Things to see and do in Swansea
From the idyll of Swansea Bay to the beautiful Gower Peninsula, a trip to Swansea is a must.
A visit to Swansea is a must: take in the sweeping waterfront of Swansea Bay leading to Mumbles and onto the beautiful Gower Peninsula. Not complete without trying one of the famous Welsh-Italian ice cream parlours.
National Waterfront Museum
A striking architectural landmark in its own right, the National Waterfront Museum celebrates the industrial and maritime history of Wales dating back to the 1800s. This is a highly interactive guide through an age when Wales supplied the world with coal and steel, and countless inventions, like Richard Trevithick’s groundbreaking steam locomotive.
Art of the matter
Swansea is a vibrant centre for art and The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery is widely recognised as the city’s premier venue for art exhibitions. Founded in 1911 by the original bequest of Richard Glynn Vivian (1835-1910), the gallery belongs to the City and County of Swansea. It houses a distinctive collection formed over the last century, which continues to grow with new work from today’s artists, supported by gifts, donations and the annual Wakelin Award.
Mumbles is a vibrant seaside village, you’ll find over 120 shops, restaurants and pubs hugging the west side of Swansea Bay. A rich source of great seafood, much of the local produce finds itself being served in the finest establishments of London and Paris – so try it here at the restaurants serving seafood caught locally. The Mumbles Oyster Festival is one of many attractions for foodies, while the competition for the premier ice cream parlour in Mumbles remains as fierce as ever.
The original market was established in 1897, under the largest structure of glass and wrought iron in the UK. Devastated by World War II, along with much of Swansea City Centre, Swansea Indoor Market was rebuilt and remains the largest of its kind in Wales with over 100 stalls. Here you can sample many of the delicacies of the area, including cockles and laverbread, the world-renowned dish made from seaweed collected on the shores of north Gower.
The Dylan Thomas Centre
The Dylan Thomas Centre is a permanent exhibition of the life and times of one of the literary giants of the 20th century. Dylan Thomas was born and raised in Swansea and there are a variety of tours and guides that bring you closer to the man and the myth.
There are numerous parks and gardens worth visiting in Swansea, but for sheer drama, Clyne Gardens is particularly notable. Extensive and exotic planting ranges from rhododendrons to Elephant Rhubarb and American Skunk Cabbage. The Japanese garden with its brightly painted bridge just adds to the glorious confusion.
Three Cliffs Bay and Rhossili Bay
The dramatic landscape of the Gower Peninsula must be seen to be believed. There are numerous attractions to enjoy in this remarkable outcrop of land. Three Cliffs Bay is regularly voted one of the most dramatic locations in Britain, requiring a 20 minute walk to reveal its true splendour. The huge sweep of Rhossili Bay, featuring the broad expanse of Llangennith beach is equally awe-inspiring – it’s as if you’ve reached the furthest point of land on the planet.
The Liberty Stadium
This impressive 20,000 seat stadium opened in 2005 and is home to Swansea City FC. The Liberty is also home to The Ospreys – one of the strongest rugby sides in the UK and Ireland.
A state-of-the-art attraction for all ages, LC Waterpark is situated alongside the National Waterfront Museum, a short stroll from the main shopping area of the city. It features countless slides and tubes, as well as the opportunity to hone your surfing skills on a never-ending wave.
Swansea Grand Theatre
Swansea Grand Theatre offers a thriving and eclectic mix of live events, exhibitions and performances, and also offers a behind-the-scenes tour giving you an insight into the history of this legendary theatre in the heart of Swansea.