Scotland – where do I even begin? From the misty Highlands shrouded in legend to the lively cities bursting with culture, this captivating country has secured its place as one of Europe’s top destinations. But with so much to see and do across the diverse landscapes, your itinerary of things to do in Scotland may be totally overwhelming!
As someone who’s explored Scotland many times over, let me make it easy for you. I’ve put together this grand list of the 50 best things to do based on all of my Scottish adventures.
Trust me, I’ve hiked the stunning glens, toured the castles overflowing with history, and even sampled my weight in whisky – all in the name of finding the highlights you absolutely cannot miss!
Whether you’re a city slicker looking to dive into Edinburgh’s festivals, a wandering free spirit yearning for Isle of Skye’s misty wilderness, or a wee bairn eager for Highland fun, you’ll find something here to fill your heart’s Scottish desires.
From sipping peaty Scotch in Speyside’s famous distilleries to experiencing the spine-tingling vibes of gothic Glasgow, this wee guide covers it all.
So get ready for rollicking good times from the Lowlands to the Highlands and everywhere in between! I’ll be right here to share local tips, tales of adventure, and the best of bonnie Scotland. Now let’s get started planning your Scottish adventure – the craic will be ninety!
Scotland offers a wide range of outdoor adventures, including hiking the West Highland Way, exploring diverse terrains, and capturing beautiful moments in places like Glencoe and Fort William.
The Cairngorms National Park is a must-visit destination for mountain biking enthusiasts, with breathtaking views, thrilling terrain, and trails suitable for all skill levels.
The Isle of Skye is a picturesque island with a rugged coastline, stunning mountain ranges, and charming towns and villages to explore. Visitors can also take a boat ride to spot wildlife and learn about Scotland’s history at Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.
Scotland’s cultural experiences include visiting iconic landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, exploring the Scottish Highlands, attending the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and immersing oneself in the local culture and traditions.
Quick Overview of Things to Do in Scotland
From Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish Highlands and even Loch Ness, Scotland is home to a wealth of culture and history that makes it an incredible place for any person looking for a unique experience.
Whether you’re looking for beautiful scenery, outdoor activities, or city living, Scotland has something for everyone. With its stunning landscapes, ancient castles, and friendly people, Scotland is sure to offer a variety of attractions and activities that will leave you with lasting memories.
Explore all that this majestic country has to offer by planning your visit today!
Outdoor Adventures in Scotland
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in Scotland, look no further! From the West Highland Way to the Isle of Skye, there are plenty of beautiful hikes and mountain biking trails to explore.
Take a journey through the Cairngorms or visit Glencoe for some breathtaking views. And don’t forget to check out the iconic Old Man of Storr while you’re at it – it’s one of Scotland’s most famous attractions!
1. Hike the West Highland Way
Take a hike on the incredible West Highland Way for an unforgettable outdoor experience! Embark on one of Scotland’s most popular long-distance trails, stretching 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William. As you traverse through stunning landscapes along this ancient path, you will get to witness the best of Scotland’s natural beauty.
Here are three ways hiking the West Highland Way can enrich your trip:
Discover unique wildlife – Traveling through this route gives you a chance to spot some of Scotland’s iconic animals such as red deer, golden eagles, and wildcats.
Experience diverse terrains – From lowland glens and meadows, to rugged mountains and moorlands, this hike offers a variety of landscapes that make it perfect for all levels of hikers.
Capture beautiful moments – Every step brings with it breathtaking views that make it hard not to take out your camera! With majestic highland towns like Glencoe and Fort William along the way, you can create memories that will last a lifetime.
Set off on an adventure and hike the West Highland Way today!
2. Go Mountain Biking in the Cairngorms
Experience breathtaking views and thrilling terrain with a mountain biking trip in the Cairngorms!
The Cairngorms National Park in Scotland is an amazing destination for those passionate about mountain biking. With stunning peaks, dramatic scenery, and meandering trails, it’s no wonder why so many riders flock here each year to experience its unique beauty.
Whether you’re looking for a leisurely ride or a more challenging course, there are plenty of opportunities available to explore this picturesque region on two wheels. From woodland trails to mountain passes, you’ll find something that suits your skill level and interests in the Cairngorms.
You can even rent bikes from local providers if needed. So pack your gear and head out to Scotland – it’s time to take on the slopes!
3. Explore the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is a must-see for any traveler visiting Scotland. Offering incredible views and amazing outdoor activities, you’ll never be bored as you explore the Isle of Skye’s rugged coastline, rolling hills, and stunning mountain ranges.
