Swansea is a vibrant coastal city situated in the southwest of Wales, and is the second-largest city in this region behind Cardiff.
In the Middle Ages, Swansea became a centre for trade, and developed a strong industrial heritage.
It has a rich cultural tradition and an attractive landscape, making it an ideal destination for visitors looking for relaxation, entertainment, or just a great day out.
Swansea offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as sailing, surfing and other water sports, plus a plethora of parks and gardens to explore.
The maritime quarter of Swansea is one of its most vibrant areas with attractions such as the National Waterfront Museum, Dylan Thomas Centre and Swansea Marina providing interesting insights into local culture.
With many great attractions in Swansea if you read on you’ll find out some of my top things to see and do on your trip!
Things To Do In Swansea
1. Gower Peninsula
Gower Peninsula is a stunning 70 square miles of coastal beauty in south west Wales.
It was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956 and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Britain.
With its dramatic coastline, sandy bays and hidden caves, outdoor enthusiasts can explore spectacular views that have been shaped by glaciation and erosion over thousands of years.
Rhossili Bay lies at the western end of the peninsula, and has 3 miles of golden sands, and landscapes that include Worm’s Head and Rhossili Down.
At the highest point is The Beacon at Rhossili Down with stunning views of the undulating hills and valleys, as well as out to sea.
Swansea remains the best base from which to explore the Gower Peninsula and the south coast of Wales.
Address: Gower Peninsula, Wales, UK
2. Oystermouth Castle
Oystermouth Castle is a breath-taking Norman stone castle located on the Gower Peninsula in Wales, overlooking Swansea Bay.
The castle features an impressive entrance gatehouse with walls that curve inward, indicating there was once supposed to be two round towers inside it.
There is also a chapel block on the second floor which contains remnants of an ornate medieval painting thought to be over 700 years old.
Open daily, visitors can explore parts of the castle that have been hidden away for centuries and take in the breath-taking views of Swansea Bay.
Address: Oystermouth Castle, Castle Ave, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4BA
3. Three Cliffs Bay
Situated on the stunning Gower Peninsula, the Three Cliffs Bay Beach is a beautiful sandy beach, backed by three limestone cliffs.
It’s a popular destination for photographers looking to capture its majestic beauty and is one of the most photographed areas in Gower.
The beach consists of sand dunes, salt marsh, and rock pools that are home to an abundance of native wildlife, such as sea birds and crabs.
Its crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming or fishing, however those looking to take a dip should be aware of potentially strong tides and currents.
The closest parking facilities and toilets can be found at the nearby Holiday Park around 400 metres away.
Dogs are welcome on the beach provided they are kept on leads at all times; making it an ideal location for pet owners to enjoy some quality time with their furry friends.
Address: Three Cliffs Bay, Southgate SA3 2HD
4. National Waterfront Museum
The National Waterfront Museum is an incredible place to explore Wales’s vast industrial and maritime rich history.
Located in an original listed warehouse and an ultra-modern slate and glass building, the museum tells the story of innovation, industry and progress over the last 300 years.
Visitors are immersed in interactive technology, traditional displays and a varied collection of artefacts.
You can explore transport, materials and networks that played important roles in industrial history, from railways to steam engines and ships.
Discover how Welsh industry has evolved over time, from a rural economy based on agriculture to modern times where technology has driven manufacturing processes.
Entry is free for visitors, and the museum also has a café and Museum gift shop.
Address: National Waterfront Museum, Oystermouth Rd, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 3RD
5. Caswell Bay
Caswell Bay is an idyllic spot located on the south east of the Gower Peninsula and a popular destination for visitors and surfers year round.
This stunning beach was awarded a Blue Flag status in 2020, meeting strict standards of water quality, safety, and environmental management.
The facilities are geared towards young families and beach-goers, so there are plenty of amenities available with shops to browse through.
The swimming here is safe, and there is a Lifeguard patrol during the summer months.
This picturesque beach isn’t just about sea life either – nature-lovers will find something exciting around every corner!
Address: Caswell Bay, Swansea, Wales
6. Clyne Gardens
Clyne Gardens is a stunning botanical garden, set in beautiful parkland.
It is home to over 2,000 different species of plants from all over the world.
Visitors are able to admire the internationally famous Rhododendrons, Pieris and Enkianthus that are absolutely stunning.
There is also a bog garden home to giant Elephant Rhubarb, a bluebell wood, Azalea gardens and a wild flower meadow.
Another highlight is the Japanese garden with its distinctive red and white painted bridge, bamboo plants and tranquil lake accompanied by a miniature waterfall.
One of the best free attractions in Swansea, Clyne Gardens are well worth a visit!
Address: Clyne Gardens, Mayals, Swansea SA3 5BW UK
7. Dylan Thomas Birthplace
The Dylan Thomas Birthplace is a unique living museum dedicated to the life of one of Wales’ greatest poets: Dylan Thomas.
Established in 2008 on the 94th anniversary of his birth, the house provides visitors with an immersive experience of Edwardian era atmosphere and culture.
The design of the house has been carefully preserved and restored to maintain its original Edwardian charm with rooms decorated in bright colours and featuring period furniture.
