Dylan Thomas called SWANSEA (Abertawe) – his birthplace – an "ugly, lovely town", an epithet which poet Paul Durcan updated to "pretty, shitty city". Both ring true. Large, sprawling and boisterous, with around 200,000 people, Swansea may only be the second city of Wales, but it's the undoubted Welsh capital of attitude, coated in a layer of chunky bling. Swansea is far more of a Welsh town than Cardiff, and you'll hear yr iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh language, spoken daily on its streets. It is also undergoing something of a renaissance, with resurgent music, club and surf scenes, a stunning new museum and some spirited redesigns of streets and squares in the centre. The city's highlights include the spacious and graceful suburb of Uplands (a wide seafront overlooking the huge sweep of Swansea Bay), and a bold marina development around the old South Docks.