This Picturesque Small City Is A Must-Visit For Art Lovers Visiting Europe

From the Louvre in Paris to the Murano Glass Factory in Italy, there's no shortage of art destinations to visit in Europe. If you're an art lover planning a trip, there's one city that might have flown under your radar. While it may be the largest city in Wales, Cardiff is actually the smallest capital in the world. But what it lacks in land mass, it makes up for in art, history, and culture. In Cardiff, art is not just confined to the galleries and museums. Take a stroll through the city, and you'll see your fair share of picturesque landscapes, street art, and historic architecture. The latter is not surprising as another record Cardiff holds is the city with the most castles in the world. 

A popular attraction, Cardiff Castle also frequently plays host to concerts, film screenings, and festivals throughout the year. Check the events calendar, and you might be able to catch a show at a castle while you're there. One of the qualities of Cardiff is an amalgamation of old and new, which is evident in the city's art scene. From established to emerging, the galleries showcase a wide variety of artists. The enormous murals found across the city are both impressive and reflective of the diversity and history of the city's inhabitants.

Cardiff is an art epicenter

The National Museum Cardiff houses over 500 years of art history. Art enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the museum is home to the largest collection of Impressionist art, second only to Paris. There may be a cost for special events or exhibitions but otherwise, admission is free. If you do plan to visit, take note that it's closed most Mondays. 

If you're looking to explore home-grown talent, visit Blackwater Gallery by Cardiff Bay. The independent space is dedicated to supporting a wide variety of Welsh and Welsh-based artists. When you need a break from browsing, visit the gallery's on-site coffee house and bar. Take in the views of the bay while enjoying some drinks and pastries. 

If art collecting is more your speed, you'll want to head over to the Albany Gallery. You'll find works from some of the most prominent Welsh and British artists there. The galley has rotating solo and group shows each month so be sure to look into the art that will be on display before you go.  

The city itself is a work of art

Nestled between the historic architecture is the city's vibrant street art scene. This is what we mean when we say Cardiff effortlessly blends the old and the new. Rich in culture and colors, the city's history is splashed onto the walls of the buildings that have stood there for hundreds of years. Among the many colorful murals and installations in the city, the ones by award-winning creative studio UNIFY are not to be missed. The murals aim to celebrate the city's diversity and multiculturalism. Start near the Wales Millennium Centre on James Street to see the duo's infamous "Butetown Mona Lisa". Then make your way on foot across the city to view the "Gary Speed" tribute mural at the intersection of Atlas Street and Leckwith Road. Whether you prefer to wander galleries or the mural-lined streets, Cardiff is a destination every art lover should visit.