Heritage and culture
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.
Swansea Museum is the oldest in Wales, and covers everything you want to know about Swansea's long history. Explore the exhibitions on the area's prehistoric inhabitants, through the medieval period to the growth of industry and wartime. There's lots of information about local maritime and transport history, including the Mumbles Railway - opened in 1807. The museum hosts regular events and exhibitions so there's always something new to see.
The Egypt Centre
The Egypt Centre is based on Swansea University's Singleton campus, a short distance from the city centre. With the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in Wales, it's a fascinating place to delve into a culture that still intrigues us thousands of years later. They hold lots of events throughout the year, especially during half-term and summer holidays. Egypt-mad kids will love the interactive workshops on tomb-designing, dressing up and puzzle-solving.
The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery
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.
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.
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.
Places to visit
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.
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.
The Swansea.com Stadium
This impressive 20,000 seat stadium opened in 2005 and is home to Swansea City FC. The Swansea.com Stadium 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.
Explore the area
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 Oystermouth Food Festival is one of many attractions for foodies, while the competition for the premier ice cream parlour in Mumbles remains as fierce as ever.
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.
Rest and recharge
There are plenty of accommodation of options around Swansea to suit all budgets, including the usual chain hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering properties.
Morgan's Hotel, based in a sensitively refurbished Grade II listed building, is the place to go for luxurious city centre stays. It used to house the Associated British Ports Authority, and each room is named after a Swansea ship. Cwtsh Hostel, also in the city centre, leads the way for a 5 star quality, affordable place to stay. It's ideal for group stays and backpackers, and private rooms are available.
You can use our accommodation search to find the perfect place to stay in Swansea.
If you're visiting Swansea and don't have a car, or prefer to give four wheels a break for your holiday, ‘Swansea Bay Without A Car’ has plenty of sustainable travel options to explore.
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