Things you need to know about Cardiff Bay

Discover why Europe’s largest waterfront development is a must when visiting Cardiff for the weekend. Here is the lowdown on Cardiff Bay’s highlights.

If you are planning a weekend break in Cardiff, make sure you include the city’s former docklands on your itinerary. Originally known as Tiger Bay, the docklands are of great historical significance to Cardiff. This port was once the hub of all trade in and out of the city and where sailors and workers would come ashore to do their business. Many settled here making it the oldest multi-cultural part of Wales. This formally notorious area and what remains of its seedy past was destroyed in the 60s. It wasn’t until the 80s that regeneration projects renewed the area. Today, it is a bustling hub of business and culture that sits on the edge of a200 hectare freshwater lake: The Bay.

Cultural highlights


The bay has a vibrant arts and cultural scene and is filled with attractions including the Norwegian Church Arts Centre. This church formally served Norwegian sailors but it now one of the bay’s iconic buildings with beautiful views over the waterfront. It was also the place of worship for the author Roald Dahl and his family. At the The National Assembly for Wales, take a guided tour around The Senedd to gain insight into the inner workings of the government and the stunning architecture of the building including the cedar wood roof pictured above.  For family entertainment, hours of fun can be had making your way though the experiments and challenges at Techniquest Science Discovery Centre.

Get a feel for nature in the heart of the city at the Wetlands Reserve. You’ll find these wetlands just north of Cardiff Bay at the mouth of the River Taff. A walkway paves its way though the reserve so you can spot birdlife on the lagoons, islands and floating refuges created in this man-made haven.

BBC’s Doctor Who Experience

The Doctor Who Experience is a must for any fan of the TV show. This Cardiff Bay highlight takes you on an interactive journey through time and space. It is here you will find the world’s largest collection of memorabilia, props and costumes from the first show in 1963 through to the most recent series’, including three full TARDIS sets.

A cultural hub

Wales-Millennium-Centre-Cardiff. Source Deymos.HR  Shutterstock.com

© Deymos.HR/Shutterstock.com

The Millennium Centre stands at the heart of Cardiff’s cultural scene. The centre is home to the Welsh National Opera and its Hoddinott Hall houses the National Orchestra of Wales. Whether it is concerts, dance, musicals or theatre you are after, indulge in a night at the Millennium Centre. If you want a greater insight into the backstage workings then join a guided tour to enhance your experience.

A vibrant waterfront

The bay’s Mermaid Quay is lined with waterfront restaurants, bars and cafés. Whether you want to pick up a snack on the go or sit down to a three-course meal, this cosmopolitan and chic area of Cardiff won’t fail to impress. Dotted among the restaurants are the bars and cafés that make this area a vibrant nightlife hub. Once you have finished checking out the sights, head here to finish off your evening with a drink or two.

The Welsh capital makes for the perfect cultural city break. Book a weekend at the Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff City Centre and you’ll find the hustle and bustle of Cardiff Bay just 2km from the hotel.