(Cardiff, South Glamorgan, South Wales, UK)
Cardiff has never been so trendy, appealing and tourist friendly, and as such, boasts an exceptional selection of museums and visitor centres. Spread around the city centre, the Cardiff Bay area and the outlying suburbs, particular highlights include the acclaimed open-air Museum of Welsh Life, which stands just over 6 km / 4 miles from the city centre and in the St. Fagans (Sain Ffagan) area, close to Fairwater and Michaelston-super-Ely.
Located alongside Cathays Park and within the campus of Cardiff University, the National Museum is not to be missed and comes with a wealth of local Welsh artefacts and a huge collection of paintings, both traditional and impressionist - and even has free entrance. In particular, look out for art works by famous artists such as Lowry, Monet, Renoir and Rodin, amongst many others.
Museum of Welsh Life (St. Fagans National History Museum)
Address: A4232, St. Fagans, Cardiff, CF5 6XB, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)29 2057 3500
The city's famous Museum of Welsh Life is more like a small village chronicling the story of Wales than an actual museum. Situated in St. Fagans, on the outskirts of Cardiff, the Museum of Welsh Life features many historic buildings from all over Wales, dating back up to 500 years, that have been carefully moved brick by brick from their original site and rebuilt in this impressive attraction. Highlights at the Museum of Welsh Life include a 17th-century farmhouse, a terrace of iron workers' cottages, a small castle, a working men's hall and a medieval church. Set in around 100 acres / 40 hectares, this attraction has become one of the most important and popular of its kind in Wales.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Rhondda Heritage Park and Museum
Address: Lewis Merthyr Colliery, Coed Cae Road, Trehafod, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF37 7NP, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1443 682 036
Located close to Pontypridd and within easy driving distance of the city, Rhondda Heritage Park and Museum celebrates the city's rich coal-mining history and features a number of specific attractions, such as rides to the bottom of the coal pit, historic displays and many coal-related artefacts. Situated in the Lewis Merthyr Colliery, other attractions include an art gallery, a large playground area for children, a popular gift shop and a restaurant.
Open hours: April to September, daily - 10:00 to 18:00, October to March, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children, families and seniors, children five years old and under are free
National Museum and Gallery
Address: King Edward VII Avenue, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NP, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)29 2039 7951
Situated in the Cathays district of Cardiff, the National Museum is a unique attraction, housing a vast range of arts and science displays. With elegant art galleries, with spectacular works or art by world-famous artists, a exhibitions celebrating the 'Evolution of Wales', and many important historic artefacts and exhibits, the National Museum and Gallery also features a natural history section and many interactive displays, which are particularly popular with children visiting this attraction.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Big Pit Mining Museum
Address: Blaenavon, Torfaen, NP4 9XP, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1495 790311
The Big Pit Mining Museum was originally a working coal mine for more than two centuries and can be found outside of the city, being around a 45-minute drive away. With guided underground tours of the coal mines, a gift shop, a café and many coal-mining artefacts on display, the Big Pit celebrates the city's important mining past and is within easy reach of the city centre, via the M4 and the A4042.
Open hours: March to November, daily - 09:30 to 17:00
Abergavenny Museum and Castle
Address: Castle Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5EE, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1873 854282
The Abergavenny Museum and Castle can be found in the nearby market town of Abergavenny district, being approximately 48 km / 30 miles from Cardiff and sited directly to the north. Visitors can expect to find interesting castle ruins dating back to Norman times, large displays of local history, including a number of fascinating artefacts, many temporary exhibitions, picnic areas, gardens and spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 11:00 to 13:00, 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for seniors, children are free when with an adult
Llancaiach Fawr Museum
Address: Llancaiach Fawr, Nelson, Treharris, CF46 6ER, Wales, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1443 412248
Located within an impressive stately home in the vale of Glamorgan, the Llancaiach Fawr Museum is set during the English Civil War and features many displays, reenactments and costumed characters. Other attractions at the Llancaiach Fawr include guided tours, gardens, a gift shop and a restaurant.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 10:00 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discounts available for children, families and seniors