A quick guide to the top things to do in Llanberis and nearby – written by a local!
Wales is packed with incredible landscapes and heaps of things to do. The adventure capital of Wales, Snowdonia – now known as Eryri – will not disappoint you. Especially when it comes to the charming Welsh mountain village of Llanberis – truly one of the best places to visit in north Wales!
Llanberis has become a popular tourist destination because of its outstanding beauty, impressive variety of outdoor activities and renowned mountain range.
This is the gateway to Mount Snowdon – now called Yr Wyddfa. The Llanberis path draws in thousands of keen hikers every year. The village sits beside two picturesque lakes, Llyn Peris and Llyn Padarn, so is also a great spot for wild swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding in Wales.
There are plenty of things to do in Llanberis. From fantastic walks and activities on the lake to slate quarries and even a castle… there’s plenty to keep you busy! The village itself is known for its brightly coloured storefronts, and is home to some of the best independent Welsh cafes and businesses in the country.
For the best of Welsh natural beauty, enriched culture and history – a visit to Llanberis is simply not to be missed! Other popular attractions in North Wales, such as Zip World, Portmeirion, Adventure Parc Snowdonia, and more are all within a 30-minute drive of the village, too!
- Best Things to do in Llanberis
- 1. Hike up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
- 2. Enjoy the View from Castell Dolbadarn
- 3. Go Rowing on Llyn Padarn
- 4. Relax on the Llanberis Lagoons
- 5. Explore the Picturesque Village
- 6. Take a Ride on Llanberis Lakeside Steam Train
- 7. Enjoy one of Wales’ Best Views at Pont Pen-y-llyn Viewpoint
- 8. Learn About the Welsh Quarrying Industry at the National Slate Museum
- 9. Take the Llyn Padarn Circular Walk
- 10. Hike the Quarry Slate Walk (aka the Zig Zag Path)
- More Adventures Around Llanberis
- About the Author
- Read More
Best Things to do in Llanberis
1. Hike up Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
Arguably the best and most rewarding things to do in Llanberis is hiking Mt Snowdon – now known by its Welsh name, Yr Wyddfa. Being the highest mountain in Wales and England, this epic Welsh peak is known for its impressive views of the surrounding National Park.
There are several routes to the summit, the easiest and most popular being the Llanberis Path. This begins in the village and ascends on a gradual incline on a gravel and stone path to the top. This is the longest route to the summit, taking between 5-7 hours in total to complete.
All routes up Yr Wyddfa are known to be strenuous, but the Llanberis path is certainly achievable for casual hikers. For a bit more of a challenge, take a short drive or shuttle bus up towards the incredible Pen y Pass. Here, two more routes – the Miners Track and Pyg path – offer a harder, albeit more rewarding hike.
RECOMMENDED TOUR: Climb Mount Snowdon – 6-hour guided tour (from £59.50pp)
Hiking not your forte? Luckily, Yr Wyddfa is famous for the Mountain Railway train which runs up the mountain to the summit. The journey takes around 60 minutes to the top, giving you the chance to sit back and truly admire what is known as one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world! Trains depart from Llanberis Station and are typically extremely busy in peak season. As such, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance.
Regardless of how you get up there, reward yourself with a delicious hot drink from Hafod Eryri, the UK’s highest visitor centre which sits right on the summit! On a clear day, you’ll see some truly remarkable views over the North Wales peaks, accompanied by the famous sounds of billowing steam as the little train descends back down towards the village.
2. Enjoy the View from Castell Dolbadarn
This historical Welsh castle stands proud above Llanberis village. It’s a great place to visit for incredible views over the lakes – and for a touch of Welsh history.
Castell Dolbadarn was built by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great) during the early 13th century. Today remains a majestic round stone tower looking out over the village.
The Castle is free to visit and is only a short walk from the centre of Llanberis. Be sure to explore the entirety of the castle ruins that look out over Llyn Padarn and Llyn Peris. The site is one of a handful of viewpoints around the village, and this one is certainly the most accessible.
3. Go Rowing on Llyn Padarn
Llyn Padarn is one of the most picturesque parts of Llanberis. This glacially formed lake, nestled between the slate quarry and the mountains, stretches over 2 miles long, making it one of the largest natural lakes in Wales.
Llanberis village sits on the lake’s southern point. On the shore, you’ll find a lovely small business called Padarn Rowing Boats. For a very reasonable price, you can take out a rowing boat for an hour around the southern part of the lake. This is truly one of the best ways to experience the magnitude of the slate quarry, as well as take in the village from a unique 360 perspective.
4. Relax on the Llanberis Lagoons
Towards the north shore of the lake, the popularly nicknamed ‘Lagoons’ are a favourite for both locals and visitors year-round. With several slate-shored lagoons and coves, as well as a manmade jetty, this is a hotspot for swimming and water activities.
Stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and pretty much anything you need for a day on the water can be rented for an affordable price from Snowdonia Watersports which sits at the entrance to the Lagoons.
