Like many suburbs of Cardiff, Cathays has its own unique personality and its surface needs to be well and truly scratched to discover some of its hidden gems.

#CardiffIs Cathays

The capital’s Civic Centre dominates Cathays with its incredible architecture including City Hall with its Edwardian, Baroque style. You will hear the chimes from the distinctive clock tower every 15 minutes as you wander around the compact city centre that is best explored on foot.


If you are staying in one of the many nearby city centre hotels like the brand new Hotel Indigo, you may be able to hear the ‘bongs’ as you drift off to sleep, reminding you that you are in a capital city steeped in history where old meets new; just 2 hours from London but culturally world away.


The National Museum Cardiff is also situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, and houses Wales’ national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. If you want to stand and stare, there is plenty to please your eye – from Impressionist paintings to gigantic dinosaurs.

Rodin’s The Kiss

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

During the winter months the green space in front of these historic buildings, Alexandra Gardens, comes to life with Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, this is a must do Christmas experience with open air ice rink, giant wheel, children’s rides and Alpine Village where you can relax and enjoy some ‘Après Skate.

Dig a Little Deeper

Cathays has so much more to offer than the ‘official civic bit’, venture a little further into the ‘burb and you will find a fantastically cosmopolitan, arty area.

Sherman Theatre

The shining light of Cathays has to be the Sherman Theatre, a beacon or cool creativity. Having been built in the early 1970s the building and activity within it is a stark contrast to the imposing buildings of the civic centre.

Explore the venue via this 360 tour

#CardiffIs Christmas at The Sherman Theatre

This Christmas the annual family extravaganza of actor-musician led theatrical magic is The Wind in the Willows that runs until 30 Dec 2017. For younger audiences, there is a new version by Alun Saunders of The Magic Porridge Pot / Hud y Crochan Uwd. Festive delights, in both auditoria.

Traditionally Panto takes theatrical precedence at this time of year and although the New Theatre Cardiff always delivers with their annual production; however if you do one thing this Christmas with the kids make sure go and enjoy one of these fabulous shows for a truly magical, authentic experience that will create life-long theatre goers.

Previous Plays

The Sherman showcases world-class theatre and although a relatively small venue can easily take on the big boys of the city such as the Wales Millennium Centre this was demonstrated recently as it shared one of the most exciting new plays with residents and visitors.

Cardiff’s Gary Owen, whose work for the Sherman includes the worldwide hit Iphigenia in Splott and the Royal Court co-produced Killology, has written a reimagined The Cherry Orchard.

This thrilling new interpretation of Chekhov’s masterpiece is a significant new work; political, deeply moving but able to make audiences laugh out loud, especially the ones who grew up in the 80s.

Getting there

Sherman Theatre, Senghennydd Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4YE is easy to get to on foot, by bicycle or public transport.

The nearest Train station is Cathays Station, which is a 5 min walk from Sherman Theatre and Cardiff Queen Street station is approximately 10 minutes’ walk with links to Cardiff Central station.

Eat & Drink Cathays

Gastronomically you can travel around the word within Cathays’ boundaries from Indian to Japanese, Italian to Lebanese. You may not find a Michelin Star or Jay Rayner chowing down there but maybe that is exactly why he is missing the beauty of Cardiff’s foodie scene.

See The Culture Trip for a list of best bars and restaurants in and around Cathays.


The large student population in and around Cathays just adds to its character and diversity.

Cardiff University’s campus sits within the beautiful civic centre. With wide tree-lined avenues and elegant Portland stone buildings, it’s an inspiring place to study.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University

Cardiff is one of Europe’s youngest capital cities – small enough to be friendly and big enough to offer the best of living in a major city.

Cardiff is one of Europe’s youngest capital cities – small enough to be friendly and big enough to offer the best of living in a major city.

A capital city with art, culture and sport at its heart, there are so many reasons to love Cardiff.

  • Top 4 – Students’ Union in the UK (Which? University Student Survey 2017).
  • 1st – Cardiff is the UK’s most affordable university city (NatWest Student Living Index 2017).
  • Top 100 in the Academic World Ranking of Universities.