Wales Millennium Centre

Top choice arts centre in Cardiff

Image by Gail Johnson Five Hundred Pixels

The centrepiece and symbol of Cardiff Bay's regeneration is the £106-million Wales Millennium Centre, an architectural masterpiece of stacked Welsh slate in shades of purple, green and grey topped with an overarching bronzed steel shell. Designed by Welsh architect Jonathan Adams, it opened in 2004 as Wales' premier arts complex, housing major cultural organisations such as the Welsh National Opera, National Dance Company, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Literature Wales, HiJinx Theatre and Tŷ Cerdd (Music Centre Wales).

The roof above the main entrance is pierced by 2m-high letter-shaped windows, spectacularly backlit at night, which spell out phrases from the work of Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis. Beneath it are housed a 1900-seat theatre, a recital hall, a studio theatre, a cabaret venue, and other performance and recording spaces.

Tours are available only for large groups, by appointment, but you can wander through the public lobby at will.