Wales is thought of as a corner of England, but it really has its own culture, history and even its own language. Of course, English is widely spoken and seen on signs, but the locals speak Welsh to each other. Wales is thought of as a rural place by the English, and it generally is. The rolling hills in the countryside seem to go on forever, only punctuated by small villages and historic castles.

What To Do

Cardiff is the capital and largest city and was always thought of as an industrial town, but recent modernization has done wonders and now the city center is lively and current. The nightlife and shopping are comparable to large cities even though the town has a compact feel. Cardiff Castle is one of the main attractions and admission is now free. Cardiff Bay is a great place for a stroll, a meal, or a few drinks.

Swansea is the second largest city and is located on the picturesque Gower Peninsula. This relaxed city was once a spa town and home to the world’s first passenger railway, but now it’s a travel destination for those wanting to soak in the lush scenery and stroll in the Maritime Quarter. The nearby suburb of Mumbles as a historic old town as well as a 12th Century castle.

Getting There

Most people arrive in Wales by car or train, but it is possible to book a flight into Cardiff International Airport. There are flights available from within the UK and to some other European cities, but it’s probably best to fly into London first if you are coming from overseas. The airport is a bit outside of Cardiff, but regular bus services can take you into the city center.

Where To Stay

There are hostels all over Wales and many hostels in Cardiff and some in Swansea. There are hotels and B&Bs in Cardiff and Swansea as well and summer is the major season here so book well ahead if you want your choice of the better places.