The brilliant things to try in Cardiff if you're in your 20s

Being in your 20s is all about trying new things and the best thing about being this age is that anything goes. You want to try out a new hobby or another completely new experience? Now is the time to do it. And if you're lucky enough to live in or near Cardiff then you are genuinely spoiled for choice.

There are so many things to do, people to meet, and adventures to be had in our varied and culture-rich city. No matter what your vibe is, whether you're outdoorsy, sporty, creative, or musical, there will always be something new to try out.

Studies show that young people are not just about going out and drinking nowadays with 40% of Gen-Zers limiting alcohol consumption in 2023 compared to people over 65 who did not, according to research from Mintel. So if you're looking for more varied ideas as well as the best places to let your hair down we've pulled a list of a whole mix of things you can try out if you are navigating your 20s in the capital. Find out about the latest events in Wales by signing up to our What's On newsletter here.

READ MORE: The perfect town with a castle, old pubs and breath-taking scenery you can get to from Cardiff in half an hour without a car

READ MORE: The cheapest and most expensive Wetherspoon pubs in Wales

Enjoy some wholesome experiences around the city

People picnicking and in a park next to a castle in Cardiff
People picnicking and enjoying the weather in Bute Park -Credit:Mark Lewis

If you are more about the easy-going lifestyle or want to par-take in the 'soft life' TikTok trend you might have seen floating around then Cardiff has got you covered. If you haven't already here are some spots you will definitely want to check out:

  • Paint a mug (or another ornament) at Peggy Pots: Located in central Cardiff, in Paper Mill Road, you can book not just for kids but also adult parties or visit on your own or with a friend and paint one of the ceramic objects which gets glazed in their kiln which you can then pick up a week later.

  • Go shopping for something vintage or antique: Some might argue that finding old household items is becoming increasingly trendy as you can get some incredible finds at places like the Pumping Station, Jacobs Antiques, or Tremorfa indoor market.

  • Visit Sherman Theatre for an authentic experience that's designed to inspire people from all backgrounds: The Sherman is one of those places that feels like you are definitely part of something special when you visit and they show all kinds of shows for ticket prices that don't cost the earth so it's ideal if you are working on a budget.

  • Have a picnic in one of the many parks in the city: Speaking of money there are countless parks in the city where you can go and relax and bring some food with you for no cost at all. And, especially as the weather gets better, this is something we can definitely make the most of in the capital right now.

  • Pick up some hidden gem finds at one of Cardiff's many charity shops: Cardiff has a whole range of charity shops where you can grab a bargain, which is good for the bank account and your conscience, especially if you are trying to avoid contributing to the environmental impact of the fashion industry. If you are looking for a great place to start Albany Road in Roath is packed with charity shops in the area.

  • Go for a pedal boat ride on Roath lake and pretend you're in a rom-com: This has got to be one of the best date activities in Cardiff and the perfect place to snap a few pictures with your favourite person in the sunshine.

  • Go coffee shop-hopping in Pontcanna: If you're a lover of cutesy cafes and good food Pontcanna has got you covered if you want to grab a flat white and read a book in a scenic location or catch up with friends. Some must-visit cafes in this leafy part of the city include the likes of Kin and Ilk, Uncommon Ground, and Milkwood.

  • Enjoy the city's history and visit a different landmark every week: Whether it's a look around the museum, a visit to the Senedd, or just a stroll past the majestic castle there are some incredible landmarks in Cardiff that it's worth making sure you make the most out of – especially if you're new to the city.

The venues where you can try fun activities in town with a drink in hand

Group of people next to interactive darts board located in Cardiff city centre
At WalesOnline we love a game of interactive darts at Flight Club -Credit:Bethany Gavaghan/WalesOnline

But while figures for young people drinking alcohol might be dropping overall that's not to say they have stopped altogether by any means. And in Cardiff there's far more to the nightlife scene than just regular pubs and bars.

In the city centre there are all sorts of venues where you can go and enjoy a couple of laidback drinks in the evening while also doing an activity. And with lots within a short walking distance of one another you could even make a night of it by going to multiple venues – ideal for a hen/stag night or even birthday parties.

Some of the venues you can go and drink at while doing an activity in the centre include:

  • Flight Club: Here you can enjoy a game of interactive darts and purchase your drink of choice at the bar or even head up to the rooftop terrace, which has also just been given a makeover and is looking amazing.

  • Par59: This is a big one. Quite literally. From the outside the venue, owned by Gareth Bale, looks like your average city centre bar. But when you go inside the 23,000 sq ft space opens up onto different levels and is a swanky place to have a game of mini golf. Unlike other mini golf venues this one has a really slick, laidback feel.

  • Golf Fang: Speaking of golf then if this is your thing Golf Fang is the place to be. With décor that is well and truly thinking outside the box anything goes in this fun-filled setting where you can zip down a slide, pretend you are on Jeremy Kyle, and walk past a mini red light district while sipping on your favourite cocktail. They have also recently started serving pizza in the diner which has been added to the site as well as an arcade with every game you could imagine.

  • Pins: No matter what age category you are in a game of bowling never gets old. And these days there are so many more ways to experience a game without changing into someone else's shoes in a brightly-lit room which feels more like a giant children's birthday party than a place to relax and see your friends. Pins seems to have solved that problem and seems like the place to be to avoid the classic bowling chaos. You can also try out karaoke, shuffle boarding, pool, the escape rooms, and air hockey in the same place.

  • Boom Battle Bar: Boom Battle Bar is a great place to spend the whole night in as not only can you try out a host of games, including American pool, axe throwing, electric darts, and shuffleboard bounce, but some of it also turns into a dancefloor in the evening.

