• With an area of 8000 square miles (20,800 square km), Wales is less than a sixth the size of England and a little larger than New Jersey.

While Wales is part of the United Kingdom and a member state of the European Union, it also has its own devolved Welsh Government, responsible for certain local affairs.

The population of Wales is around three million, sixty percent of whom live in the southeastern corner of the country. One quarter of the population of Wales was born out of the country, the vast majority being migrants from England. Cardiff, the capital city, has a population of 300,000.

Wales is officially a bilingual nation. Everyone speaks English and almost a quarter of the population also speak Welsh, the strongest survivor of the Celtic languages. The vast majority of Welsh-speakers are concentrated in the north and west of the country.

Wales was a largely Anglican nation (attending the Church in Wales) until Nonconformism swept Wales between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. This spawned many different divisions of Methodists, Baptists and Calvinists, as can be seen in the legacy of chapels everywhere in the country.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Wales features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Here be monsters: on the trail of Teggie in Wales

Here be monsters: on the trail of Teggie in Wales

David Atkinson goes in search of the elusive Teggie – a monster rumoured to live in the waters of Bala Lake, Snowdonia.  The mist descends like a slow ma…

02 Mar 2017 local_activity Special feature
8 great alternative UK city breaks

8 great alternative UK city breaks

London, Edinburgh, Cardiff… These are the usual suspects when visitors are thinking about UK city breaks. But there are actually 66 other cities to be explore…

22 Feb 2017 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month