National Museum Cardiff

National Museum Cardiff
Cathays Park
Vale of Glamorgan
CF10 3NP



general enquiries - Welsh

general enquiries - English


(029) 20397951


(029) 20373219

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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Discover art, archaeology, natural history and geology. With a busy programme of exhibitions and events, we have something to amaze everyone, whatever your interest – and admission is free!

Although not the oldest of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales’s buildings, this is the first location of National Museum Wales, officially opened in 1927.

Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, today it houses Wales’s national archaeology, art, geology and natural history collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions.

Discover the secrets of our ancestors from the Neanderthals a quarter of a million years ago in the Archaeology gallery, Origins: in search of early Wales. Everyday objects and beautiful artefacts tell the stories of people in Wales and explore our links with the past.

The Art collection at National Museum Cardiff is one of Europe's finest. See five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including one of Europe's best collections of Impressionist works.

Take an amazing journey in Evolution of Wales from the very beginning of time to the present day. The story begins in space with the Big Bang and takes you on a 4,600 million-year journey, bringing you face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Find out how life evolved in Wales and which dinosaurs roamed the land.

Witness the diverse Natural History of Wales on an expedition which begins at the seashore and ends in the mountains. Experience some of the unique environments that make Wales home to over 900 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tues-Sun 10.00-17.00
Open Bank holidays

Admission charges

Free entry

The Welsh national archaeology, art, geology, botany and zoology collections. Highlights include one of the finest Impressionist art collections in Europe and the 'Evolution of Wales' exhibition - the history of Wales from the Big Bang until today, complete with dinosaurs and woolly mammoth.

Collection details

Archaeology, Coins and Medals, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Natural Sciences

Key artists and exhibits

  • Impressionist
  • Cezanne
  • Manet
  • Monet
  • Renoir
  • La Parisienne
  • The Blue Lady
  • Rodin
  • The Kiss
  • Evolution of Wales
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
close up photograph of insect

I Spy... Nature

  • 19 July 2014 — 2 April 2015 *on now

Come and experience how scientists’ observations lead to new discoveries.

A hands-on, family-friendly exhibition allowing you to try your hand at observing and recording nature. Experience how a Victorian naturalist sketched the natural world, or how modern technology allows scientists to image objects in 3-D.

Discover how insects view nature differently, or get up close and personal with dozens of natural history objects under the microscope.

Suitable for

  • Any age


photograph of glass bottles

Maurice Marinot: A Passion for Glass

  • 20 December 2014 — 7 June 2015 *on now

Maurice Marinot (1882-1960) was a pioneer in the development of glass as a studio art form.

Born in Troyes, France, Marinot began his career as a painter, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and associated with the Fauvist movement.

In 1911, a visit to the glassworks of the Viard brothers at Bar-sur-Seine was the catalyst for an all-encompassing passion for glass that would endure for twenty-six years. Drawing initially on his skill as a painter, Marinot decorated glass with striking, brightly coloured enamels. Around 1920, he began to create his own highly experimental glass forms that he considered as sculpture. A combination of failing health and the closure of the Viard’s works in 1937 caused Marinot to stop making glass and he returned to painting and drawing.

This exhibition will bring together forty-four pieces of glass from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Leicester Arts and Museums Service, reuniting them for the first time since they left the Marinot family in the 1960s and 1970s.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


photograph of early photographer

Historic Photography Uncovered

  • 24 January — 19 April 2015 *on now

This exhibition traces the evolution of photography, as a scientific process, as a social record and a medium for artistic expression.

The photographic material on display dates from the mid-19th to mid-20th century and shows how the history of photography relates to the museum’s own collections and the visual history of Wales.

Discover the story of the Dillwyn Llewelyn family who were based at the Penllergare estate near Swansea in the mid-19th century. Their pioneering experiments in the new medium created astonishing images of the south Wales landscape and of their family life and social activities.

Part of the display will also look at how photographic processes actually work, exploring the chemistry behind the images.

In addition, visitors will be able to view a wider selection of the images now digitised as part of the project, via the on-line database which will be available in the gallery.

The project of digitising historic photographs and the research of the subjects in these images has been generously funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Cedric Morris Portraits

  • 14 March — 28 June 2015 *on now

A small display bringing together some of the extraordinary portraits by Cedric Morris (1889-1982) in the collection. 

Suitable for

  • Family friendly



  • 18 April — 4 October 2015

Did you ever expect to visit a ceramics exhibition and be asked to bring your vinyl collection along with you? Or to be invited to walk over and destroy one of the exhibits?

Fragile? showcases the beauty and diversity of contemporary ceramics practice in its widest sense. It explores the artistic and expressive possibilities of ceramic as a material, including the contradiction between two of its inherent qualities – durability and fragility.

The exhibition includes key works from the collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, shown alongside major, exciting installations commissioned from Phoebe Cummings, Clare Twomey and Keith Harrison. Ambitious new works by four Wales-based artists – Claire Curneen, Walter Keeler, Lowri Davies and Adam Buick – will be shown together with specially-commissioned films that will delve into each maker’s creative process.

Fragile? is generously funded by The Colwinston Charitable Trust and supported by The Derek Williams Trust.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Guided tour: Highlights of Art

  • 5 July — 26 October 2015

A free highlights tour of some of our art galleries with a Volunteer Guide.

Highlights of Art: Collecting Treasures – a themed guided tour of the art galleries looking at the role of art collectors and their importance to the Museum today. This tour will highlight works from the collections of pioneering art patrons such as Watkin Williams-Wynn, Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, Wilfred De Winton, William Goscombe John and Derek Williams among others.

Highlights of Art: A Journey through Landscape – this themed guided tour will look at the representation of landscape throughout the art collection and will highlight works from artists including Van Gogh, Cézanne, Morisot, L.S Lowry and Richard Wilson.

Tuesdays - Collecting Treasures
Wednesdays - A Journey Through Landscape
Thursdays - A Journey Through Landscape
Fridays - Collecting Treasures
Saturdays - A Journey Through Landscape
Sundays - Collecting Treasures

Suitable for