Among the most beautiful places in Europe, Wales is definitely the place to go for any visitors looking for something new and exciting. Though not as recognised internationally as other countries, this magical little nation still offers a wide range of attractions.
Here you will experience everything needed for a perfect vacation, from stunning mountains and beautiful golden beaches to charming tiny villages with all the castles and museums.
But what are the best places to visit in Wales? Good question. There are a whole heap of places to explore. After careful consideration, our CabinZero team has created a handy list of the 15 most beautiful places in Wales that will bring you the most incredible vacation!
Best Places to Visit in South Wales
First up on the list is the official capital of Wales - Cardiff, also known as Europe's youngest capital city. With approximately 1,000 listed buildings and 20 castles and palaces to pick from, the enticing Welsh capital is among the best places to visit in Wales for families.
For enthusiastic history buffs, we highly recommend visiting Cardiff Castle which is located in the heart of the city centre. Loved for its brilliant Victorian Gothic revival architecture, the Welsh castle gives visitors a great introduction to the nation’s century-long history and richly diverse culture.
The famous Cardiff Castle under the cloudy sky. Image by David Atkins on Pexels.
If you’re more of a big fan of sports, the national stadium of Wales - Principality Stadium - is the place to be. Throughout its history, the 74,500-seat Millennium stadium has hosted not only Wales national football team games but also many other large-scale events, from the Super Special Stage of Wales to the Speedway Grand Prix of Great Britain to the FA Cup, and more.
Another must-see attraction of this charming city is the National Museum Cardiff, where you will find an impressive collection of artworks by some of the world's most influential artists, including Old Masters and Welsh painters. So, do yourself a favour and add Cardiff to your list of the best places to visit in South Wales.
Located on the border between England and Wales, the charming city of Hay-on-Wye encompasses the best of both countries, with a plethora of things to see and do.
In fact, this city offers a whole range of adventurous outdoor activities, making it one of the best places to visit in Wales for families. From canoeing, gorge walking, and bushcraft to mountain walking, Hay-on-Wye has everything to offer.
A distant view of the historic Hay Castle. Photo by Dajahof - stock.adobe.com
Hay-on-Wye is also a classic choice for any avid reader! With almost three dozen bookstores selling both new and second-hand books, it is not an exaggeration to regard the charming town of Hay-on-Wye as the reading capital of the world.
While touring in Hay, you can also partake in its prestigious annual Festival of Literature & Arts, usually sponsored by many reputable groups like BBC or the Guardian.
Every spring, this festival attracts around 80,000 visitors from around the globe. It’s a chance for everyone to share stories and ideas about art and writing with well-known writers, philosophers and other artists.
River Wye in Ross-on-Wye, England. The river flows from central Wales to England. Photo by Cliff - stock.adobe.com
Whether you’re looking for a few-hours day tour or even a week getaway, the city of Newport is the perfect place to enjoy all Wales has to offer. There are plenty of things to see and do in the vibrant and multicultural city of Wales.
If you’re after something special among famous places in Wales, check out the National Roman Legion Museum, which is also one of three Roman sites in Caerleon, Newport.
Another highlight includes the Newport Wetlands, notable for its wildlife reserve covering parts of Uskmouth, Nash and Goldcliff, in the Southeast of Newport. Additionally, you can hire a canoe and discover the beauty of the River Wye.
What makes this place so special, you may ask? The little town of Tenby in Southwest Wales offers not only a century-long history dating back to the 12th century, but also many well-preserved castle walls, Victorian architecture, and a beautiful coastline. Although this iconic Welsh town has seen many changes through time, it is still pretty much of a feast for the senses!
If you are looking for total relaxation on a spectacular and unblemished beach, check out the charming Castle Beach, the secluded Monkstone Beach and the famous Saundersfoot Beach.
Brilliant sunsets, aquamarine skies, beautiful coastal scenery, and stunning white sand beaches – the seaside town of Tenby ticks all the boxes of a perfect holiday destination!
If you want to experience more alluring beaches, consider having a trip to the most wonderful cities and towns of Greece. Destinations like Halkidiki or Naxos are perfect places for swimming in the ocean blue.
A picturesque view of the colourful coastal town of Tenby. Photo by Wiola - stock.adobe.com
Highlights of Tenby town include the mediaeval stone walls, charming Victorian houses painted in sugar almond pastels and a maze of cobbled streets that have come to play an important role in Britain's history.
