The more you know about a place, the more interesting it becomes and our beautifully Illustrated Cardiff cultural map is the perfect opportunity for you to get under the skin of what cultural offerings are available in Cardiff.
It is by no means an exhaustive list but gives you a taster of what can be found in our brilliant city from the more well known venues to our hidden gems in the nooks and crannies.
Click on the map to watch a short informative film about each venue.
National Theatre Wales, NoFit State Circus, The Wales Millennium Centre, Welsh National Opera, Ffotogallery, The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Wales, National Dance Company Wales, and Literature Wales.
The National Museum is home to the largest collection of French Impressionist paintings outside of London. Along with an extensive collection of Modern and Contemporary art, silver and ceramics. Every two years it is the focus for the international Artes Mundi exhibition and prize.
The internationally acclaimed Chapter Arts Centre, produce performance, art and cinema from around the world.
Cardiff’s culture continues to evolve and you can find out more about its roots at The Cardiff Story, the National Museum, or the Glamorgan Archives.
Or discover the landscapes and architecture – over 60 parks, William Burges’ fantastical interiors in Cardiff Castle and a host of new and newly restored buildings – around the city.
The companies making film, animation, design and television are in evidence everywhere.
Cardiff has become the hub of Wales’ creative industries sector, with particular strengths in broadcasting and TV and film production. A significant concentration of creative companies are attracted to Cardiff due to the presence of major broadcasters such as the BBC, S4C, ITV and because of its academic excellence.
The BBC Drama Village, located in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, is a 170,000 square foot facility, including nine studios and equivalent in length to three football pitches, is now the permanent, purpose-built home of four flagship BBC dramas – Casualty, Pobol y Cwm, Doctor Who and Wizards vs Aliens. The studio’s aim is to be a hub for creative sustainability, bringing talent together and allowing knowledge and expertise to be shared.
BBC Wales have also announced their plans for a new regional headquarters at Central Square and will form the centrepiece of a new destination for the creative sector in the heart of the city centre. The city is also supported by a wide variety of incubation space for the creative industries, from the newly developed Gloworks creative industries centre in the heart of Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, as well as space in the city’s established Cardiff Business Technology Centre.
There are also many venues, festivals and events that celebrate their locale such as Made in Roath festival and Butetown Carnival, to name just two in a city of festivals.
Cardiff continues to nurture and inspire artists and many of them respond to this special city every two years for the month-long Cardiff Contemporary art festival.
There are also many clubs across the city to catch more intimate live music sets.
Theatre fans are spoilt for choice with Sherman Cymru, The New Theatre, Chapter, and the Gate. Cardiff’s latest and most intimate theatre venue, The Other Room at Porter’s Bar. Not to mention site-specific performances in unusual locations.
Perhaps art is more your thing? Cardiff has many galleries and artist-run spaces spread across the city.
Martin Tinney Gallery, The Albany Gallery, Gallery Ten, Arcade Cardiff, and Fountain Fine Art are just some of the galleries that focus on Welsh art; all are within easy walking distance of each other in the centre of the city.
Artes Mundi is now firmly embedded in the international contemporary art map and, alongside the four-month long exhibition offers a programme of talks, workshops, and other events.
Just off City Rd, artist-run g39, in a former dental factory, brings together emerging and more established contemporary artists from across the UK, of course, Wales, with a lively programme of exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Craft in the Bay offers some beautiful and affordable applied art, made by the members of the Makers Guild in Wales with a complementary programme of exhibitions that often offer a focus on a particular art form.
The Pierhead Building – worth a visit for its architecture alone – hosts exhibitions sponsored by Assembly Members and the Norwegian Church also offers art and views across Cardiff’s waterfront from its café.
Out on the streets you will see examples of public art that go back to the nineteenth century.
The Civic Centre boasts a lot of interesting sculpture and carvings. While newer developments, like St David’s 2, include contemporary works from the tiny to the monumental. You can follow a sculpture trail around Cardiff Bay, all the way across the Barrage to Penarth.
Keep an eye out for street art in unusual locations as you move around the city, where Cardiff based artists have painted lively interventions to animate empty spaces.
A series of cultural trails have been held across the city to empower front of house/ customer facing staff with the knowledge of what our cultural venues across the city and bay have to offer.
We have been treated to a backstage tour of the Millennium Centre whilst the WNO were preparing for opening night of Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci , we’ve been shown the extravagantly decorated Winter Smoking Room with chimneypiece frieze displaying scenes of medieval life at Cardiff Castle , we have seen Rain Auvers, one of Van Gogh’s last great works painted only days before his suicide which is on display at the National Museum, Cardiff and we’ve splendored in the sights of the famous statues including Boudica and Saint David in Pentelicon marble in the City Hall.
“Thank you for organising the culture trail on Friday. Both Pamela and I had a great time, we certainly do forget sometimes what is on our doorstep.”
Ceri Crummings, Park Inn by Radisson, UK
“A great morning on Friday with my special needs nephew and niece visiting The Cardiff Story Museum as a result on Sunday and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thank you so much for organising these trips. I’ll definitely will be on the remaining tours!”
Elizabeth Anderson-Reed, City Hall Reception
· The Welsh featured on the front of the Wales Millennium Centre building is ‘Creu Gwir fel gwydr o ffwrnais awen, meaning ‘Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration’
· In 2014, the NATO summit dinner was held at Cardiff Castle, attended by, amongst others, President Obama