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Brecon Mountain Railway. Nilfanion/Wikimedia.
Brecon Mountain Railway. Nilfanion/Wikimedia.
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20 Must-Visit Attractions in Wales

Picture of Poppy Jacob
Updated: 29 June 2017
Wales is a beautiful and vibrant country, a land characterised by lush greenery, dramatic landscapes, myths and Celtic culture, which is full of things to see and do. Here are some of things you simply have to visit when you go.
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Bounce Below

Underground adventures courtesy of Zip World are guaranteed to be an exhilarating day out. Set in a former slate mine in North Wales, you can “play, slide, roll, jump and bounce from net to net in a cavern the size of a cathedral.” Get a group together and have some fun.

Bounce Below, North Wales. Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd +44 01248 601 444

Bounce Below. Image: Visit Wales

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St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

This stunning, perfectly-preserved cathedral is situated in the incredibly picturesque St David’s of Pembrokeshire. It sits in a bowl and can therefore be viewed from above, making it a spectacular sight for visitors. Find it near the little shops and country pubs of St David’s and then head for a walk along the nearby coast.

St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

View of St Davids. Image: Visit Wales

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The Big Pit

The Big Pit National Coal Museum, often referred to as The Big Pit, is a museum showcasing Wales’ industrial past, set in Blaenavon, Torfaen, South Wales. It was a working coal mine until the 80s, before being opened to the public as a tourist attraction. Feel the claustrophobia of coal mining as you go deeper underground.

The Big Pit. Blaenafon, Pontypool +44 0300 1112333

The Big Pit. Image: Visit Wales

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National Museum Cardiff

From dinosaur bones, to natural history and world-class art, this is a fantastic and varied museum in the heart of Cardiff where you could easily spend an entire day.

National Museum Cardiff, Cathays Park. +44 0300 111 2333.

Cardiff Museum. Image: Visit Wales.

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Cardiff Castle

This castle right in the centre of the city used to, until recently, feature free-roaming peacocks. Even without them, there’s still plenty to see. Go on a tour and learn about the history, enjoy the beautiful and intricate interiors of the rooms and walk around the lush green grounds.

Cardiff Castle +44 029 2087 8100

Cardiff Castle. Image: Visit Wales

Cardiff Castle. Image: Visit Wales

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Fairbourne Railway

The Fairbourne Railway is a traditional, old fashioned railway run by volunteers, which goes from Fairbourne, passing the beach to Barmouth Ferry railway. This is a must-see, especially if you have little ones who love Thomas the Tank Engine.

Fairbourne Railway, Beach Rd. +44 01341 250362

Fairbourne Railway. © Visit Wales

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Conwy Castle

This spectacular medieval castle in beautiful Snowdonia was a powerful fortress in its time. It is situated beside the Conwy Estuary and dates all the way back to 1283.

Conwy Castle, Rose Hill St, Conwy

Conwy Castle. © Visit Wales

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Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte’s magnificent aqueduct is built on pillars high above the River Dee and is a World Heritage Site. Enjoy this attraction with a horse-drawn boat trip along the canal wharf in Llangollen.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Station Rd, Trevor Basin, Wrexham

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. © Visit Wales

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Wales Millennium Centre

This building in Cardiff Bay is an impressive feat of engineering, made up of Welsh slate and copper above the main entrance. Above it are lines by Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis ‘in these stones horizons sing’ in English and Welsh, which are illuminated at night. The centre itself is a hive of activity, hosting opera, ballet, theater, comedy and musicals.

Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Pl, Cardiff Bay +44 02920636424

Wales Millennium Centre. © Visit Wales

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Millenium Stadium

This huge stadium (officially named Principality Stadium for sponsorship purposes) is found right in the centre of Cardiff. As well as huge sporting events, it hosts plenty of other large-scale shows like big-name music acts. Admire the unusual architecture of the building from the banks of the River Taff, which runs through the city.