Here in these areas, you will find plenty of hotels, self-catering apartments, and a variety of shops specialising in locally produced items.
Folly Farm and Oakwood Theme Park are also worth mentioning when it comes to the best places to visit in Wales for families.
These attractions offer a wide range of activities for about 500,000 visitors who come to these places annually. With over 750 animals, it’s the ideal attraction for the whole family to have fun.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the smallest among the UK's National Parks. However, regardless of its size, the place offers a gateway to a wide range of stunning landscapes, from fascinating hills, valleys, and woodlands to a spread of gorgeous coastal villages.
Take a walk along the fantastic coast path with all the craggy volcanic outcrops and limestone cliffs, and you will understand why this attraction is considered one of the best places to visit in Wales.
There are many peaceful attractions in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Image by Tobias Keller on Unsplash.
On the South coast of Pembrokeshire national park, you will find another interesting attraction - the St Govan's Chapel. Shrouded in myth and legend, the Chapel was built to honour the hermit St Govan who once lived in Pembrokeshire during the 6th century.
If you're interested in learning about Britain's rich history and tradition, check out Caldey Island. Located just over a mile and a half from the mainland near Tenby, this beautiful island is regarded as one of Wales's most vital holy islands.
Not only does it offer views over a wide river estuary, but it is also a haven of tranquillity and peace. The monks and islanders of Caldey are hospitable and willing to share their island home's delights.
Pontsticill Reservoir with Bell-mouth spillway, South Wales, United Kingdom. Photo by Maxwell Andrews on Unsplash
Merthyr Tydfil is considered one of the most beautiful places in Wales, and for good reasons. It is located midway between the capital city of Cardiff and the breathtaking Brecon Beacons.
The historically fascinating region possesses such an ideal location on Wales's major transport roads. That alone makes it stand out among the best places to visit in Wales.
Besides the peaceful and ever-changing setting, Merthyr Tydfil is also the go-to place to discover the many “hidden treasures” and try several thrilling activities.
One of the best things to do in Merthyr Tydfil is visiting Theatr Soar. It’s a famous cultural centre that has contributed to promoting the Welsh language in Merthyr Tydfil. Here you will be amazed to find a variety of plays, live gigs, poetry evenings, and many Welsh and English-language shows.
Other notable landmarks include the Trevithick / Taff Trail, Cyfarthfa Castle, and Pontsticill Reservoir with Bell-mouth spillway. These family-friendly destinations offer plenty of picturesque sights, historical art, and artefacts associated with Merthyr Tydfil.
Furthermore, there is an epic array of activities for visitors of all ages. You can also buy local produce as gifts – there are plenty of options for visitors of all ages.
Brecon Beacons National Park
No list of the best places to visit in Wales would be complete without mentioning Brecon Beacons National Park (also known as Parc Cenedlaethol Bannau Brycheiniog).
Established in 1957, it is home to the highest mountains in South Wales - Pen y Fan and various iconic peaks like the Black Mountains. Brecon Beacons National Park offers not only a gorgeous expanse of nature and spectacular scenery but also an abundance of wildlife.
You're in luck visiting this national park as the Brecon Beacons feature a picturesque, fairy-tale-like quality with all beautiful sights that will surely blow your mind.
The living landscape of Brecon Beacons is a must-visit if you want to get active. Image by Carl Jorgensen on Unsplash.
Brecon Beacons National Park also has a great collection of Welsh outdoor activities for every type of traveller. From wildlife watching and horse riding to walking, climbing, and cycling, you won’t get bored spending your days here.
In just half a day, you will understand why this place is another excellent example of one of the best holiday destinations in Wales.
Best Places to Visit in North Wales
Snowdonia National Park
When it comes to the best holiday place in Wales, Snowdonia National Park (or Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri in Welsh) is probably the first destination that comes to people's minds.
Covering approximately 825 miles² (2,132 km²) of North Wales, Snowdonia is home to the tallest peak in the country - the Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon).
Standing at over 3,000 feet (914 metres), the mountain is an iconic feature in the National Park and undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Wales. Climbing to the top of the mighty Snowdon peak is a real bucket-list achievement for any traveller.
