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Things to do in Scotland

Things to do in  Scotland

Welcome to Scotland

Scotland boasts centuries of colorful history, UNESCO World Heritage–listed treasures, and a rich culture. With lively cities sprinkled among unspoiled landscapes of beaches, lochs, peaks, and valleys, Scotland has plenty to offer visitors of all ages and interests. The capital city, Edinburgh, is an ancient settlement where efficient hop-on hop-off bus tours shuttle travelers to landmarks like mighty Edinburgh Castle, the creepy Edinburgh Dungeon, and the famous Royal Mile; travelers can also witness the pomp and ceremony of the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Other cities such as Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling all offer experiences filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. Travel by road or rail into the Scottish Highlands to experience the magic of Loch Ness or Loch Lomond, or follow hiking trails through the wilderness of Glencoe. History lovers can explore Alnwick Castle and Stirling Castle—constructed to protect Scotland against attack—and Hadrian's Wall, where the country's Roman past comes to life. To experience the best of coastal Scotland, take a multi-day tour out to the Isle of Skye or the remote Orkney Islands, where dramatic skyscapes and wild pastures await. And if you're thirsting to sample some of the world's finest Scotch whiskies, make sure to visit a traditional distillery such as Bowmore or Laphroaig on an Isle of Islay tour.

Top 10 attractions in Scotland

#1
Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

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Edinburgh Castle—with its fortress walls, cobbled promenades, and winding stone steps—has loomed over Scotland’s capital city for more than 1,000 years. Steeped in history, the former royal residence is now a museum, featuring detailed exhibits; period artifacts, such as the Scottish Crown Jewels; and dark dungeons that illuminate the castle’s storied past.More
#2
Royal Mile

Royal Mile

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The atmospheric Royal Mile thoroughfare cuts through the historic core of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, extending for slightly more than a mile from Edinburgh Castle all the way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Both sides of the partly pedestrianized street are bordered by historic granite buildings bearing shop display windows piled high with symbols of Scotland, from tartan to whisky to shortbread. In between the former tenements and taverns are darkened arm-width-wide alleyways, known locally as closes.More
#3
Grassmarket

Grassmarket

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Steeped in history, the Grassmarket is located directly below Edinburgh Castle and is just a minute’s walk from the famous Royal Mile and the National Museum of Scotland. A vibrant and historic area, here visitors can soak up the medieval atmosphere while marvelling at one of the most iconic views in the city, the mighty Edinburgh Castle.A stroll over the George IV Bridge leads to the Greyfriars Bobby statue and through some of Edinburgh’s oldest and most famous streets, including Candlemaker Row, Victoria Street, and West Port.The Grassmarket was traditionally a meeting point for market traders and cattle drovers, with temporary lodgings and taverns all around. It was also once a place of public execution, and a memorial near the site once occupied by the gibbet was created in 1937 to commemorate more than 100 people who died on the gallows in a period known as The Killing Time.Nowadays, the old market area is surrounded by pubs, clubs, shops, and two large hotels. Most buildings in the area are Victorian, with several modern buildings on the area’s south side.More
#4
Edinburgh Old Town

Edinburgh Old Town

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The historic heart of Edinburgh, UNESCO-listed Old Town, is home to the city’s most visited sights. Its central artery is the Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and is lined with top attractions including St. Giles Cathedral, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and the Scottish Parliament Building.More
#5
Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

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Perched above the city of Stirling on a chunk of volcanic rock, this mighty Scottish fortress has seen it all, from attacks by Robert the Bruce to the coronation of the infant Mary Queen of Scots to the premiere of the movie “Braveheart” in 1993. In addition to the impeccably recreated Royal Palace interiors and the sheer amount of history held within its robust walls, the castle also offers superb views over Stirling and Scotland’s green hills and valleys.More
#6
Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

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Scotland's largest island, the Isle of Skye is a pocket of wilderness jutting off the coast of the West Highlands. The area is a treat for nature lovers, with its dramatic sea cliffs, windswept valleys, and glittering lochs.More
#7
Loch Ness

Loch Ness

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While visitors flock to Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of its elusive and eponymous monster, Loch Ness—a lake in the Scottish Highlands—is worth the trip even if you don’t believe the rumors. Vast and surrounded by magnificent Scottish scenery, Loch Ness is a popular boating and sightseeing spot.More
#8
Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Set amid splendid gardens at the foot of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official Scottish residence of the British royals, who first decamped here from nearby Edinburgh Castle back in the 15th century. The complex grew from a 12th-century abbey, whose ruins can still be seen on the grounds, into a full-fledged Baroque palace complete with elaborate plasterwork, sumptuous furnishings, and a number of tapestries. The palace is perhaps most famous for having hosted to the rather unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, whose beloved secretary was slaughtered here by her jealous second husband.More
#9
Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus

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A village on the shores of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is a popular destination in the Scottish Highlands. Once a garrison in the 18th century, the scenic village today attracts cyclists, hikers, and travelers in search of the Loch Ness monster. It’s also a gateway to the Great Glen Way, a 73-mile trail that runs from Inverness to Fort William.More
#10
George Square

