20 Amazing Visitor Attractions in Wales

From the majestic peaks of Snowdonia to the dramatic Pembrokeshire coast, Wales is a land of enduring beauty. 

It’s also a country with a fascinating heritage showcased through impressive castles and historical landmarks.

Given the sheer variety of attractions in Wales, it can be quite difficult to start planning a visit there.

To help, we’ve put together this guide which features 20 of the best places to visit in Wales. So read on!

Major Welsh Visitor Attractions – Summary

1. Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia National Park, an awe-inspiring natural playground in the heart of Wales, invites visitors to lose themselves in its majestic landscape.

Famed as the home of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, the park isn’t just about lofty peaks.

Its 823 square miles host glistening glacial lakes, dense forests, charming villages and miles upon miles of trails waiting to be explored.

You might start your adventure by tackling the hike up Snowdon itself.

With six main paths to choose from, the mountain accommodates everyone from novices to experienced hikers.

For those preferring a leisurely journey, hop aboard the Snowdon Mountain Railway which will carry you to the summit, where panoramic views of the British Isles await.

From the picturesque village of Betws-y-Coed, often referred to as the gateway to Snowdonia, to the imposing fortress of Harlech Castle, the park is littered with hidden gems.

Nature enthusiasts will be in their element in the vast swathes of wilderness.

Explore the ancient oak woodland of Coed y Brenin Forest, or if you’re lucky, spot ospreys circling above the Glaslyn estuary.

Meanwhile, adventure seekers can head underground for a unique experience at Zip World Slate Caverns, featuring zip lines and underground trampolines.

For a slower-paced visit, quaint Welsh towns such as Dolgellau and Bala offer local crafts, traditional pubs, and a chance to experience Welsh culture and hospitality.

Remember, the true beauty of Snowdonia National Park is in its diversity. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fuelled exploits, peaceful strolls through ancient landscapes, or a blend

2. Cardiff Castle

As one of the most famous Wales attractions, Cardiff Castle is a remarkable architectural legacy nestled in the heart of Wales’ vibrant capital.

The fortress serves as a testimony to over 2000 years of history with its Roman origins, medieval keep and Victorian Gothic revival mansion showcasing Cardiff’s rich heritage.

Begin your visit at the original Roman walls, marvelling at the fort’s endurance over millennia.

Ascend the Norman Keep’s steep steps to enjoy a panorama of Cardiff city. The 12-sided keep, a classic motte-and-bailey construction, gives a unique insight into the castle’s medieval life.

The opulence of the Victorian era is on full display in the castle apartments.

Be sure to visit the Clock Tower, filled with intricately designed rooms like the Summer Smoking Room, showcasing the lavish tastes of the 3rd Marquess of Bute.

Also don’t miss the castle’s extensive grounds. The beautiful parkland offers a tranquil escape amidst the city hustle, with peacocks freely roaming.

Cardiff Castle is not just one of the major Welsh landmarks, i’s a living tale of Cardiff’s journey from a Roman fort to a thriving metropolis.

Be it history enthusiasts or casual visitors, the castle offers a glimpse into a past that shaped modern Cardiff.

3. Brecon Beacons National Park

The Brecon Beacons National Park offers a diverse landscape of majestic mountains, rolling countryside and cascading waterfalls.

Begin your journey at Pen y Fan, the park’s highest peak. The hike to the top might be challenging, but the breath-taking views of the Welsh countryside are worth every step.

Or choose a gentler walk along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, a peaceful waterway adorned with vibrant wildlife.

Don’t miss the enchanting waterfalls in the park’s aptly named Waterfall Country.

Underneath the park’s serene landscape lies an underground world waiting to be explored. The National Showcaves Centre for Wales provides a unique adventure for both children and adults.

At night, the park transforms into one of the world’s best stargazing spots, recognized as an International Dark Sky Reserve. The absence of light pollution lets you witness the starry skies in all their glory.

Brecon Beacons National Park is one of the most famous natural attractions in Wales, providing a perfect escape and a chance to connect with the natural beauty of the principality

4. St. Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

Venture into the past with a visit to St. Fagans National Museum of History, an open-air museum located in Cardiff, Wales.

This unique destination is not your average museum – it’s a vibrant exploration of Welsh history and culture, set in a sprawling parkland.

St. Fagans showcases more than 40 original buildings from different periods in Welsh history, including a school, a chapel, a farmhouse, and a workmen’s institute.