Get lost in the charming towns and villages along the way, or take a boat ride to spot wildlife like seals, otters, and dolphins!
Visit iconic landmarks like Edinburgh Castle or Holyrood Palace to learn about Scotland’s fascinating history.
With so much to do and see on this beautiful island, your trip to Scotland would not be complete without exploring the Isle of Skye!
4. See the Old Man of Storr
Behold the majestic Old Man of Storr, an iconic rock formation located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It’s a must-see destination for anyone visiting this beautiful area and Edinburgh locals alike.
The Old Man stands proud at over 100 meters tall, surrounded by other remarkable rocky outcrops and a stunning landscape. A visit to this natural wonder is sure to leave you in awe!
As you explore Castle Storr, take your time to take it all in – the dramatic pinnacles, unique rock formations, lush green forests, and breathtaking views of the sea in the distance. From here you can also enjoy views of mainland Scotland and beyond.
Enjoy every moment here as you soak up the atmosphere of this awe-inspiring place!
5. Visit Glencoe
Take in the beauty of Glencoe, a stunningly scenic glen located on the west coast of Scotland. With its dramatic mountains and rugged landscape, it’s sure to take your breath away!
During your visit to Glencoe, be sure to explore Trossachs National Park, which is just south of the glen. Here you can enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, fishing and camping.
You can also take a day trip to view the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct – an impressive 19th-century structure that spans across the valley below.
For those who are looking for some peace and quiet amidst nature’s beauty, there are plenty of trails with breathtaking views – perfect for a leisurely stroll or an afternoon picnic.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Glencoe has something for everyone! So make sure to visit this incredible part of Scotland during your next trip!
6. Cruise Loch Ness
Cruise Loch Ness for an unforgettable experience of Scotland’s majestic beauty!
Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you traverse past picturesque landscapes and mysterious lochs.
Keep a lookout for the legendary Loch Ness Monster while taking in views of Edinburgh Castle and imagining yourself on a Harry Potter adventure.
With its crystal clear waters, calm climate, and lush green hillsides, this is a journey like no other. The peace and tranquillity will be sure to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed – just watch out for any unexpected visitors!
Discover hidden gems along the way or just take in the stunning scenery as you cruise along this breathtakingly beautiful loch.
So don’t miss your chance to explore one of Scotland’s most beloved natural wonders – Cruise Loch Ness!
7. Walk to the Summit of Ben Nevis
Embark on a journey of discovery as you walk to the summit of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.
Rising 1,345 meters above sea level and located about 10 miles from Fort William near Glasgow in the Scottish Highlands, this iconic peak is an unmissable experience for any outdoor enthusiast.
From its base at Achintee near Glen Nevis, ascend through breathtaking landscapes with diverse flora and fauna to discover stunning views over Edinburgh and beyond.
The trail takes around five hours return, so make sure to pack your waterproofs and sturdy hiking boots!
Take the time to savour every moment of your climb to the summit of Ben Nevis – it truly is an unforgettable adventure.
8. Ride the Harry Potter Train Across the Glenfinnan Viaduct
Next on your Scotland adventure, take a ride on the iconic Harry Potter train as it passes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
This world-famous viaduct is located in the Highlands of Scotland and is often referred to as ‘the Hogwarts Express’ due to its appearance in the Harry Potter movies.
The train departs from Edinburgh Castle and takes you through some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes, giving you an unforgettable experience!
Keep your eyes peeled for spectacular views of Loch Shiel, which can be seen from the viaduct – it’s a sight you won’t forget!
9. Camp in the Trossachs National Park
Experience a magical camping trip to the stunning Trossachs National Park in Scotland! This incredible area is located in the heart of Scotland, north of Loch Lomond. It’s comprised of beautiful woodlands, lonely mountains, shimmering lochs, and peaceful rivers.
Campers will find plenty of secluded spots to pitch their tents and explore this picturesque landscape. The park offers numerous activities including fishing, cycling, climbing, and even kayaking on its many lochs. You can also take a leisurely stroll through the woods or enjoy some bird watching at one of the many bird hides around the park.
So why not make some unforgettable memories by camping in the Trossachs National Park?
10. Go Whale Watching off the Isle of Mull
Ready to explore another corner of Scotland? From the tranquil Trossachs National Park, to the Isle of Mull for a whale watching adventure! Edinburgh Castle may be one of Scotland’s most iconic sites, but there is so much more beyond.
