Swansea City Guide

The second largest city in Wales, Swansea is known for its vibrant energy and welcoming charm. With the university on its doorstep, the city has a large student population which means plenty of choice when it comes to shopping, dining and nightlife. And with the city currently enjoying something of a rebirth through an extensive bout of regeneration – now boasting both a national museum and a new marina, as well as five Green Flag Award-winning parks – Swansea is fast becoming known as “the Brighton of Wales”.

Shopping in Swansea

As you might expect in such a vibrant and busy city, there are plenty of shops to explore – over 230 in fact! Perhaps more excitingly though, Swansea is also home to the largest indoor market in Wales – and one which dates back to the middle ages – where you will discover over 100 stalls, offering a range of fresh locally made foods as well as traditional gifts, jewellery and much more. And it’s here, at Swansea Market, that you will discover the true beating heart of the city and its wonderful sense of community.

Culture in Swansea

Swansea is more than just the city that gave world culture Catherine Zeta-Jones (who continues to maintain a home in the Mumbles area of the city). Swansea is also the birthplace of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, who affectionately described it as an “ugly lovely town”, and whose work is vividly brought to life at the newly refurbished Dyan Thomas Centre. The fascinating Swansea Museum meanwhile – the oldest museum in Wales – was also described by Thomas as “a museum that belongs in a museum”, whilst the National Waterfront Museum employs the latest interactive technology to tell the story of Welsh innovation and industry.

Nature in Swansea

With over 50 green spaces – five of them Green Flag Award-winning parks – Swansea is much more than just another metropolitan city – it truly does integrate the countryside into its landscape. And, located as it is on the South West coast of Wales, Swansea boasts the dramatic, sandy 5-mile stretch of beach at Swansea Bay. Swansea also serves as the perfect base camp for exploring the Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Sport in Swansea

Swansea is also home to The LC – a waterpark and leisure complex that is the very best that Wales has to offer. Featuring the largest waterpark in Wales, as well as the country’s largest gym, the centre also offers a 30ft climbing wall, 4-storey play area, and an indoor surf simulator. Swansea is also home to the 20,000 capacity Liberty Stadium, which frequently plays host to both premiership and international football matches.

Enjoy Swansea

With its lively nightlife and student scene, alongside its strong sense of community and tradition, Swansea offers a wonderful blend of both the modern and the traditional, which, coupled with its immediate access to some of Britain’s most beautiful landscapes and coastlines creates a unique and intoxicating blend of city excitement and nature’s soothing calm.

Guide to Exploring Swansea

Grand Theatre

SwanseaGrand Theatre is located on Singleton Street in the heart of the city of Swansea, Wales. This performing arts venue stages a host of plays, pantomimes, operas, stand-up performances and offerings from touring companies.


You probably wouldn’t expect to encounter tarantulas, macaws and endangered tamarin monkeys in a Swansea retail park, but visit the spectacular Plantasia, a public hothouse in Parc Tawe close to the city centre, and you’ll find these and much more besides. Easy to locate, as it’s housed in a unique glass pyramid, Plantasia has for a quarter of a century performed the vital function of raising awareness among locals and visitors about the level of rainforest destruction around the world, and the dangers of the consequent biodiversity loss.

Mumbles Pier

One of Swansea’s most recognisable landmarks, the imposing Victorian pier on the southwestern corner of Swansea Bay holds both historic value and offers an entertaining way to pass the afternoon. Once a favoured haunt of Dylan Thomas, this iconic attraction in the village of Mumbles now plays host to tourists and locals out to enjoy themselves.

National Waterfront Museum

Located in the trendy Maritime Quarter of Swansea, the National Waterfront Museum tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales over the last 300 years. As part of the European Route of Industrial Heritage this is a thematic element of a collection of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. Inside you’ll find enough to occupy you for hours, with the beautifully designed space offering a range of regional history exhibits marrying interactive media with traditional displays.

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