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Cardiff, Wales at Christmas. Winter Wonderland!

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A look at Cardiff at Christmas, Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, things to do in Cardiff at Christmas, where to stay, what to eat, winter weather and what to wear in Cardiff and Welsh Christmas traditions. I’m a Cardiff girl, and a traveller, we don’t live in Cardiff these days but we love going home to Cardiff Wales at Christmas time.

Cardiff Wales at Christmas Time Blog

Cardiff at Christmas

Well, it didn’t snow. But our recent Christmas in Cardiff, Wales was nothing short of fabulous.

I’ve mentioned before on our Facebook page that Cardiff does Christmas well, it really does. From the spectacular Christmas lights to the festive market to the official Cardiff Winter Wonderland that normally stands outside Cardiff Museum.

It was all really great, a very special one for us, our first cold Christmas in 7 years and our first when Dad, the Chef, didn’t have to work on Christmas day

Our Cardiff Christmas was one to remember and Wales with kids comes recommended. We can share information on Christmas events in Cardiff below, updated.

Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland

Cardiff Christmas Ice Skating Rink

That’s what it’s actually called, Cardiff Winter Wonderland. There is normally a seasonal ice rink outside Cardiff City Hall, along with funfair rides, sideshows and festive food and drink stalls. We went by day, but it looks so pretty lit up at night.

Ice Skating Cardiff Christmas
Christmas Lights Cardiff

We walked in and got on the ice rink straight away, but they say you should book. It was loads of fun!  Boo wore a ski suit given to us by an anonymous family.

He was the only one who didn’t come off the ice soaked to his underwear The people of Cowbridge have been incredibly kind to us this Christmas after our problems, it’s really been amazing

Christmas funfair cardiff

It’s all so different to the tropical Christmases we’ve been used to in Port Douglas. I’m Welsh, so this is my normality, I’ve loved being here this year.

There was no way I was going to go on this thing! But they say it gives you an amazing view of Cardiff.

Rides Christmas Cardiff

Cardiff Christmas Markets

The Christmas Market in Cardiff has been running for a long time, since before I left for London and then Australia. It’s centered around the Hayes and Cardiff Market area of the town center.

Christmas Markets in Cardiff

Plenty of shops, plenty of food, plenty of fun! It’s open well into the evening, a good place for a mulled wine or three.

Christmas Market Hayes Cardiff

My boys had never seen mistletoe before. There were many firsts on this trip, from hearing sheep go baa to trying chips and curry sauce. All were good!

Christmas Traditions Cardiff Mistletoe for sale

You see these bratwurst stalls everywhere these days in the UK, it seems. Chef and the boys said they were delicious.

Christmas food market cardiff

We tried this Welsh Cream Liqueur, it was seriously good. I promised I’d give the company a plug. They are a family business from Anglesey, Wales  Condessa Welsh Liqueurs, I love that these small local businesses can give the big names a run for their money.

Cardiff Christmas Drinks

According to the Cardiff Christmas Markets website ( see here) the market and ice skating rink is open this year from 14 November 2019 to 23 December 2019

Things to Do In Cardiff at Christmas

Hayes Island Snack Bar

When you’re done with shopping, Cardiff’s iconic Hayes Island snack bar is there to serve you a cup of tea. It’s been there over 100 years.

Hayes Island Christmas Cardiff

Shopping in Cardiff

Or you could retreat to Cardiff’s beautiful covered shopping arcades. We have some of the best shopping I’ve ever seen in Cardiff.

Christmas Shopping Cardiff

Want to read more about Wales? Back to our main Wales Travel Blog page. Try our posts about The Museum of Welsh Life, Barry Island and Gavin and Stacey or Cardiff’s Doctor Who Connection

This post is being updated today with current information on Cardiff at Christmas and in winter. Hopefully, everything will be current in an hour or so.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!


Thursday 31st of December 2020

Thanks for such a lovely article about the Cardiff city during Christmas. Reading your article made me want to visit cardiff very soon.

Suzanne Sherwood

Tuesday 30th of September 2014

Loved reading about your Cardiff Christmas again . Think 'Flybe' could be interested in the photo of you all on the ice rink for an advert? ! Its a super pic.


Monday 13th of January 2014

I am from Portskewett north of Cardiff and spent a lot of time in Cardiff in my teens. I moved to Australia in 1972 and have visited Wales a few times since then as it will always feel like home to me. My best friend still lives there. Barry Island was a very special place for us and it was a treat to go on an outing to the seaside and I too loved the funfair and couldn't get enough of the Scenic Railway, the best ride there. I really enjoyed your photos and descriptions. Thanks.


Tuesday 14th of January 2014

That's wonderful to hear Vanessa, thanks!

Gina Nitschke

Tuesday 7th of January 2014

I'm so pleased that things turned out OK for you all in Wales, and that you've had a lovely Christmas experience with the whole family together this year. We were once very cheeky and visited Wales only for dinner when we were travelling about the UK, but second time around we've decided that we really must see more, as your posts have inspired us to add Wales to our itinerary, and give it the attention it deserves ;-)


Saturday 4th of January 2014

Fun! It looks like a fabulous place to spend the holidays.


Saturday 4th of January 2014

It was fantastic, thanks Cam. Cardiff rocks!

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