On the Isle of Mull, you can experience wildlife like never before. From dolphins and porpoises to minke whales and basking sharks – you’ll never forget this journey:
Look out for Minke Whales and Basking Sharks off the coast of Edinburgh Castle
Take a boat tour from Tobermory to see common dolphins and porpoises in their natural habitat
Explore the Isle of Mull:
Visit Duart Castle, former home to Clan Maclean
Enjoy stunning views at Calgary Bay – perfect spot for a picnic
Cultural Experiences in Scotland
When you visit Scotland, you can experience the best of its culture in various ways. You can tour legendary whisky distilleries, attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, check out live music in Glasgow, learn Scottish Gaelic, or take in the spectacle of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
Each of these cultural experiences offers a unique glimpse into Scotland’s rich heritage and vibrant arts scene. Whether you’re a whisky enthusiast, a lover of performing arts, or simply curious about Scottish traditions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Scotland’s cultural offerings.
11. Tour Edinburgh’s Legendary Whisky Distilleries
Discover Scotland’s renowned whisky distilleries, where you can explore centuries of history and savor the country’s most celebrated spirit. From the iconic Glenkinchie Distillery in Pencaitland to
The Scotch Whisky Experience near Edinburgh Castle, there are plenty of stops on your whisky-tasting tour. Here are 4 top spots to enjoy:
Glenkinchie Distillery – Tour one of Scotland’s oldest working distilleries located close to Edinburgh and learn about the process behind traditional Lowlander whiskys.
The Scotch Whisky Experience – Enjoy a guided tour through this interactive experience which showcases over 3,500 bottles of whisky from all over Scotland.
Edinburgh Gin Distillery – Sample a range of gins made with local botanicals in a unique urban setting in Leith neighborhood nearby Edinburgh Castle.
Deanston Distillery – Take in views of the River Teith while touring this 18th century mill turned distillery that has been producing high-quality malt whiskys since 1966.
12. Experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Continuing your exploration of Scotland, why not experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? This iconic event takes place in Edinburgh every August and draws thousands of visitors from around the world.
Located near iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, the festival is a cultural hub of arts, theater, music, and comedy. You’ll find something for everyone with over 3,000 performances taking place across hundreds of venues throughout the city.
From stand-up comedy to circus acts, there’s no shortage of entertainment during this beloved event. Get lost in the amazing atmosphere that forms each year at this unique festival – an experience you won’t soon forget!
13. See Live Music in Glasgow
Experience the vibrant music scene in Glasgow, where gigs take place all year round. From the bars and pubs of the Southside to the bustling venues on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow is alive with music any night of the week.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional ceilidh or an international act, you’ll find it here. Take in a show at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, where Oasis were famously discovered in 1993. Or visit The Barrowlands Ballroom for some classic rock ‘n’ roll.
Don’t miss out on a trip up Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle or Edinburgh Military Tattoo either – these iconic events offer fantastic live performances every summer.
With so many incredible musical offerings available throughout Scotland’s biggest city, you won’t be short of options when it comes to seeing live music in Glasgow!
14. Learn Scottish Gaelic
Learning Scottish Gaelic is a great way to immerse yourself in Scotland’s unique culture and history. Visit the Museum of Scotland or explore one of Scotland’s National Parks to get an insight into the language.
Edinburgh Castle is also home to a number of Gaelic-speaking staff members, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions and learn more about their culture.
With its long history, rich literature, and ancient traditions, learning Scottish Gaelic can be a rewarding experience. There are plenty of classes available for those wanting to start studying the language, ranging from beginner levels all the way up to advanced courses.
Whether you’re just visiting Scotland or planning on staying for longer, learning some Gaelic will give you a deeper understanding of the country and its people.
15. Attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Witness the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a spectacle of music, dance, and precision drill that has delighted audiences for over 70 years. Held annually at Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, this event is an unforgettable experience.
It features stirring performances from renowned military bands from around the world in a breathtaking setting. The evening culminates with a stunning firework display accompanied by music.
You’ll be mesmerized by the grandeur on display as you watch the skillful manoeuvres of hundreds of performers and their incredible uniforms. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see one of Scotland’s most iconic events – The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo!
16. Shop and Dine on the Royal Mile
Stroll down Edinburgh’s iconic Royal Mile and explore its charming shops and restaurants, offering an array of culinary delights for every taste! From traditional Scottish fare to modern international cuisine, the Royal Mile has something for everyone.
