National Museum Cardiff

Cardiff, United Kingdom

The National Museum of Wales was founded in 1905, with its royal charter granted in 1907. Construction of a new building in the civic complex of Cathays Park began in 1912, but owing to the First World War it did not open to the public until 1922, with the official opening taking place in 1927. The museum has collections of botany, fine and applied art, geology, and zoology.

The National Museum of Art opened in 2011. The collection of Old Master paintings in Cardiff includes, among other notable works, The Virgin and Child between Saint Helena and St Francis by Amico Aspertini, The Poulterer's Shop by Frans Snyders, A Calm by Jan van de Cappelle Since 2016, the museum has had Rembrandt's 1657 Portrait of Catharina Hooghsaet on permanent display.

There are also collections of landscape paintings, portraits, French art and works by all of the notable Welsh artists, including landscapes by Richard Wilson and the pioneering Thomas Jones. The collection of 20th-century art includes works by sculptors Jacob Epstein, Herbert Ward and Eric Gill and painters including Stanley Spencer, the British Impressionist Wynford Dewhurst, L. S. Lowry, and Oskar Kokoschka.



Your name


Cardiff, United Kingdom
See all sites in Cardiff


Founded: 1905
Category: Museums in United Kingdom

More Information


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Steven Meyer (5 months ago)
This is a fantastic museum with a lot of variety. The ground floor includes massive natural history displays that document the geological creation of Wales. They have plenty of areas for all age groups, and the walking path that follows the chronological evolution from protozoa to the dinosaurs to the Wolly Mammoths and the rise of human agriculture is amazingly well done. The first floor has a massive variety of artwork, from classics like Monet and Van Gough to modern day artists. A free museum that offers this much is rare to common across and well worth the visit.
Amy Victoria (6 months ago)
Wow, what a fabulous museum! Absolutely huge with everything you could think of and it was all for free! Lots to discover about dinosaurs and local fossils found, nature and a journey through time from when the universe began, to the present day. Upstairs was a few rooms of art and statues. It is basically a mini National history museum in London. Highly recommend!
Jack Coupe (6 months ago)
Excellent museum, I was most impressed with the Natural History section. Shame I didn't have time to explore all the displays fully. A most elegant building. The shop has lots of choice too and there us a cafe
David Woolley (9 months ago)
Firstly, the building itself is beautiful inside and out. The museum is well set out, informative, and lots to see. The ground floor focuses on the natural history of Wales, the first floor on the history of art. A casual look would probably take around an hour and a half, but it's easy to spend much longer. There is no charge to visit, but donations are welcome. Recommended.
Javier Alvarez (10 months ago)
Wonderful museum. Free entrance. Ideal for all ages. Best section is clearly about biology and paleontology where you will find lots of animals including high quality fossils. The building itself is huge and has lots of art. There are other sections on the museum worth to visit. Toilets are downstairs. If you visit Cardiff go there.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mingarry Castle Ruins

Mingarry Castle was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Originally built in the 13th century for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, the castle has had many different occupants. King James IV of Scotland used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. In 1515 the castle was besieged by the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh and again two years later when they finally took the castle.

In 1588 the chief of the Clan MacLean of Duart resided there after capturing the chief of the Clan MacIan of Ardnamurchan. In 1588, one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, named the San Juan de Sicilia, landed on Mull and MacLean of Duart used troops from the ship to aid him in his warring against the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the MacIans of Ardnamurchan.