Swansea is the city full of scenic charms, culture and activities.

It not only has the shops, bars, restaurants and museums that you'd expect to find in any city, it also boasts a stadium, marina - and plenty of beaches to choose from too.

And whether you live here or you're just visiting Swansea, there's so much to explore and enjoy and you will be spoilt for choice on a day out.

Read more: The 20 most exciting things we can look forward to in Swansea in 2021

It’s difficult to list the best things to do in Swansea because there are so many. However, we’ve put a list together of 20 things that every visitor should do when they come to the Welsh City.

1.Enjoy the local beaches

Rhossili Bay, Gower

Swansea is home to some of the best beaches in the UK - but don't just take our word for it though, Rhossili Bay was voted TripAdvisor’s best beach in Britain (and also the ninth best in the world).

With three miles of golden sand along a blue vision of a coastline, Rhossili Bay, situated at the western end of popular holiday destination of the Gower peninsula is a little taste of Europe in Wales.

If you’re looking for a beach for the whole family, including your four legged companions , there's plenty of places to choose from - such as Mumbles , Pwll Du, Pobbles, Three Cliffs, Tor Bay, Crawley, Oxwich, Mewslade, Rhossili , Llangennith, Broughton, Whiteford Sands and Port Eynon.

2.Visit Swansea Market

Rhossili Bay has 3 miles of gorgeous sand and coastline

Ask anyone from Swansea, and they will tell you that Swansea Market is the best market in Wales, hands down (Sorry Cardiff). The award winning market has a diverse range of stalls and is a real melting pot of the city. It has a bustling atmosphere that makes it feel like a home from home. And the random and varied collection of stalls means there's always something different to discover. If you want fresh and quality made produce there's an array of butchers and fishmongers. If your pallete has a more global taste then there's a Thai and a Japanese stalls too. Heck, if you wanted to buy expletive laden punk rock on vinyl, grab a Christian book and then purchase retro video game before acquiring antiques and donning a wig you can do it within a matter of minutes.

But there's two things every visitor must do: buy some cockles and grab some Welsh cakes. If you haven't done either of these, then have you really been to Swansea Market?

3. Explore Mumbles

Mumbles is full of local character and charm

Mumbles is one of the jewels of Wales and has been the place people have made holiday memories for decades, nothing beats walking along the promenade on a sunny day with an ice cream in your hand.

Take a stroll on Mumbles Pier - which, fact fans, is 835ft and has dominated Swansea Bay's landscape for more than 100 years. It's attractions include an amusements arcade (you will spend lots of money, be warned) a gift shop and a cafe. And if that doesn't float your boat enough, then you can also enjoy some fishing too.

Oh, and we forgot to mention, that the pier is even holding it's very first Christmas market this winter.

4. Treat yourself to an ice cream at Joe's or Verdi's

Joe's Ice cream located on Mumbles Road

You're spoilt for choice when it comes to ice cream in Swansea. You'd think that one legendary Italian ice cream parlour would be enough, but no - Swansea has two of them: Joe's and Verdis. Asking us which one is better, is like asking which one of your kids is your favourite - or whether you'd prefer your lungs or oxygen. We can't choose between the two.

Joe's Ice cream has been in the city since 1922 and they offer a variety of flavours - although their traditional one is the stuff of legend.

Verdi's, a short walk down from Mumbles Pier, also has a restaurant with authentic (but most importantly delicious) Italian food as well as an impressive ice cream menu.

5. Take a stroll around SA1 and Swansea Marina

Enjoy an evening down SA1 and Swansea Marina

Swansea Marina and SA1 is located behind the Swansea barrage at the mouth of the River Tawe. It is a great place to walk around and take in the scenery while also doing a spot of boat-spotting.

If you want to explore the city's rich maritime history then there's the National Waterfront Museum, which is free. If experiencing the wet stuff first hand is more your thing, then the LC has a fantastic swimming pool with great water slides and a wave machine.