Shop for unique souvenirs in the quaint boutiques or pick up some tartan clothing to take home. The pubs and bars are full of atmosphere too, with live music at night in many spots.
Here are a few recommendations to enjoy the best of what this historic location has to offer:
Sample some whisky from one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries
Enjoy fresh seafood from one of the local fishmongers
Take a break from shopping and grab lunch at an outdoor cafe
Stop by a pub for a pint or two after dinner
The Royal Mile is always bustling with activity year-round, so no matter when you go, there will be plenty to see and do! Whether you’re looking for unique gifts, fine dining experiences, or just want to soak up some culture while exploring all that Scotland has to offer, don’t miss out on this amazing part of Edinburgh.
17. Visit Doune Castle and Connect With Outlander
Experience the historical beauty of Doune Castle and feel as though you’ve stepped right into the world of Outlander! This grand castle, located near Stirling, Scotland, is the perfect place to connect with your favorite show.
Nowhere else in Scotland can match its history and charm. From its large towers to its winding stairs, Doune Castle has been a part of countless battles and stories. It’s even been featured in movies like Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
Doune Castle stands out from other castles like Urquhart Castle, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace because it was built around 1400 AD. Its presence is both intimidating yet inviting at the same time; visitors are captivated by its beauty while also feeling a sense of awe at the power it possesses.
Inside you can find traditional Scottish artifacts such as swords, axes, armor, furniture, tapestries—all adding to its mystique.
Whether you’re an Outlander fan or just looking for an incredible day trip destination in Scotland—Doune Castle should be on your list!
18. Try Traditional Haggis and Scottish Cuisine
Indulge in Scotland’s most iconic dish, haggis, and savor the traditional flavors of Scottish cuisine!
Haggis is a savory pudding made from sheep offal, oatmeal, spices, and onion. It’s served with mashed turnips (neeps) and mashed potatoes (tatties). If you’re feeling adventurous, try haggis served with whisky sauce or onion gravy.
But it doesn’t end there; Scottish cuisine offers much more than just this famous dish. On the menu are dishes like Cullen skink (smoked haddock chowder), kippers (smoked herring), Scotch pie (ground beef in pastry case), and of course shortbread cookies for dessert!
Try these delicious traditional foods to get an authentic taste of Scotland!
19. Discover Celtic History at the National Museum of Scotland
Discover Celtic history at the National Museum of Scotland! Located in Edinburgh, this popular attraction is home to a wealth of artifacts and collections dedicated to natural history, science, technology, and more.
Explore ancient Celtic customs and traditions, preserved for centuries, including artifacts from Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Immerse yourself in Scottish culture with interactive displays that offer a hands-on experience.
Embark on an exciting journey into Scotland’s Celtic past at the National Museum of Scotland!
20. Tour Edinburgh Castle
If you’re looking to explore Scotland’s rich history, then there is no better place to start than Edinburgh Castle. Sitting atop an extinct volcano, this majestic castle has been a royal residence since the 12th century and was once the home of Mary Queen of Scots.
Today, it stands as a testament to Scotland’s past. You can take a tour of the castle grounds and visit its many attractions like St. Margaret’s Chapel, the Great Hall, and Mons Meg – an ancient siege gun.
You’ll also get to see the Scottish Crown Jewels from Holyrood Palace and get up close to some of Scotland’s most iconic artifacts. Touring Edinburgh Castle is truly a unique experience that will make your trip unforgettable!
Historical Sites in Scotland
You can explore Scotland’s incredible history through its stunning castles and battlefields.
Visit Edinburgh Castle, a royal palace and fortress built in the 12th century, or marvel at Stirling Castle, a historic monument dating back to the 16th century.
Take a tour of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, then walk the Bannockburn battlefield where Robert Bruce won his famous victory over Edward II.
Finally, don’t miss Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness – it’s one of Scotland’s most iconic sites!
21. Explore Edinburgh Castle
Experience the grandeur of Edinburgh Castle, a towering fortress perched atop a dormant volcano. This incredible place is one of Scotland’s most iconic places to visit and one of the top things to do in Scotland.
Its complex history dates back more than 1,000 years, from its use as royal residence to its position as an important military stronghold.
Explore the castle’s many attractions including St Margaret’s Chapel, The Great Hall, and The Crown Room with its impressive crown jewels collection.
Take in breathtaking views over Edinburgh from the battlements or climb Arthur’s Seat for even more stunning vistas.
