Skip to content


As a capital of Wales, Cardiff has the range of entertainment and nightlife you would expect of a modern city.

Watch a video about the architecture of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Cinema and theatre

There are three multiplex cinemas in the city centre and another in Cardiff Bay. However, probably the most interesting venue is Chapter Arts Centre (voted number one for entertainment in Cardiff in Lonely Planet).

"Cardiff seems to have it all: grand civic architecture in a breezy waterside location, super-smart city bars and venues just a short hop from lovely countryside."

Guardian University Guide 2016

More than just a cinema showcasing independent films and screening festivals, Chapter has three theatres, a gallery studio, two bars, a café and over 60 cultural workspaces. It is the flagship centre for the contemporary arts scene in Wales and is one of the largest complexes of its kind in Europe.

Next door to Cardiff University’s Students’ Union, the newly-refurbished Sherman Theatre consistently produces critically acclaimed and award-winning work. Also close by is the historic New Theatre, which has been producing drama, musicals, dance, children's shows and pantomime since it opened in 1906.


In addition to theatre, Cardiff offers a variety of other types of stage performance, including opera through the Welsh National Opera.

The Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) opened in 2004 and is becoming recognised as one of the world's most iconic arts and cultural destinations (partly thanks to its connection with Torchwood).

The WMC is so much more than a traditional performance venue. It is a place for West End musicals, opera, dance, ballet, hip hop and art exhibitions. It has free daily foyer performances, free classes and free entry to artistic society gatherings.

St David's Hall in the town centre is also a large entertainment venue and the home of the Welsh Proms and the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.

Live music and comedy

Cardiff has a thriving live music scene. Catch iconic international acts at the Principality Stadium or Motorpoint Arena, or drop into one of the city's many open mic events.

A great place to spend an evening is Cardiff Bay, a massive freshwater lake renovated from the old docks. Aside from the Wales Millennium Centre and a relaxing stroll on the waterfront, there are bars, restaurants and clubs.

A particular highlight is the SWN festival (sŵn is the Welsh word for 'sound') the UK's version of South by Southwest (SXSW), where over three days local, upcoming and renowned acts play in venues across the city.

The UK is famous for comedy. In Cardiff Bay, visit the Glee Club for regular four-act line-ups and the finest live acts from the UK and international circuit.

Pubs and clubs

There are 150 bars, pubs and clubs in Cardiff and a venue to suit every evening. They range from cosy, traditional British pubs to cheap student bars, and multi-level clubs. Many venues hold student nights or have special offers with NUS cards.

Outside the Students' Union, a popular club among students is Clwb Ifor Bach, (known as the 'Welsh Club' locally as it was originally created to entertain the city's Welsh speakers), which presents alternative music, DJs and live shows.