theatre has a capacity of 1,144, and hosts a number of touring productions including Musical theatre, plays and children's shows and also presents an annual Christmas pantomime.

The building was constructed from brick and Bath Stone and opened to the general public on 10 December 1906. The first public performance was a performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The artists that have performed on stage at the New Theatre have included Sarah Bernhardt, Anna Pavlova, Laurel and Hardy, Tom Jones, Tommy Cooper and Shirley Bassey. The theatre also hosts all the rounds of the Song Prize of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, apart from the final night, which is held in St David's Hall.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral

4) Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral (must see)

The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St David, also known as St David's Cathedral Cardiff is a Roman Catholic cathedral in the city centre of Cardiff and is the centre of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff. It remains the focal point for Catholic life in Cardiff, and the country as a whole. It is one of only three Roman Catholic Cathedrals in the UK which is associated with a choir school.

The original church was built at a cost of £2,124 in 1842, after fundraising in Wales and Ireland and a donation by Lady Catherine Eyre of Bath. The current building was designed by Pugin and Pugin Architects and constructed 1884-87. It was Cardiff's principal Catholic church, and it became seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff in 1916. In 1920 it was declared the Cathedral Church of the new Archdiocese of Cardiff. The Cathedral was destroyed by World War II bombing in March 1941 when incendiary bombs pierced the roof. During the 1950's it was restored and rebuilt, under the supervision of F. R. Bates, Son, and Price and was re-opened in March 1959.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Queen Street

5) Queen Street

With numerous shopping arcades, trendy boutiques and lovely specialty shops, Queen Street is Cardiff’s busiest area. Live music, clown entertainment and street comedy have always been a part of the vibrant Queen Street scene. Come here to see how the real activities of Cardiff’s daily life unfold.
Cardiff Castle

6) Cardiff Castle (must see)

Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle and Victorian architecture Gothic revival mansion, transformed from a Norman keep erected over a Roman fort in the Castle Quarter of Cardiff. In 1947, the Bute South Wales estates having all been sold, the castle, and surrounding park, was gifted to the City of Cardiff by the fifth Marquis. It is now a popular tourist attraction, and houses a regimental museum in addition to the ruins of the old castle and the Victorian reconstruction. It sits in the expansive grounds of Bute Park.

The castle has hosted a number of rock concerts and performances and has the capacity to accommodate over 10,000 people. Notable concerts include the Stereophonics's Live at Cardiff Castle in June 1998 and Green Day in 2002. Tom Jones performed here before a large crowd in 2001. In 1948 a crowd of 16,000, a record for a British baseball game, watched Wales defeat England in Cardiff Castle grounds. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s the castle was the setting for a military tattoo to rival that of Edinburgh, the floodlit keep providing a spectacular backdrop. Currently, Cardiff Castle plays host to Cardiff University's Summer Ball each year, and is the site of Wales's largest Mardi Gras held every August.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Millennium Stadium

7) Millennium Stadium (must see)

The Millennium Stadium is the national stadium of Wales, located in Cardiff. It is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and also frequently stages games of the Wales national football team, but is also host to many other large scale events, such as the Super Special Stage of Wales Rally Great Britain, Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain, boxing and many music concerts, including Tina Turner, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, U2, Stereophonics, and the Tsunami Relief concert. It was built to host the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

The stadium opened in June 1999, and the first major event to be held was an international rugby union match on 26 June 1999, when Wales beat South Africa in a friendly by 29–19, before a test crowd of 29,000. With total seating capacity of 74,500, it is the third largest stadium in the Six Nations Championship behind the Stade de France and Twickenham, which is the largest. It is also the second largest stadium in the world with a fully retractable roof and was the second stadium in Europe to have this feature.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cardiff Central Market

8) Cardiff Central Market

Cardiff Market, also known as Cardiff Central Market, is a Victorian indoor market in the Cardiff city center, the capital city of Wales. The market was designed by the Borough Surveyor, William Harpur, and opened in May 1891. A farmers' market is known to have existed at the site since the 1700s. The market consists of two shopping levels, a ground floor and a balcony level which wraps around the exterior market walls on the interior. Entrances to the market are located at St. Mary Street, Trinity Street and from an alleyway off Church Street. There is a large H. Samuel clock above the High Street entrance, which was presumably donated by the H. Samuel jewellery chain, which once had a store just outside the High Street entrance. Traders in the market offer a variety of fresh produce, cooked food, various delicacies and more durable goods.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Hayes

