A Quick Guide to The Main Cities of Wales

Cardiff, Newport, St Davids, St Asaph, Swansea and Bangor are the six cities of Wales. Each city is unique in its own way, but they are all just as wonderful and cultural as each other. Below, we’ve put together this quick guide on the six main cities of Wales.  


As the capital of Wales, Cardiff to the south of the country is the most popular city for tourists and the largest of the six cities with a population of 362,750. Cardiff is a fantastic multicultural city with so much to see and do which makes it such an appealing destination for tourists. The city has even been voted as Europe’s third best capital city to live in. The Museum of Cardiff is the ideal place to learn about the entire history of the city. Situated in the very heart of the city is Cardiff Castle, another historical gem that documents 2,000 years of the city’s history. Cardiff Bay is where you’ll find many of the city’s bustling bars and restaurants. The bay is Europe’s largest waterfront development and is now a modern and lively social hub.  


Newport is located to the north of Cardiff in the southeast of Wales, a city that was once the largest coal-exporting port in the country. Nowadays, Newport is a thriving university town with a great multicultural vibe and a fascinating history. Friars Walk is the city’s main shopping centre and leisure complex with high-street shops, restaurants, a cinema and a bowling alley. Newport Transporter Bridge is arguably the best-known landmark in the city. This is only one of six working transporter bridges in the world. Tourists can sail under it on a gondola or, if brave enough, climb up its towers and walk across the gangway.  

St David’s 

With a population of only 1,840, St David’s is not only the smallest city in Wales, it’s the smallest city in Britain. St David’s was only awarded city status in 1995, however the city’s roots date back to the 5th century when St David himself lived there. Although a small city, St Davids has plenty to offer tourists. St David’s Cathedral is one of the country’s most iconic religious sites where you can learn about both the city of St Davids and the patron saint himself. Tourists can also visit some offshore islands from St Davids, including Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer and Skokholm. 

St Asaph 

Falling just behind St David’s in terms of size and population, St Asaph is the second-smallest city in both Wales and Britain. St Asaph is surrounded by countryside and is close to a number of busy coastal towns including Rhyl, Llandudno and Abergele. St Asaph Cathedral is the city’s most popular landmark. Dating back to the 13th century, the cathedral is the smallest ancient cathedral in Britain. Here is where you can find the William Morgan Bible, the first version of the whole bible that was translated into Welsh. The city usually plays host to the North Wales International Music Festival which attracts musicians from all over Wales and beyond. This year the festival took place virtually. 


The city of Swansea is located on the south coast of Wales and is the second largest of the six cities. Swansea Bay is this area’s most attractive feature. Not only is Swansea Bay the city beach, it’s also the name given to the wider destination too – Swansea, Mumbles and Gower. Swansea was the birthplace and home of one of the country’s most popular poets, Dylan Thomas, so the city pays huge respect to him. The Dylan Thomas Centre is an exhibition of the life and work of the Dylan Thomas, offering tours and guides to learn all about the literary giant.  


Bangor is a small yet lively community in Gwynedd to the northwest of Wales best known as a cathedral city and the oldest city in the country. Like St Davids and St Asaph, this city’s main attraction is also its beautiful cathedral. Bangor Cathedral was established during the 6th century, dedicated to its founder, Saint Deiniol. Bangor is a very popular student city too. There are an estimated 10,000 students, compared to an estimated 8,000 residents. Visitors can reach Snowdonia National Park from Bangor in just over 30 minutes by car, an area regulary voted as one of the most scenic places in the world.  

Spend a week in Wales and visit these cultural cities. Our Wales in a Week package can take you to these wonderful destinations. You can view our sample itinerary here, or we can custom build this package to suit your wishes and budget. Do not hesitate to contact us directly to speak with one of our travel experts. Best of Scotland Holidays arrange custom built holiday packages in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales.  

Related Blogs