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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.