Millennium Stadium, Westgate St, Cardiff

Millennium Stadium. © Visit Wales

Mawddach Estuary

Perfect to visit, walk around or bike along, The Mawddach Estuary is a gorgeous, broad and sandy estuary in one of the most beautiful parts of Wales. It is where the River Mawddach meets the sea and used to be the site of gold panning and ship building. Explore it via The Mawddach Trail, managed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority.

Barmouth, Wales

Mawddach Estuary
Mawddach Estuary | © Visit Wales
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Dylan Thomas Boathouse

The famous Welsh writer wrote many of his most important works in this picture perfect boathouse, where he lived with his family. It is found in Laugharne, Wales and has views of the Taf estuary and the Gower Peninsula.

Dylan Thomas Boathouse, Dylan’s Walk, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire +44 01994 427420

Dylan Thomas Boathouse. © Visit Wales

Cardiff Arcades

This network of Victorian and Edwardian shopping arcades in the centre of the capital, retaining many original features, are a throwback to the city’s past. They are full of interesting independent businesses, from fancy dress shops, food vendors like Madame Forage and record and book stores, to vintage clothing shops and ice cream parlours.

High Street Arcade.
High Street Arcade. | © Visit Wales

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris Mountain in Snowdonia National Park is super popular with walkers. The name is said to mean Idris’ Chair, Idris being a giant in Welsh mythology. Legend has it if you sleep on the mountain, you’ll wake up a madman or a poet.

Cadair Idris, Gwynedd

Cadair Idris.
Cadair Idris. | © Visit Wales
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Barry Island

Barry Island is not actually an island but a seaside resort, complete with rides, arcade games, a promenade, a long beach and food stalls selling things like delicious freshly-made donuts. The resort is well known for featuring on the comedy TV show Gavin and Stacey, and when the weather is good it’s a fun day out.

Barry Island, Barry, Glamorgan

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Anglesey Sea Zoo

Anglesey Sea Zoo, on the pretty island of Anglesey, is an aquarium which focuses purely on British marine wildlife. You’ll get to see the stars of the British coast and seas such as octopus, lobsters, seahorses, conger eels and catsharks. Even better, this is a zoo with a mission: to educate visitors on marine habitats, research and conservation work vital to preserving British sea life.

Brynsiencyn, Llanfairpwll +44 01248 430411

Anglesey Sea Zoo. © Visit Wales

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The National Botanic Garden of Wales

Admire the huge variety of plant species spread across 568 acres of parkland in beautiful Carmarthenshire. With its huge pod-like domes creating the right climate for exotic specimens, the flora displays and natural attractions like lakes and pretty nature walks, it is well worth a visit.

National Botanic Garden of Wales, Middleton Hall, Llanarthne +44 01558 667149

National Botanic Garden of Wales. © Visit Wales

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National Roman Legion Museum

The Romans had a big impact on Wales, a history which is explored at this museum, complete with amphitheatre remains, baths and barracks. Caerleon, where the museum is situated, was a major Roman site and numerous relics have been found here, including a stone coffin, a wooden tablet inscribed with the oldest writing in Wales and treasure like coins and gems.

High St, Caerleon, Newport +44 0300 111 2333

The Roman Baths. © Cadw/ Geograph

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Tenby is a quaint seaside town and harbour in Pembrokeshire. On a summer’s day, this is the perfect place for a good old fashioned Welsh holiday feel. There’s plenty to do too, hiring a boat to go fishing, getting an ice cream or fish and chips, visiting Caldey Island, or going on a coastal walk.

Tenby, Wales

Tenby. © Martyn Smith/Flickr

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Brecon Mountain Railway

This little steam train takes you through the natural beauty of Brecon Beacons National Park, through valleys, past woods, along the Taf Fechan Reservoir and gorge before traveling upwards to Torpantau. The journey takes 1 hour 40 minutes from start to finish, with a 35 minute stop off.

Brecon Mountain Railway, Pant Station, Pontsticill Rd, Merthyr Tydfil +44 01685 722988

Brecon Mountain Railway. © Nilfanion/Wikimedia.