All have been relocated from various parts of Wales. These structures provide fascinating insight into the lives of Welsh people over the centuries.

Stroll through the historic gardens, where you’ll encounter native breeds of livestock and flourishing traditional crops

Discover old skills with live demonstrations of crafts including blacksmithing, pottery, and bread-baking in traditional ovens.

The museum also frequently hosts events like folk dancing and traditional music performances.

Don’t miss the Iron Age roundhouses, which transport you back over 2000 years. Also visit the grandiose St. Fagans Castle, a late 16th-century manor house with beautiful Elizabethan gardens.

Whether you’re a history buff or a family looking for an engaging day out, St. Fagans National Museum showcases historic Wales in all of its glory.

5. Millennium Stadium (Principality Stadium), Cardiff

Millennium Stadium

Picture yourself in the bustling heart of Cardiff, looking up at the imposing structure of the Millennium Stadium – or, as locals know it, the Principality Stadium.

It’s a modern symbol of Welsh unity and identity, having been originally built for the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Today, it’s a renowned venue with international fame.

The stadium seats more than 74,000 and is among the world’s largest  retractable-roof stadium. It’s an awe-inspiring sight, whether you’re under the open sky or the closed roof.

Though the home base for the Welsh Rugby Union and host to nail-biting Six Nations and Rugby World Cup matches, the venue’s appeal goes beyond rugby.

It’s been the setting for football matches, boxing, motorsports and major concerts.

Walking through the stadium on a guided tour feels like stepping behind the curtain of a grand performance.

You’ll see everything from the players’ tunnel and dressing rooms to the VIP suites, gaining a glimpse into Welsh sporting history.

The Principality Stadium is more than an architectural marvel – it’s the pulsing heart of modern Wales and an essential entry on any Wales sightseeing itinerary. 

6. Caernarfon Castle

In Wales castles don’t get much better than this beauty. Set at the mouth of the Seiont River,  Caernarfon Castle is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,

This imposing medieval fortress represents one of the most impressive and well-preserved castles from Edward I’s reign and is among the major historic landmarks in Wales.

The castle’s unique design, with polygonal towers instead of the traditional round ones, makes it instantly recognisable.

Be sure to climb the Eagle Tower, the grandest of them all, adorned with stone eagles. It affords breathtaking view of the historic town of Caernarfon and the Menai Strait.

The castle is also the birthplace of the first English Prince of Wales, with the castle serving as the venue for the investiture of the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, in 1969.

Stroll through the castle’s chambers and halls, where interactive exhibits and information boards bring its tumultuous history to life.

You’ll learn about medieval life, royal residents, and key historical events that shaped this fortress over centuries.

Visiting Caernarfon Castle is like stepping into a history book offering a fascinating journey into the past that’s truly unforgettable. Without doubt this is one of the best places to visit in Wales.

7. Conwy Castle

One of the most famous castles in Wales, Conwy Castle is a towering medieval fortress that’s another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built by Edward I in the 13th century, this majestic keep stands as a testament to the creativity and engineering from times past.

The castle’s eight formidable towers and weathered stone walls offer an imposing sight against the backdrop of the Welsh landscape.

Take the time to ascend the towers. The effort will reward you with unparalleled views of the charming town of Conwy, the sparkling estuary, and the rugged Welsh countryside.

Step inside the castle, and the adventure continues. Wander through the Great Hall, King’s Apartments, and Chapel, imagining the royal ceremonies and daily life that once filled these spaces.

The castle’s rich history comes alive as you explore these remnants of a bygone era. Not to be missed is the walk along Conwy’s town walls, providing a unique perspective of the medieval town.

Complete with 21 towers and three gateways, it’s one of the most complete sets of town walls in Europe.

A visit to Conwy Castle isn’t just a tour; it’s a step back in time, providing a tangible connection to the Middle Ages.

It promises a memorable experience for history buffs, families looking for an enriching outing, or anyone in search one of the most impressive Wales castles.

8. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is the only one of its kind in the UK that’s purely coastal.

As one of the best national parks in Wales, it comprises a wondrous mix of golden beaches, soaring cliffs and quaint hamlets.

Your journey should undoubtedly include a trek on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

This trail meanders through 186 miles of extraordinary coastal landscape, with every turn revealing secluded coves, expansive bays, and imposing sea cliffs – each vista more awe-inspiring than the last.

The park’s beauty extends beyond its coastline into the surrounding sea, encompassing a cluster of offshore islands.