Llanberis Path is known as the most popular hiking route to the summit of Snowdon. It is considered one of the easiest hiking routes, suitable for people of all ages.
If you love to have some more hiking and walking, you should visit the Elan Valley dams and reservoirs for a chance to explore Caban Coch Dam and Preseli Hills. They are in mid-Wales and Western Wales, respectively.
A perfectly aligned sunset view from the Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon). Image by Neil Mark Thomas on Unsplash
But what if you're not much of an avid hiker or climber? In that case, Snowdonia National Park also offers a leisurely tour on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, where everyone can enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view from the top.
The stunning National Park landscapes range from beautiful uplands, enchanting forests, and foaming waterfalls to vast green valleys and glorious coasts.
Here you will get the chance to immerse yourself in the vibrant and unique Welsh culture and traditions through all the magnificent peaks and fascinating historic ruins.
Llandudno whose Promenade Sea Front is almost three kilometres (two miles) long. Photo by manuta - stock.adobe.com
Known as the "queen of Welsh resorts", Llandudno is a great place to visit at any time of year. The charming town of Llandudno nestles on the coast of North Wales and has plenty to offer as one of the best places to visit in Wales.
The most striking feature here in Llandudno is the colossal limestone headland of the Great Orme. With a 360-degree view from the 679-feet (207-metre) summit, it's easily accessible either by cable car or on foot.
Along the way, keep an eye out for majestic kestrels and agile Kashmir goats grazing the steep hillsides. Once you are at the top, you will find plenty of places to sit and watch and enjoy the lovely scenery.
Stretching away from the wide promenade is Llandudno Pier. Stretching out 2,295 feet (700 metres) into the Irish Sea, it is the longest pier in Wales. The Grade II listed structure is perfect for an afternoon stroll or sipping a delicious cream tea while taking in the surroundings.
To finish your day tour, visit the Venue Cymru theatre (formerly known as the Aberconwy Centre) and enjoy an entire season of performances and exhibitions in this spot of culture.
The mesmerising sunset in Porth Dafach, Anglesey. Image by Neil Mark Thomas on Unsplash.
For a cheeky getaway that is different from the places mentioned earlier, you could plan a trip to Anglesey, which is one of the best places to visit in Wales and also a favourite amongst locals.
The Holy Island, connected to Anglesey by a bridge, is a popular holiday spot and an important place in English Christianity. Some other unique spots in Anglesey include Beaumaris Castle, Parys Mountain, The Dingle Nature Reserve, and Tiny Salt Island (great for some bird-watching).
You can enjoy the gorgeous sea views while strolling along one of these good beaches: Penrhos Beach, Newborough Beach, Benllech Beach, and Traeth Lligwy. Or, if you're into hiking, spend a day venturing on a coastal hike, suitable for both little ones and avid adventurers. So, have a go with your kids and get out on your next adventure!
Finally, many visitors from around the world also come to the Isle of Anglesey to check out the village with the longest train station name in Europe: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
The colourful and Italian-style buildings are a signature of Portmeirion. Photo by Debu55y - stock.adobe.com
Situated on the Northwest coast, Portmeirion is a small yet gorgeous Italian village perched within the rolling hills and on the shoreline.
It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 and is also one of the best places to visit in North Wales nowadays.
Here you'll find the perfect combination of Italian style and Welsh charm back in the 1920s, along with an array of exciting activities the whole family can enjoy.
Winter can completely transform a place and create a vibe you just can't get anywhere else, and this destination is no exception. There's something special about visiting Portmeirion during the winter season.
As you stroll through the streets of the phantasmal destination, you will get the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while contemplating the Italian-style architecture and brightly coloured buildings.
So, if you're yearning for an unforgettable slice of Italy on your trip, definitely add Portmeirion to your best of Wales list! And if you want to see more of Italy after coming to such a wonderful place, why not come to the best places to visit in the boot-shaped country itself?
The impressive view of the famous Conwy Castle. Image by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
Out of the best places to visit in North Wales, the small town of Conway is perhaps the prettiest. Though most guided tours offer only short stops here, we guarantee that Conwy has a lot more to offer.
Head to the famous Conwy Castle and have a look at the impressive mediaeval architecture of the castle and the suspension bridge dating back to the 13th century. On top of the castle overlooking the River Conwy, you will find some truly remarkable views of the surrounding countryside and the water.
