15 Best Things to Do in Bangor, Wales

Bangor, Wales
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Situated in Northern Wales, Bangor is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom and the oldest city in Wales.

While it isn't the quintessential UK city, it offers some of the most breathtaking views, with the Menai Strait as its backdrop.

Bangor is a university city with more students than residents, which is probably why this small city has many more amenities than one would expect.

It offers the perfect mix of urban amenities with rural attractions.

You can experience art, music, nature, wildlife, and much more in this quaint city.

Here are the best things to do in Bangor, Wales:

Take a Scenic Stroll around the City

Vuew of the Menai Bridge Bangor
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Walking is one of the best ways to explore any city.

Bangor is a tiny city, which makes it perfect for exploring it on foot.

You can stroll around the city to take in its picturesque sites and explore all it has to offer.

People at Bangor's high street
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As you freely walk the streets of Bangor, you can discover some of its hidden gems—something you probably wouldn't be able to do when following a strict itinerary.

Long, leisurely walks along the beautiful streets of Bangor will refresh your mind and body.

Tour the Bangor University Campus

A building at Bangor University
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Home to the famous Bangor University, the city has more students than residents.

People from all over the world come to study at this public university, which is known for its excellent academic departments and faculty.

Signage of Bangor University
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Apart from offering quality education, Bangor University is often visited because of its beautiful architecture.

The university's location is also quite convenient, as it is near the beach and isn't far from the mountains.

Exterior of Bangor University's art building
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Gaze at the Beautiful Penrhyn Castle

Exterior of the Penrhyn Castle
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Penrhyn Castle is a 19th-century castle that looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.

This neo-Norman castle is situated between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait.

Its elaborate and alluring architecture makes it an exquisite sight.

Entrance gate of Penrhyn Castle
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You can learn about Penrhyn Castle's history by touring its vast rooms, Victorian kitchens, and neo-Norman stairways.

Apart from its surviving furnishings and magnificent interior fittings, the castle houses one of Wales' greatest art collections.

The castle's extensive grounds offer a breathtaking view of the North Wales Coast.

The tower of Penrhyn Castle
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Visit the Charming Bangor Garth Pier

Daytime view of the Bangor Pier
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Bangor Garth Pier is Wales' second largest pier.

Due to low tides, it is a haven for local seabirds such as oystercatchers, redshanks, curlews, and little egrets.

The pier offers a breathtakingly gorgeous view of the Menai Strait towards Menai Bridge, Llandudno, along with the delightful Isle of Anglesey.

People walking along Bangor Garth Pier
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The lovely mountains of Snowdonia fill the backdrop of the pier, making it even more incredible.

In addition to out-of-this-world views, the pier is known for the Victorian kiosks along the deck that sell delicious food and drinks.

Bangor Garth Pier is the perfect place to walk, sit, and relax while enjoying a divine view.

A wooden bench on Bangor Garth Pier
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Visit the Historic Bangor Cathedral

Aerial view of Bangor Cathedral
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One of the city's focal points, the Bangor Cathedral is a stunning work of architecture that dates back to the sixth century.

It has a unique history and gives excellent insight into the area and its past.

The Bangor Cathedral is not that big but has beautiful wooden carvings and gorgeous stained glass windows.

Entrance gate of Bangor Cathedral
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It is known for its stunning music and organ recitals.

The cathedral is a haven where you can bask in tranquility and engage in quiet contemplation.

Interior of the Bangor Cathedral
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Grab a Bite at Bangor's Best Cafes and Restaurants

View of bangor Cafes and Restaurants
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If you want to experience traditional English cuisine, Bangor will not disappoint you.

The city has several cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in mouth-watering dishes.

Apart from eateries serving English cuisine, Bangor is also home to several Asian restaurants like Garden Cantonese Restaurant, Aroy Dee Thai Noodle Bar, and Jasmine Hosue Chinese Takeaway.

Bangor also has vegan- and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, such as Kyffin Café Deli and Voltaire.

