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Living away from homeOnly in CardiffOpen DayStudent LifeThings to do in Cardiff

Places that I would take you for a day in Cardiff 

8 August 2023
Cardiff Bay in a sunny evening
Cardiff Bay in a sunny evening

Inspired by a recent family visit to Cardiff, I had a goal of showing them the best sights so let me walk you through where I took my family for a day in Cardiff. Cardiff is perfect for a day of adventure. Being located just off the M4, Cardiff is easily accessible, and being next to The Severn Estuary, you are never far from excellent walking spots with beautiful views. 

Bute Park

I’d suggest starting a day with breakfast in the city centre before making your way to Bute Park. This beautiful park is located right behind Cardiff Castle in the city centre. Walk along the Taff Trail or enjoy a coffee along the river at Summerhouse Café. As the city’s local hub for nature lovers, this CADW grade 1 listed park park and arboretum are dubbed as the green heart of the city.

Boat trip to The Bay

From Bute Park, you can hop on a river cruise to Cardiff Bay. The dock is located in the park, parallel to Cardiff Bridge, if you enter the park on Castle Street, they should be signs directing you towards the dock.  The trip takes around 20 minutes and showcases Principality Stadium from the water, a view of Cardiff Yacht Club and excellent views across the bay. Since my first time visiting Cardiff, I’ve wanted to try the boat trip and I was not disappointed. Whenever I meet a student here, in my second year, who hasn’t yet tried it, I’m always really surprised.

Walk along the Bay barrage

Photo by Callum Blacoe on Unsplash

Once arriving at the dock in Cardiff Bay, you can take your time exploring the abundance of Coffee shops and eateries at Cardiff Bay. A particular favourite of mine is the café inside the converted 19th Century Norwegian Church. After your coffee break, continue to walk around the bay and across Cardiff Bay Barrage. The walk offers views of the bay to your right and views across the Severn Estuary to your left as well as an insight into the operations of the bay barrage itself which creates the freshwater bay. From here, you can either continue to Penarth to visit the pier and beach views, or turn back and use the local bus or train networked from Cardiff Bay to navigate back into the city centre.

The National Museum 

Once back in Cardiff City Centre, you can delve more into history at the National Museum. With rotating expeditions, you can learn more about local history, visit the art gallery, or partake in the journey of the evolution of Wales. I’d also recommend checking out the current exhibitions and experiences on their website. For instance, currently, there is a BBC 100 in Wales exhibition, Planet Earth VR experiences and more which you can book in advance.


Just a 10-minute walk from the National Museum, past Cardiff University’s main building, into Cathays is Metchys Café and Bar. This café is in the heart of the student area, with a mix of customers, making it always bustling with a great atmosphere. The freshly prepared meals and quality coffee makes for an excellent, student-heavy, dining experience, perfect for lunch with the family.


After your lunch, you could have a relaxing afternoon exploring the city centre before hunting for your dinner location. My family’s favourite is Pho on Church Street. The healthy Vietnamese food is not only delicious but perfect for food intolerances, my gluten-free mum, low-fat Gran and my vegetarian self can all enjoy a filling meal and it always makes for a nice evening.