For those passionate about wildlife, a boat trip to Skomer Island is a must-do. This haven is teeming with puffins, seals and an astonishing variety of other seabirds.

Inland, the park unfolds a tapestry of history with ancient hill forts and standing stones. Don’t forget to visit the vibrant harbour town of Tenby, where medieval town walls enclose picturesque beaches and colourful buildings.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park beckons to adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, and history aficionados alike.

Whether you’re craving adrenaline-fuelled activities like kayaking and coasteering or delving into historical landmarks, the park promises a bounty of unforgettable experiences.

It’s not just a trip, but a journey into the heart of Wales’ natural beauty and heritage. It’s also one of the top attractions in Wales.

9. Portmeirion, Gwynedd

Portmeirion

Set on the north-western coast of Wales, Portmeirion is a little slice of Italy tucked into the landscape and one of those must see places in Wales.

Designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, this enchanting village is a fusion of whimsical architecture and beautiful gardens, built to show how a naturally beautiful location could be developed without spoiling it.

Each building in the village is unique, with a blend of architectural styles that will transport you to the Mediterranean.

Don’t forget to visit the vibrant central piazza with its striking buildings and ornaments, reminiscent of an Italian village.

Nestled within the village is a patchwork of sub-tropical gardens, woodland walks and coastal paths. Follow the trails to discover hidden lakes, enchanting gazebos, and even a dog cemetery.

The village also features several boutiques offering Portmeirion pottery, a famous brand inspired by the village itself.

After exploring, treat yourself to a traditional Welsh afternoon tea or a delicious Italian meal at one of the village’s cafes or restaurants.

A visit to Portmeirion is like stepping into a fairytale and is considered one of the major cultural attractions in Wales.

10. National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne 

Nestled in Carmarthenshire’s picturesque Towy Valley, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is a verdant haven dedicated to botanical research and conservation

It offers an inviting escape for nature enthusiasts, th0se looking for family-friendly attractions in Wales and anyone craving a day filled with floral beauty.

The garden’s crowning glory is the Great Glasshouse. This architectural marvel, the largest of its kind, houses a diverse range of Mediterranean plants including olives and eucalyptus.

The gardens feature different areas such as a Japanese Garden with its graceful tea house and a bee garden.

Families will find interactive fun in the Butterfly House and the British Bird of Prey Centre, where stunning flying displays take place.

And for a deeper dive into the garden’s mission, visit the science centre to learn about the vital plant conservation research taking place here.

To cap your visit, enjoy a meal at the garden’s restaurant, where beautiful views enhance the dining experience.

One of the top tourist attractions in Wales that should appeal to nature lovers, families and anybody looking to visit Wales.

11. National Slate Museum, Llanberis

Tucked into the slopes of Elidir Mountain in the Welsh town of Llanberis, the National Slate Museum is an intriguing step back in time to the heyday of the slate industry.

This museum, located in the former Dinorwic Quarry workshops, gives a compelling glimpse into an era that shaped the landscape and communities of North Wales.

When you first walk into the museum, it’s hard to ignore the enormous waterwheel, the largest on mainland Britain.

This once powered the whole workshop – its continued operation today is a testament to the ingenuity of the past.

The museum’s slate-cutting demonstrations offer an engaging look at the craftsman’s art, where the skill and precision of the workers become evident.

Wander around the preserved workshops and foundry, where original machinery and tools are still in place, standing as silent witnesses to a bustling past.

Don’t miss the row of quarrymen’s houses, relocated from Tanygrisiau, which take you on a journey through time, showing living conditions from the 1860s through to the 1960s.

The National Slate Museum is a powerful storytelling medium, breathing life into the people and communities who built their lives around the slate industry.

Should you be looking for emotive things to do in Wales, you should pay a visit!

12. Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

In the heart of Cardiff Bay, you’ll find the Wales Millennium Centre, affectionately dubbed “The Armadillo.”

One of the top cultural attractions in Wales, this iconic structure represents the vibrant spirit of Welsh performing arts.

It plays host to a variety of productions, from ballet and opera to modern dance and musical theatre.

As you approach the Centre, the dramatic bilingual inscription on its facade captures your attention, a symbolic nod to Welsh resilience and creativity.

The Donald Gordon Theatre, the Centre’s showpiece, is an architectural marvel combining aesthetic beauty with stellar acoustics.

It’s here that the mesmerising performances of the Welsh National Opera among others come to life.

