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It’s impossible to see all of Wales in 3 days but there is a lot you can do with 3 days in Wales, especially if you focus on one particular area rather than trying to see both North and South Wales.
There are so many places to visit in Wales and Wales has so much to offer from beaches, mountains, adrenaline activities, colourful villages and the cosmopolitan city of Cardiff.
Whether you’re planning a long weekend in Wales, a UK Staycation or you’re visiting Wales for a few days as part of a bigger UK trip, this is how I suggest you plan your 3 day Wales itinerary to see a good amount of the country!
3 Day Wales Itinerary
3 Days in Wales Itinerary Map
I have pinned all of the places I recommend visiting in this Wales itinerary in the map below to help you with planning a trip to Wales and get an idea of where to visit in Wales in 3 days.
Best time to visit Wales
Wales is good to visit all year round… as long as you are prepared for the weather that comes with it!
However, for the very best time to visit Wales, I recommend the Spring, Summer and Autumn months so you will have more pleasant weather and there are more activities on and open!
Although note that school holidays do get considerably busier in Wales so if you can avoid them for your long weekend in Wales then I would!
Here’s my full post on the best time to visit Wales!
How to get around Wales
Driving is the best way to get Wales. Although there are public buses and train lines, it can take a lot of time to get to each place using public transport.
If you have a car then great! If you don’t, I recommend hiring a car! Cardiff has a few car hire places and Bristol Airport is a popular place to hire cars from. You could get the train to Cardiff or Bristol Airport and hire a car from there, or you can hire a car from where you start.
For example, it would be quicker to hire a car in London and drive to South Wales rather than get the train.
The roads in Wales are very good but they can seem scary to some as they are very small but that’s how you get to the best spots in Wales! Here are my driving in Wales tips to help you out too!
3 Days in Wales
Day 1 – Cardiff City & Nearby Cardiff
Start your day 1 in Wales in the capital city of Cardiff! Cardiff City Centre is a great place to explore and the best thing about Cardiff are the many places near Cardiff to visit so when driving, you’ll get to see the city, coast and countryside in one day!
Cardiff Castle is easily the biggest tourist attraction in Cardiff so I suggest visiting there first.
Attached to Cardiff Castle is Bute Park, it’s a huge park where a lot of locals go to walk and relax so spend some time walking around here too.
Make sure you visit Cardiff Market too and look out for the Welsh Cakes on sale in Cardiff Market as they will be the best you ever try!
Cardiff City Centre is like a lot of cities in the UK, it is run-down in many places but pretty places to visit in Cardiff City are the Royal Arcade, Castle Quarters Arcade and Queens Arcade.
Afterwards, head down to Mermaid Quay on Cardiff Bay, this area is full of restaurants and bars and is right on the water, there’s also some impressive buildings to see!
Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve is well worth a visit, here’s how to get there, to get a feeling of nature in the city and by the water!
If you are up for it, there is a 10km Circular Cardiff Bay Trail walk that takes you from Mermaid Quay along the rest of Cardiff Bay and close to the seaside town of Penarth, this is another way to really get a good feel for Cardiff!
If you are driving and don’t fancy a walk, drive around to Penarth beach and have a walk along the pier and promenade.
For dinner in Cardiff, I recommend staying around Mermaid Quay as there are lots of places to eat in Cardiff Bay there.
If you want nightlife on your short trip to Wales, Cardiff is the best place to be, head into Cardiff City on the high street for lots of pubs and bars!
Stay overnight in – Cardiff
Day 2 – Brecon Beacons National Park
No Wales itinerary is complete without a trip to the Brecon Beacons National Park which luckily for this 3 day Wales itinerary, is close to Cardiff!
The Brecon Beacons offer so much to do and something to suit everyone!
If you like hiking, you have to hike up Pen-Y-Fan which is the highest peak in South Wales and Southern UK! Mynydd Llangorse is another great hike!
There is a place called Waterfall Country in the Brecon Beacons so a day finding waterfalls is a good way to spend a day out of your 3 days in South Wales. There’s a walk called the 4 Waterfall Walk which is not too hard but takes you to some amazing waterfalls!
If outside adventure isn’t for you or if the weather is bad, Black Mountain Road is one of the best roads in Wales and is known as the Top Gear Road of the Brecon Beacons! It goes all the way through the middle of the Brecons with lots of places to stop to go for a walk or take in the views!
Lastly, the National Park is also home to lots of pretty villages and Hay-on-Wye is the most popular village in the Brecon Beacons because of it’s array of bookshops. It’s perfect for literature lovers and those who love to browse quaint shops!
For this night, you can either stay in Cardiff if it’s easier to book 2 nights accommodation in Cardiff for your short Wales trip, but if you really want to relax, there is lots of accommodation in and around the Brecon Beacons in the middle of the Countryside.
Day 3 – Gower Peninsula
In my other Wales itineraries (here’s my 1 week Wales itinerary, and South Wales itinerary), I recommend going to Pembrokeshire because it is full of incredible beaches and villages but for this 3 day Wales itinerary it is a bit far to go!
Instead, on your last day in Wales before heading home or to continue your trip around the UK, I suggest checking out the Gower Peninsula, also known as Swansea Gower. It isn’t an island but once you’re on it, you feel like you’re on an island full of country lanes, pretty cottages and some of the best beaches in Wales!
Start your day by visiting the seaside town The Mumbles. It is a small town but there are a few things to do in the Mumbles, it has some nice shops and cafes plus a big pebble beach and pier to see.
Next head to the beaches, Three Cliffs Bay beach is one of my favourite beaches in South Wales, here’s how to get to Three Cliffs Bay, as it isn’t the easiest beach to get to but that’s what makes it great!
If you want to do some walking you can walk along the clifftop which makes up the Wales Coastal Path, you can keep walking until you feel like you need to turn back!
However the best rated beach in the Gower and a beach that has been rated as one of the best in world is Rhossili Bay! This is a huge beach with an amazing clifftop walk too all the way to worms head!
The Gower is great because once you are ready to leave you can get back on the M4 really easily and leave Wales via Cardiff into England!
Because there are so many places to visit in South Wales, I also have to tell you about the Glamorgan Heritage Coast in case you want to go here instead of the Gower, it is a beautiful piece of coastline with so many walks, one of my favourite Glamorgan Heritage Coast walks is from Llantwit Major Beach to Nash Point and back at about 10km in total!
If you like fossil hunting then Nash Beach is a great place for this as the beaches date back to the Jurassic time!
For one last stop, the market town of Cowbridge close to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast is a great place to visit!
And there you have it! A 3 day Wales itinerary!
Wales Trip FAQ
How can I spend 3 days in Wales?
With 3 days in Wales you can see the capital city of Cardiff, hike in the Brecon Beacons National Park and explore the beaches on the South Coast of Wales, this is the best way to spend 3 days in Wales!
How many days do you need in Wales?
A lot of driving is needed to see the many of the best places in Wales so a at least 3 days in Wales is needed but 1 week and even 2 weeks in Wales is best in order to see what the country offers.
What is the best month to visit Wales?
Shoulder months like June and September are the best time to visit Wales for warmer and drier weather and also because they are out of school holidays and therefore less busy.
How long does it take to drive around the coast of Wales?
It is possible to drive around the coast of Wales in 2 Wales with 2 full days of driving but this is with limited stops. If you want to stop and enjoy the coast of Wales it will take 3-4 days.