Cardiff is the capital and largest city in Wales, being its center for commerce, media and National Assembly. About 324,000 people reside in Cardiff, but there are over a million people in its greater metropolitan region. Most Welsh cultural and athletic institutions are based in this city, which is also known as a major tourist spot people that attracts visitors from all over the world. Unlike many European capital cities, Cardiff was originally a small town that did not turn into an actual city until the 20th century. There are some castles and a good deal of other historical buildings, but a lot of the city has been recently built.
The center of Cardiff is currently undergoing some major redevelopment; this part of town is famous for having happening nightlife, full of bars, clubs and pubs, and people in costume or just very dressed up, staying out into late hours of the night. In the daytime, Cardiff is known as a city of beautiful parks, and is also full of museums, markets and extensive shopping arcades. This city also has several important universities, and is becoming a major location for foreign students from other European and Arab countries to come and study the English language.
Swansea is situated on the South Wales Coast, in the historic county of Glamorgan. It is the second largest city in Wales, and over 200,000 people live in its urban area. The city of Swansea likely traces back to being a Viking trading post; it used to be an important center for the copper industry back in the 19th century, and was at the time nicknamed “Copperopolis.” There used to be an abundance of important historic buildings, but many were destroyed during the Blitz bombings in World War II. There are a few remaining historic buildings in the city center, but there are more notable modern buildings that had been built in the late 20th century. Like Cardiff, the city center of Swansea is also undergoing massive redevelopment projects.
The most populated parts of Swansea are the city center, Sketty and Morriston. The Gower Peninsula section of Swansea is rather rural and has beautiful beaches, with opportunities for surfing, sailing and other water sports. A large part of the population in Swansea speaks Welsh, and some of the schools conduct their courses in Welsh-medium.