Attractions near the village include the Rhaeadr Cynfal waterfalls and the remains of the Tomen-y-Mur Roman fort and amphitheatre. A decommissioned nuclear power station lies south of the village, 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 young son William caught scarlet fever, from which he died. 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.
Ffestiniog railway station opened on 29 May 1868. It was closed to passenger services on 2 January 1960.