Most of the grade I-listed park belonged to the Cardiff Castle estate, inherited by the Bute family in 1766. The family developed the land, which was gifted to the city in 1947.
Heritage features include extensive work by 19th century landscape architect Andrew Pettigrew and an arboretum.
Cardiff Council wanted to restore the 56ha park's heritage features and highlight its history. The four-year restoration cost £5.6m, including £3.1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The medieval Blackfriars site was restored and the water body known as Mill Leat reflooded. The Victorian animal wall along with the arboretum and part of the planting layout were restored.
New facilities include a kiosk, education centre, improved seating, paths and signage including QR codes to guide visitors on a history tour. Bute Park officially reopened at the end of June, but visitor numbers have already doubled to two million since the project began.