Cardiff has often touted itself as 'the closest capital to London', but we find that tagline does a disservice to the incredible amount of things this city has to offer. Not only a beacon for sporting activities, or indeed its deeply-rooted foodie nature, Cardiff is full to the top with 'culture'. Now, 'culture' can mean all sorts of things, depending on who you ask, but at its core, it's our footprint on this world and what makes us human.
And what better place to experience those things than at a museum?
Once you've pieced your brain back together from that mind-blowing introduction, dive into our handy guide of the best museums in Cardiff.
The prettiest building in Cardiff Bay - and one of Cardiff's most iconic - is easily the Norwegian Church. Originally a meeting place for Norwegian seafarers during the industrial revolution, and famously where Road Dahl was baptised, this Bay-facing piece of history hosts everything from musical events, all the way through to Yoga classes. Above the impeccable cafe (cakes, cakes, cakes) sits a gallery that seems to get better every time we visit. Be sure to check it out.
Located in a Grade II listed building smack bang in the middle of the city centre is the Cardiff Story Museum - which, as you might've guessed, is dedicated to all things Cardiff. Whether you're a Cardiff native looking to brush up on your local history, or a visitor looking to get an idea of how things might've looked in the past, this is the place to go.
Given that it was recently awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year award, it would be hard to leave St Fagans off this list. If you're from Cardiff - or indeed Wales - there's a good chance you visited this living museum while you were at school (it's a school trip favourite). However, if you've not been in a long time, we suggest changing that immediately. Thanks to a rather generous lottery grant, St Fagans is now one of the best museums in the UK. From its rotating list of events, to its staggering amount of historic buildings, St Fagans is a must-visit any time of the year.
Nantgarw China Works tends to fly under the radar when compared to the bigger names on this list, but what it lakes in fame, it more than makes up for in beauty. So why should you visit? Well, for a start it's the only surviving 19th century porcelain works in the whole of the UK. So that's a biggie. But perhaps just as impressive is the exhibitions and workshops they provide. Just be sure to sign up early, as they tend to fill up quite quickly.
If you happen to have kids that find museums boring, take them to Techniquest. Based in the bay, this interactive science museum is all about hands-on education - from planetarium shows to a bunch of consoles that let you make your own stop-motion videos. There's a good chance you could lose an entire afternoon here, even if you don't have kids.
Easily one of Wales' most popular visitor destinations is the 2000 years of history you'll find embedded in every single brick of Cardiff Castle. Originally a Roman fort, and later on in life a gift to the city from the Bute family, this beautiful castle now hosts some of Cardiff's best events (Tafwyl being one of them!), as well a museum so well curated, you'll feel like you've gone back in time. A true Cardiff gem.
If you only have time to visit one museum from this list, make it the National Museum Cardiff - which is in walking distance of the aforementioned Cardiff Castle. Not only is it a world-class museum, featuring everything from dinosaurs to bronze age weapons, but it also happens to host Cardiff's best art gallery. Whether you're into historic art, or lean towards the 'modern' end of the spectrum, the National Museum has you covered. See you in the foyer!