The small town and seaside resort has a population of 2,900 and the beach and the extensive promenade are key attractions. The parish church houses St Cadfan's Stone from the eighth or ninth century which is inscribed with the oldest known written Welsh.
The earliest parts of the building date to the C12th and it has two C14th century effigies. The Magic Lantern Cinema was originally the Assembly Rooms for the town; built in 1893, it still has its original stage but was converted into a cinema in the 1940s.
Tal-y-llyn Lake is situated at the foot of the Cadair Idris mountain north-east of Tywyn. The narrow gauge Talyllyn Railway was built in 1865 to carry slate from the Bryn Eglwys quarries near Abergynolwyn for 7¼ miles down to Tywyn.
The slate traffic ceased in 1946 and the Talyllyn Railway Preservation Society (the first such organisation in the world) was allowed to take over the running of the line. The track has been relaid, locomotives have been acquired and rebuilt and additional carriages have been constructed; both the original locomotives and all the original carriages remain in regular use to this day.