Okay, totally biased but I love Wales! Being Welsh, you couldn’t expect anything else really. Though, pushing my bias aside, there are so many beautiful and best things to do in Wales that really make it a stunning country to explore.
For a relatively small country, we pack a hefty punch in gorgeous places to see, food to eat and one stunning coastline to explore. Since leaving my home country I have come to appreciate the culture, landscape, food and people so much more than I ever did when I lived there. Which in hindsight is a lesson I have learned about travelling generally; to always appreciate a place and moment.
With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the very best things to do in Wales on your next trip. Some are based in cities, others in national parks, whatever the case, I’m hoping to introduce you to some lovely areas of Wales to visit.
Best things to do in Wales
Take a look, below, at the best things to do in Wales. Have the best time exploring.
1.) Explore Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park is one of the oldest parks within Wales and a stunning place to explore. With almost 1000 square miles of unspoilt beauty, Snowdonia National Park also has the tallest mountain in all of England and Wales.
Don’t worry, there’s a mountain railway if you don’t fancy the hike to the top. Getting to the top of Mount Snowdon is definitely something you’ll want to do as the views are incredible.
In my opinion, It really is one of the best things to do in Wales when you’re exploring the north of the country. Plus, Snowdonia National Park is also home to many bird-of-prey, “red-kites” there are even breeding centres in the Dovey valley where you can see the kites in their natural habitat.
If you’ve got time, head over to Cader Idris, go Zip lining at one of the world’s fastest lines or chill out and explore Llyn Padarn. It’s beautiful at sunset.
2.) See Conwy Castle
Being almost 1,000 years old, seeing Conwy Castle is easily up there as one of the best things to do in Wales on your next trip. Being A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Conwy Castle has a heap of things to see and do, especially if you love a gorgeous Welsh Castles.
Make sure to see the Bakehouse Tower and the outward that is just stunning.
3.) Visit Portmeirion
Nestled on the north-west coast of Wales, Portmeirion is a truly beautiful Italian/Welsh village that’s too stunning to miss.
Now, the town of Portmeirion doesn’t look too much like other Welsh towns, but for a very good reason. It was built to replicate the beauty of Italy within the tranquil landscape of Wales and exploring its little streets is easily one of the best things to do in Wales.
It’s a great place to spend a day, or even stay overnight in the gorgeous Portmeirion Hotel. This village is also world-renowned for its pottery and designs, which are truly stunning.
4.) Find Beaumaris Castle
Wales has an abundance of incredible castles, with Beaumaris Castle being one of my very favourites. Perched on the island of Anglesey, it’s a great place to wander and easily one of the best things to do in Wales if you’re headed to Anglesey itself.
Being another of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Wales, Beaumaris has a long history that dates back hundreds of years. Once here, make sure to ramble around the moat, see the towers and north gatehouse that are just stunning.
5.) Explore Pembrokeshire National Park
Pembrokeshire National Park is one of the best coastal national parks in Wales and a gorgeous place to explore. It really is one of the best things to do in Wales if you love the countryside and rugged coast.
On a sun-filled day, you can take a kayak into the bay and keep your eyes peeled for the local seals, dolphins and puffins that frequent Skomer Island. Alternatively, head over to Freshwater West Beach for a gorgeous beach day.
Just a word of caution, only ever go out with organised tours or guides. The tidal changes can be quite extreme and conditions can change quickly. Always be cautious and listen to local, expert, advice.
6.) Spend a day in Tenby
Tenby is a totally quaint and historic fishing village that’s too beautiful to miss. In fact, I’d go as far as saying it’s one of my favourite seaside towns and certainly one of the best things to do in Wales if you want to visit a charming little piece of the country.
Once you’re in Tenby, take in the colourful houses and picturesque charm of the town and wander the little streets around the beaches. Oh, and keep an eye out for the colourful little cottages, too. Apparently, It was a way that wives would remind fishermen which house their family lived in. Those Welsh fisherman must have had a terrible memory!
7.) Cardigan Coastline
One thing that I love doing most in Wales is to go exploring the beautiful countryside. There is always an opportunity to head off the main roads and into the smaller villages and just go wander. For me, this is one of the best things to do in Wales.
One little spot is the tiny village of Tresaith. Legend has it that 7 Irish sisters sailed across the Irish Sea to the coastline of Wales and set up home for their family to get away from their evil father. Who knows if this is true!
Plus, this particular church is so old that it dates back to Pagan times, with the grounds being circular to avoid any evil spirits from ever entering. It was so incredible to see.
That being said, if you want to visit somewhere a little more nature-based, head to Ynyslas Beach (Near Borth). At certain times, especially after a storm, the sea bed exposes the prehistoric forest that once stood under the sea. It’s such an unusual site to see.
8.) Visit Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is one of the largest towns on the West Wales coastline and a great place to visit on your journey from north to south Wales.
Once here, make sure to take a stroll across the Promenade, head up Consitution Hill on the Cliff Railway and visit the National Library of Wales. It’s a stunning building that sits on top of the hills overlooking the town.
Afterwards, head over to the castle and explore the older side of Aberystwyth itself. It’s a great little town that’s totally charming.
9.) Visit Devil’s Bridge
Firstly, trust me, It’s not quite as scary as it sounds!
Devils Bridge is a very small village in the hills of west Wales, with not a single devil in sight. Now, the most famous residents of this village are most definitely the waterfalls.
Head here by steam train directly from Aberystwyth to witness the natural beauty of this area. Just remember to take some comfy walking shoes – it can pretty uneven.
10,) Gorge on Welsh Cakes
Now, there are a good few examples of food to gorge on in Wales, but there are some firm favourites you have to try. Personally, any trip should always involve lots of local food and this is easily one of the best things to do in Wales if you want to try some local treats.
Welsh cakes are like flat, sweet scones and totally delicious to have with a cuppa. That being said, there’s also Bara Brith (like a fruit loaf) and things like Cawl (lamb stew) and Welsh Rarebit (like Cheese on toast) that is too good to miss.
11.) Experience Urdd National Eisteddfod
The Eisteddfod is an annual Welsh-language festival that celebrates the very best of Welsh literature, music and performances that make Wales great.
Imagine it as a cross between Glastonbury and The Olympics… just much more Welsh! Now, most of the activities will be in Welsh so it can be pretty hard to understand lots of what is going on if you don’t speak the language. If this is the case, maybe give this one a miss and explore some of the other best things to do in Wales.
12.) Visit the Gower coastline
Not too far from the city of Swansea is the stunning coastline and area around the Gower Peninsular, Once here, make sure to spend lots of time exploring the beautiful and totally vast sandy beaches. Honestly, they are stunning and easily up there as one of the best things to do in Wales if you love the seaside.
Once here, also make sure to see Three Cliffs Bay and Worms Head, they are totally gorgeous areas.
13.) Visit the Hay Festival
Now, Bill Clinton (the former US president) described the Hay Festival as “The Woodstock of the mind” – and it’s so true!
This festival has become one of the world most renowned literary festivals, situated in Hay-On-Wye that’s near the border with England. Nestle in for the long-haul and take a few books to sit back and relax with and just enjoy the whole festival. It happens every year and is one alternative festival to visit, especially on a summer day.
14.) Visit Cardiff
So, as the capital of Wales, there are obviously lots of amazing things to do in the city – that’s a given. Though, if you’re short on time, it can sometimes be a little tricky to pick just a few.
Once here, make sure to visit the iconic Cardiff Castle, see Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, Castell Coch and Explore St. Fagans which is a historic museum on the outskirts of the city.