  • Roxy Ballroom: This booze and ball game haven has a massive range of games you can play in their Cardiff branch so is definitely one to add to your bucket list and become a pro at everything. Try WalesOnline Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features.

  • Ballie Ballerson: If you want to feel like a kid again Ballie Ballerson is one massive explosion of fun. One of the newbies to the Cardiff nightlife scene, you can throw yourself into a massive ball pit, dance to all the best pop songs, and try out one of their many different drinking concoctions.

READ MORE: The 'stuff of dreams' Welsh beauty spot with an ethereal woodland and 'best beach'

READ MORE: 'I hiked to the UK's most remote gig and it was genuinely moving'

Experience Cardiff’s indie scene

Chapter Arts Centre in Market Road, Cardiff
Chapter Arts Centre in Market Road, Cardiff -Credit:South Wales Echo

There's been a big push on turning Cardiff into a metropolitan hub full of big bases for large businesses in recent years with parts of the city centre looking almost unrecognisable in comparison to how they were 10 years ago and new buildings popping up all the time. But Cardiff still has plenty of character and vibrant communities including lots of spaces for the creative/indie type:

  • Broaden your horizons by spending a day working in Tramshed: If you are keen to grow your network and meet new people in different industries Tramshed Tech in Grangetown is full of people working in independent companies and offers a huge co-working space with all different amenities. It is a great place to find out more about different sectors of work in Cardiff and Wales, especially if you work from home.

  • Find your people at Chapter Arts Centre: With an art gallery, independent cinema, café bar, performance space, and community space Chapter Arts Centre is a diverse venue which was established by artists Christine Kinsey and Bryan Jones and writer Mik Flood in 1971 to celebrate experimentation and radical thought. Since then they have been a catalyst for creativity and critical thinking for people in Cardiff and beyond. So if you want to open your mind to new ways of thinking it's definitely worth spending some time here.

  • Express yourself at The Art Workshop: This welcoming and supportive independent art school is for people of all ages and is based in Rhiwbina Garden Village, Cardiff. Their ethos is about allowing to express themselves through art and have the opportunity to enjoy an art school experience in the community.

  • Go for a spot of shopping at the independent shops in the arcades: There are six Victorian arcades in Cardiff offering an intimate environment for shoppers who enjoy an alternative to the well-known high street with plenty of independent shops to peruse.

Explore your adventurous side

Woman on Cardiff Principality Stadium's brand new zip wire
WalesOnline reporter Stephanie Colderick trying out the zip wire at the Principality stadium's latest attraction, Scale -Credit:WalesOnline/Rob Browne
  • Blow the cobwebs out with a boat ride with Bay Island Voyages in Cardiff Bay: Feel the wind in your hair as you zip across the water and enjoy the scenic views of the bay from a different perspective.

  • Challenge yourself with a session of paddle boarding: You can do this in Cardiff Bay, learning on calm waters to improve your balance and soak up the sunshine while paddling around the picturesque area, but there are loads of places you can paddle board in Cardiff thanks to the River Taff giving us so much water running through the city.

  • Go for a spin at an indoor karting centre: TeamSport Go Karting Cardiff is a great place to race against your friends on the fast-paced tracks and enjoy the adrenaline rush of competitive karting right in the heart of the city. You can book all sorts of packages at this site as it caters to all types of groups. You can even book corporate go-karting if you've got some keen colleagues who are willing to go along with you. This definitely sounds like it would be a bonding moment.

  • Visit Cardiff's iconic aqua park: This is definitely another bucket list activity if you live in the capital in the summer. The company describes itself as offering the UK's most exciting water aqua parks of their kind featuring the largest collection of bespoke big impact water obstacles.

  • Try a guided cycling tour around Cardiff: If you are new to Cardiff and are keen to explore all the landmarks and hidden gems of the capital on two wheels this is a perfect way of seeing the city from a relaxed point of view – pedalling through the streets, learning about the city's history, and enjoying an active adventure. Ding Cycle Tours are a great one to go on as this not-for-profit social enterprise also supports the local community. The price of the tours covers costs and any money they make is reinvested in the business so they can give back to others.

  • Delve into the world of virtual reality gaming at Active Reality in Cardiff: There's nothing that says 2024 quite like putting on a headset and entering a whole other immersive world. Active Reality offers people a chance to go on an electrifying adventure that really does make you feel like you have transcended reality, plunging you into the heart of mind-bending gameplay. There are venues at Eastern Leisure Centre and Llanishen Leisure Centre and according to their website their experiences are designed for both seasoned gamers and curious newbies.

  • Get to grips with the indoor rock climbing at Boulders Climbing Centre in Cardiff: Being young is all about challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone and rock climbing is one of those things that always look easy but once you give it a go yourself you realise just how challenging it is. This is the perfect place to test your limits and scale the walls on different routes in the heart of the city.

  • Face the elements with a spot of cold-water swimming: We've all heard about the benefits of cold-water swimming so why not try it out for yourself? It's supposed to be great for your health, and endorphins, and we are lucky enough in Cardiff to have places where we can try this bracing activity out safely. You can attend a dipping session at Lisvane and Llanishen reservoir where supervisors provide can peace of mind for swimmers of all levels while reconnecting with nature.

  • Scale the Principality Stadium and see the city like you've never seen it before: If you're looking to stay dry but still enjoy an adrenaline-rich experience scaling the Principality Stadium seems like an obvious thing to try. The stadium recently launched their highly-anticipated project which has been 14 years in the making. Scale allows you to get a bird's eye view of the city's sky line while feeling the rush as you traverse the roof's edge, zoom along the zip line, or abseil back down to earth.

You can tell us what life is like for you if you are a young person living in Wales right now by contacting: bethany.gavaghan@reachplc.com