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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
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
#6
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
#7
George Square

George Square

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Dwarfed by haughty buildings on all sides and surrounded by statues of great Scots, George Square makes sense of poet John Betjeman’s claim that Glasgow is “the greatest Victorian city in the world.”Named after King George III and built in 1781, George Square began life as little more than a muddy hollow used for slaughtering horses. Today, it’s surrounded by some of grandest buildings in the city, not least the imposing Glasgow City Chambers on the east side.To Glaswegians, George Square is the city’s cultural center. Hosting concerts and events throughout the year, it comes alive during winter, when children skate around the ice rink and parents enjoy mulled wine at the Christmas market. In summer, George Square is a good place to find a bench and watch the world go by.George Square leads to Glasgow’s famous shopping streets in the Style Mile, as well as the ritzy Merchant City district. Glasgow’s main tourist information office sits on the south side, and sightseeing buses begin their journeys here, making this a handy place to get oriented with the city.More
#8
Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral

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Dating back to medieval times, Glasgow Cathedral is the only medieval cathedral on Scotland’s mainland to have survived the Reformation almost fully intact. A magnificent Gothic construction, it features stained-glass windows, a 15th-century stone choir screen, and the tomb of St. Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint.More
#9
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
#10
Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge

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The iconic Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge that arches over the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Situated 14 kilometers from Edinburgh’s city center, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was designed by English engineers, John Fowler and Benjamin Baker. The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure is owned by Network Rail.The distinctive red bridge, which links the villages of South Queensferry and North Queensferry, was opened by the Prince of Wales in March 1890, although was only classified as a UNESCO site on its 125th anniversary in 2015. The bridge spans a total length of almost 2500 meters and is an iconic symbol of Scotland’s engineering and architectural prowess and ingenuity. It also transports approximately 200 local and intercity trains across the Forth every single day.More

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Top activities in Scotland

Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

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The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour
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Loch Ness Glencoe and The Highlands from Edinburgh
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Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe and Ben Nevis from Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience
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Fright Night Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Scotland

star-5
Well worth Doing, brilliant!
Linda_H, Oct 2021
Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe and Ben Nevis from Edinburgh
How to see the best of Scotland in 12 hours!
star-5
Scotland’s scenic views and a very friendly tour guide
Gerwin_E, Oct 2021
Full-Day Oban Castles and Glencoe Guided Tour from Glasgow
Despite of the rainy weather, we’re still able to see wonderful views of Scotland and Geff is generous enough to take few stops and gave us enough time to enjoy the view and take scenic photos.
star-5
Jeff was a fantastic...
Jordan_O, Sep 2021
Full-Day Oban Castles and Glencoe Guided Tour from Glasgow
The route is a great way to see so many beautiful areas of Western Scotland all in one day.
star-5
Great landscapes ❤️
Laurent_C, Sep 2021
Loch Ness Glencoe and The Highlands from Edinburgh
So wonderful guide , love sharing his experience with us about Scotland Day is a bit long but landscapes and small towns to visit are definitely worth it
star-5
Great way to see Scotland
Tom_L, Sep 2021
Speyside Whisky Trail Small-Group Day Tour from Aberdeen
Excellent, got to see Scottish countryside and drove over large parts of Scotland with a great guide Doug.
star-5
Highly recommended
Stephanie_, Aug 2021
Private One Day Highlands Tour of Scotland
Fabulous day, Rowan was great, very knowledgeable and fun to be around with, the Mercedes Van made our journey very comfortable and We would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit beautiful Scotland
star-5
Worth your while
Dilwar_H, Aug 2021
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Great experience if you want to see the most of Scotland in a short space of time.
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The Highlands and Loch Ness
Janet_C, Aug 2021
Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
If you want to see the highlands of Scotland then Viator tours are reasonably priced and value for money.
star-5
Excellent day trip
Tanjila_R, Aug 2021
Glenfinnan Viaduct and The Great Glen 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
Loved the little stops he took us to, especially the waterfall.
star-4
Amazing highland tour
Hazera_K, Aug 2021
Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
Would recommend the tour for those that are short on time and want to see most of Scotland in one day.
star-5
A must!
Katie_B, Aug 2021
Loch Ness Glencoe and The Highlands from Edinburgh
Highly recommended if you’re staying in Edinburgh and want to see the best Scotland sights but are time limited
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Must-See Tour
Kade_D, Aug 2021
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Amazing day tour, cannot recommend highly enough; we only had two days in Edinburgh but wanted to see as much of Scotland as possible while we were there.
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Fun and beautiful
Danielle_G, Jul 2021
Oban, Glencoe, Highlands Lochs & Castles Small Group Day Tour from Glasgow
You have to see it in person.
star-5
awesome scenery, awesome guide
Cristin_C, Nov 2021
3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh
It's been a dream of mine to visit Scotland, and was so happy to knock the trip off my bucket list by viewing some of the most breathtaking scenery I've ever seen.
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Getting a pinch of Scots
Kate_H, Oct 2021
The Mountebank Comedy Walk of Edinburgh
Very glad I did Daniel's Comedy Walk - although it cost me a lot sticking out my ears to understand Scottish English and surely regrettably missed some of Daniel's jokes, BUT it's one of the highlights of this Scotland trip - made the entire walking in rain natural and pleasant.
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Amazing Scotland Tour with Timberbush’ Neil
Christian_R, Oct 2021
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Kelpies from Edinburgh
The package was just right to everyone’s budget but apart from the breathtaking heritage sites to see was our expert and knowledgeable driver/tour guide/story teller/historian named Neil.
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Great intro to Scotch
Lucien_C, Oct 2021
The Ultimate Whisky Experience from Edinburgh
It was nice to see the contrast between the two.
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Glenfinnan tour
grelka_s, Oct 2021
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Mallaig & Glencoe tour from Glasgow
Great way to see these parts of Scotland.
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Highland Highlights
Monique_G, Oct 2021
Full-Day Tour to the Scottish Highlands
Then we were off to see the many Lochs and Castles, through the countryside, passed the Three Sisters (take the tour to find out what they are!
star-5
Incredible! 10/10. Would do these tours again.
sarah_j, Sep 2021
City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We saw things that we would never have had the chance to see were we travelling everywhere on foot.
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