Cardiff attractions can largely be split into three categories: parks, museums and sports. In fact there are only a handful of attractions that don't seem to fit in these categories. Thankfully, many of the attractions are totally free and are thoroughly enjoyable. The cost of refreshments and parking needs to be factored, but there are many things a first-time Cardiff visitor can do without digging too deep into the pocket.
If you've hired a car then great; your list of things to do has been doubled - many of Cardiff's best attractions are actually just outside the city. A day trip to Barry Island or the exhilarating beach rides at Ogmore Farm Riding Centre are just a short drive away. As are places which I've not listed such as the Dan yr Ogof show caves (www.showcaves.co.uk) and the Rhondda Heritage Park (www.rhonddaheritagepark.com) and the Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary (www.cefn-yr-erw.co.uk).
Watersports are in abundance in Cardiff, too. Between the Cardiff International White Water and the Cardiff Bay Water Activity Centre, you have access to pretty much every wet activity you can imagine.
How I’ve picked my things to do:
Picking these 20 activities and attractions reminded me just how much there is to do in the city. Before now I hadn't visited some of the castles and museums for years and years. It's been great to return and remember how captivating they all are. I've selected a whole range of must-do attractions for first-time visitors and ensured there's a lot of fun family attractions plus one or two that are off the beaten track such as Roath Park; a beautiful park in one of the city's prettiest neighbourhoods. It isn't the first place you'd be directed to on arrival, but on a summer's day it's not to be missed!