This Wales Travel Guide aims to provide you with simple and stress-free travel planning information and inspiration for planning a trip to Wales.
On this regularly updated page you will find links to useful posts on The Trusted Traveller, budget information, details on types of accommodation available, information on getting around the country and more useful links to resources around the web.
Language: English, Welsh
Currency: £ Pound Sterling which is made up of 100 pence. Coins come in 1 pence, 2 pence, 5 pence, 10 pence, 20 pence, 50 pence, £1 and £2 denominations and notes in £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations.
Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs with three square pins are standard. Outlets for 110 volts for small appliances can be found in most hotels.
Wales is one of four countries that make up The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and is located in the west of Europe. It is mostly surrounded by water with England to the east being its only land border.
For such a small country, the landscape is quite varied. With rugged coastline, fertile farming land, rolling hills and towering mountains. Snowdonia, in the north of the country is how to the second highest peak in the UK after Ben Nevis in Scotland.
If you thought it was wet in England, then you are in for a shock when you visit Wales. Annually Wales gets more rain then its neighbour and less sunshine. However, summers are slightly warmer on average.
Having all weather clothing and clothing suitable for hot and cold temperatures with you at all times is advisable as conditions change quickly.
Best Time to Visit
As the weather can vary greatly all year round, there isn’t really one perfect time of year to visit Wales.
However, April to September will give you the best chance of having milder and dryer weather perfect for hiking in the mountains and enjoying the coastline.
It is always recommend to have a mixture of cash and bank/credit card with you when you travel anywhere in the world and this is no exception in Wales.
ATM’s are found in all major towns and cities across the country. As well, credit cards are widely accepted although some establishments such as small hotels and shops may only accept cash.
Getting to Wales from surrounding UK and European countries is simple, quick and cheap by bus or train. You can find out more about rail travel in Europe, including purchasing tickets, on the Rail Europe website; and about bus travel on the Eurolines website.
Wales is also well-connected by air with flights arriving in Cardiff from all across Europe with connections from parts of the US, Middle East and Asia. A flight from Paris to Cardiff will take around one and a half hours and a flight from Rome to Cardiff takes around two and a half hours.
I use and recommend Expedia for researching and booking flights all around the world.
It is also possibly to arrive by boat from Ireland. Irish Ferries and Stena Line both operate services between the two countries to the Welsh port towns of Holyhead, Fishguard and Pembroke.
Wales is a relatively small country so getting around it is pretty simple and cheap.
Getting to Cardiff by train from England is easy but that is where the rail services end.
There are however a few steam trains that can take you on scenic journey’s through different parts of the country. Check out The Great Little Trains of Wales for more details about these routes.
Megabus and National Express cover the majority of the country with services departing regularly.
Because Wales is a small country, it is relatively easy to navigate if driving yourself.
You’ll be able to collect a hire car from Cardiff airport and its city centre with most allowing you to pick up in one location and drop off in another, which makes sense if you’re road tripping around the country.
The roads in Wales are well maintained and easy to navigate because they are well signposted. During the winter months and in wet weather remember that weather conditions can change rapidly. Be sure to obey all signs and drive with care in slippery conditions.
I use and recommend Expedia for researching and booking car hire all around the world.
Where to Stay
Wales caters for everyone when it comes to accommodation. Here is a list of the types of accommodation you’ll find:
- Camping/Cabins – With Wales being a very outdoorsy country you’ll find lots of camp grounds that offer tent sites and basic cabins as low costs. And as with a lot of other European cities, you’ll also find large camp sites on the outskirts of big cities like Cardiff that you can stay at cheaply and commute each day into the city for sightseeing.
- Hostels – You’ll find hostels in abundance in the Wales’ bigger cities and one or two in most other regional areas as well.
- B&B’s/Pensions – Small family run style accommodation like B&B’s or pensions can be found all over the country in big cities, small towns and popular rural locations. Accommodation is simple yet comfortable and the experience usually comes with friendly hosts and a home cooked breakfast each morning.
Get up to $45.00 AUD credit when you join Airbnb using this link.
- Hotels/Apartments – You will find both chain hotel/apartments brands and independent hotel/apartments to be in abundance in cities across the country. The good thing about this type of accommodation is in most cases you know what you are going to get, a clean, comfortable and modern room with a decent array of facilities in the room and on the property. Apartments are great for longer stays as they allow you a bit more space and the option to self cater.
I use and recommend Booking.com for researching and booking hostel, motel, hotel, apartment and resort accommodation around the world.
- Luxury Hotels & Resorts – Wales has its fair share of 5 star properties, some of which have been named in top lists of accommodation around the world. These will offer you brilliant service and a top location, sometime with incredible views of the surrounding area.
Wales has a variety of eating options that will suit all budgets and tastes. Because of the country’s multicultural population, you will find a big range of cuisines as well as traditional Welsh and English fare just about everywhere.
- Supermarkets/Markets – Save money and shop in supermarkets and local markets for snacks, picnic lunches and even ingredients to make a whole meal in your self catering accommodation.
- Fast Food / Take-away – Chain fast food stores are in all major centres of the country and along highways as well. If you’re looking for a cheap and tasty fast food meal, look to where the locals are, usually getting snacks and light meals from food trucks and stands on the side of the street.
- Cafes – Located on nearly every corner. In a cafe you’ll be able to grab a coffee, delicious sweets and tasty sandwiches for sit down or takeaway.
- Restaurants – Chain restaurants are big in the UK and provide a good quality meal for a good price. You’ll also find smaller independent restaurants that have a more interesting menu in every cuisine you can think of, especially in London.
- Fine Dining – Wales has it’s fair share of the worlds best restaurants so if it is fine dining experiences you are after then you won’t be disappointed.
Useful Wales Posts
Things to Do
Other Wales Travel Planning Resources
Here is a constantly growing collection of resources from around the web to help you plan you dream trip to Wales.
- The official Welsh Tourism website is a great place to start planning your trip.
- The authority in all things travel, Lonely Planet has an extensive section all about Wales. Or why not buy the Wales Lonely Planet Guidebook in hard copy or as an eBook.
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