The endless scenery, the windy coastal landscape, and even the mountains and hills tempt you to daydream. I did not think travelling in Wales would be so easy and enjoyable. Again and again, I was surprised by the friendliness and helpfulness of the Welsh.
Wales is so indescribably beautiful and easy to travel, hence why I decided to make this list of tips for your travels to Wales. Whether you have questions regarding planning your trip or getting to where you want to, this blog post is filled with many tips for your trip to Wales:
Tips for your trip to the North of Wales
In my ten days in North Wales, I covered a lot of ground and ticked off many of the must-sees and also not so common places, to find out more about them read this:
Getting there | Plane and train
My destination airport was in Manchester. Daily direct flights are offered from Vienna but you can fly to Manchester with a stopover somewhere. Manchester is the closest airport if you are headed to North Wales. Alternatively, fly into Cardiff if you want to see all of Wales.
Catch a train to Wales from Manchester. Trains depart from the airport and take you to Llandudno or to Anglesey with one change – many times that will be in Chester (which is another city I highly recommend visiting). Make sure to book your ticket in advance – tickets from the counter are a lot more expensive. I paid 21 GBP for my ticket from Manchester to Conwy.
Local transportation | Trains and busses
North Wales has a terrific train and bus network. Of course, it is not comparable to big cities, but you can easily get to different places.
Book your train tickets in advance, it will save you a lot of money.
If you are going to travel a lot by bus on a single day, then buy a day pass for about £6. Single fares cost between £2-4. It takes about 40 minutes to get from Betws-y-Coed to Llanberis and the bus ticket cost 3 Pounds (if I remember that correctly). Be sure to be at the bus stop ahead of time as the buses even tend to leave a few minutes earlier.
Another option would be to rent a car, which you can rent for little money right at Manchester airport via cardelmar.
It is super easy to find hostels in Wales and they are relatively cheap. A bed in a dorm starts from 12 Pounds per night. YHA or HI members get a 3 Pound discount if the booking is made on their official website. The annual membership costs 5 Pound for under 25s and 15 Pounds for everyone over 25. The membership pays off after 2 – 5 nights.
If you're not into hostels, you can look around on Airbnb and you'll find what you're looking for. If you are not yet on Airbnb, I'll give you $ 35 starting credit.
Hotels can be very expensive, but I have found that booking.com and hotel.com do have very good deals sometimes:Book your hotel in Wales on booking.com or on hotels.com
Language and pronunciation
Officially Welsh, but English is widely spoken – more so than Welsh. Nevertheless, all traffic and location signs, as well as websites are maintained in both languages.
I quickly gave up trying to guess how to pronounce words in Welsh. Llanberis is almost pronounced like Janberis, Betws-y-Coed – let's just say I totally got that one wrong too. Caernarfon one emphasizes more Carnarvon. Learning by doing is the motto.
When you travel to Wales depends on what you intend to do. November also has its charm. I was in Wales in September and the autumn colours were just amazing.
Don't forget to pack your raincoat.
The pound. And the exchange rate has developed strongly in favour of the euro in recent years. This is what makes Wales and the UK in general very attractive at the moment.
Yes, this is also possible! I dove Vivian Quarry in Llanberis, and also the Straits of Menai. From May to August you have the opportunity to dive with giant sharks. The necessary Specialty Course is offered at the Vivian Dive Centre.
This time I took the Lonely Planet Wales with me. Generally, I prefer the English original versions to the German translations. But as there are no more roaming charges in the EU, I often used Google or Pinterest instead of browsing the travel guide. (I'm curious how Brexit will affect this roaming scheme.)
Websites and other Blogs
- Visitwales.com has the most important information about Wales covered.
- Lonely Planet also has a page dedicated to breathtaking Wales.
- Find my recommendations of places to visit in the northern part of Wales here.
ps. pin me for later!