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Shopping in Cardiff

Cardiff has been a popular shopping destination since the 19th century, and its historic arcades date from the Victorian and Edwardian period. Today they house independent shops selling vintage clothes, gifts, crafts, jewellery as well as cafes and delis. The Morgan Arcade is home to Spillers Records, the world's oldest record shop. Cardiff also boasts shiny new shopping malls with all the high street names and designer labels.

Key areas

The pedestrianised Queen Street is the city’s main shopping hub. It runs from the Capitol Shopping Centre to Cardiff Castle. The recently extended St David’s Shopping Mall offers visitors the ultimate modern shopping experience or they can step back in time with a trip to the six arcades that lead from the city's main streets. Shops in Cardiff Bay and Mermaid Quay focus on up-market crafts, art galleries and boutiques.

Markets

Cardiff Central Market is housed in an attractive glass-roofed, Victorian ironwork building. The main entrance is on St Mary Street. It sells fresh produce, including fish, meat, fruit and Welsh cheeses as well as pots and pans, fabrics, hardware and pretty much everything else. Open Monday to Saturday 0800-1730.

Jacob's Antique Centre, West Canal Wharf, has over three floors of antique stalls with affordable collectibles and vintage fashion. Open Wednesday to Saturday 0900-1700, but not all stalls open on Wednesday.

Shopping centres

St David’s Shopping Mall on The Hayes has recently been extended, making it Wales’s newest and biggest fashion destination. The Capitol Shopping Centre on Queen Street is smaller but still offers the usual high street names. Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay has waterfront shopping with a mixture of high street names and boutiques.

Opening hours

Normal shopping hours are 0900-1800, although many shops open later on Thursday and Friday. Some major stores open on Sundays.

The bigger shopping centres will stay open until 2000 from Monday to Saturday, and until 1700 on Sundays.

Souvenirs

The gift shops in the arcades sell souvenirs such as handmade textiles, Welsh love spoons and rugby shirts. For something a little more contemporary, try Craft in the Bay on Lloyd George Avenue, a showcase of Welsh crafts, or the Welsh Tartan Centre found at Castle Arcade.

Tax information

VAT is charged at a rate of 20% on the majority of goods, and 5% on some goods and services. For non-EU visitors, shops displaying ‘Tax Free Shopping' signs sell goods on which the VAT can be refunded when leaving the EU.

Featured Hotels

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Jolyons

This is a lovely boutique hotel located on Cardiff's oldest Georgian terrace, right in front of the new Millennium Centre and around the corner from the city's revamped waterfront area. Rooms (all non-smoking) are individually designed with solid furniture, exquisite linen and good lighting. The hotel also has an on-site restaurant and bar with Wi-Fi access available in all rooms.

Hilton Cardiff

The central, modern 5-star Cardiff Hilton has 197 elegant bedrooms and suites, many with spectacular views across the city and over Cardiff Castle. There is also an award-winning restaurant, Razzi, as well as a bar, a health club, gym and spa and a 20m (66ft) pool. The staff's attentiveness has been acknowledged with tourism awards, while each room comes with soft beds, large LED TVs and lovely bathrooms.

The Big Sleep

Set in a converted 1960 office block, this high-rise Cardiff hotel offers simple yet funky modern retro décor and accommodation that channels minimalist chic but stays reasonably priced. This, in other words, is a design hotel for budget travellers. There are 81 comfortable rooms, all with ensuite bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities. Some rooms offer spectacular views.

The St David's Hotel & Spa

Located in the Cardiff Bay area only five minutes from the city centre the stylish 5-star St David's (part of the Principal Hotels chain) has 132 well-equipped guest bedrooms (including 20 suites) all with private balconies and splendid views across the bay. The hotel also boasts excellent spa facilities. There are good conference services and plenty of dining options too including an award-winning restaurant.

Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North

Perched on the fringes of Cardiff city centre, the Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North is a clean and classy budget choice with 132 rooms. All come with large LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi and access to the on-site gym. The hotel also has a lounge area offering light snacks during the day and a Bar and Grill for a more relaxed dinner or late night drink.

Hotel Ibis Cardiff

Conveniently located, crisp and clean, the Ibis Cardiff is a dream for those watching their budget. With 102 rooms to choose from, all sleeping quarters come with soft bedding, fast Wi-Fi and sparkling ensuite bathrooms. There is also a café and bar on-site to make sure all visitors are filled up and ready for a full day's exploring.