Blue Sky is probably the most famous cafe in the city; it's an aesthetic cafe that serves delicious, locally sourced food in a cozy setting.

Dive into the City's Pubs and Bars

If you're looking for a place to grab a drink, Bangor won't let you down with its selection of pubs and bars.

The Boatyard Inn and The Tap and Spile are located by Bangor Garth Pier and serve delicious food with great views of the water.

Rascals Bar offers quality booze and food that won't burn a hole in your pocket.

As Bangor is heavily populated with students, there are many inexpensive places where you can have a good time with your travel companions without having to worry too much about spending.

The city's pubs and bars welcome you to enjoy good food and drinks, laid-back vibes, and incredible views.

Check Out Bangor's Independent Stores and Score Amazing Deals

View of the Bangor Shops
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Bangor will bring you nothing but joy if you are a shopaholic.

There are a wide variety of shops to choose from.

Bangor has a lot of independent stores, along with student-friendly brands such as Topshop.

Debenhams department store in Bangor
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Most independent shops sell designer and vintage clothing at a great value.

If you're lucky, you can find some fantastic pieces at reasonable prices.

One of the many advantages of Bangor being a student-friendly city is that you can find great deals on clothes, and you don't have to spend so much.

Experience Bangor's Art and Culture at Storiel

Exterior of Storiel
Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bangor is rich in art and culture, and Storiel—formerly known as Gwynedd Museum & Art Gallery—showcases Bangor's history perfectly.

With art that dates as far back as 1884, it is the oldest building to be dated by an inscription in Wales.

The museum and art gallery has an assorted collection inspired by the country's culture and landscape and contains portraits of notable individuals of Wales.

Interior of Storiel
Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net)., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most of the art on display was gifted by local people or the council.

You can check out treasures such as the Roman Segontium and the King of Bardsey's crown.

Storiel also hosts exhibitions for local and international artists.

The museum has an on-site cafe and a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs.

Attend the Annual Bangor Music Festival

Bangor may not be a hotspot for music, but it offers many opportunities for people to enjoy live music.

Bangor Music Festival is a popular event that annually takes place in the city.

It is hosted by a charitable organization and invites contemporary artists from all over the United Kingdom to perform.

Cafes like Blue Sky and the Belle Vue regularly host events for artists to perform live music.

So if you want to enjoy music, you will have plenty of opportunities to do so in Bangor.

Feast Your Eyes on the Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve

Scenic view of Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
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Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve was the first of its kind in Wales, established in 1954.

You can experience the breathtaking beauty of this park by hiking, which is a popular activity among visitors.

The hike takes about a couple of hours but will reward you with a breathtaking view of the reserve's mountains and the lake in the center.

Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve is ideal for visiting during all four seasons.

Rocky trail of Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
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In the spring, the Montane plants and the rare Snowdon lilies bloom.

Meanwhile, autumn brings a range of heathland colors, and the purple saxifrages brighten the winter.

You can visit this place with your family and relax in the lap of Mother Nature while taking some beautiful and Instagram-worthy pictures.

Beautiful landscape of Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve
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Go Birdwatching at Spinnies Aberogwen

Spinnies Aberogwen is a nature reserve surrounded by the Snowdonia mountains and Menai Strait.

It is a perfect place for bird watching, offering an incredible view of birds feeding.

The reserve provides shelter to many kinds of birds, including kingfisher, little grebe, little egret, chiffchaff, whimbrel, greenshank, water rail, broad-leaved helleborine, orange-tip, and common blue.

You can spend your day here looking at splendid birds while surrounded by a beautiful landscape.

Spinnies Aberogwen is best enjoyed in the autumn and spring for migrants and summer for breeding birds.

Have a Peaceful Walk through Nature at Roman Camp

Roman Camp is a peaceful area, but in the 12th century, it was a very different place—a fortified stronghold.

Nowadays, the woodland interplays with related terrain to compose a mixed environment for plants and animals, including eagles, owls, rabbits, and frogs.

