Discover Wales

Discover the natural beauty of Wales. The land of song, Wales is a country in the Southwest of Great Britain, steeped with history, industrial transformation and a deep routed passion with its own distinctive Welsh language. Wales was recognised as a country in 1536 although it is believed that its’ land has been inhabited since circa 250,000BC. Wales has been home to European Celtic tribes, Roman and Saxon invaders and people from all over the world who have settled in the country. 

With a magnificent rugged coastline 870 miles / 1,4000km, that is accessible to walk the whole way, mountainous national parks, with hiking trails and over 600 castles and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore. The country of Wales is only 170 miles (270 km) from South to North and 60 mi (97 km) East to West and has a population of 3.1million.

Wales has its own devolved parliament (the Welsh Parliament) and a government (the Welsh Government) that makes laws, agrees taxes and represents Welsh people, though the UK Parliament and Government hold significant power and influence. 
 
The capital city of Cardiff is compact yet vibrant, hosting major events while still retaining a warm welcome and community presence. Here you’ll find a range of venues, attractions, retail, activities, accommodation, green parkland, a waterfront bay side and some great eating establishments to enjoy and all within walking distance to ensure a relaxing stay.  

View through a castle window of the twin towers of a castle with welsh flags flying from them.
Champions League Final Banners.
Dunkle Himmel Foto in den Brecon Beacons aufgenommen.

Caernarfon Castle, Champions League Final Cardiff, Llyn y Fan Fach Black Mountain Brecon Beacons Carmarthenshire Dark Skies

Weather

The weather in Wales is very similar to the rest of the UK and Ireland, spring and summer are usually pleasantly warm and dry, autumn provides beautiful colours in Wales and can be windy and rainier, the temperature is lower in winter and sometimes snowy (especially in mountainous and hilly areas).

Money

Wales is like the rest of the UK, pound sterling is the currency used. Interestingly, all UK coins (and many coins from countries around the world) are made in Wales at the Royal Mint. Most places in Wales accept major credit cards, some transport providers only accept cash payments.

Cash can be withdrawn from ATM machines, which are found on high streets, in banks and at service stations. Some ATM machines charge for withdrawal. Post Offices or major banks can change money.

Shaun the sheep wearing a coin.

The Royal Mint

Tipping

There is no obligation to tip in Wales, but if the service has been very good leaving a little extra (10% of the bill is considered more than enough) and is very much appreciated. Some restaurants add an optional service charge to the bill, but this can be removed if requested.

Etiquette

Wales is a polite, friendly and patriotic country. Its people are welcoming and they uphold most of the etiquette practices that the rest of the UK follows, such as queuing and saying 'good morning' - bore da or 'thank you' - ‘diolch’ in Welsh. 

Chair with a cushion on saying bore da.
Group of people in Wales football shirts holding Welsh flag.

Bore da cushion at the Hotel Indigo and Welsh people supporting national team.

Key facts and figures

Population: 3.1m (2019) Eurostat
Location: Part of Great Britain
Size: 20,800 square km
Time zone: GMT
Currency: Pound Sterling
National Day: St David’s Day, 1 March
National symbols: Dragon, daffodil and leek
Language: Welsh and English
Cities: Six – Cardiff (capital), Newport, Swansea, Bangor, St Davids and St Asaph

Wales is made up of 22 local authority areas. For the purposes of Visit Wales, we 'split' these areas into larger regions: North Wales, Mid Wales, West Wales, and South Wales.

The regions are made up of the following local authorities.

North Wales

  • Conwy County
  • Denbighshire County
  • Flintshire County
  • Gwynedd
  • Wrexham County
  • Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey

Mid Wales

  • Ceredigion County
  • Powys County

West Wales

  • Carmarthenshire County
  • Neath Port Talbot 
  • Pembrokeshire County
  • City and County of Swansea 

South Wales

  • Blaenau Gwent County Borough
  • Bridgend County Borough
  • City of Cardiff
  • Caerphilly County Borough
  • Merthyr Tydfil County Borough
  • Monmouthshire County
  • Newport City
  • Torfaen County Borough
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough
  • Vale of Glamorgan 

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