Wales has seven cities as of September 2022. Bangor is Wales' oldest cathedral city,[1] whereas St Davids is the smallest city in the United Kingdom.[1] Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and its most-populous, followed by Swansea the second most-populous. Since 2000, Welsh towns have submitted bids to be awarded city status as part of jubilees of the reigning British monarch or for other events, such as the millennium celebrations, with Newport, St Asaph and Wrexham awarded city status through these contests. Wrexham is the newest to hold the status, being awarded it in September 2022 as part of the Platinum Jubilee Civic Honours of Queen Elizabeth II.

List of Welsh cities

Name in English Name in Welsh Principal area

(Welsh name)

Year granted

or confirmed

Cathedral Image Administrative Population[1] Urban Population (2021)[2]
Cardiff Caerdydd City and County of Cardiff
(Dinas a Sir Caerdydd)
Llandaff Cathedral

Cardiff Castle



(built-up area)

Swansea Abertawe City and County of Swansea
(Dinas a Sir Abertawe)
St Joseph's Cathedral

Swansea Beach
and The Tower, Meridian Quay



(built-up area)

Newport Casnewydd Newport
Newport Cathedral
(St Woolos Cathedral)

Celtic Manor Resort

(county borough)


(built-up area)

Wrexham Wrecsam Wrexham County Borough
(Bwrdeistref Sirol Wrecsam)
Wrexham Cathedral
Wrexham city centre
(Hope Street)

(county borough)


(built-up area)

Bangor Bangor Gwynedd Cathedral city since 6th century.[1]
Officially conferred in 1974[7]

Bangor Cathedral

Bangor from Port Penrhyn
15,060 16,990
St Asaph Llanelwy Denbighshire
(Sir Ddinbych)
St Asaph Cathedral

Kentigern Arms
St Davids Tyddewi Pembrokeshire
(Sir Benfro)
St Davids Cathedral

Porth Brâg

City bids

Since 2000, Welsh towns have competed in a contest to be awarded city status, as part of civic honours in notable celebrations, like the millennium celebrations or the Jubilee of the reigning monarch. The 2000 contest was criticised for having no Welsh bid be successful.[10][11][12]



Merthyr Tydfil councillors voted against a proposal to bid for city status for 2022 which followed feedback.[18]


In 2024, Llanelli Town Council announced that they'll submit a bid later in the year, for Llanelli to potentially get city status.[19]

Unrecognised cities

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Welsh cities". Wales. 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2022-09-01.
  2. ^ Within the dataset under 1d."Towns and cities, characteristics of built-up areas, England and Wales: Census 2021". 2 August 2023. Retrieved 3 August 2023.
  3. ^ "1905: Cardiff becomes a city". BBC. 2011-10-28. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  4. ^ "Swansea celebrates 50 years of city status". BBC News. 2019-07-02. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Newport wins battle for city status". BBC News. 14 March 2002.
  6. ^ "Crown Office | The Gazette". Retrieved 2022-09-05. THE QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm dated 1 September 2022 to ordain that the County Borough of Wrexham shall have the status of a City.
  7. ^ "Bangor City Council - Cyngor Dinas Bangor - History". Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  8. ^ a b c "St Asaph in north Wales named Diamond Jubilee city". BBC News. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  9. ^ "National Archives reveal St Davids city status row". BBC News. 2018-12-29. Retrieved 2022-03-09.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g "MILLENNIUM CITY STATUS COMPETITION - WINNING CITIES ANNOUNCED". Home Office. 18 December 2000. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  11. ^ a b c Leader (2000-12-19). "The three Millennium cities". The Guardian. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  12. ^ "Welsh towns could miss city status". 2000-11-26. Retrieved 2022-09-24.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Newport wins battle for city status". 2002-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Five new cities creates row". 2002-03-14. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  15. ^ "Wrexham to make fourth city status bid despite opposition". BBC News. 2021-12-07. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  16. ^ "City status 2022 | Wrexham County Borough Council". Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  17. ^ "Wrexham in bid to gain city status". The Leader. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  18. ^ John, Lucy (2021-10-13). "Merthyr will not apply for city status after huge majority vote against it". WalesOnline. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  19. ^ Harries, Robert (2024-01-12). "The struggling Welsh town that wants to become a city". Wales Online. Retrieved 2024-01-13.
  20. ^ Thomas, Elizabeth (2022-04-18). "The city within a city: The story of Cardiff's much-loved suburb Llandaff". Wales Online. Retrieved 2023-12-04.
  21. ^ "The history of the suburb of Llandaff -". Retrieved 2023-12-04.