Shopping in Cardiff is typical of shopping in all the big UK cities and is a pleasant experience for visitors, who can stroll peacefully along the pretty Victorian arcades and pedestrianised shopping streets in the city centre and browse through well-known shops like Marks and Spencer, Boots, Topshop and Virgin, as well as food and craft markets and smaller boutiques. The main shopping streets in Cardiff are Castle, Duke, St Mary, Queen, and High streets, and the best-known arcades are the Castle and Royal arcades. The Hayes offers more independent shops, including Spillers Records, reportedly the oldest record shop in the world and a delight for music enthusiasts.

There are a number of shopping malls in Cardiff as well, including St David's Shopping Centre and Capitol Shopping Centre. The city also boasts a few very good markets, the most popular being the Central Market, which offers everything from arts and crafts to antiques and food. There is an outdoor fruit and vegetable market on Mary Ann Street, and a Sunday morning open-air market in Bessemer Street.

For local arts and crafts and popular Cardiff souvenirs, look in the tourist areas: Castle Welsh Crafts is opposite the entrance to Cardiff Castle, and Craft in the Bay is in Lloyd George Avenue.

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