Mermaid Quay (Welsh: Cei'r Fôr-forwyn) is a waterfront shopping and leisure district in Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales.

Since it opened in 1999, the 14,000 sq m (150,000 sq ft) development has become area known for its restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.

Cardiff Waterfront

Mermaid Quay is surrounded by landmark buildings and tourist attractions including:

  • Roald Dahl Plass - a 10,000 capacity outdoor public entertainment arena
  • Pierhead Building
  • Wales Millennium Centre - an Opera and Performing Arts Centre
  • Senedd - the Welsh Assembly Government’s debating chamber
  • Norwegian Church Arts Centre
  • Techniquest - a Science Discovery Centre aimed at children
  • The Red Dragon Centre
Eating & Drinking at Mermaid Quay

There are a variety of restaurants, cafés and bars at Mermaid Quay offering a range of cuisines and atmospheres including:

  • ba orient
  • Bayside Brasserie
  • The Bay Thai & Cantonese Restaurant
  • Bellini’s
  • Bosphorus Turkish Restaurant
  • Cadwalader Ice-Cream Café
  • Café Naz Indian Brasserie
  • Café Rouge
  • Coffee Mania
  • Cosmo pan-Asian buffet restaurant
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Demiro’s Mediterranean Restaurant
  • Eddie’s Diner
  • Fabulous Welshcakes
  • Garcon
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • Herb & Ellie’s Deli
  • Mimosa Kitchen & Bar
  • Nando’s Chicken Restaurant
  • Pearl of the Orient Chinese Restaurant
  • PizzaExpress
  • Signor Valentino Italian Restaurant
  • Salt Bar & Restaurant (Brains)
  • Starbucks
  • Strada
  • Subway
  • Terra Nova Bar & Kitchen (Brains)
  • wagamama

In addition, The Glee Club provides live comedy playing host to some of the world’s stand-up comedians.

Shopping at Mermaid Quay

Boutiques and other retail units in the area include:

  • Castle Galleries
  • Divine
  • Ken Picton Hair & Spa Salon
  • Pethau Bychain Home Furnishings
  • Polka Dot Welsh arts and crafts
  • Zebra II fashion and accessories
  • Blink Optometrists
  • Barclays Bank
  • James Hull Associates Dentist
  • Ladbrokes
  • NatWest Bank
  • Taylors Countrywide Estate Agents
  • Tesco Express

Cardiff Bay and Mermaid Quay have provided the backdrop for numerous episodes of programmes, such as the BBC’s science fiction drama series Doctor Who and Torchwood, with the fictional entrances to the underground Torchwood 3 Institute located in Roald Dahl Plass.


Train services run every 15 minutes between Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Queen Street stations, providing connections to the rest of Cardiff, its Valleys, and the Vale of Glamorgan.


Aquabus and Cardiff CATS provide the Cardiff Waterbus services. The former travels to and from the city centre, whereas the latter travels to and from Penarth.


Various Cardiff Bus services serve Mermaid Quay, particularly the BayCar service, which operates every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 20 minutes on Sundays and during the evening, linking Queen Street station and the rest of the city centre to Cardiff Bay.


Off-road cycle routes run to Mermaid Quay from the City Centre in the north, and from the Cardiff International Sports Village in the west, running beside the A4232. Numerous cycle parking facilities are available all over the area. Arriva Trains Wales permits the carriage of cycles on services between Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Queen Street.


Mermaid Quay has a 380 space car park opposite Techniquest. From the west, the area can be reached from the M4 Junction 32 via the A4232. From the east, Junction 29 is connected to the Bay via the A48.


Ahead of its time when it opened in August 1999, Mermaid Quay was at the centre of the regeneration of the Bay by the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC). Part of the British Government’s Urban Development Programme to regenerate deprived and run-down inner city areas, the CBDC was set up in April 1987 to regenerate 1,100 hectares of derelict docklands of Cardiff and Penarth - once the world's largest coal exporting port – to create Europe’s largest waterfront development.

The Welsh Industrial & Maritime Museum – which held exhibits illustrating the industrial and maritime history of Wales - was demolished to make way for the development. The collection was saved and is now on display in its new home at the new National Waterfront Museum in Swansea.

Before the completion of the Cardiff Bay Barrage in 1999, Cardiff Bay was tidal, with extensive expanses of mud flats exposed at low tide. Construction of the barrage, one of the largest engineering projects in Europe, has turned Cardiff Bay into a 500-acre (2.0 km2) freshwater lake with 8 miles (13 km) of waterfront.”

Since that time there has been vast regeneration of the Bay including the construction of Lloyd George Avenue – a new link road between the city centre and the Bay – numerous iconic buildings, and residential and commercial developments including Mermaid Quay. Cardiff Bay is now one of the top destinations in Wales attracting a range of visitors from South Wales day-trippers to tourists from around the globe.


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