I love to lose an hour our two wandering the historic arcades in Cardiff city centre. Scattered either side of St Mary’s Street, there are around five and they are a breath of fresh air from all the chain stores on the high street in Cardiff. If you're going to visit Cardiff I highly recommend a trip to the arcades.
There are so many amazing shops hidden in the Arcades but I would say Spillers is the best place to start when exploring them. Spillers stocks a large range of CDs and records, and prides itself on catering to the non-mainstream end of the market. They have lots of in-store gigs promote local talent.
Duke Street Arcade has great music shop too in the shape of Catapult Records. It stocks electro, dubstep, techno and dance.
It's in the Royal Arcade that you'll find Wally's Deli. Royal Arcade opened in 1858 and is the oldest surviving arcade in Cardiff. Wally's Deli is named after its founder - Walter Salamon. Walter's family were originally from Poland, and came to the UK in 1939 from Rohrbach (near Vienna) whilst fleeing from the Nazis.In 2011, Wally’s Kaffeehaus opened upstairs. This Viennese-style coffee house specializes in open sandwiches. My favourite thing to eat there is the sharing platters of cold meats or cheeses. The menu draws on the deli produce downstairs, so if you particularly like something chances are you can buy it on the way out. Look at all the lovely
Wally's is a lovely family business, which has become a Cardiff institution. I'm always popping in and buying unusual things to try. I'll be stocking up on continental goodies from there for Christmas.
A place all make up fans and beauty bloggers might want to visit is the only e.l.f in Europe which is in the Royal Arcade in Cardiff. The arcades are full of independent shops so I urge you to pay a visit if you ever come to Cardiff. They have a completely different feel from other shopping areas in the city and you will find some unique and unusual treats in them.
If you want to check out more things to do in Cardiff check out the Millennium Hotels Guide to Cardiff and the Blogger vs Expert Guide to Cardiff that I took part in.