Here's some ideas on things to do in Swansea.
Itinerary 1 - The City
The city's oldest building is the ruined Swansea Castle, standing out in more modern surroundings near the shopping centre. Swansea Museum is a treasure house of Swansea’s past and present. The great Welsh writer and poet was born here, at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in fact. Take a tour of the house, you can even choose to stay the night. The Dylan Thomas Trail ends at the Dylan Thomas Centre where you will find an intriguing exhibition on the poet's life and work. Entry is free.
The shopping centre has lots of big name stores and independent shops and art galleries including the Glynn Vivian Gallery. Don’t miss Swansea market, with over 100 stalls and sample local delicacies such as cockles and laverbread. Just a few minutes walk from the city you'll find Swansea's Maritime Quarter. The former docklands have been redeveloped into an attractive waterfront, with its 600-berth marina as a centerpiece. The National Waterfont Museum is the place to learn about the industrial, maritime and social history of Wales and it's free.
Itinerary 2 - Mumbles & Gower
The Victorian seaside village of Mumbles is at the western edge of Swansea Bay. Here you’ll find a unique selection of boutiques, craft shops, galleries and famous Welsh/Italian ice cream parlours, as well as a medieval castle and Mumbles Pier; a popular attraction for over 100 years!
Head to the Gower. You'll soon find out why the 29 km long peninsula was designated UK's first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are two places in Gower which are not to be missed, namely Rhossili and Three Cliffs Bays. Rhossili has been voted Best Beach in Britain (Daily Mail) and UK's Best Picnic Spot (British Guild of Travel Writers). At Rhossili walk to the headland overlooking the causeway and Worms Head. For castle lovers, remember to include a visit to Oxwich or Weobley Castle and pop into the Gower Heritage Centre based around an 800 year-old water powered mill, with craft workshops and tearooms. Guided walking tours to nearby Three Cliffs Bay can be arranged.
More on walking in Gower
Itinerary 3 - In and around Swansea
Plantasia is a great all-weather attraction, a unique giant hot house garden located in the city centre. It hosts a colony of endangered Cotton-top tamarin monkeys as well as a huge variety of unusual and exotic plants, several species which are extinct in the wild.
Next is Singleton Park, spread over 100 acres of open parkland. The Botanical Gardens are located within the old walled garden and is renowned for their internationally impressive seasonal bedding and its national Pelargonium collection.
Located just outside the park is The Egypt Centre. A small museum which specialises in Egyptian Antiquities with over 5,000 items in the collection.
In Mumbles you'll find Clyne Garden, another free entry attraction. The 48 acre woodland garden boasts around 2000 different plants, including 500 rhododendrons. Don't miss the giant leaf rhubarb-like plant called Gunnera Manicata, which can grow leaves up to 2.5 metres across, the largest leafed herbaceous plant grown in Europe.