Visit Bangor with a Bang! 5 Things You Should Definitely Do
Perched high in North Wales, Bangor is an ancient cathedral city with lots of contemporary charm. It’s set at the mouth of the Menai Strait and is not only one of the oldest cities in Wales, but also one of the most beautiful. If you’re looking for things to do in Bangor, don’t miss these five signature experiences.
What to do in Bangor…
1. Dive into local folk culture at the Storiel museum
As the cultural heart of Gwynedd, Bangor is home to some excellent art galleries and museums. If you visit just one of these Bangor attractions, make it Storiel. At this small but engaging museum and gallery, you can learn all about the history, heritage and folk culture of the county. It occupies a former bishop’s palace and is filled with local paintings, ceramics, antiques, artefacts and costumes. Pick up handmade souvenirs at the gift shop and stop by Caffi Storiel for artisan coffee and cake.
2. Explore centuries-old Penrhyn Castle
Wondering what to do in Bangor? No visit is complete without exploring Penrhyn Castle. Built by a Caribbean sugar-plantation magnate, the castle draws inspiration from Norman and Gothic architecture. Sure, castle critics say it’s a little gaudy and of course, it has quite a tumultuous past. But, the National Trust has done a fantastic job of transforming this heritage-listed building into an attraction that’s both tasteful and educational. Pro tip: local buses drop you right at the gate so there’s no need to drive.
3. Make a splash with exhilarating RIB rides
If you’re a bit of an adrenalin junkie, a splash-happy adventure RIB ride will get your pulse racing. These boat trips are one of the best things to do in Bangor, taking you out onto the Menai Strait and through the infamous “Swellies” zone dotted with rocks and whirlpools. For a slightly less exhilarating ride, try a scenic tour out to Puffin Island.
4. Stroll across the Menai Suspension Bridge
The Menai Suspension Bridge spans across the strait, connecting Anglesey with the Welsh mainland. Designed in the early 1800s by iconic Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford, it’s a feat of architecture and a protected historic landmark. At the north end of the bridge is a bustling village where you’ll find cosy cafes, inns and antique shops. The village is one of the top places to visit in Bangor and is also home to an excellent local history museum where you can find out more about the bridge. A stroll along the Belgium Promenade is highly recommended and takes you to nearby Church Island. Wander around the cemetery for postcard-perfect views of the Menai Strait and the bridge.
5. Dive into the flourishing food scene
Tantalising your tastebuds is one of the best things to do in Bangor. While the city has its fair share of chippies and Chinese restaurants, you’ll find plenty of foodie-friendly options. From a plant-based café that’s gained a cult following with local vegetarians, to atmospheric pubs where you can sip Welsh ale and devour traditional dishes like lamb cannon and Glamorgan sausage, eating your way through Bangor is all part of the fun.