Touring Edinburgh Castle is truly a must-see places to visit in Scotland!
22. Marvel at Stirling Castle
After exploring Edinburgh Castle, it’s time to take a short road trip to the majestic and impressive Stirling Castle.
Located on the outskirts of Stirling, this castle is known for its grandeur and beauty. You will be amazed by the grand architecture of the castle as it was built in a Renaissance style with turrets and towers that are fit for royalty.
As you marvel at this architectural wonder, you can also explore Holyrood Palace which was once home to Mary Queen of Scots. Within its walls, there is evidence of ancient Scottish life such as tapestries and artifacts from centuries past.
Be sure not to miss out on the breathtaking views over Stirling city below when you visit Stirling Castle!
23. Tour the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Situated in the heart of Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the history and culture of Scotland. The official residence of Her Majesty The Queen when in Scotland, this palace has been home to generations of Scottish royalty since the 16th century.
Its richly decorated state apartments are some of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Britain, featuring paintings and tapestries from centuries past. You’ll also find imposing ruins that tell stories about Scotland’s turbulent past – including Mary Queen Of Scots’ chambers and St Margaret’s Chapel.
Take a guided tour around Holyrood Palace and marvel at its grandeur while learning about its important role in shaping Scottish history. There’s something magical about wandering through this spectacular royal residence – so don’t miss your chance to explore Edinburgh Castle and discover its hidden gems!
24. Walk the Bannockburn Battlefield
Take a journey through history and walk the Bannockburn battlefield, where the Scots famously defeated the English in 1314. Explore this historic battle site and explore its importance to Scotland’s national identity.
Learn about key events such as Robert the Bruce’s victory at Bannockburn in 1314, which led to Scotland’s independence from England.
The battlefield is located close to Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, so it’s easy to fit into a day-trip itinerary that includes these two iconic attractions.
As you walk around the grounds of Bannockburn, reflect on how Robert the Bruce used clever tactics against a much larger enemy force and achieved a memorable victory for Scotland.
Enjoy views of Stirling Castle from across the fields, while imagining what life was like during this famous medieval battle.
25. Visit Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness
Experience the grandeur of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, a breathtakingly beautiful ruin that stands as a reminder of Scotland’s turbulent past. You won’t want to miss this iconic castle located near the picturesque village of Drumnadrochit.
The castle is steeped in history and was once one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland. Its strategic position made it an important location for both Scottish and English forces during times of war. From its walls, you can also enjoy stunning views across Loch Ness, making it a must-see destination if you’re visiting Edinburgh Castle or other parts of Scotland.
Don’t forget to take lots of photos! It’s easy to see why so many people flock to Urquhart Castle, so come prepared with plenty of time to explore and soak up its atmosphere.
26. Step Back in Time at the Highland Folk Museum
Step back in time at the Highland Folk Museum and immerse yourself in Highland culture. Explore centuries-old buildings and artifacts that bring Scotland’s past to life. The museum, located in the Highlands of Scotland, is just outside Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.
You’ll find traditional dwellings, such as a 1700s croft house and a 1930s schoolhouse, as well as an array of historic objects, including everyday tools and weapons. Don’t forget to take in the panoramic views over Arthurs Seat from the outdoor museum grounds.
It’s the perfect way to experience history while enjoying some gorgeous scenery!
27. Play Golf at the Historic Old Course in St Andrews
Leaving the Highland Folk Museum, take a short journey to the legendary Old Course in St Andrews. This historic golf course is an iconic part of Scotland’s landscape and has been enjoyed by golfers since the 15th century.
You’ll be overcome with emotion as you tee off on this treasured course. With its rolling fairways and undulating greens, playing a round here should be at the top of your list.
Put your skills to test and challenge yourself on the 18 holes that have seen some of golf’s greatest moments. As you walk around the Old Course, you won’t be able to help but feel like you’ve stepped back in time – it truly is a unique experience!
28. Tour the Glencoe Massacre Site
Journey to the haunting Glencoe massacre site for a glimpse into Scotland’s turbulent past. This infamous 1692 event began with betrayal and ended in bloodshed, as 38 members of the MacDonald clan were slain by government forces. Visit this historic site to learn more about Scottish history and take in some breathtaking views of Glencoe Valley.
Here is why you should visit the Glencoe Massacre Site:
Explore one of Scotland’s most famous historical events in detail.
Admire stunning landscapes – including Fairy Pools and Ben Nevis.
