Dylan Thomas, ancient castles, far-reaching beaches, world-class museums, and Victorian seaside splendour: there's a lot to love about Swansea. The second city of Wales and the beauty of the neighbouring Gower Peninsula attract visitors looking to savour both Swansea's cultural pleasures and the rugged grace of the Welsh coastline.
Swansea and the surrounding area have natural beauty in bucket loads, but the city centre is unlikely to win any glamour awards. The good news is that it's packed with attractions, and has pockets of pure loveliness scattered throughout.
Rather than being concentrated in one central tourist area, Swansea hotels are dotted throughout the city. So where you choose to stay depends on why you want to visit, but car hire is available.
If you are interested only in the attractions of the city, consider a stay in the charming Maritime Quarter, Swansea's marina. But if windswept beaches and coastal walks tick your holiday boxes, consider looking for hotels to the west of the city on Swansea Bay and further along on the Gower Peninsula.
You can book budget hotels in Swansea in the form of charming guesthouses, B&Bs and chain hotels, while mid-range hotels will appeal to those looking for a bit more in the way of facilities and charisma.
Five-star hotels, on the other hand, are harder to find, although there are some luxury hotels in the city and peppered along the dramatic coastline, which extends towards The Mumbles and the Gower Peninsula.
Better-known names in the area include Village Hotels, Ibis, Mercure, Holiday Inn Express, Macdonald, Premier Inn, Marriott and Travelodge - but most properties are locally owned and managed.
Either way, your choice widens as you drift further along the Gower Peninsula thanks to the variety of hotels, B&Bs, pubs, holiday cottages and camping sites dotted around this stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Top five attractions
Dylan Thomas Centre
The world leading centre for studies into this most influential of Welsh poets.
Although a ruin, this majestic fortification - almost a thousand years old - still makes a formidable sight.
This previously neglected area has been redeveloped recently to provide plenty of leisure facilities, shops, bars and restaurants in which to spend your time and money.
National Waterfront Museum
This fascinating museum reveals the importance of innovation and industry in Welsh history.
The backdrop to the city of Swansea, this unspoilt area of natural beauty along the Bristol Channel is ideal for fans of wide-open spaces.
St David's Day; March: Leeks and daffodils are in plentiful supply as the Welsh nation honours its patron saint. Be sure to taste a Welsh cake - a delicious, and celebrated national speciality.
Gower Show; August: Annual celebration of agriculture and heritage. There's a good family day out to be had, and it's fairly inexpensive as country shows go.
Waterfront Winterland; November-December: Ice rinks, reindeer, grottos and fairground rides are all part of this delightful run-in to the festive period in Swansea. The event coincides with late-night shopping, too, which is convenient for last-minute Christmas shoppers.