Disclaimer: As an affiliate I may earn a commission on any qualifying purchase at no extra cost to you – read more.
As a Cardiff local, I can wholeheartedly tell you that it rains a lot. But don’t take my word for it, according to a 2014 Met Office analysis, Cardiff was the UK’s wettest city with an average of 1,152mm of rainfall per year1 (sources: Met Office and Manchester Evening News).
However, the torrential weather shouldn’t be an excuse not to enjoy Cardiff’s top attractions as there are many things you can do when the heavens cry. In this article, I’m going to share my favourite things to do in Cardiff when it rains.
1. Get Competitive at TeamSport Go Karting
Go Karting is one of the most fun indoor activities to indulge in Cardiff, especially for those seeking a thrill. Moreover, it is one fun activity to do with friends and loved ones as participants can engage in friendly competitions and races.
TeamSport has the perfect racing facilities with a 500m multi-level race track and karts that can reach speeds of 40mph provide the tools for Go Karters to have some fun. Besides the track and karts, you can choose from various experiences, including F1, qualifying heats, and stag/hen parties.
2. Visit One of Cardiff’s Museums
If you love culture and want to learn more about history, spending a rainy day at the Museum of Cardiff will do you much good. The Museum of Cardiff is free to enter and tells the story of Cardiff and how it transformed from a small market town into the bustling capital today.
Don’t confuse this for the National Museum Cardiff which is a totally different museum but equally worth visiting when the rain starts to pour. The National Museum has a much larger and broader collection with everything from science to art. Some of the most famous works here include paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, and Turner.
My favourite part of the museum is the natural historyarea where exhibits include a huge basking shark suspended in the air and the largest Leatherback Turtle ever recorded which was found near Harlech Castle in 1988.
3. Wander Around the Victorian Arcades
When it rains in Cardiff, one of the best things to do is to visit the city’s famed Victorian arcades. These indoor shopping spaces are full of character and charm, plus they offer a great shelter from the wet weather outside.
There are plenty of shops and cafes to explore, so you can easily while away a couple of hours browsing and people-watching. Some of our favourite arcades include the Royal Arcade, Morgan Arcade and High Street Arcade (yes, I’m always shouting about how much I love Barker’s Tea Room and this image should explain why!).
However, you’ll need to brace yourself for getting a little wet because the arcades are spread out across the city centre so make sure you pack your umbrella.
4. Go Indoor Surfing at Cardiff International White Water
If you love water sports, fun, and adventure, Cardiff International White Water is the perfect venue to spend a wet day. Cardiff International White Water is home to an impressive range of facilities including an indoor surf centre with a simulated surf machine.
Indoor surfing is open to all ages and includes an hour of surf time on their FlowRider. If, like me, you’ve not quite got the hang of surfing, they also allow you to try bodyboarding which is a little easier to get hang of.
As well as indoor surfing, the centre hosts tons of other water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, river boarding, and tubing (the latter is highly recommended).
5. Add to Your Scientific Knowledge at Techniquest Science Centre and Planetarium
Located at Stuart Street, Cardiff Bay, Techniquest is a science discovery centre open to everyone who loves science. It is a great place to take the kids to learn more about the world and life.
You are most likely to be wowed by the incredible architecture on getting to the venue, but it gets better when you enter inside. You will find a science theatre, a planetarium, and an exhibition centre there. The exhibition centre has over 100 interactive exhibitions for visitors of every age….(source: https://www.techniquest.org/)
Previous visitors to the beautiful centre have left great reviews about it, with most agreeing that it is a lovely place to spend time with the kids and worth every penny.
6. Bounce to the Top at the Infinity Trampoline Park
A rainy day can be a great excuse to spike your adrenaline, and there may be no better place to do that than the Infinity Trampoline Park located on Pengam Road (CF24 2RZ). The park is home to over 70 interconnected trampolines.
It also includes a space filled with tumble tracks, vault boxes, and trampolines in every direction you look. For £10 during peak periods, you will have so much fun jumping and bouncing however you want and won’t even know how fast the time goes.
Besides the trampolines, the park also offers a basketball court and dodgeball area. Hence, if you come with a group, you could indulge in competitive games. The park also hosts a group exercise named “Infinity Active.” It involves a combination of bouncing, aerobic, and relay routines.
If you don’t want to come during the day, take advantage of the “After Dark” sessions during weekends. Whatever you decide to do, one certainty is that you will have so much fun at Infinity Trampoline Park.