A visit to the Lagoons is one of the best things for families to do in Llanberis, as well as a great place to relax and soak in the sun in the summer. The Lagoons are only a 5-minute walk from the centre of the village, and also sit alongside the Lon Peris path which connects to the Llyn Padarn Circular Walk through an old railway tunnel.
5. Explore the Picturesque Village
Llanberis is one of the most picturesque villages in Wales, and is known to resemble an alpine town\ in the Alps, with charming, colourful streets and dramatic mountainous backdrops.
A trip to Llanberis is not complete without a stop at the infamous Pete’s Eats – a vibrant cafe serving cheap, comforting food that is a hotspot for walkers after climbing Yr Wyddfa. Be sure to try some hot tea in one of their famous giant mugs!
Another great spot in the village is Georgio’s Ice Cream, with 24 flavours of homemade ice cream to choose from. You’re also not short of independent Welsh cafes and great pubs in Llanberis, so be sure to take the time to stroll around the entirety of the village centre.
6. Take a Ride on Llanberis Lakeside Steam Train
Running alongside the stunning shore of Llyn Padarn is the famous Llanberis Lake Railway. This 60-minute journey takes you past some of the best sights in Llanberis and is one of the top things to do with children in Eryri – aka Snowdonia.
The steam train departs from two spots in the village – Gilfach Ddu station and Llanberis Station. Its five-mile route will take you past the majestic Dolbadarn Castle, through the grounds of the Slate Museum, and along the shores of the lake towards Penllyn at the North of the lake. It is truly a tranquil and wonderful way to see the lake and surrounding sights in their utmost glory.
7. Enjoy one of Wales’ Best Views at Pont Pen-y-llyn Viewpoint
Pen-y-llyn is Welsh for “end of the lake”. This viewpoint is found at the bridge where the lake ends and merges into the Rhythallt river. This side of the lake is known for its incredible view over the northern half of the lake, with Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) towering proudly behind it.
It is truly one of the best viewpoints in Wales, and is accessible by car or by walking from Llanberis along the Circular Walk path. The view from the bridge is considered one of the most photographed spots in North Wales. It’s also the end of the line for the Llanberis Steam Train route.
This is a popular spot with locals for kayaking and paddleboarding, because it tends to be quieter than the lagoons. Be sure to take a stroll over to Brynrefail, a small village just behind Penllyn. In the heart of this village, you’ll find Caffi Caban, one of the most desirable cafes in the area!
8. Learn About the Welsh Quarrying Industry at the National Slate Museum
The National Slate Museum is one of the best attractions in North Wales, and for good reason. Step back in time to experience the industrial Victorian workshops of Dinorwig Quarry, where you can learn about the slate industry in Wales.
Slate plays an enormous role in Llanberis’ (and Wales’) history, so this is a great place to immerse yourself in some Welsh culture! There is much to see and do here for all the family, such as the largest working water wheel in mainland Britain and Quarrymen’s home exhibitions.
Be sure not to skip the walk from the museum up to Dinorwig Quarry Hospital – which is supposedly haunted! Nearby, you’ll find a viewpoint over Vivian Quarry, a remarkable spot that is world-famous for professional diving.
9. Take the Llyn Padarn Circular Walk
One of the best ways to see the best of Llanberis’ sights is by walking the circular route around Llyn Padarn. This 2-hour walk will take you past many of the village’s attractions, stretching through fields, forests and even quarries!
The most popular starting point is near the National Slate Museum. From there, head up past the Quarry Hospital and to the left of the hospital are signposts to mark the official start of the route. Follow the white signposts the rest of the way to avoid getting lost!
The walk loops down through the quarry and forest towards Pen-y-llyn (the end of the lake), then back around along the lagoons into the village. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon with some truly rewarding views over the lake, and an easy walk for those of all fitness levels.
10. Hike the Quarry Slate Walk (aka the Zig Zag Path)
Dinorwig Quarry has an impressive panoramic view over Llanberis. The Quarry is a recently-announced UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a great insight into Welsh history.
From Llanberis, the best (and most interesting) way of getting up to the Quarry is via the Zig Zag Path. This is a route that ascends from the village near the Slate Museum, zig-zagging through the slates to the top.
The zig-zag shape of the path is even visible from the bottom (especially from Dolbadarn Castle). It’s a very fun walk, following the old Quarrymen’s route up to work. The path provides excellent views over Llanberis as well as out over to Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).
Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible viewpoint over Llyn Padarn. Be sure to explore the designated areas of the spectacular quarry grounds.
More Adventures Around Llanberis
About the Author
This guide to the best things to do in Llanberis was written by local travel writer Megan Tomas.
I’m a travel writer and content creator from a small village outside Caernarfon in North Wales. After graduating with a journalism degree from Cardiff University, I worked for 4 years as a digital producer at a Welsh production company. Last year I left my 9-5 to pursue freelancing writing full-time, and am now slow-travelling the world (currently in Bali) as a digital nomad.