There are so many amazing cities to backpack in Wales! This charming country in southwest Great Britain is famed for its captivating coastline, national parks, and majestic mountains. There are also quaint towns, a rich history, and a fascinating culture. This is a dreamy destination for any backpacker who loves admiring the beautiful scenery.
It’s also for those who love hiking through gorgeous grounds. If you like drinking perfectly crafted brews, marveling at the medieval architecture, and catching live music and art performances, this place is also for you. Wales is a country that is easy to get around and has plenty to offer a backpacker on a budget or with a bit of dough to burn through. There are so many amazing things to do in Wales that you will want to spend at the very least a week here!
Carmarthenshire is one of the oldest cities in Wales and is also known for its legendary connection to the infamous Merlin. Located just one hour from the capital of Wales and two hours from Bristol, Carmarthenshire is an enchanting place to experience. It has the city’s proud Roman heritage, a twelfth-century castle, an incredible indoor market, and the Carmarthenshire County Museum.
A major highlight of this intriguing city in Wales is The National Botanic Garden of Wales. It is a lush and colorful utopia filled with beautiful natural wonders. This is a place where you could easily spend an entire day exploring. The first of the two main attractions is the Great Greenhouse. This is the largest single-span greenhouse in the world and has the most extensive collection of Mediterranean plants in North America. The second is British Birds of Prey Center. The British Birds of Prey Center is home to twenty native birds, including falcons, kites, buzzards, hawks, and eagles. If you are looking for things to do that involve nature while you are backpacking around Wales, this is a magical place to experience the native flora.
The garden is open from April 1 to October 31 from 10 AM to 6 PM and November 1 to March 31 from 10 AM to 4:30 AM. Admission is only 11.49 euros/12.72 USD. Access to the famous British Birds of Prey Center only costs 3.50 euros/3.88 USD.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales and also its largest city. This fascinating city is home to multiple museums, a spectacular castle, and pop-up dining. It also has the highest concentration of Victorian, Edwardian, and contemporary indoor shopping arcades. This is a city where something is always going on!
The Millennium Center in Cardiff is the home for the arts in Wales. The center is open seven days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM. There is also a variety of performances hosted here throughout the year. Entrance to the Millennium Center is free, but live performances have different ticket prices. If you find yourself in Cardiff, it is likely that you will be able to catch a show at the Millennium Center. Musicals, plays, operas, stand-up acts, dance performances, and concerts are regularly put on here.
During your backpacking holiday in Wales, you definitely don’t want to miss out on spending some time in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Brecon is a very convenient and inviting city to stay in if you also want to have easy access to the park.
The landscape of Wales has inspired writers, artists, photographers, and nature-lovers alike for hundreds of years. The Brecon Beacons National Park is where you will have the chance to admire inspiring hidden valleys, waterfalls, and ancient forests. This national park is also the natural habitat of the adorable and wild Welsh pony.
Wales has a ton of marvelous beaches, Amroth one of them. Amroth is a charming village and community that is most known for its long sandy beach. It’s also known as being the southern access point to the famous Pembrokeshire Coast Path. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is one of fifteen national trails in England and Wales.
The 186-mile-long trail runs mainly through the Pembrokeshire National Park, which is the only coastal national park in Wales. You can opt to walk for a few hours or complete the entire trail, which takes roughly twelve days. It ends in St. Dogmaels in the north. If you are a backpacker on a mission to experience the most magical coastal landscape, this is the trail for you!
Dedicating even a few days of your backpacking trip to Wales on the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will give you the opportunity to witness vast beaches. But you can also see lively estuaries and dramatic cliffs, and you might even spot seals and dolphins along the way. The trail also winds through some charming towns too. While this path is exceptional all year round, the spring is the best time to see migrating and breeding birds and admire gorgeous wildflower blooms.
Bala is in the Welsh Lake District of Snowdonia and is located in the northwest region of the country. Here you will find the largest natural lake in all of Wales. This Welsh town is a popular place to go canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing, fishing, and hiking. You can also opt to take the scenic railroad which hugs the shoreline and offers a unique perspective on this naturally alluring area. There are options to camp, caravan, or rent a cute cottage by the lake.
This is a happening summer destination. So, if you are planning on visiting during this season, make sure you book your accommodations in advance.
Home to one of the most prominent Welsh castles, Caernarfon is one of the small cities in Wales with a considerable history. The castle is open to visitors and is the main tourist attraction here. Built in 1283, it boosts colorful stonework and architecturally brilliant towers. While many come to see this extraordinary castle, Caernarfon is also a bustling market town with a lively port. It is only 8.6 miles from the city of Bangor, which makes it a manageable day-trip destination. After you are done touring the castle, you must head over to Gypsy Wood to meet theirs beyond cute Shetland ponies, pygmy goats, and pigs!
Abergavenny has earned the nickname “the Gateway to Wales.” It is located on the east corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park. This is a fantastic backpacker destination for those who are looking to experience amazing food markets, gastro pubs, historic inns, and beautiful hiking and biking trails.
You will also find castles, medieval mansions, standing stones, and Roman remains in this delightful Welsh town. Abergavenny has plenty to offer in the way of cinema, theater, and museums. The Welsh capital of Cardiff is conveniently only a 40-minute car or train ride away.
Conwy is a walled-in market town with a rich history located on the north coast of Wales. You will find a preserved 13th Century castle, as well as an intact suspension bridge. You can visit the National Beekeeping Center, the Royal Cambrian Academy, and a perfectly preserved Elizabethan townhouse. Conwy is also renowned for its seafood and pubs.
The Albion was voted one of the best pubs in one of the best cities in Wales and is definitely one of the most unique pubs in the United Kingdom! Built within the town walls of Conwy, The Albion is of great historical and architectural significance. It is also host to a fine selection of brews, wine, and spirits. There are actually four breweries that came together to run this iconic pub. This is an incredible place to enjoy a drink, warm up by the fire, read a book, have a snack, play a game, or chat away with friends, both new and old.
Swansea is a waterfront city with a vibrant city center. You will find over 230 shops, an amazing marketplace, a five-mile stretch of beach, the National Waterfront Museum, and several botanical gardens here. This city is also recognized as a delicious foodie destination. Swansea is an ideal backpacker’s base for exploring southwest Wales.
For the literature-loving backpacker, you can visit the birthplace and home of the famous Welsh writer and poet, Dylan Thomas. What’s unique about visiting his home is that not only do you get the chance to learn all about the life of this incredibly talented writer, but he also gets the chance to step back in time. You can have a traditional Edwardian tea party, lunch, or dinner in Thomas’ old home, or you can even opt to spend the night in one of several completely restored rooms. Spending time here is like spending time in 1914!
The Green Man Festival is a gathering that takes every year in August in Crickhowell. This four-day music and arts festival has continued to evolve every year since 2003. Now, it hosts upwards of 20,000 festival-goers. Aside from enjoying an amazing line-up of music, there are also all sorts of workshops, classes, and performances.
There are plenty of food options at the festival, including locally sourced vegan and vegetarian dishes. Beers and ales from twenty different Welsh breweries are also offered. Depending on your budget, there are accommodation choices that range from bringing your own camping gear to having everything set and prepared for you upon arrival.