Bangor – City Guide
Croeso i Bangor! Welcome to Bangor! Nestled on a beautiful coast, right next to the Snowdownian mountain range, Bangor is a lovely little city that caters almost purely for its students.
Things to do
- Bangor sits right on the coast and the old Victorian pier is a must visit. It was one of the largest of its kind that the Victorians built and reaches most the way to Anglesey. As you walk down to the end you’ll come across scatterings of traditional kiosks and right at the bottom, a great little tea room.
- Penrhyn Castle is a beautiful 19th century fantasy castle and well worth a visit. Just three miles from Bangor Station by train, there’s no excuse not to see this magnificent building.
- Just around the corner, hidden to the side of the Menai Bridge is Treborth Gardens, where students and locals can volunteer every Thursday to help grow and cultivate wild and tropical orchids. Bangor is a place that can be cold through many months of the year, so the warm and welcoming environment is a charming and fulfilling way to spend your time. The humid Orchid House is also a good place to sweat off that hangover.
- For an action-packed day out, head to Zip World in Bethesda. It’s the fastest zip-line in the world, and the longest in Europe!
- Make sure you don’t miss out on the stunning scenery that surrounds Bangor. The Snowdownian Mountains are just a few miles away and offer stunning views and mountains hikes. Dotted with many historic sites, it’s a brilliant way to spend the day after a big night in the SU.
- Bangor is extremely close to Holyhead port, where you can take a trip to visit Dublin for the day. As a Bangor student, you’re also close to the metropolis’ of Liverpool and Manchester; Chester also makes for a great day trip.
Arts & Culture
- Gywnedd Museum and Art Gallery is great little place, filled with welsh history and temporary exhibitions.
- Bangor is home to The North Wales International Poetry Festival, which has multiple readings and installations all over the city and takes place every October. Organised by poet and professor Zoë Skoulding, the festival plays host to a number of international poets whose performances range from skulking around Blue Sky Cafe, pretending to retrace their steps from their house to their family graveyard, painting over (or blacking out) pages of books brought by the public, shouting in translation and banging staffs. All bound to surprise you after having a few ciders and no doubt different from what you’ll be used to by the end of Freshers week.
- Art Trail is a collection of art spots dotted around Bangor for the public’s viewing pleasure. Also, tucked behind The Antelope Pub, near the Menai bridge, is a very well kept secret in Bangor: The Old Goods Yard. This is a collection of artists’ spaces filled with the weird and wonderful, where you may get a chance to see some of the most intriguing, grounded, and down-right confusing art pieces in and around Bangor.
- Pontio will for the foreseeable future be the absolute centre of arts and media in Bangor and the surrounding areas. With its state of the art theatres, cinema and conference rooms, Pontio presents students and locals an easier and cheaper alternative to travelling around to multiplexes.
Music & Nightlife
- Bars and pubs make up most of the night-scene in Bangor. Rascals Bar is a great student place on Holyhead Road, as is The Old Glan, which has quids-in Tuesdays – drinks from just £1!
- Yates and Varsity are two extremely popular student places, which do good, cheap food too.
- Bar Uno is the University’s Student Union Bar where you can get cheap drinks and watch all the latest sports on their 3 large TV screens.
- If you’re looking for a club to finish off the night in, Peep is one of the favourites with their student nights called ‘UnderGRAD’.
- Patrick’s Bar is Bangor’s Irish bar where you can get involved in Karaoke. Shots of vodka are only 50p… so watch out!
Best places to Eat
- Kiffin, a charming little café, is one of those places that took me about a year of eating there before I realised it was Vegetarian and Vegan food. It is all so casual and confident, the type of cafe that attracts people based on its shy acknowledgement of honesty. Situated right on the high street, the cafe houses an eclectic group of customers; from professors, students, and locals, to knitting groups and creative writers – all in a chocolate, coffee and music-infused atmosphere.
- Also on the high street, Blue Sky Café is a favourite of many locals and students, as well as musicians and poets. With an open canteen setting, skylights, and artwork hanging from the walls, it is clear that Blue Sky is bound to be loved by everyone; it has an easy nature about it, great food and plastered all over the side wall as you walk in are advertisements for concerts, dance classes, and poetry readings. Many of these events are put on at Blue Sky which also happens to have a liquor licence.
- Noodle One, a Japanese and Asian noodle bar is a real hit with the students and locals alike. The food is a good price and even better quality. But if you’re looking for a real good Italian then try Pulcinella on the pier, the pizzas are to die for.
- 1815 is small cafe specialising in homemade tapas which you can eat in or take away.
- Greek Taverna is a great restaurant/bar where you can get amazing milkshakes!