Sometimes it rains here in Wales! And that includes Cardiff and The Bay! So, if you’re visiting, you may want some ideas for things to do in Cardiff Bay in the rain.
Cardiff Bay is a great place to explore. There are no two ways about it. It’s packed with everything you’d expect from a major city. History and museums, hotels and restaurants. And it’s on the water! We love walking about outside here when the weather is good. But when it’s not there are still plenty of things you can do.
Take in the arts at Wales Millennium Centre
Home to the Welsh National Opera the Wales Millenium Centre is free to walk around and study the architecture. The design is pretty impressive and it’s constructed entirely from materials sourced in Wales. This is the centre for arts in Wales and there is almost always something showing here. Whether it’s a band, a comedian or the theatre you’re sure to be entertained. There are even occasional free performances in the foyer, art exhibitions and workshops. You can also grab some refreshments here in the café, restaurant or bar.
Journey through history at the Pierhead Building
Today, it’s home to the Welsh Parliament senedd.wales and you can explore the building for free. It houses an interactive exhibition of the role of the Assembly and hosts events, conferences and art exhibitions.
Step in to the Senedd
Right next door to the Pierhead is the main public building of the National Assembly, The Senedd. Another architectural masterpiece it’s also a sustainable building constructed from Welsh oak and slate. Heat is supplied from the bottom of the dock using an earth exchange system.
You can explore the building for free and have a coffee in the café. There is a public viewing gallery from where you can watch live Assembly debates when they are on. www.assembly.wales/senedd
See the Norwegian Church
First established to serve the large community of Norwegian Sailors in Cardiff Bay, this fine example of a Norwegian Church is right on the front. It’s a distinctive landmark and also the place where Roald Dahl was christened. Today it’s an arts centre housing exhibitions by upcoming artists. There is a restaurant downstairs with panoramic views over the bay and admission is free. www.norwegianchurchcardiff.com
Learn something at Techniquest
Techniquest has a world-wide reputation for creating science programmes and exhibits, and their staff includes leading experts in science communication.
For 35 years it’s offered interactive experiences, which are accessible to all, and is the longest established science centre in the UK. It’s one of the best family things to do in Cardiff Bay in the rain.
Eat, Drink and be Merry
Being the largest waterfront development in Europe, Cardiff Bay is home to as many bars and restaurants as you can shake a stick at. In fact, the only difficulty you’ll face in getting fed and watered is actually choosing. Possibly because of the competition here you will be spoilt for choice.
Planning your trip to Cardiff
How to get there
Cardiff has great transport links. Just off the M4, the main motorway from London to South Wales, the city also has good train links from London, Manchester and beyond. Furthermore Cardiff also has an airport which is approximately 15 miles from the City with rail and bus links to the centre. Plenty of airlines fly into Cardiff Airport. We always use Skyscanner to check out the best current deals on flights.
Where to stay
The city centre is home to most of the big name chain hotels and plenty of independents, guest houses, B&Bs, Airbnbs and serviced accommodation. If we’re paying out of pocket we use booking.com to see what’s available. The Marriott is in a great location in the Hayes area right in the heart of it. It can get a little noisy outside on the weekend. The Hilton is in a fantastic location overlooking the Castle but we’ve never stayed here. Probably our favourite hotel around the city is the Novotel. It is a little outside the centre but only around a 10 minute walk and is ideal if you want get away from the hustle and bustle. Great for families, it also has a pool.
How to get around
Cardiff Bay is fairly compact which makes it a great place to explore on foot. There is also an abundance of public transport including bus, train or boat. Navigation is also pretty easy with most attractions well signposted.
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These are just some of the things to do in Cardiff Bay in the rain. If you’d like more information feel free to contact us via one of our social media channels. If you enjoyed this post why not leave a comment or check out our other posts on Wales.