Start at the white-stoned Civic Centre. Its impressive buildings are set in tree lined parkland and wide avenues and includes the National Museum Cardiff. It consists of 15 galleries and it has the best collection of impressionist paintings outside of Paris. The Evolution of Wales exhibition takes visitors on a 4,600 million-year journey to find out how life in Wales has changed. Pre-booked groups benefit from 10 per cent off in the museum café, restaurant and shop on a minimum spend of £5 per person and complimentary refreshments for the coach driver.
The Principality Stadium (formerly known as Millennium Stadium) was built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup and is now a major sporting and concert arena. A 90 minute behind the scene tour is a great introduction to the Welsh love of rugby and to find more out about the stadium. Check directly on availability as during build-up to matches and events tours may not be available but a mini 40 minute tour is usually offered instead. Group discounts for groups of 20 or more are available on request.
BBC Tours is an alternative option if visiting the city between Thursday and Sunday. The behind the scenes tour of BBC Cymru Wales’ broadcasting centre at Central Square uncovers the secrets of making BBC programmes. Your clients will visit one of the largest BBC newsrooms with cutting edge technology and take a look at the TV galleries and other broadcast facilities. The tour takes 90mins, shorter tours may be available on request.
Take time to browse amongst the Victorian Arcades, home to many of Cardiff’s individual and unique shops. St David's Shopping Centre is home to big branded goods and ‘A Welsh Secret’ - a Welsh food and drink shop showcasing Welsh produce with a café and library space. After the shops close at 20:00hrs, stay and enjoy a meal at the many restaurants and coffee bars, which are open even later.
Learn about Cardiff's history at the Museum of Cardiff in The Old Library, The Hayes. It has art galleries, a learning suite, interactive exhibitions and other objects and stories that bring to life the history of the capital. There is a small charge for groups.
Alternatively, book your clients on any of these bookable walking tours of Cardiff led by a local expert:-
This evening, enjoy an evening performance at St David's Hall, the New Theatre, the Sherman Theatre, Welsh National Opera, Utilita Arena Cardiff (formerly CIA) or the Wales Millennium Centre. Explore the restaurants, bars, clubs and bistros both in the city centre or overlooking the water by Cardiff Bay.
Go to the official website for more information about coach parking in Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay.
Cardiff Castle is located in the heart of the city and enjoys a history spanning nearly 2,000 years. The highlight is a guided tour of the spectacular castle apartments. They were created in the 19th century by eccentric architect William Burges for the very rich Third Marquess of Bute. Designed as a medieval fairytale home, the rooms are filled with ornate fireplaces, gilded ceilings, intricate stained glass as well as carved and painted animals throughout. House Tours can be arranged in English, Welsh, French and Spanish and audio guides of the complete site are available in English, Welsh, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Portuguese. The café offers views of the Norman Keep and castle and a gift shop is available.
Continue to Cardiff Bay. There are boat tours around Mermaid Quay or your clients can enjoy a scenic walk around the Cardiff Bay Barrage. Other options include a visit the Pierhead building, the former headquarters of the Bute Dock Company or a tour of the Senedd - the Welsh Assembly Government's eco-friendly debating chamber. There are plenty of places to stop for refreshments including the Norwegian Church where Roald Dahl was baptised, it is now an arts centre and cafe.
Or for the more adventurous, take on the waters by rafting, canoeing, paddleboarding to name but a few of the activities on offer at Cardiff International White Water.
Again, go to the official website for more information about coach parking in Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay.
It's just a short journey to St Fagans National Museum of History on the outskirts of Cardiff. Voted Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019, the most prestigious museum prize in the world, visitors travel back centuries with its reconstructed cottages, farmhouses, rural workshops, mill, chapel, village store and so on. There are plenty of options here for lunch – Y Gegin, Gweithdy, or the Gwalia Tea Rooms. They all serve good quality food that is cooked on site using local, Welsh products whenever possible. Groups must book in advance and will benefit from 10 per cent discount in the museum café, restaurant and shop on a minimum spend of £5 per person and complimentary refreshments for the coach driver. Entry is free. Coach parking is also free of charge.
After lunch, visit Castell Coch, a fairytale castle peeping out of the trees north of the city. Part of the Marquis of Bute's legacy to the city. Castell Coch is the whimsical brainchild of architect William Burges. Take a look at Lady Bute's tower bedroom. It comes with a fabulously painted double dome featuring twenty eight frolicking monkeys – quite risqué in its day! There’s a small tea room on-site. Coach parking is possible but groups must phone in advance of visiting.
Castell Coch is in the care of Cadw. Register with the Cadw Tour Operator Scheme (CTOS) to become a member of Cadw’s online group booking scheme. Members benefit from preferential trade rates and discounts, complimentary admission for your tour leader, complimentary introductions to Cadw monuments, enhanced information for existing tours and invoicing following your visit. Travel Trade Explorer Passes can also be purchased. Please contact Cadwcommercial@gov.wales.