Yet, the Centre’s appeal goes beyond the grandeur of the main stage. Its intimate Weston Studio delivers a rich mix of theatre, dance and comedy.

This standout venue is well-suited to theatre goers as well as those of you simply looking to visit iconic visitor attraction in Wales.

13. Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn

Bodnant Garden

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountain range, Bodnant Garden invites visitors into an 80-acre paradise of botanical beauty.

Established over 150 years by five generations of one family, this garden is a living testament to a passion for plants and a love of landscape.

As you meander through the garden, each turn reveals a new spectacle.

Marvel at the vibrant blooms in the Italianate terraces, and find tranquillity in the peaceful confines of the secluded dell, home to the UK’s tallest Californian Redwood.

Meander along the laburnum arch in late spring, and you’ll find yourself walking beneath a golden cascade of hanging blossoms, a sight that draws visitors from around the world.

Yet, the laburnum’s blooming is just one of many seasonal highlights at Bodnant.

Every season paints Bodnant in different hues, from the fiery displays of azaleas in spring, through the lazy, hazy summer days in the wild garden, from the kaleidoscope of autumn colours in the arboretum, to the stark winter beauty of the mill pond and the old park.

A visit to Bodnant Garden offers an exploration of botanical diversity and is a celebration of natural beauty

14. Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion

Devil’s Bridge is an intriguing part of Welsh folklore. The bridge, or rather bridges, is a curious stack of three structures, each built atop the last over the centuries.

The lowest, a simple stone crossing, dates back possibly to the 11th century.

The middle bridge was added in the 18th century, with an iron bridge completing the trio which was built in 1901.

This layered history offers a glimpse into the passage of time and changing engineering practices

The bridges span the Rheidol Gorge, which is home to the dramatic Mynach Waterfalls.

A series of steps, known as Jacob’s Ladder, lead down to the falls providing a stunning view – a worthwhile venture for those able to navigate the steep descent and ascent.

Beyond its structural uniqueness, Devil’s Bridge is steeped in legend. The tale tells of the Devil himself building the first bridge, only to be outwitted by a local old lady.

As well as offering folkloric charm and natural beauty, Devil’s Bridge is great for those of you looking to experience some of the best outdoor activities in Wales.

15. Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

Off the coast of Anglesey, the picturesque Llanddwyn Island awaits.

This slender, mile-long stretch of land is steeped in Welsh legend and offers stunning views, making it a true hidden gem.

Llanddwyn, translating to The Church of St. Dwynwen, is a haven of tranquillity and a site of pilgrimage that’s dedicated to the Welsh patron saint of lovers.

Here, you can explore the ruins of St. Dwynwen’s Church, a poignant reminder of the island’s spiritual past.

Wander its paths, and you’ll be greeted by a delightful mix of sandy beaches, dune fields, rocky coves, and a diverse array of local flora and fauna.

The island’s two lighthouses, Twr Mawr and Twr Bach, offer breathtaking vistas of Snowdonia mountain and the Llŷn Peninsula

The island is also home to a variety of bird species, and with a bit of luck, you might even spot seals basking on the nearby rocks.

To complete your visit, don’t miss the Celtic Cross, a nod to the island’s Celtic heritage and a popular spot for quiet reflection.

Whether you’re a romantic soul, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking peace and solitude, Llanddwyn Island offers a unique and enchanting retreat.

16. Dylan Thomas Boathouse, Laugharne

Perched on the edge of the Taf Estuary in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, the Dylan Thomas Boathouse is a must-visit for any literary enthusiast.

This quaint, cliff-side dwelling was the last home of one of Wales’s most iconic poets, Dylan Thomas and it’s here that he penned some of his most beloved works.

Upon entering this refurbished 19th-century dwelling, you’re transported into Dylan Thomas’s world.

The house, left as it would have been during the poet’s residency, is filled with mementoes, original furniture and personal artefacts, each painting a vivid portrait of his life.

Take a leisurely walk through the house where Thomas lived with his loved ones.

Peek into his writing shed – the very place where his final pieces came to life – and admire the captivating views of the estuary and the sweeping landscape that fuelled his imagination.

A collection of letters, photographs, and artwork further reveal his extraordinary life and career.

Yet, the boathouse isn’t trapped in the past. Today, it functions as a lively cultural centre.

It plays host to a myriad of poetry readings, art exhibitions and literary happenings. .

Venturing to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse offers a chance to step into the shoes of one of Wales’s most cherished poets.

