- Explore the interactive experiences at Techniquest, which have been enjoyed by over five million visitors since opening in 1986.
- Go stargazing, journey through space and get a close-up of exploded stars and distant galaxies at Wales’s only digital planetarium.
- See the popular science centre’s biggest exhibition ever, the Big Machine, and learn all about engineering.
- Come and marvel at Techniquest’s very own hydrogen rocket, hot air balloon, treasure chest plus much more!
- The longest established science centre in the United Kingdom, Techniquest is an independent registered educational charity.
Techniquest is a science discovery centre situated on the waterfront of the scenic Cardiff Bay in South Wales. Founded by Cardiff University’s Professor John Beetlestone and his colleagues, this Cardiff science museum is world-renowned for creating brilliant exhibits and programmes. Visited by over five million people a year, the museum opened its doors to the public in 1986. An independent registered educational charity, the museum is funded by a variety of origins including admission charges and the Welsh Government. The popular science discovery centre has been housed in several different sites, including the gas showroom opposite Cardiff Castle and Cardiff Bay’s pre-fabricated industrial building. Techniquest’s current location was designed by Paul Koralek of ABK architects around a former engineering plant.
There are a lot of reasons that this science museum is worth visiting. Awarded Governing Member status in the Association of Science and Technology Centres (ASTC), the Design Council of the UK also granted Techniquest’s fascinating exhibits Millennium Product status due to their brilliance.
The magnificent waterfront venue allows visitors to explore a variety of spectacular exhibitions focusing on key themes including the environment, world issues, biomedical science, chemistry and space, which will captivate science-mad adults and children of all ages. From experiencing an earthquake on a simulator, building your own firework, finding out what it takes to be an astronaut to playing a giant keyboard with your feet, there are two floors of fun, interactive and mind-boggling exhibitions. Check out the mystifying Kugel exhibition where you can move a gigantic granite ball with just one finger, have some fun with the creatively positioned mirrors that create fascinating optical illusions, and create your very own ghosts in the astonishing ghost exhibition. Fancy yourself as a surgeon? There is even a virtual operating table where can learn how to virtually perform a pacemaker implantation.
Little explores are encouraged to use all of their senses and get as hands-on as possible to discover the awe-inspiring world of science. In the Discovery Room, delve into curiosity boxes that cover a variety of topics including forensic science, magnets and fossils. Don’t miss the Pawprints in the Summer Sky astronomical show, which is especially for kids under seven years old. Young astronomers can learn about the constellations and search for animals in the stars.
Prepare to be wowed by the live family shows at the science theatre, where you can unearth a world of colour, chemical reactions and loud blasts! Some of the shows even require audience participation. Home to Cardiff’s 30-seat planetarium, you can watch some stunning shows about the solar system.
Looking for more days out in Wales? From exploring the coastline by boat to catching a show at the Wales Millennium Centre, there are heaps of fun things to do in Cardiff. If you want to enjoy some nature and do a spot of bird spotting, visit Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve. Plus, it’s free to visit.
What to know before you go
- The science museum in Cardiff is suitable for children of all ages. Techniquest Cardiff offers toddler days, where more science-related activities are available for pre-school children.
- Expect to spend at least two hours or more at Techniquest.
- There is wheelchair access to Techniquest, including to the main entrance and to all parts of the building with the use of a lift. There are also a limited number of wheelchairs available to borrow.
- Unfortunately the planetarium is not wheelchair accessible.
- There is a disabled toilet available on each floor.
- Please be aware that a small number of exhibits are not suitable for those with a pacemaker or any other implanted medical device. These are clearly marked by a symbol on the exhibit label. Ask staff for further help on arrival.
- Techniquest Cardiff is buggy friendly and there are baby-changing facilities available.
- Lockers are available for visitors to use.
- The planetarium and science theatre shows usually run at the weekend and in the school holidays.
- Make some time to browse in Cardiff Bay’s biggest gift shop. The shop sells books, stationery, science kits and pocket money toys.
- There is an on-site café serving with a wide selection of sandwiches, snacks and drinks. There are also some great family-friendly restaurants in Mermaid Quay, including Bill’s, Pizza Express and Wagamama.
- Cardiff Central railway station is approximately a 23-minute walk away. From Cardiff Central, there are direct services to major cities throughout England, including London Paddington and Manchester Piccadilly. A taxi from the station would take about seven minutes, or you can take buses 6, 8, 304 and X8 from near the station to Cardiff Bay. It's also bus stop 5 on the City Sightseeing tour route.
- There is a AquaBus waterbus service that runs from Cardiff Castle via Penarth to the bay. It is has full wheelchair access.
- By bicycle, Cardiff Bay is well connected to Cardiff city centre by the Taff Trail cycle path.
- If you are arriving by car, Cardiff Bay is easily accessed via the M4 motorway. There is a Q-Park in Pierhead Street, which is about an 8-minute walk away. The science museum offers a 15% discount rate for visitors who pre-book parking.
- There are several NCP car parks in Cardiff city centre, including Cardiff Rapports (CF10 2EH), Cardiff Westgate (CF10 1DZ) and Cardiff Central (CF10 1LA).