It is less than a mile from the edge of Snowdonia Park. its main industry is tourism. Notable buildings include almshouses, two 17th-century chapels, and the Parish Church of St Grwst, which holds a stone coffin of Llywelyn the Great.
In 1276, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, seized the town, declaring the Free Borough of Llanrwst independent from the diocese of Llanelwy. Although this was contested by the bishop, the borough retained its status through the lifetime of Llywelyn. On and off since the 13th century the town has claimed independence. Some claim that in 1947, Llanrwst town council made an unsuccessful submission to the United Nations for a seat on the security council, stating that Llanrwst was an independent state within Wales. This story is likely to be apocryphal.
Llanrwst is on the A470 road north of Betws y Coed.
- 1 Gwydir Castle. A 15th-century fortified manor house.
- 2 St Grwsts Church, Church Street (Tan yr Eglwys) (head to the town square and look for the road behind the Eagles Hotel). The church was built in the late 15th century, possibly in the 1470s replacing the first church on this site which was erected about 1170 and partly destroyed by fire when Llanrwst was sacked by Owain Glyndwyr. The Gwydir Chapel was added in 1633–34 by Richard Wynn of Gwydir. The west tower was added in the early 19th century, replacing a bellcote.
There is a wide range of small independent shops in the town.
- 1 Bys a Bawd, Stryd Dinbych, Llanrwst (about 200 m on A548 (road to Denbigh and Abergele) from Llanrwst town square, on left hand side), ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Siop Lyfrau Cymreg. Llyfrau Cymraeg a Saesneg am Gymru. Cardiau ac anrhegion. Welsh Book Shop. Welsh language and Welsh interest books. Greeting Cards and gifts.
- 2 The Crafty Kitten, 15 Gate Mews, Ancaster Square, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. Craft and gift shop selling a wide range of craft materials and hand made gifts.
- 3 Snowdonia Antiques, Station Road (on the bend in the road - short term parking in the town square or the public car parks), ☏ . North Wales Fine Antique Furniture and Clock Specialists, specialising in locally made antiques.
- 1 Ty Asha Balti House, Regent House, Denbigh Street (on the corner of Denbigh St and the town square), ☏ . M-Th 5-10:30PM, F-Su Bank Holiday 5-11PM. An award-winning traditional Bangladeshi Restaurant and Take-away in beautiful North Wales, where we take great pride in introducing our European friends to the mouth-watering cuisine of the Indian sub-continent.
- 1 Meadowsweet Hotel, Heol Yr Orsaf Station Rd., ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 2 Firs Cottage B&B, A470, Maenan (Head north out of Llanrwst on the A470, we are approx 4 miles from the town square on a double bend.), ☏ . Firs Cottage B&B offers peace and relaxation in a comfortable and historic family home nestling on the edge of the Conwy Valley and The Snowdonia National Park in North Wales.