The Very Best Live Music Venues in Cardiff - The Exchange Hotel

The Very Best Live Music Venues in Cardiff

tramshed cardiff

Cardiff is a city that is famous for its music. From being home to the oldest record shop in Wales, Spiller Records, to producing some of the world’s most amazing bands like the Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers, there’s no surprise that the city offers some of the most popular live music venues.

Whether you love an intimate gig, a stadium show or a cosy acoustic set, Cardiff has the perfect live music venue for you. Check out some of the very best ones below!

The Globe

The Globe - The Exchange

Situated on Albany Road, The Globe originally started out as a fully operational cinema. Today, the music venue has a capacity of 350 and is famous for showcasing rising stars such as Royal Blood, Catfish & The Bottlemen and Public Service Broadcasting.

One of the most popular music venues in Cardiff, The Globe has a baroque style inside, with a bar that serves a range of interesting beers and ciders and a reputation for hosting some of the best alternative artists in the city.

The Moon

The Moon - Live music venues Cardiff

One of the more intimate live music venues in Cardiff, The Moon has a capacity of just 150 and hosts a diverse range of musical genres inside its walls.

From folk and country music, to acoustic disco, funk, Motown and soul, The Moon offers gig goers a bit of everything. They specialise in serving hard liquor and their famous 5 dollar shakes. Set in the heart of the city, it’s the perfect venue to enjoy great live music whilst staying in the centre.

Clwb Ifor Bach

Clwb ifor back
source: Soundscape Magazine

Located opposite The Moon, Clwb Ifor Bach is one of the most popular live music venues in Cardiff.

Named after a Welsh leader who rebelled against the English during the 12th century, the venue was first opened in 1983 and is used as a hub for native Welsh speakers. Don’t worry, you will be let through the door if you can’t speak Welsh, but they do love their tradition.

Offering amazing live music across three floors, you can expect to hear a mixture of indie, rock and punk from a selection of homegrown talent and international acts.

Live Lounge

live lunge live music venues cardiff

A small music venue that doubles as a bar and restaurant, Live Lounge is the place to catch live music at any time of the day, seven days a week.

Throughout the day, you can expect to hear lots of wonderful acoustic music, when it starts to get dark they tend to take it up a few gears with some high energy cover bands.

If you stay late enough, the stage is eventually cleared to make way for a dance floor and a DJ takes over.

Gwdihŵ Café Bar

Gwdihw cafe bar
source: Likealocalguide

Gwdihw Café Bar, located near the Motorpoint Arena, is a cosy, homely venue, which promotes a variety of music genres.With an ever-changing lineup and series of events, this bar has been referred to as one of the best live music venues in Wales.

Offering a lot of charm, a range of music including funk, soul, house and hip hop, and a fantastic beer garden, this fabulous little venue is well worth a visit.

St David’s Hall

St David's Hall Cardiff

Next up in our guide to the very best live music venues in Cardiff is the famous St David’s Hall. This spectacular space is the National Concert Hall of Wales, hosting the country’s proms. Opened in 1983 by the Queen Mother, the hall’s brutalist architectural style has caused the building to become an important part of the city’s landscape.

It’s not just the place for classical music fans, St David’s Hall also provides a varied programme in comedy, performing arts and a range of music events from jazz, soul and pop.



Cardiff’s Tramshed is one of the city’s newest live music venues. Located just across the River Taf, it is set within a historic old tram depot, giving it a great cultural significance.

First opened in October 2015, Tramshed offers music lovers a unique venue to enjoy some of the best up and coming acts from around the UK and across the world.

As well as providing a range of alternative entertainment, this bi-lingual venue also holds a bar and café using locally sourced ingredients.

The Motorpoint Arena

motorpoint arena

Next up is of course the Motorpoint Arena. Possibly one of the city’s most famous venues, the arena is located at the heart of the city and regularly attract big names from all over the world.

Since it was first opened in 1993 by Dame Shirley Bassey, the venue has played host to the likes of Beyonce, Bob Dylan, and Lady Gaga, among other big stars.

With a maximum capacity of 7,500 people, attending a concert here won’t be an intimate experience, but it’s the best venue in the country to see international artists.

Cardiff University Students’ Union

Cardiff University Students Union
source: Buzz Magazine

If you’re looking for a live music venue that is cheap, look no further than Cardiff’s Students’ Union. With two venues, Y Plas and The Great Hall, you’ll usually find that there will be multiple events on at the same time.

Y Plas is for more intimate gigs, whereas The Great Hall welcomes chart toppers and great bands to play to a 1,600-strong crowd.

Porter’s Bar

Porter's Cardiff

Porter’s Bar offers music lovers a weekly open mic night and remains one of Cardiff’s best kept secrets on the city’s music circuit.

A community of ridiculously talented performers gather every Tuesday to showcase their latest material and collaborate with one another in acoustic covers of vintage pop. So, if you love watching amazingly talented performers, don;t miss out on their next event.


Undertone Cardiff
source: rock shows and DIY punk per

If you’re into grunge, hardcore bands and offbeat raves, head down to Undertone. This grimy live music venue is a basement that specialises in dirty rock shows and DIY punk performances.

It’s a must visit if you love a mosh pit or two.

Millennium Music Hall

jazz bar cardiff
Source: WikiCommons, grahamwell

Last but not least is Cardiff’s Millennium Music Hall. Known as the nations home for the performing arts, this venue also offers visitors some amazing live music opportunities.

the Centre provides an extensive programme of world class entertainment, showcases Welsh creativity and talents, partners with international artistic companies, and offers creative learning and community engagement opportunities aimed at increasing accessibility to art and culture.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the very best live music venues in Cardiff. If you’re planning on visiting any of these amazing spaces and need a place to stay the night, look no further than the historic Exchange Hotel. Set in the beautiful Cardiff Bay, this luxurious hotel is the perfect destination for couples, groups of friends or family to enjoy an unforgettable overnight experience in the city. 

With a range of unmissable offers and packages, there’s nowhere better to rest your head after discovering some of Cardiff’s amazing live music venues. To book your stay, get in touch with our friendly team today on 02920 107050.