Find out what you can see and do at the wonderfully quirky Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales. 

Portmeirion Village opening times and tickets

The Village is usually open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm, apart from Christmas Day. Day tickets are available from the Tollbooth at the entrance. Check out the Portmeirion website for current prices and opening hours. 

What to do in Portmeirion Village

The view from Llechollwyn

From Ynys, a village on the A496 between Harlech and Maentwrog, a lane leads north to the shore of the Dwyryd estuary. Relax and enjoy the distant view across the broad, tidal waters to Portmeirion, a jumble of white, ochre and pastel-coloured buildings standing out against the trees and the hills beyond.

Portmeirion from over the estuary.

Portmeirion from across the Dwyryd estuary

Central Piazza

With its Riviera inspired houses, ornamental garden and campanile, this is the centrepiece of Portmeirion. It’s a beautiful pocket of madness. Its architect, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, was an ardent environmentalist who wanted to create a functional and attractive private village that would act as ‘propaganda for good manners’. It opened in 1926.

Large wooden chess pieces on a board in the gardens at Portmeirion.
Giant chess set in Portmeirion garden
An arched doorway in the Piazza at Portmeirion.

The Piazza, Portmeirion

An architectural stroll

Williams-Ellis’ village is compact, but his clever use of arches, slopes and window sizes makes it seem larger than it is. The Rough Guide to Wales calls it “a gorgeous visual poem”. Take time to admire the Gothic Pavilion, Bristol Colonnade, Hercules Hall and Belvedere. Statues, corbels and whimsical details fill every nook with interest.

A huge window in the Portmeirion Town Hall building.
Portmeirion

The Town Hall - incorporating Hercules Hall and the Tudor Room, and the Bristol Colonnade, Portmeirion

The Quayside

From the start, Williams-Ellis designed Portmeirion as a tourist destination, with the Hotel Portmeirion as its waterfront hub. Recent upgrades have been faithful to his quirky spirit. Outside, kids can play pirates in the Amis Reunis, a stone sculpture of an old ketch, or, in summer, take a dip in the heated pool. 

A white-fronted hotel and outdoor swimming pool by a river.
An outdoor swimming pool with views over a river.
The concrete boat at Portmeirion.

The Quayside at Portmeirion, North Wales

Battery Square

This pretty little plaza contains guest accommodation, the Mermaid Spa and Caffi'r Sgwâr - a café with outdoor tables on the cobbles – a great spot to grab a coffee, Mediterranean-style. The Round House, the cottage where Number Six lived in The Prisoner, is now a shop selling nostalgic memorabilia. 

White-fronted shop with a bay window.
A green round plaque with information about The Prisoner.
Colourful houses in Portmeirion

Battery Square, Portmeirion, North Wales

The Gwyllt

Stretch your legs in this ten-hectare woodland, an Edwardian wild garden designed by Caton Haigh, who was a world authority on Himalayan flowering trees and exotic plants. Camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolia and maidenhair trees bring fresh blazes of colour with each passing season.

A white-fronted hotel on a quay with woods in the background.
Luftaufnahme eines Strandes in der Nähe von Portmeirion, Gwynedd.

Hotel Portmeirion and The Gwyllt behind

Castell Deudraeth

Outside the village but within the Portmeirion estate, this striking mansion has a stone façade, tall crenellations and Gothic flourishes. Originally the home of an early Victorian MP, Castell Deudraeth is now a hip hotel. Even if you’re not staying, you can drop in for lunch in the stylish conservatory brasserie.

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Portmeirion Pottery

Williams-Ellis’ daughter Susan, a designer, was already selling her ceramics in Portmeirion when, in 1960, she took over a Stoke-on-Trent pottery and named it after the village. With a nice line in botanical motifs, the business blossomed. Traditional and contemporary earthenware is still a favourite purchase from the village gift shops.

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Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways

Minffordd Station is just a mile’s walk or drive from Portmeirion. With platforms for both narrow gauge and mainline services, it’s a rail enthusiast's heaven. For a vintage treat, board a steam train bound for the heart of Snowdonia towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. Alternatively, take the short but scenic hop to Porthmadog, perhaps continuing north to Caernarfon via the Welsh Highland Railway. Find out more about the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways.

Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railway steam engine at Porthmadog's Harbour Station

The Cob, Porthmadog, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railway, Snowdonia

How to get to Portmeirion

You can get to Portmeirion by car, train, bus or on foot. Portmeirion is around a mile from Minffordd, and is signposted from the A487. Minffordd has a railway station for both the Cambrian Coast Line and the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways. There's plenty of visitor parking near the entrance. For more details about getting there the Portmeirion website has the latest information.

Find out public transport options from the Traveline Cymru website.

Where to stay in Portmeirion

Portmeirion Village has a lot of different accommodation options. There are the two 4 star hotels - the luxury waterfront Hotel Portmeirion and the more contemporary Castell Deudraeth. There are also beautiful hotel rooms scattered within the unique village houses, some with terraces and balconies. The 13 self-catering cottages are available on a weekly or short break basis and most have gorgeous views over the Dwyryd Estuary. The best thing about staying on site is that once the day visitors have gone, you'll have this magical place all to yourselves. 

If you prefer to stay in the area, Porthmadog has places to suit all budgets, including historic country house hotels, family-run beach-side caravan parks and harbourside self-catering apartments. 

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