Moving to Swansea: Area Guide
In many ways, Swansea can be thought of as a more chilled out version of Cardiff. However, Swansea has plenty of its own advantages, confirming its status as an all-round fantastic place to live.
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Home to a vast number of students, Swansea’s vibe is young and trendy, while the old town has beauty and history to match. Perfect for those looking for a quieter version of city life, Swansea has an awful lot to offer.
Thinking of moving to Swansea? Then keep reading for everything you’d ever need to know.
Where is Swansea?
Swansea is a city in southwest Wales, perched at the mouth of the Bristol Channel. It’s located in West Glamorgan county, and is the second largest city in Wales, after Cardiff.
Just 41 miles from Cardiff, Swansea is well connected by the M4. Its other neighbours include Neath, Gorseinon, Port Talbot, Pontarddulais, Loughor and Briton Ferry.
A brief history of Swansea
Swansea used to be named ‘Sweins eg/ey’, but Swansea as we know it today was officially formed in the 12th century, when the Normans conquered the town.
Swansea became known for exporting leather and wool to England, as well as dairy products. People would come from all over the UK to attend the famous Swansea Fair, which happened once a year.
Swansea grew rapidly over the 17th century as the copper industry boomed. After the fall of this industry, Swansea’s commercial focus shifted to the maritime industries.
An in-depth look at Swansea
Who lives there?
Swansea is a hive of many different kinds of people.
Students make up a large proportion of the population, thanks to the town’s university.
There are also lots of young professionals who move to Swansea for work, and families who have lived there for generations; it’s a real mix.
Types of property in Swansea
Modern flats have taken over parts of this Welsh town, as more and more young people choose to call Swansea home. However, there are also loads of detached and semi-detached houses that are more suitable for families, scattered throughout the city.
If you’re looking to rent in Swansea, you can expect to pay around £617 pcm for a one-bedroom flat on average.
Swansea has a good range of accessible transport options to keep you connected in and around the local area.
A vast bus network covers the whole of Swansea, running regularly from different points around the city.
Many Swansea locals are also keen cyclists, as it’s a very accessible city to ride a bike around.
Trains run frequently from Swansea to Cardiff, taking under an hour to reach the Welsh capital. Swansea also has good rail connections into England via Bristol, as well as further into Wales.
Restaurants and shops
As with many coastal towns, Swansea’s exciting food scene is especially good for fish lovers. The city also has some good shopping options, so you’ll be sure to find ways to treat yourself and spend your hard-earned cash.
If you’re looking for beautifully blended Welsh ingredients with a French twist, then head to Pant-y-Gwydr. Expect steaming bowls of fish soup and seared scallops, alongside their classic beef bourguignon. They also have a great range of vegan options, if that’s more your cup of tea.
If you’re looking for a table with a view, while enjoying a delicious meal, then make your way to Gallinis Brasserie. This gorgeous Italian restaurant overlooks Swansea Marina, and uses fresh, Welsh ingredients. It’s truly the perfect place to enjoy wonderfully cooked fresh fish, all while taking in the view of Swansea’s incoming boats.
Café Two Can
For classic Welsh grub, Cafe Two Can is certainly worth a try. Doubling as an art gallery for local creatives, you can enjoy a Welsh cake and freshly brewed coffee while taking in some culture.
For something a little more exotic, try Madeira Restaurant. Expect deliciously grilled fish and meat, served with a range of classic Portuguese side dishes. They also have wonderful wines to accompany your meal.
Swansea High Street
In terms of shops, Swansea’s high-street is littered with big name brands. This accessible retail location is very popular with locals, so expect it to be busier on weekends.
Swansea’s main shopping centre is called the Quadrant. Here, you’ll find lots of major high-street favourites. With a good range of shops on offer, you can meet all of your retail needs at the Quadrant.
Socialising in Swansea
With the perfect combination between seaside pleasures and city delights, Swansea offers a whole host of fun activities to keep you busy.
- If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink or watch some live music, head to No Sign Bar.
- Brynmill Park is a great place to go for a walk and enjoy a picnic around the lake.
- Go back in Welsh literary history at the Dylan Thomas Centre.
- Learn more about Wales’s industrial and maritime past at the National Waterfront Museum.
- Explore the Mumbles, a vibrant seaside village on the western edge of Swansea Bay.
- Watch a big match at the Liberty Stadium, home to Swansea FC.
- Have a beach day, or check out the boats at Swansea Marina.
- For a spot of inspiration, take a look at the works at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery.
- Have a fun day out with the kids at the LC Waterpark.
Moving to Swansea
If you’re looking for a mix between city, seaside and country life, then Swansea might just be the place for you.
With a bustling student population and vibrant cultural scene, there will always be plenty to see and do in Swansea, but it’s also quiet enough for you to relax and enjoy nature.
If Swansea tickles your fancy, then it might be time to kickstart your property hunt.