9) The Hayes

The Hayes is a commercial area in the southern city center of Cardiff. It is mostly pedestrianized and has an open-air snack bar. The area is home to the most fashionable brands in Cardiff, becoming the luxury shopping street of the city. At The Hayes one can find several famous buildings and structures, such as Cardiff Central Library, St David's Hall - a large performing arts and conference venue, St David's shopping center, the 25 meters (82 ft) high Alliance sculpture, and Café Quarter - an area packed with restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Wales Millennium Centre

10) Wales Millennium Centre (must see)

Wales Millennium Centre is an arts centre located in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff. The site covers a total area of 4.7 acres (1.9 ha). The centre has hosted performances of opera, ballet, dance, comedy and musicals.

Locally nicknamed "the Armadillo", the Centre comprises one large theatre and two smaller halls with shops, bars and restaurants. It houses the national orchestra and opera, dance, theatre and literature companies, a total of eight arts organisations in residence. The main theatre, the Donald Gordon Theatre, has 1,897 seats, the BBC Hoddinott Hall 350 and the Weston Studio Theatre 250. In 2001 Lord Rowe-Beddoe was appointed chairman of Wales Millennium Centre, a company limited by guarantee. Board members include Sir Michael Checkland.
Sight description based on wikipedia

11) Techniquest (must see)

Techniquest is a large science center containing interactive exhibitions. Visitors can conduct their own experiments and other hands-on activities in specially designed Discovery Room, enjoy the exciting presentations in Science Theatre and observe the breathtaking views in the planetarium. Techniquest is a great cultural venue for all the family.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm (during school holidays); Tuesday - Friday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm; Saturday-Sunday: 10 am- 5 pm (during school term).
Pierhead Building

12) Pierhead Building

The Pierhead Building stands as one of the city of Cardiff's most familiar landmarks and was built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company. The clock on the building is unofficially known as the "Baby Big Ben" or the "Big Ben of Wales", and also serves as a Welsh history museum. The Pierhead Building is part of the estate of the National Assembly for Wales, which also includes the Senedd and Ty Hywel. It was a replacement for the headquarters of the Bute Dock Company which burnt down in 1892. Frame's mentor was William Burges, with whom Frame worked on the rebuilding of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch until Burges's death in 1881.

The Bute Dock Company was renamed the Cardiff Railway Company in 1897. The Pierhead became the administrative office for the Port of Cardiff in 1947. The 1897 clock mechanism, by William Potts & Sons of Leeds, was removed, being replaced with an electronic motor, and sold to an American collector in 1973. It was returned to Cardiff in 2005 and, in 2011, installed as a piece of contemporary art in Cardiff city centre.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Cardiff, Wales

Create Your Own Walk in Cardiff

Create Your Own Walk in Cardiff

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cardiff is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking Tour Around Cathays Park

Walking Tour Around Cathays Park

Cathays Park, also known as Cardiff Civic Centre, is the core of the Welsh Capital city. Central park area of Alexandra Gardens park is surrounded by late 19th century's stunning construction including Cardiff City Hall, Temple of Peace, Cardiff University and National Museum of Wales. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Cardiff's most beloved landmarks.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles
Top Religious Buildings

Top Religious Buildings

The long and rich history of Wales is reflected by the presence of beautiful religious buildings. Cathedrals and churches had always dominated the architectural landscape of Britain. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Cardiff's most beautiful places of worship.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Cardiff Family Fun

Cardiff Family Fun

Cardiff is a vibrant city and a popular tourist destination with lots of interesting places for children and their parents see and visit. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover the best family fun attractions Cardiff can offer such as fascinating Techniquest science museum and workshop, Hollywood Bowl games entertainment, Wharf water-front picnic pub and many more.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Architectural Jewels

Architectural Jewels

Old and new architecture beautifully combine together to create that unique and vibrant landscape of Cardiff. Take this self-guided walking tour to discover the city's most prominent landmark buildings such as the University building, City Hall, Millennium Stadium and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 Km or 2.8 Miles
Cardiff Shopping Tour

Cardiff Shopping Tour

The coal-mining capital of Britain, Cardiff offers an exciting shopping opportunity in many state-of-the-art shopping centres like St.David's or Capitol. Along with modern shopping arcades, the busy Cardiff streets are packed with lovely, small specialty shops and galleries. Take this walking tour to discover some of Cardiff's best shopping spots.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.5 Km or 0.3 Miles