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Wales - Cardiff

top 10 places

Top 100 places to visit in Wales

Cardiff

1. Cardiff Castle

During 2000 years of history, Cardiff Castle has been a Roman Garrison, a Norman stronghold and in Victorian times was transformed into a gothic fairytale fantasy. For a great start to your visit, take in the exhibition and film presentation, see the  original Roman Wall and then pick up your audio guide to explore the Castle grounds. See a selection of the lavishly decorated Castle apartments at your own pace or opt for a guided tour. Facilities include a cafe and gift shop.

2. Welsh National Museum and Gallery

The art collection at the National Museum Cardiff is one of Europe's finest. Five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including an outstanding collection of Impressionist works. In the Natural History zone, discover the diverse natural history of Wales on an expedition, which begins at the seashore and ends in the mountains. An exciting programme of exhibitions, talks and family activities takes place throughout the year.

3. Castell Coch

With its round towers and silver grey conical roofs, Castell Coch, meaning Red Castle in Welsh, is a perfect fairytale castle. It was designed and built for the third marquess of Bute by William Burges in the late 19th century on medieval remains, and is lavishly decorated and furnished in the Victorian Gothic style. See the site exhibition and take the audio tour, which provides a fascinating history of this unique place. Facilities at Castle Coch include parking, toilets, a cafe and gift shop.

4. Wales Millennium Centre

Wales Millennium Centre is one of the most unique and lively performing arts centre in Europe. Designed by architects Percy-Thomas to be 'unmistakably Welsh, and internationally outstanding,' the building was inpired by the landscape, culture and industry of Wales. Visitors come to enjoy blockbuster West End musicals, opera, ballet and contemporary dance, hip hop and stand up comedy, art exhibitions, workshops, free daily foyer performances, guided tours, bars and restaurants.

5. The Millennium Stadium

You might think that only die hard sports fans or architecture students would take a tour of a sports stadium, but the Millennium Stadium is special. With a capacity of over 72 000 and a moveable roof, this is a structure that will awe and inspire. In addition to being the home ground for the Welsh national rugby team, the Millenium Stadium is a popular venue for famous bands such as U2, Oasis and the Rolling Stones, as well as playing host to international football fixtures and other events.

6. Techniquest

As well as an exhibition containing a vast array of hands-on exhibits at Techniquest in Cardiff, there's a science theatre, planetarium and a range of puzzles and activities. Fire a rocket, test your reaction times, race an electric car, launch a hot air balloon or watch a bubble race! See sparks fly in the hair-raising show about electricity! Learn about themes as diverse as colour, genetics, camouflage and space travel, to name a few. Facilities include a shop selling science related souvenirs and a cafe.

7. Shopping in Cardiff

Cardiff has a good mix of high street shops and an interesting Victorian covered market. The main shopping thoroughfare is on Queen Street, which is also home to the Capitol Shopping Centre, with brands including Karen Millen and Benetton. The Victorian indoor market offers merchandise from fresh fish and Welsh cheeses to mobile phones. Another place to visit for locally grown food is the Riverside Real Food Market which takes place on the Taff Embankment every Sunday.

8. The Bay Art Gallery

The Bay Art Gallery holds a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring contemporary artists working in a variety of media, including painting, print-making, drawing, sculpture, photography and installations. As well as attracting more established and international artists, young artists from the up and coming local scene are often represented here. The gallery also hosts this famous Jerwood Drawing Prize, a significant exhibition open to artists from all over Britain.

9. Craft in the Bay

Craft in the Bay is housed in a unique Victorian dockside building - a former maritime warehouse, and is the home of the Makers Guild in Wales. Showcasing and selling fine contemporary craft, including ceramics, textiles, metal work and jewellery, the gallery includes a retail area, exhibition space, workshops and café. With its busy calendar of activities and artist in residence projects, Craft in the Bay promotes the best of Welsh craft, with a world-wide reputation for quality and creative innovation.

10. Llandaff Cathedral

Llandaff Cathedral was extensively restored in the 1840's, when Pre-Raphaelite artists including Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the firm of the Arts and Crafts Movement founder, William Morris, were commissioned to make colourful new windows and decorative panels. Jacob Epstein's concrete sculpture, Christ in Majesty, dominates the nave, and in the  north aisle is Rossetti's trytych, The Seed of David.
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