You’ll gain insights into his creative universe and igniting your own artistic inspiration.

For literature buffs, budding writers, or those seeking a unique cultural Welsh adventure, the boathouse offers a rare and stirring experience.

17. Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a remarkable symbol of medieval times that was constructed during  the Norman Conquest.

It’s one of the best preserved fortresses in the UK, showcasing the grandeur of Wales’s rich history. It’s also the birthplace of Henry VII.

Venturing within the castle’s robust walls, you’re stepping into a time capsule of bygone centuries.

Discover the network of towers and corridors where medieval knights once roamed, or marvel at the towering Great Keep, a strategic viewpoint offering sweeping vistas of the surrounding landscape.

One of the castle’s intriguing surprises is the Wogan Cavern, a vast natural limestone cave under the fortress, providing a refreshing retreat and a unique glimpse into the past.

The castle’s extensive grounds are also a joy to explore, with a tranquil mill pond and lush picnic spots.

Pembroke Castle is ideal for those looking to experience historic Wales in all its glory.

Standing on the battlements, taking in the view over the town and river, you’re not just observing a landscape – you’re peering into history.

18. Bodelwyddan Castle, Denbighshire

Another one of those Wales castles that’s just a marvel of engineering.

Constructed in the Victorian era, this historic house boasts gothic architectural elements, scenic gardens and an impressive art collection.

Walking through Bodelwyddan’s lavish interiors, you’re surrounded by history.

The castle’s many rooms are filled with 19th-century furniture and artworks from renowned artists. It’s also home to a significant part of the National Portrait Gallery’s Victorian Collection.

Outside, Bodelwyddan’s grounds are a delight to explore.

Wander through the historic formal gardens, admire the fascinating variety of plant life in the walled garden, or challenge yourself with the woodland adventure playground and maze.

The castle, a former WWI recuperation hospital, offers a unique view of British history, with interactive displays providing insight into the wartime experience.

Whether you’re a history lover, an art enthusiast, or a family looking for an enjoyable day out, Bodelwyddan Castle offers an unforgettable experience.

19. Dinefwr Park, Carmarthenshire

Another one of those must see places in Wales, Dinefwr Park is a 800-acre estate that’s home to a historic castle and some beautiful landscapes.

Begin your visit with a stroll to the 12th-century Dinefwr Castle. Perched atop a hill, this ruin offers panoramic views over the Tywi Valley.

Down the hill, Newton House, a striking 17th-century mansion, invites exploration.

Immerse yourself in its evocative rooms, where interactive displays narrate tales of the families who lived here.

The estate’s park is a haven for wildlife. Comprising ancient woodland and rolling pastures, it’s home to over 100 species of bird and a herd of fallow deer.

The park’s most iconic residents, however, are the rare White Park Cattle, a breed that has grazed here for over a thousand years.

A visit to Dinefwr Park offers you the chance to connect with nature and appreciate the delicate balance of man-made and natural landscapes.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or seeking family-attractions in Walkes, Dinefwr Park is a destination that captivates and enchants.

20. Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula

Where would Wales tourism be without this stunning region?

Cradled on the South Wales coast, Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula offer a diverse mix of city charm, sandy beaches, and rugged landscapes.

It’s here that you’ll find Wales at its most vibrant and varied, a destination that caters to history lovers, nature enthusiasts and those of you seeking adventure activities in Wales.

In Swansea city, discover the Maritime Quarter with its fascinating museums and bustling marina, or visit the iconic Dylan Thomas Centre.

A leisurely stroll along the sweeping arc of Swansea Bay leads to the Victorian seaside resort of Mumbles, famous for its pier, boutique shops, and ice cream parlours.

But the true jewel of the area is the Gower Peninsula – Britain’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a stunning mix of beaches, cliffs and woodland.

Visit Rhossili Bay, regularly voted one of the UK’s best beaches, and marvel at the awe-inspiring Worm’s Head, accessible only at low tide.

Further inland, uncover millennia of history at the prehistoric Parc le Breos burial chamber.

Or explore the ruins of Weobley Castle which affords magnificent views over the Loughor Estuary.

Swansea Bay and the Gower Peninsula offer an experience that’s as varied and captivating as Wales itself.

Offical Visit Wales Website: https://www.visitwales.com

Dale Shelabarger

Dale is the owner and founder of Cottages to Rent which he launched back in 2005. As well as promoting holiday cottages, Dale blogs regularly about top UK holiday destinations, visitor attractions and places of historical interest.