Visitors can explore various artefacts connected to Dylan Thomas’ life including manuscripts and photographs which are all housed within the walls of his beloved home.
Address: Dylan Thomas Birthplace, 5 Cwmdonkin Dr, Uplands, Swansea SA2 0RA
8. Llangennith Beach
Llangennith is a renowned beach on the western edge of the Gower Peninsula that is widely known as one of the finest beaches for surfers.
It has a long shoreline facing westward into the Atlantic Ocean that stretches for over three miles.
Its unique positioning means it’s in direct line with powerful, consistent swells from the vast ocean, making it an ideal spot for surfing.
The white sand beaches at Llangennith are expansive, leading up to an impressive backdrop of sand dunes and lush countryside.
At its north end lies Burry Holms island, creating a sheltered cove that provides protection from the waves.
Address: Llangennith Beach, South Wales
9. Mumbles Pier
Mumbles Pier is one of Swansea Bay’s most iconic historic sites, rising out of the sea since 1898.
It offers a wealth of activities to do and places to explore, making it the perfect destination for families and visitors alike.
Mumbles Pier is free to walk along and includes an amusement arcade, a Beach Hut Café, Copperfish Restaurant and Takeaway, and a number of other attractions including a mini bowling alley.
Address: Mumbles Pier, Old Lifeboat Cottage, Mumbles Rd, Mumbles, Swansea Bay, SA3 4EN
10. Brecon Beacons National Park
The Brecon Beacons National Park is within easy reach of both Cardiff and Swansea.
It is one of Wales’ most captivating landscapes, and is deemed an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Covering an impressive 519 square miles it is designated a European and global Geopark renowned for its unique geology which includes archaeological sites, caves, and waterfalls.
The park’s highest summit is Pen y Fan at an altitude of 886 metres, making it the highest peak in south Wales.
Not only does this stunning area offer amazing opportunities for outdoor pursuits such as hill-walking and mountain biking; but it also has an array of wildlife including Welsh mountain ponies, sheep, red kite and peregrine falcons.
Address: Brecon Beacons National Park, Libanus, Brecon LD3 8ER
11. Swansea Castle
Swansea Castle is an iconic Welsh landmark with a long and colourful history located in the centre of Swansea.
The remains of Swansea Castle are now surrounded by the modern-day city centre, but what is left of the late 13th and early 14th century castle is still worth a visit.
The castle is open daily and is free to enter.
Address: Swansea Castle, 8 Castle St, Swansea SA1 1DW
12. Penllergare Valley Woods
Penllergare Valley Woods is a hidden gem in South Wales located on the northern fringe of Swansea.
Spanning over a 100 hectares of mixed woodland, exotic trees, lakes and peaceful woodland walks, Penllergare offers visitors a magical escape.
The site is defined by its remarkable waterfall on the River Llan which meanders gracefully through the estate.
Penllergare Valley Woods are free to explore although there is a charge for parking.
Address: Penllergare Valley Woods, Penllergaer, Swansea SA4 9GS
13. Swansea Marina
Swansea Marina is an iconic and vibrant maritime landmark located behind Swansea barrage on the mouth of the River Tawe.
The marina has a long history of development and modern infrastructure culminating in its transformation into a premier destination for sailing, boating and pleasure craft.
With views of the Tawe estuary and Gower coastline, this bustling hub has been attracting boaters from far and wide since it was first awarded blue flag status in 2005.
This vibrant waterfront area also has a selection of cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Address: Lockside, Maritime Quarter, Swansea SA1 1WG
14. Singleton Park
Located near to Swansea University, Singleton Park is the largest urban park in Swansea.
The park is home to a boating lake, 18 hole crazy golf course, adventure playground, botanical gardens, a museum, picnic benches, ice cream stops and a cafe.
The Botanical Garden, which is located in the centre of the park, contains many rare and exotic plants and has four temperate glass houses.
The Boating Lake has a variety of brightly coloured pedalo boats for hire, including swans and dragons.
Great for all the family, Singleton Park has plenty of outdoor space with lots to do for everyone.
Address: Singleton Park, Mumbles Rd, Sketty, Swansea SA2 8PY
Is it good for shopping in Swansea City Centre?
Swansea Indoor Market is located in the heart of Swansea city centre and is worth a walk around.
Full of local character, this historic market offers over 100 stalls, with four entrances from Oxford St, Union St, Whitewalls or the Quadrant Shopping Centre.
The other main shopping areas in Swansea include High Street, Princess Way, and Portland Street.
What is Swansea Beach like?
One of the best beaches in the area, it is a five-mile beach of soft sand.
Great for the whole family, it has lovely sea views and a famous promenade that runs the entire length of the beach.
Is there an art gallery in the Welsh City of Swansea?
Richard Glynn Vivian was the founder of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery located in Alexandra Road, near Swansea railway station.
Where is the Egypt Centre in Swansea?
The Egypt Centre Museum is located at Swansea University, in Singleton Park.
There are some good Egyptian displays of treasure and artwork, and a gift shop selling souvenirs, books, replicas, stunning jewellery and children’s gifts.
What is Swansea city’s Wind Street best-known for?
Swansea’s Wind Street is one of the most famous streets for people to go on a night out.
This vibrant nightlife district is located in the centre of Swansea.