Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Top six things to do in Cardiff

city life

Whether it’s raving in an abandoned bank vault, watching top flight international rugby, or getting some fresh air in breath-taking local countryside, Cardiff has a wealth of attractions to offer.

The youngest capital in Europe, this vibrant, exciting and affordable city is easily accessible and should be a must-see for any UK resident. If you’re planning a trip there any time soon, this handy guide will give you the low-down on some of the sights and experiences that should be included on any Cardiff itinerary.

Cardiff social
Having a drink in Cardiff

Watch some huge men chase a ball

Wales is arguably one of the spiritual homes of rugby (despite what Kiwis, Aussies, Saffas and the English will tell you), and Cardiff is the centre of rugby in Wales. This is largely due to the presence of the impressive Millennium Stadium - the second largest sports venue in the world - which hosts some of the biggest international rugby fixtures in Europe.

In fact, this September the Millennium stadium will host a number of Rugby World Cup matches, including Wales vs Uruguay on the 20th and Australia vs Fiji on the 23rd. If you’re in Cardiff, it’s well worth trying to catch a rugby match in this prestigious venue.

Sample some Victorian style shopping

While in the Welsh capital, it’s well worth visiting Cardiff’s rambling, chaotic arcades.

There are six Victorian arcades in Cardiff, with the Castle Quarter hosting three of them: High Street Arcade, Duke Street Arcade and Castle Arcade. These historic structures are jam-packed full of vintage clothes stores, craft shops and coffee shops. Cardiff Market on St Mary’s Street has been there in one form or another since the 1700s, with the current Victorian building offering a unique shopping experience under a huge glass roof.

Cardiff Fashion
Shopping and Street Art in Cardiff

Channel your inner Bear Grylls

Plunge into the epic Welsh countryside with an adrenaline-fuelled gorge walking tour, which you can book through The Stag Company.

It’s an action-packed day of climbing, swimming and crawling through the canyons. You’ll need to brave deep caves, burst through waterfalls and navigate your way through tangled undergrowth. The countryside surrounding Cardiff is arguably some of the most beautiful in the UK, so it’s well worth including a day out of the city in your itinerary.

outdoor adventuring
Mr A being Bear Grylls 

Become a foodie

Cardiff has seen a real food revolution of late with various pop-up festivals and street food markets as well as new and on trend independent restaurants, cafes and bars opening across the city centre. With some inspiring dishes in amazing settings such as an old bank vault, visitors are coming from across the boarder to try out some of these new joints.

Not only is the centre a hotspot but it's also spread further afield and it's worth checking out city road, Pontcanna and Canton for some of the most creative dishes.

Street food cocktail
Cardiff Street Food cocktail 

Make a visit to the Doctor

Fans of long-running and national favourite BBC show Doctor Who will be keen to immerse themselves in the world of the show with the unique Doctor Who Experience.

Many of the scenes from the series were actually filmed in and around Cardiff: Doctor Who lovers can head to Cardiff Bay and see lanto’s shrine, as well as the waterfall that was the entrance to Torchwood HQ.

Explore a Viking and smuggler past

If you hire a car, head south out of Cardiff and visit the small hamlet of Swanbridge. When the tide’s out, you’ll be able to walk out to Sully Island – an old smuggler’s hideaway.

There’s even a shipwreck from the Victorian era times visible, which you’ll be able to see from the wild, overgrown island.

All About A Mini Norris

With suggestions from The Stag Company


  1. I love cardiff and enjoyed it so much when I last visited two years ago, I just returned from Aberystwyth and it was an interesting place

    1. So good to hear you like Cardiff Miranda

      Laura x

  2. Some great tips of things to do in Cardiff. I love living in Cardiff as there's always something to do!

  3. I definitely think Cardiff is a lot better than it used to be. I really think the amount of new restaurants that have come up in the last year or two are fantastic x

  4. Been to Cardiff a couple of times but I am yet to experience this. Great post.

  5. Love all these suggestions and they are great for people who haven't been here too. Cardiff is really thriving and blossoming at the moment especially when it comes to places to eat. x #WhenInWales

  6. I love the sound of The Stag Company! I'd never heard of it, it sounds so fun though and definitely something the other half would enjoy!! #WhenInWales

    Lyd x electricSUEDE


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