Conwy is a great point to kick off when you're about to explore other tourist attractions in Wales. In addition, the town is also famous for having the most miniature house in the UK, a bright red cutie that you definitely won't want to miss.
For tourists who enjoy shopping, we recommend you take a walk along the lovely cobblestone roads of Conwy. You will be amazed to find the abundance of cafés, restaurants, pubs, and shops in the heart of the town.
With its well-preserved mediaeval architecture, Caernarfon Castle (Carnarvon Castle) is a must-see in Wales. Image by Reinaldo Sture on Unsplash
One of the best things about the city is Caernarfon Castle (or Carnarvon Castle). It was initially built by King Edward I in the 13th century as a seat for the first Prince of Wales, the future King Edward II.
It was later designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. This place also played a significant role in Welsh history, especially during the Wars of Independence and the English Civil War.
With its well-preserved-mediaeval towers and gates, no wonder the massive castle is still among the most impressive and famous places in Wales. Easily accessible by rail from Bangor station, Caernarfon attracts thousands of tourists annually.
If you want something different, move to the outskirts of the city to see the stone village of Beddgelert, a small place with lots to visit and do. For instance, you can take a stroll along the River Glaslyn or take a little nap with the Gelert the Dog statue.
Looking for a change-up from the noisy city life? Consider heading to Prestatyn, one of the best places to visit in Wales for families. Walks, rides, arts, and beaches are some important parts of the travel experience in this small coastal town of Prestatyn.
In fact, the beaches of both Rhyl and Prestatyn boast miles of beautiful sand and are ideal for all the family. With lovely views, soft white sand beaches, mesmerising sunrises, and romantic sunsets, there is something for everyone here in Prestatyn.
Nova Prestatyn is a wonderful attraction with beach-themed adventure play! Photo by johndavidphoto - stock.adobe.com
After spending some quality family time making sandcastles, you can stroll along the coast to bask in the peaceful atmosphere while feeling the soft breeze touching your skin. Take on the thrill of bike racing and horseback riding for a more exciting adventure!
If that's not your thing, check out some fantastic specimens of fish, coral, and other kinds of marine life at the Rhyl SeaQuarium. Demonstration sessions are available to keep things informative and exciting for visitors looking to learn more about new species.
If you want to visit another rural town, we recommend going to the county of Ceredigion. It has some of the prettiest towns on the coast of Wales. The drive there is about 3 hours, but it’s worth it.
Porthmadog, Snowdonia, is a haven for narrow-gauge railway enthusiasts. Photo by Henry Pearsall on Unsplash
If Porthmadog is famous for anything, then that must be its collection of beaches, caves, rock pools, and more. It is one of the most famous places in Wales for families.
As an important transportation centre, Porthmadog is served by three lines: the Ffestiniog (to Blaenau Ffestiniog), the Welsh Highland Railway (to Caernarfon), and the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (with its excellent hands-on railway museum).
Out of the three, the famous Welsh Highland Railway twisting throughout North of Wales is definitely a must-see for anyone who loves steam trains and railways.
Porthmadog's Heritage Railway offers passengers breathtaking views of the most beautiful countryside, from the magical Aberglaslyn Pass, the charming village of Beddgelert, to the Brecon Beacons National Park.
With a good range of shops and attractions, Porthmadog is also an excellent base for touring the surrounding area. There is plenty of seating available, as well as plenty of boats to admire in the harbour.
Borth-y-Gest is the most famous beach in the region. It’s just one mile (1.6 kilometres) south of Porthmadog. The attraction used to be a ship-building place, but now it has become a beautiful little cove for tourists.
If you fall in love with this Celtic nation, check out the best attractions to visit in France. These two countries share many common features: having various age-old castles, mountainous regions, beaches, etc. Why not travel to both of them and find out their similarities as well as differences by yourself?
And while you are at it, you may want to take a trip to Bern, one of the most worth visiting places in Switzerland. The train journey from the capital city of Switzerland to France is about five hours, covering a distance of about 373 miles (600 kilometres).
We hope you are inspired by our selection of the best places to visit in Wales and be able to make the most of your time there. With a wealth of beautiful nature and impressive tourist attractions, small but mighty Wales should definitely be included in your itinerary on your upcoming trip to the United Kingdom.