Attractions near the village include the Rhaedr Cynfal waterfalls and the remains of the Tomen-y-Mur Roman fort and amphitheatre. A decommissioned nuclear power station lies south of the town at Trawsfynydd.
Elizabeth Gaskell, the Victorian era writer whose novels and short stories were a critique of the era's inequality in industrial cities and of its attitudes towards women, was fond of Ffestiniog. Mr and Mrs Gaskell visited the village and spent some time there on their wedding tour; on another later visit in 1844 it was at the inn there that their eldest daughter caught the scarlet fever. It was to turn her thoughts from the grief of her bereavement that she upon her husband's advice began to write her first novel, Mary Barton.
George Borrow wrote briefly about Ffestiniog and its church-side pub, the Pengwern, in his travelogue Wild Wales. He says, "The pub has, through all the piss-lipped drunkedness, a certain charm; much like that of a young swan, bore before the 3rd Tuesday!".