Top Free Things to Do in Wales

A side view of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales. Editorial credit: Sue Martin /
A side view of the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, Wales. Editorial credit: Sue Martin /

A part of the United Kingdom, Wales is located on the island of Great Britain. England lies to the east of Wales. The country is famous for its numerous cultural attractions that include chapels, cathedrals, museums, castles, heritage villages, heritage railways, etc. Some of these attractions are free while others permit entry upon buying tickets. Statista provides a list of the most popular free attractions in Wales. They are as follows:

10. Cwmcarn Forest Drive And Visitor Center

The Cwmcarn Forest is a recreational area that has a lot to offer to visitors of all ages. People meet at the visitor center, stock up on refreshments, and learn about exploring the area. A cafe at the location allows visitors to enjoy meals and snacks of their choice. The forest hosts a number of trails. It offers activities like fishing, mountain biking, and walking. Nature and wildlife lovers can enjoy the beautiful scenery and observe the local wildlife of the forest.

9. St Davids Cathedral

The ninth most popular free attraction in Wales is located in St Davids, Pembrokeshire. The St Davids Cathedral is named after the patron saint of Wales, St Davids. He was the founder of a strict monastic community and the most influential clergyman in the region during the ‘Age of Saints.’ St Davids was visited by numerous royals and other powerful personalities in the ancient times like William the Conqueror. Although a church has existed in the area since the ancient times, the cathedral that exists today was begun in 1181 and completed soon after that. It was also modified and renovated several times over the centuries. Today, the St Davids Cathedral is a popular tourist attraction in Wales and is visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists alike.

8. National Waterfront Museum

Located in Swansea, Wales, the National Waterfront Museum is part of the Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. The museum was opened in October 2005. The exhibits of the museum are housed in a glass and slate building that is integrated with a warehouse. The displays here include historical artifacts and modern objects related to maritime, transport, and technology. These exhibits are mainly associated with the history of industrial revolution and innovation in Wales. Multimedia presentations and interactive touchscreens allow visitors to gain in-depth knowledge on the subjects of their interest in the museum.

7. Snowdown Summit Visitor Center

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is a famous tourist railway system located in Gwynedd in north-west Wales. The railway connects Llanberis to Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Although the railway itself is not free, the Snowdown Summit Visitor Center is one of the top free attractions in the region. It is regarded as the highest visitor center in the entire United Kingdom. The visitor center provides panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

6. Elan Valley Visitor Center

The sixth most visited free attraction in Wales is the Elan Valley Visitor Center. The river valley is located in Powys, an area that is often dubbed as the "Welsh Lake District”. The Elan Village and the Elan Valley Reservoirs are the principal attractions in the area. The area is famous for its picturesque sceneries. The visitor center is the starting point for the visitors who are interested in exploring the valley. It houses an information desk, cafe, shop, large picnic area, children’s play area, and other tourist facilities and amenities.

5. Pembrey Country Park

This country park is located on the coast of South Wales. The southern edge of this park includes the 13 km long Cefn Sidan beach. Several attractions and activities are also offered to tourists visiting the park. Some of these include adventure play areas, mountain bike trails, ski slopes, and more. A music festival, the Beach Break Live, is held at this park since 2010.

4. National Museum Wales -

This museum is one of the free attractions in Wales. It was established in 1905 and hosts a rich collection of botanical, archeological, zoological, and geological artifacts and materials. Fine and applied art exhibits are also displayed here. Tourists, as well as, school and college groups visit this museum for knowledge and entertainment. 442,972 visitors visited the museum in 2014.

3. Cyfarthfa Castle Museum

The Cyfarthfa Castle is a mansion that served as the home of the Crawshay family of Wales. It is located in Merthyr Tydfil. The castle was designed in 1824 and housed the Crawshay family for several years. In 1908, the building was sold to the local council who decided to utilize the ground floor of the castle as a museum. Paintings by James Inskipp and other famous artists are exhibited in the museum. The museum also features a collection of family memorabilia, curios from different corners of the globe, and social history related materials.

2. St Fagans National Museum of History

This museum is located in the St Fagans village in Wales. The museum is open-air and displays a rich collection of Welsh historical, cultural, and architectural artifacts. It is based on the grounds of the St Fagans Castle. It was opened to the public in 1948. There are over 40 buildings in the museum that represent the traditional architecture of Wales such as a nonconformist chapel, a cockpit, a tannery, a pigsty, etc. It is the second most visited free attraction in Wales. It received 564,195 visitors in 2014.

1. Wales Millennium Centre

The most visited free attraction in Wales is the Wales Millennium Centre which is located in the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff. The attraction was visited by 1,197,566 visitors in 2014. The center hosts a number of performances like operas, ballets, theaters, dances, and musicals. Guided tours of the impressive building are conducted. The entry to the building is for free but the performances and activities hosted here might be chargeable or free. The Cardiff Bay Visitor Centre is also located here.

The Most Visited Free Tourist Attractions In Wales

RankAttractionNumber of visitors
1Wales Millennium Centre1,197,566
2St Fagans National Museum of History564,195
3Cyfarthfa Castle Museum481,907
4National Museum Wales442,972
5Pembrey Country Park440,000
6Elan Valley Visitor Center400,000
7Snowdown Summit Visitor Center393,432
8National Waterfront Museum 262,935
9St Davids Cathedral257,000
10Cwmcarn Forest Drive And Visitor Center253,661

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