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Short visit? Only 24-48 hours in Cardiff

Your guide to Cardiff / Things to do if you only have 24/48 hours in Cardiff

Only 24-48 hours in Cardiff


If you have just 24 or 48 hours in Cardiff, it can be difficult to decide what to do. This city houses so many hot spots, and you can't possibly hit them all in a day or two. Make the most of the time that you have in the capital of Wales with these top picks designed to offer a well-rounded experience that gives you a little taste of everything.

Tour Cardiff Castle

Castle St, Cardiff CF10 3RB, UK


There are many possible answers when you're pondering "What can I do in Cardiff in 1 day," but no trip to the city would be complete without a stop at Cardiff Castle. This iconic landmark offers self-guided walking tours as well as a 50-minute guided tour that covers the library, small dining room, Victorian living quarters, rooftop garden and more. Each castle ticket includes access to the Castle Grounds, Castle Apartments, Norman Keep, Wartime Tunnels, Roman Chariot Corner and Firing Line: Cardiff Castle Museum of the Welsh Soldier.

Grab a Pub Lunch at The Goat Major

33 High St, Cardiff CF10 1PU, UK


The Goat Major is a friendly pub that simplifies your lunching. You can't go wrong with a pint and pie. Options include beef and ale, chicken and chorizo, lamb and redcurrant and even a vegan shepherd's pie.

Take a Water Taxi Tour

Unnamed Road, Cardiff CF10 4WZ, UK


Hop on an Aquabus and take a tour from City Centre to Cardiff Bay. The trip is 25 minutes each way or an hour round trip. This is a great choice when you have just 24 hours in Cardiff because it features several sights in a single tour. As you cruise, you can take in views of numerous attractions including The Wales Millennium Center, The Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay Barrage, Principality Stadium and the wetlands nature reserve. If your schedule allows, you can hop off and explore the dining and shopping options at Mermaid Quay.

Book a Spa Experience at the Voco Hotel

Havannah St, Cardiff CF10 5SD, United Kingdom


The Marine Spa at the voco St. David's Cardiff hotel is the perfect spot for a pampering afternoon. Take a dip in the mineral-rich hydrotherapy pools, unwind in the sauna and book a soothing treatment. The spa offers massages, exfoliation, facials, body wraps, manicures and pedicures. Teen treatments are also available, in case you have younger members of your party who want to participate. Can't decide where to start? Consider a complete spa package.

See a Show at Millennium Centre

Bute Pl, Cardiff Bay CF10 5AL, UK


As you're considering what to do in Cardiff with 24 hours, make sure to see what's on at the Millennium Centre. This facility houses several performance spaces including the spacious Donald Gordon Theatre, intimate Weston studio, Ffresh Cabaret Bar and world-class BBC Hoddinott Hall. You'll find plays, concerts, operas and more on the calendar. Millennium Centre even hosts free crafting events in the Glanfa public performance space.

Rest Up at Hotel Indigo Cardiff

Dominions Arcade, Queen St, Cardiff CF10 2AR, UK


Hotel Indigo Cardiff offers comfortable accommodations with spa-like bathrooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and stunning city views. Unwind with a drink at the on-site cocktail lounge or grab something from your in-room minibar. If you can squeeze in 48 hours in Cardiff, this hotel is a great choice to help you recharge for the next day.

Breakfast at Cardiff Market

49 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AU, UK


Cardiff Market is a great choice if you're looking for things to do in Cardiff with 24 hours to fill. The covered market houses a wide assortment of shops and stalls featuring clothing, books, gifts, crafts and lots of food. You'll find plenty of places serving cheap fry ups if you like a hearty meal in the morning. If you're in the mood for a sweeter treat, head to Bakestones where you can enjoy traditional Welsh cakes with either raisins or strawberry jam.

Explore the National Museum Cardiff

Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NP, UK


If you have 48 hours in the city and you're asking "what can I do in Cardiff in 2 days," the National Museum Cardiff should make your list. Entry is free so it's worth a stop no matter how much time you have to spare. Explore the art galleries, learn about Wales' natural history and enjoy hands-on exhibits that bring science to life.

Go Shopping at The Castle Quarter Arcades

Castle St, Cardiff CF10 1BU, UK


The Castle Quarter Arcades have served as a major shopping destination in Cardiff for over 130 years. This trio of Victorian and Edwardian arcades hosts a plethora of specialty shops that are perfect for picking up souvenirs. Ample dining options are available as well so you can grab lunch in the middle of your shopping adventures.

Dine at Chapel 1877

Churchill Way, Cardiff CF10 2WF, UK


Book a table at Chapel 1877 for an elegant conclusion to your 48 hours in Cardiff. This upscale restaurant serves up a decadent menu that includes aged filet, sirloin or ribeye off the grill. If you're not in the mood for steak, the main selections also highlight a variety of seasonal flavors, which may include dishes such as chicken supreme, roast rump of Welsh lamb or baked loin of cod.

Experience the Nightlife at Ten Mill Lane

10 Mill Ln, Cardiff CF10 1FL, UK


Ten Mill Lane is Cardiff's hot spot for drinks and dancing. If you have the energy to experience the city's nightlife, this is the perfect place to end your evening. For something really special, reserve a spot in one of the Cocktail Masterclasses so you can take home some new knowledge and recreate your Cardiff experience any time.

Enjoying just 24 or 48 hours in Cardiff won't let you experience it all, but you can sample the highlights of the city in this amount of time. Include some of these top attractions, shopping destinations and dining options in your brief stay to get a feel for all that Cardiff, Wales, has to offer.