Amazing things to do in Swansea

An aerial view of Swansea at night.
by Limara Salt
2 November 2023

If you like your trips with relaxing walks on the beach and fun-filled city activities, Swansea is a fantastic option for a long weekend in Wales. The coastal town is the second-largest city in Cymru and has loads to do for couples, families and solo trips for those who just need some time away this autumn.  

And getting there is a breeze as Swansea is served by First Great Western trains from London while visitors from Wales, the Midlands and south-west England can connect via Arriva Wales trains. Wherever you hail from, if you book with Virgin Trains Ticketing by you’ll earn three points for every pound spent!  

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Or if you’d prefer to unlock an amazing discount, you can knock pounds off your purchase with as little as 200 Virgin Points – as a Virgin Red member there’s loads of ways to earn and spend points.  

So now you know how to get there, what will you do once you arrive? Check out some of the best things to do and see in Swansea.  

Stop by the Swansea market  

Have a unique shopping experience in the biggest indoor market in Wales where you can peruse a huge selection of stalls offering delicious food, antiques and everything in between. Dating back to 1106 when Normans established a trading post, Swansea Market/Marchnad Abertawe has a striking central space called The Market Garden/Gardd y farchnad where people can meet under the 7.5m tall pergola for coffee and a meal or do some work in a pretty setting.  

Mosey over to Mumbles Pier  

The 835ft Victorian structure is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Swansea and known as the Crown of the Bristol Channel. A must-visit when venturing into the city, the pier is available to walk and enjoy for free, and once you’ve reached the end you can catch panoramic views from the new RNLI Lifeboat house.  

There’s also the amusements arcade, the ‘gamez room’, opportunities to spend an afternoon fishing or just enjoy the beach itself.  

An aerial image of Mumbles Pier in Swansea, Wales

Visit the Dylan Thomas boathouse 

Swansea is the birthplace of many famous people from Oscar-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and singer Bonnie Tyler to comedian Rob Brydon, but writer/poet Dylan Thomas is intrinsically linked to the city. Born in 1914, Thomas spent the last four years of his life in the Laugharne property where he wrote Under Milk Wood, among other works.  

Now open to the public, visitors can enjoy views of the Taf estuary and the Gower beyond and even a pot of afternoon tea in one of the tea rooms.  

An image of the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Wales

Tour the Penderyn Whisky distillery 

While not as famous for whisky as its Celtic cousins, Wales has the Penderyn Distillery – the country’s first whisky distillery built over 100 years ago. Known for producing award-winning single malt whiskies, the Swansea location is the newest addition and visitors can enjoy tours and masterclasses, which may include a cheeky tasting or two. A perfect way for whisky-lovers to spend the day and best of all, you can take your favourite tipple home.

See ancient artefacts in The Egypt Centre   

Located in Swansea University's Singleton Campus, The Egypt Centre showcases over 2000 artefacts from the 6000-strong collection across two galleries.  

Currently celebrating its 25th year, the centre has regular events and workshops for all ages, including recent half term fancy dress workshop, as well as opportunities for children and adults to learn about Egyptian history either in-person or virtually.  

A night out in Wind Street 

There’s only one way to end a trip to Swansea, and it involves a night on Wind Street. Thanks to investment and refurbishment, this quiet shopping street in the city centre became a hub of nightlife for revellers looking to visit a few local pubs or grab a meal and drink to toast a day well spent.  

The Griffin is great for catching live sports while the No Sign Wine Bar dates back to 1690 and evokes a ye olde vibe for those who want to experience classic Swansea with a slap-up meal.  

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