"Croeso i Abertawe (Swansea)" Top 5 Page for this destination Swansea by aaaarrgh

Swansea Travel Guide: 97 reviews and 265 photos

Wales' second city!

"An ugly, lovely town" is how poet Dylan Thomas described his home city. Swansea is not as bad as some people say. It has improved massively over the last 5 years. Only 55 minutes from Cardiff by train and with good motorway links, it is easy to reach.

There are lots of shops, a university, a great art gallery. The newly developed marina looks super and has a beautiful new industrial museum.

Swansea has a tremendous coastline. Not far away are the Mumbles, the Gower peninsula and super beaches. Definitely the place to go on a hot summer day.

My sister went to university here. My grandfather was brought up here. I have fond memories of the place.

One word of warning - it has a reputation of being quite rough on Saturday nights. Fortunately the evening train service is so bad it means i have never spent the night in Swansea bars and clubs. You enter at your own risk ;-)


On 19-21 February 1941 the Nazi Lufftwaffe helped out (uninvited) with Swansea's slum-clearance programme. Swansea was one of Britain's great ports and industrail cities. The bombs levelled all of Swansea's old city centre, houses, shops, market, church.

So the centre of Swansea today is modern and, quite frankly, dreadfully ugly. If you want to see some of what Swansea used to be like, then walk along Wind Street towards the Maritime Quarter. Lots of older, grand and picturesque buildings, many of which are now trendy bars, restaurants and pubs.

Ugly, lovely town

Welsh women are definitely no longer short, squat, with frilly hats and beards. Thirteen delightful young ladies danced through Swansea's grotty streets of semi-derelict cut-price shops to celebrate the opening of the Waterfront Museum. They were followed by a carnival parade of hand made banners and flags. Fortunately the weather was splendid for October, otherwise dancing around Swansea in red underpants would have landed them in hospital with pneumonia ;-)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:More Welsh than Cardiff. Close to beautiful scenery. Dylan Thomas heritage.
  • Cons:Can be rough and grotty in places. Luftwaffe bombed the nice bits.
  • Last visit to Swansea: Oct 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (8)

Comments (8)

  • Dec 7, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    I visited Swansea recently for a shopping trip. I haven't enjoyed shopping so much in a long time. Everyone was so helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble. Thank you for making my day enjoyable and restoring my faith in the shopping experience

  • Wloczykij's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2007 at 5:05 AM

    I hope this market really exists:)

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Sep 2, 2006 at 5:41 AM

    Thank you for very good information. The Waterfront Museum seems to be very interesting. I'm looking forward to visiting it.

  • KastleKonfusion's Profile Photo
    Aug 25, 2006 at 10:57 AM

    Hey! Am I not surprise to see that your page on Swansea is highly rated! Thanks for all the wonderful tips in your guides! We'll be heading to Cardiff on 7Sep; Swansea 9Sep; Newport 10Sep, 7 Wonders of Wales for the rest of the week. :D

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2006 at 8:43 AM

    last time i went to swansea it was shut. might have to reconsider now

  • shrimp56's Profile Photo
    Nov 5, 2005 at 2:26 PM

    Very helpful as we will be spending next fall term here at the uni. Just tell me which areas to avoid!!!

  • Jasen71's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2005 at 4:28 PM

    Swansea great city..always watch the welsh! Cheers Jase

  • Purpleshade's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2005 at 8:02 PM

    I used to live in Gorseinon and have been to all these Swansea places. Have seen countless exhibitons in The Glynn Vivian, my dad took me there since I was small. Pleasant memories for me. Lesley


“Expect the worst and you will always be pleasantly surprised”

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