Cardiff is the capital, largest and most populous of Wales it is also the country’s commercial centre. Industry has played a major part in Cardiff's development for many centuries, but today notable companies such as Legal & General, Admiral Insurance, HBOS, Zurich, ING Direct, The AA, British Gas and BT, all operate large national or regional headquarters and contact centres in the city.
Cardiff is the one of the most popular tourist destination cities in the United Kingdom, receiving 18.3 million visitors in 2010 and generating £852 million for the city's economy. The majority of Cardiff's shopping portfolio is in the city centre around Queen Street and St. Mary Street, with large suburban retail parks located in Cardiff Bay, Culverhouse Cross, Leckwith, Newport Road and Pontprennau, together with markets in the city centre and Splott.
Cardiff has many landmark buildings such as the Millennium Stadium, Pierhead Building and the Welsh National Museum. However Cardiff is also famous for Cardiff Castle, Llandaff Cathedral and the Wales Millennium Centre.Cardiff Castle is a major tourist attraction in the city and is situated in the heart of the city centre. The National History Museum at St Fagans in Cardiff is a large open air museum housing dozens of buildings from throughout Welsh history that have been moved to the site in Cardiff.
Cardiff has a strong nightlife and is home to many bars, pubs and clubs. Most clubs and bars are situated in the city centre, especially St. Mary Street, and more recently Cardiff Bay has built up a strong night scene, with many modern bars & restaurants. The Brewery Quarter on St. Mary Street is a recently developed venue for bars and restaurant with a central courtyard. Charles Street is also a popular part of the city.