And if you're worn out after all that walking and sight seeing, there's plenty of bars and cafes in SA1 and the Marina to kick back and relax. Bonus.

6. Stroll through Singleton Park

Singleton park

Singleton Park has acres of simple, unadorned green space. It is a must visit for families of all ages and is the prefect destination for a picnic.

It's home to a small boating lake plus it has crazy golf, an adventure playground and botanical gardens too. It's a great place to walk or cycle through. And during the autumn, it looks even more spectacular. Be prepared to take dozens of photos.

7. Take a look around the museums and galleries

The National Waterfront Museum

As previously mentioned, the National Waterfront Museum is a great (and free) place to visit in the Marina. But don't let the name mislead you, it's not just about boats or the water. In fact it is a treasure trove of Welsh life and culture - from its industrial past right up the present day. Among the highlights include an ultra rare Gilbern classic car - a sports car that was made in Wales. You can read more about that here. It also has some immersive interactive displays too. Above all, there are some impressive pieces that are sure to capture the attention of both children and adults.

And just across the lawn from the National Waterfront Museum, is the more traditional Swansea Museum - which has an ancient Egyptian mummy as well as a Second World War Collection - which brings to life the hardships of wartime in Swansea.

Other museums to tick off your list include the Egypt Centre at Swansea University, The Dylan Thomas Centre and The Gower Hertitage Centre.

And if you get your kicks from all things visual, Swansea's Glyn Vivian Gallery has some eye-catching as well as thought provoking pieces of art. It's a great launchpad for talented up and coming artists, as well as established ones. It also houses the sprawling art collection of 19th Century industrialist Richard Glynn Vivian.

8. Blackpill Lido

Let the kids go wild in Swansea's famous lido

Located in the heart of Mumbles, the lido features a fantastic paddling pool, an extensive children’s play area, climbing rock and picnic facilities. And the best bit that every parent will want to hear - is it's free. Go armed with a picnic, or make the most of the cafe on site.

The lido is located over the road from the award-winning Clyne Gardens (see below) and Swansea Beach, if you want to make a full day of it.

9. Explore the Gower with Gower Coast Adventures

Gower Coast Adventures

Gower Coast Adventures let's you get close and personal with the amazing marine life that live in our welsh waters, leatherback turtles were recently spotted along the coast.

The guided, interactive boat trips explores the beautiful Gower coast - the best way to experience amazing sea life and enjoy unique views of the stunning Gower peninsula.

10. Wind Street

Wind Street is the heart of the the nightlife scene in Swansea, it is one of Wales' best known party zones. The street is packed with bars, clubs and restaurants so you definitely won't be disappointed. Although, do be prepared for the sight of grown adults having piggy backs while in fancy dress or people being "tired and emotional" while sat on the kerb while clutching a kebab. Oh, and if you're walking along there on Sunday or Monday morning, you might, ahem, want to watch where you walk. It's not for the faint hearted sure - but it's never dull.

11. Oystermouth Castle

The historical Oystermouth Castle

Discover the hidden histories of the historic Oystermouth Castle.

Oystermouth Castle is a Norman stone castle that overlooks Swansea Bay on the east side of the Gower Peninsula near Mumbles. Your little ones can be Prince and Princesses for the day and dress up as their favorite character. As well as a great place to explore and take photos, it's also known to host lots of fun events - such as dungeons and dragons days, outdoor plays as well as craft days.

12. Oyster Wharf

Oyster Wharf Mumbles is a stunning waterfront development

Oyster Wharf is an up and coming development at Tivoli Walk in Mumbles.

The restaurant and retail development is home to Bistrot Pierre and Croeso Lounge. It's a great place to lunch or even just grab a coffee and watch the world go by. There's tables on the balcony too if you want to laud it over like some kind of latte loving Roman emperor.