Row upon row of camouflaging bushes combine with the sheltering thickness of trees to protect all manner of organisms from the wind, harsh weather, and stray humans in Roman Camp.

The spot has some contemplative trails, but walkers can meander more safely elsewhere at this rustic hideaway.

Visitors to Roman Camp are treated to beautiful views of the Menai Strait and Bangor.

You should bring binoculars for birdwatching and walking boots for hiking along paths through even more beautiful terrain.

Take a Swing at Clwb Golff St. Deiniol Golf Club

Set over 120 acres of contoured grassland, Clwb Golff St. Deiniol Golf Club is one of the most intimate golf clubs in the United Kingdom.

Situated across the country, the sensational 18-hole course is surrounded by views ​of mountains and valleys, islands, and wildlife that all reward golfers with stunning sights.

The course overlooks the city of Bangor and treats you to incredible panoramic views of the marvelous Isle of Anglesey, Snowdonia National Park, and the effervescent Menai Strait.

It's a relatively short course (par 68, 5,600 meters from off the back tees), but what makes it tricky is that numerous blind holes can easily catch you unawares.

With a very gracious and generous host at the pro shop and welcoming members, this golf club has all the makings of a fantastic experience.

The greens here are mostly flat, but they're still in pretty good shape.

Fairways are of average width, but anything offline gets swallowed up with gorse and loss of the ball.

Join Lon Las Ogwen Hike for Views of North Wales

The North Wales Coast Path is one of the region's "must-do" trails with views that harbor no shortage of beauty and splendor.

Located in sunny North East Wales, there are wonderful views of the landscape as Lon Las Ogwen climbs south from the coast at Bangor.

This pathway takes you from Port Penrhyn in Bangor, all the way to Llyn Ogwen.

Winding its way through nice wooded areas and over old railway cuts, the trail leads you through some nicely lit old railway tunnels near Tregarth.

It then proceeds into the mountains and glacial landforms of Snowdonia National Park.

You can enjoy this fantastic trip as either a walking or cycling route as there is little or no traffic on it.

Members of the local community voted Lôn Las Ogwen trail for having some of the best views in all of Wales.

This trail follows closely along the coast to provide a panorama above beautiful cliffs and windswept bays where surfers also gather year-round.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Experience Adventure and Peace at Snowdonia National Park

View of Snowdonia National Park's water
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A little over 10 miles outside Bangor, Snowdonia National Park has some of the highest mountains with the best views to offer.

It's just a 20-minute drive from the city and is a popular tourist destination.

Spanning 823 square miles, it is Wales' largest national park and boasts countless activities for visitors to enjoy.

The park allows you to climb various mountains, including Snowdon.

Hiking trail at Snowdonia National Park
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You can also walk around and take in all the magnificent beauty this tranquil place offers.

Snowdonia National Park provides visitors with the chance to observe nature and wildlife in their natural habitat.

It is home to animals like otters, polecats, and the feral goat, along with rare birds such as raven, red-billed chough, peregrine, osprey, merlin, and the red kite.

The park also gives shelter to rainbow leaf beetles, also known as Snowdon beetles.

Animals at Snowdonia National Park
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Snowdonia also offers some amazing man-made adventures that are too good not to experience.

You can experience the world's fastest zip wires at Zip World, go to Bounce Below to experience the trippy underground, or board the long sled ride at Fforest Coaster.

Other adventurous activities include surfing, Adrenaline Indoors, and various outdoor activities.

You can visit Snowdonia National Park and experience natural and man-made adventures all in one place.

Waterfall at Snowdonia National Park
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Final Thoughts

If you decide to travel to Bangor on a getaway, you're sure to come across many indoor and outdoor meccas of fun.

Whether you want to admire works of art at a local gallery or bask in the beauty of nature, there's something for everyone in this charming city.

When visiting, make sure to keep this list of things to do in Bangor, Wales to ensure you have the most fun during your trip.