George Square

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The cultural center of Glasgow, George Square dates back to 1781. It was named after King George III and today is surrounded by grand buildings including the Glasgow City Chambers. See statues of great Scots, visit the city’s main tourist information office, and go shopping at the annual Christmas market all in this one central square.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Scotland

Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
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Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Kelpies from Edinburgh
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Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe & Hairy Coos Tour from Edinburgh
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Edinburgh Castle Tour - Skip The Line Tickets Included
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Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands Day Trip from Edinburgh
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St Andrews & the Fishing Villages of Fife Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
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The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness
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Isle of Skye, The Highlands and Loch Ness- 3 Day Group Tour from Edinburgh
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Loch Ness Glencoe and The Highlands from Edinburgh
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3-Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh
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The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour
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Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness
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Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness and Glen Coe Day Trip from Edinburgh
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Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands Day Trip from Glasgow
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Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
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Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
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Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Glasgow
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Recent reviews from experiences in Scotland

star-5
Historical places near Edinburgh
James_M, Jul 2022
Rosslyn Chapel, Dunfermline Abbey and Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh
The extra stops to see the Firth of Forth bridges and the battle ground Bannockburn helped break up the drive.
star-5
A++ for The Wee Red Bus!
Robert_K, Jun 2022
Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Keith knows the Highlands inside and out, and not only took us to see magnificent views but also taught us a lot about Scotland’s history.
star-4
Good trip but very long
John_K, Jun 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Traveling with kids made it a long day.
star-5
Bucket list trip
Wanda_W, Jun 2022
Hadrian's Wall, Roman Britain & the Borders Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
We Went to visit Hadrian’s Wall for years.
star-5
Go even if you don’t watch the show
David_B, Jun 2022
Outlander Adventure Small-Group Day Tour from Glasgow
Even if you don’t watch the show, some beautiful places to visit.
star-5
Our guide George was...
Roger_C, Jun 2022
Half-Day Loch Ness and Outlander Sites Tour from Inverness
He made sure we got to see everything that was of interest to us and some we didn’t know we would be.
star-5
Great day activitu
Hachadur_H, Jun 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
For a day activity it is a nice experience to see the beautiful sceneries of Scotland.
star-5
Lochness Monster
selena_b, Jun 2022
Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh
It is a long day, however you get to see a lot of the highlands in Scotland Glencoe,, Inverness, , Lochness I would recommend paying for Lochness Cruise ( it was our highlight and very informative) Also stops for ice cream, coffee, lunch and to see hairy cows as well as for photographs
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Best way to see Scotland
Renee_N, Jun 2022
Highlights of Scotland Luxury Private Tour With Scottish Local - Customisable
I would recommend William and this trip as the best way to see the Scotland highlands.
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Day trip in Scotland
Lori_W, Jun 2022
Loch Ness,Culloden Battlefield,Cawdor Castle & Much More From Inverness City
Because it was a small group we were able to see so many thiotjat you couldn’t do on a big tour bus.
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Our tour guide, Marty,...
Robin_C, Jun 2022
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Kelpies from Edinburgh
We had both an entertaining and educational trip to see some absolutely amazing locations throughout Scotland.
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Highly Recommend
Brad_G, Jun 2022
Half-Day Loch Ness and Outlander Sites Tour from Inverness
We started promptly on time and he was even able to fit in a stop to see the Hairy Coos on our way back to Inverness!
star-5
Great tour
Esther_W, Jun 2022
Oban, Glencoe, Highlands Lochs & Castles Small Group Day Tour from Glasgow
I would definitely have no problem booking a different tour next time I’m in Scotland as it’s a great way to see my beautiful country …
star-5
Outlander tour!
Leslie_D, May 2022
The Outlander, Palaces & Jacobites Experience from Edinburgh
The stops were enjoyable and it was a fantastic was to see Scotland.
star-5
The tour guide, Ray, was...
Jenica_S, May 2022
Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Overall great way to see some amazing spots in Scotland.
star-5
Beautiful day trip!
Maha_A, May 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Glasgow
The day was wonderful and the perfect way to see a little bit of a lot of Scotland!
star-5
Great tour
Allison_L, May 2022
Glenfinnan, Glencoe and Mallaig Full-Day Tour from Edinburgh
It was definitely a long day, but we were able to see so much of Scotland.
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Wonderful way to start a vacation
Shannon_B, May 2022
Alnwick Castle, the Northumberland Coast & the Borders Day Tour from Edinburgh
We even got to see some Hairy Coos in England.
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A must see for Outlander fans!
berroth, May 2022
Outlander Adventure Small-Group Day Tour from Glasgow
The places he took us to see were beautiful.
star-5
Amazing & Beautiful Day Out
Beth_H, Apr 2022
Loch Lomond, Kelpies & Stirling Castle Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Fantastic way to see different parts of Scotland.
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All about Scotland

Currency
British Pound (£)
Time Zone
BST (UTC +1)
Country Code
+44
Frequently Asked Questions