13.Visit the Swansea.Com Stadium

Liberty Stadium

The ground formerly known as The Liberty Stadium is home to both Swansea City Football Club and the Ospreys. Take in a match involving the round or oval balls and soak up the atmosphere. Post game, there's always a trip to Rossi's fish bar across the road to be done too.

Sadly, according to the stadium's website, behind-the-scenes tours have been postponed because of coronavirus. However, when they come back, they're definitely worth booking a place on. In the interim, a walk around the ground and taking a few photos while you're there is still an option.

14.Secret bar and kitchen

The Secret Beach Bar & Kitchen can be found on Swansea Bay's seafront

The Secret Beach Bar & Kitchen is located on Swansea Bay’s seafront with stunning views of the beach.

In the day you can walk in, sit on the terrace with sea views and by night you can enjoy succulent steak and have an intimate dining experience. You can also grab a quick takeaway for your walk from the Secret takeaway unit.

15. Wander around Uplands

The Bookshop Bar & Cafe

Uplands is full of bars and restaurants, It's one of the city's coolest neighborhoods. In 2017, it was voted one of the hippest areas in the UK.

Bars such as Uplands Tavern, Bar Saint James and Noah's Yard have a great atmosphere. In the case of the "Tav" it's great for live music and open mic nights. As for food, Brewstone is great for an evening meal. And if you fancy something more traditional, then there's the Uplands Diner - which is famous locally for cooked breakfasts.

16. Spend the afternoon in Clynne Gardens

Clynne Gardens

Clyne Gardens is a botanical garden and contains varied National Collections of plants set in beautiful parkland.

It's well worth a visit as the gardens have spectacular views over the bay and there's plenty of space for a picnic with family and friends.

The gardens were first established in the 19th Century when William Graham Vivian bought Clyne Castle in 1860 and lavished time and money developing it to show off his wealth.

17. Go for a bike ride

Explore the whole city with Santander Cycles, the 24/7 self-service bike hire is available from six convenient docking stations across Swansea Bay.

Hire a bike and spend the whole day out and about across the city, the hiring costs only £1 for 30 minutes or £4 for 24 hours. The cycle path along the seafront is virtually all on the flat too and there's plenty of places to stop off from Mumbles right up the way to SA1.

18. Take a visit to Plantasia


Come face to face with crocodiles, an Egyptian tortoise and other exotic animals in the indoor zoo and tropical rain forest that is Plantasia.

Located in the heart of the city centre, take your big ones or your little ones on this interactive, fully immersive tropical experience for all the family. It's cafe also does an absolutely banging pizza too.

19 Take a hike aroundPenllergare Valley Woods andLliw Valley Reservoir

Penllergare Valley Woods

Penllergare Valley WoodsandLliw Valley Reservoir are b oth located in the in the SA4 area of Swansea, and well worth a visit to.

Penllergare Valley Woods is a magical woods full of greenery that is within sight of the M4. The deep valley is away from the noise and fumes of the passing traffic and encroaching development. It has a wonderful waterfall and plenty of history for visitors to enjoy.

And The lower and upper Lliw reservoirs are surrounded by a variety of habitats including bracken and scrub broadleaved woodland. Both sites support a wide diversity of flora and fauna and make sure you keep an eye out for ravens, meadow pipit and skylark and red kites that have been spotted in the area.

20. Have a spot to eat in Kardomah


Stroll past all of the big high street chains and nestled in Swansea 's city centre you'll find a '50s-style cafe that hasn't lost its original charm.

The Kardomah has been an institution in the city for more than 100 years, having initially opened in Castle Street in 1905, with the likes of Dylan Thomas, and poets Vernon Watkins and Charles Fisher filling its seats and even becoming known as the Kardomah Gang.

Sadly the cafe was destroyed as the Blitz struck the city but for its many loyal customers Portland Street has become the place they have grown to call their "second home" for the past 62 years.

And it hasn't changed a bit in all that time, with its original tables, pillars, tiles and overall appearance staying exactly the same as the day it opened.

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