Welcome to Swansea
Poet and native son Dylan Thomas described Swansea as a "marble
town, city of laughter, Little Dublin," calling it the "most
romantic town I know." Once you've visited Swansea, it's easy to
see how the idyllic seaside city inspires strong feelings!
The second-largest city in Wales, Swansea has a long and
prosperous history as a market town going back 800 years. As the
trading community grew up, it became a bustling export for the coal
mined in Cardiff, and in the 18th century developed its own
industry in the form of a massive copperworks, becoming for a time
the copper capital of the world.
These days, Swansea is known first and foremost as a seaside
resort town, with pride of place the 12-century fishing village of
Mumbles, a quaint and fashionable seaside resort with a number of
boutiques and restaurants.
Though many of the city's historical buildings were damaged in
World War II, there are still a number of medieval castles dotted
among the slick high rise office blocks and Tudor-style houses in
the city centre. There is much to see in Swansea, from ancient
sites like Arthur's Stone, which dates back to 2,500 BC; to
medieval castles like Swansea Castle and Oystermouth Castle; to
Victorian structures such as the Guildhall and Mumbles Pier.
Swansea also has a number of interesting museums and galleries
ranging from Egyptian artefacts to female jazz musicians.
For active visitors there is no shortage of things to do
Swansea. Cruises on paddle boats, yachts, and motor boats are
available from the harbour, as well as water sports like kayaking,
waterskiing, and surfing, and activities like golf, hiking,
mountain biking and bowling entertain on land. Literary buffs will
love the Dyland Thomas Centre; and children will enjoy learning
about wildlife at the Discovery Centre, touring the Michton
Chocolate Factory, and riding the Swansea Bay Rider children's
Information & Facts
English is the official language, though visitors will be
astonished by the variety of regional accents.
The currency is the pound (GBP), which is divided into 100
pence. ATMs are available in all towns and Visa, MasterCard and
American Express are widely accepted; visitors with other cards
should check with their credit card companies in advance. Foreign
currency can be exchanged at bureaux de change and large hotels,
however better exchange rates are likely to be found at banks.
Travellers cheques are accepted in all areas frequented by
tourists; they are best taken in Pounds Sterling to avoid
Local time in the United Kingdom is GMT (GMT +1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).