7. Tour the Principality Stadium
Cardiff’s Principality Stadium is a source of pride to the Welsh people. The national monument hosts the Welsh rugby team’s games as well as football games. The atmosphere during such games is always unbelievable and helps the Welsh teams to victory against their opponents.
However, it is not just on game days that you can visit the Principality Stadium. The national stadium is a sight to behold and one of the best worldwide. Thus, you can come and tour it on non-match days to marvel at the architectural beauty that it is.
Some of the lovely places you can tour within the stadium include the VIP hospitality suite, the President’s Box, the Welsh team’s dressing room, and so much more. You can also walk through the tunnel and have a feel of the pitch during your tour. Check out the stadium’s website for tour details.
8. Visit the Royal Mint Experience
A little-known fact about Wales is that we are responsible for producing billions of coins each year. But it’s not just British coins, this includes coins for more than 60 different countries around the world including Jamaica, Tanzania and Thailand2 (source: Welsh Government). If you fancy a little rainy-day trip, you can visit the place where they are made which is around 30 minutes away from Cardiff by car.
This interactive museum at the Royal Mint Experience tells the story of coin making in Britain and gives you the chance to strike your own coin. You can also learn about the history of money, and see how coins are designed and made.
9. Climb the Walls at Boulders
If wall climbing is your thing, spending a rainy day at Boulders could be a worthwhile experience for you, your friends, and your loved ones. You can choose from over 30 climbing routes at Boulders. More fun awaits you at their expanded bouldering area, which has 80 climbing routes.
There is something for you to do despite your climbing experience level. Hence, you can challenge yourself to be better each time. Besides climbing, you can also meet new people at Boulders, which hosts a social club every night.
10. See a Movie in Chapter
Cardiff has only one arthouse cinema, Chapter Arts Centre, located at Market Road, Cardiff CF5 1QE. Besides the cinema, Chapter also hosts various live performances, workshops, and international art exhibitions. It is a cool place to go to on a wet day as it provides a welcoming social space for art lovers.
Anytime you visit Chapter, there is always something new to experience, be it comedy nights, yoga, book clubs, acting workshops, or film screenings with Q&As. If you get hungry, there is a variety of food options available at any time of the day. There is also a bar that opens in the evening.
So, no matter who you are, there is something for you in Chapter. It is one place that guarantees optimum fun and an enjoyable experience.
11. Crack Some Puzzles at Escape Reality
If you enjoy solving puzzles, Escape Reality is just the place for you on a rainy day. The fun puzzle-solving centre has become more popular in the last few years, and it is not hard to see why when you get there.
Escape rooms are fun and interactive and have received tonnes of good reviews from visitors, who rate Escape Reality highly because of its variety and quality. Escape Reality is worth every penny. It doesn’t matter if you want to participate in the Escape rooms alone or with a group of people. The fun is guaranteed.
At the end of the day, you will feel accomplished for helping to solve a murder case or pulling off an impossible heist, whatever the case may be.
12. Go Shopping at the Indoor Flea Market
Cardiff is home to many unusual and extraordinary markets, but its Indoor Flea Market at Clydesmuir Industrial Estate is one you should visit on a rainy day.
The Indoor Flea Market is not like any other market. It opens thrice a week (Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays) and is one place where you can find vintage and antique items.
No matter what you seek, be it homeware or lighting pieces, or even the most unusual item you can think of, there is every chance of finding it here. When you visit the Flea Market, check out the Mad Hatters Tea Room. There, you can grab an afternoon tea in an Alice in Wonderland-themed setting (yes, that’s the second afternoon tea recommendation – obsessed!).
13. Go Laser Shooting at Superbowl UK
Superbowl UK is the ideal location for those who want to participate in various activities in one venue. It consists of a laser quest experience, 12 bowling alleys, and an arcade zone with multiple slot machines and video games.
If shooting lasers is something you love or have always dreamt of doing, you can take part in the laser quest experience. The slot machines and video games on offer also make for a fun experience. Of course, there is always excitement when bowling is involved.
However, you can do all of these if you wish, as the prices are pretty affordable. Superbowl UK offers individual and group price options. There is also a bar and dining area to grab some tasty refreshments.
14. Perfect Your Golfing Skills at Treetop Adventure Golf
If you enjoy golfing or have a growing interest in the gentleman’s game, you can test your skills whilst staying indoors at Treetop Adventure Golf. The golfing centre has a quirky, immersive rainforest setting, with each turned corner holding new surprises. It is an ideal venue for mini-golfing and is quite affordable.
Treetop Adventure Golf also hosts The Thirsty Toucan bar, where you can get tropical cocktails and locally brewed beer. The bar’s cafe also serves pizza and coffee.
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.