Swansea (Abertawe)

The name may conjure up images of Disney's hippos in tutus, but it's smaller critters that feature in this glass pyramid, parked between the depressingly shabby Parc Tawe Shopping Centre and the river. Plantasia contains hundreds of species of exotic plants, plus attendant insects, reptiles, snakes, tropical fish (including piranhas), birds and tamarin monkeys. A coffee shop and range of kids' activities make it a popular rainy-day retreat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Swansea (Abertawe) attractions

1. Swansea Castle

0.16 MILES

Only a small pocket of the central city around Wind St and Castle Sq escaped the WWII bombing raids and retains a remnant of Georgian and Victorian…

2. Dylan Thomas Centre

0.21 MILES

Housed in the former guildhall, this unassuming museum contains absorbing displays on the Swansea-born poet's life and work. It pulls no punches in…

3. Swansea Museum

0.28 MILES

Dylan Thomas referred to this august institution as 'the museum which should have been in a museum'. Founded in 1834, it remains charmingly low-tech, from…

4. Glynn Vivian Art Gallery


The seemingly never-ending refurbishment of Swansea's main art gallery was still in progress when we last visited. By the time you read this, the elegant…

5. National Waterfront Museum

0.38 MILES

Housed in a 1901 dockside warehouse with a striking glass and slate extension, this museum's 15 hands-on galleries explore Wales' commercial maritime…

6. Dylan Thomas Birthplace

1.15 MILES

The bad boy of Welsh poetry was born in this unassuming Uplands house and it's here that he wrote two-thirds of his poetry. The house has been lovingly…

7. Egypt Centre

1.93 MILES

Swansea University's collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, some 5000 artefacts donated by various British institutions and collectors, includes a…

8. Clyne Gardens


Spanning 20 hectares, these magnificent gardens are particularly impressive in spring, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are at their most spectacular…