Take advantage of numerous walking trails around the area.
Capture incredible photos from Edinburgh Castle viewpoint.
29. See the Standing Stones of Callanish
Take a trip to the extraordinary Standing Stones of Callanish and witness a 5,000-year-old monument that’s full of mystery! Located on the Western Isles of Scotland, near Edinburgh, these stones are some of the finest Neolithic monuments in all of Europe.
The standing stones are arranged in a circle and date back to 3000 BC. Within the circle is an impressive chambered cairn made up of huge slabs which appear to be aligned with certain astronomical events.
Admire these mysterious stones as you explore this remarkable site and learn about its fascinating secrets. Discover what life was like for those who lived here over 5000 years ago and how their culture has shaped modern day Scottish culture.
Make sure to bring your camera – this will be an experience you won’t want to forget!
30. Wander the Cloisters of Glasgow Cathedral
Immerse yourself in history and explore the ancient cloisters of Glasgow Cathedral. Located near Edinburgh Castle, this iconic landmark is one of Scotland’s oldest buildings, having been established in the 12th century.
At over 900 years old, the cathedral has seen centuries of Scottish kings and queens come and go. As you wander through its cloisters, gaze up at its towering spires that reach towards the sky and marvel at its intricate stone carvings.
Admire the Gothic arches that line the walls as they lead you into a world where time stands still.
Discover intricately carved tombs dating back to medieval times or visit Reverend Thomas Chalmers’ tomb for a unique insight into Glasgow’s past. With its long history, visiting Glasgow Cathedral is an unforgettable experience that will have you feeling like you’re stepping back to medieval times.
Natural Wonders in Scotland
Explore Scotland’s natural wonders and let your imagination run wild!
Take a magical cruise around the legendary Loch Ness.
Hike up the slopes of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain.
Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct – a train line that was used in some Harry Potter films.
Kayak on Loch Lomond for a thrilling adventure.
For an unforgettable experience, don’t miss exploring the Isle of Skye where you can take in breathtaking views.
31. Explore the Magical Isle of Skye
Explore the magical Isle of Skye and discover its wondrous beauty. The breathtaking landscapes and captivating wildlife will amaze you. Located in the Inner Hebrides archipelago off Scotland’s northwest coast, this magical island is known for its rugged scenery. The dramatic mountains and rolling hills will leave you speechless.
One can’t help but be in awe of its picturesque lochs. There is even one near Loch Ness where local legend claims to have seen a mysterious monster. The Isle of Skye is also packed with historic sites. Edinburgh Castle and other ancient ruins are sure to fascinate visitors from around the world.
With so much to explore here, it’s easy to see why this destination has long been a favorite for travelers looking for an unforgettable experience.
32. Cruise the Legendary Loch Ness
Cruise the legendary Loch Ness for an experience like no other and marvel at the beauty of its shimmering waters!
Take in the breathtaking views of Scotland’s highland landscape as you sail along the loch.
Visit Urquhart Castle, a medieval ruin perched on a rocky outcrop that overlooks the loch, and learn about its fascinating history.
During your cruise, keep an eye out for the fabled monster that lurks in these deep waters – you never know what you may spot!
Edinburgh Castle is also visible from Loch Ness and will give you another perspective on Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.
Whether you’re looking to explore the area or take in some of Scotland’s most iconic sites, this adventure is sure to be one to remember!
33. Hike the Slopes of Ben Nevis
Climb to the summit of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, for an unforgettable experience! With its towering peak standing over 1,000 meters high, you won’t want to miss out on this iconic hike. The views from the top will have you mesmerized and you’ll feel like you’re standing at the roof of Scotland! Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture these breathtaking memories forever.
To make sure your hike is a success:
Wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water.
Bring snacks for energy along the way.
Start early to avoid inclement weather or late afternoon fog.
Hiking Ben Nevis is an incredible opportunity to explore Scotland’s natural beauty and take in its unique culture. You can also enjoy other nearby attractions such as Ben Lomond or Edinburgh Castle after your hike for a full day of exploration!
Make sure to plan ahead so that when it’s time to hit the slopes of Ben Nevis, you are well-equipped with all the essentials for an amazing adventure!
34. Cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct
Take in the stunning views of Scotland’s Highlands as you cross the historic Glenfinnan Viaduct! This iconic bridge is located near Fort William, about halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Built in 1901 to carry a single railway line, it’s now featured in the popular Harry Potter films. Spanning over 400 meters long, its curved arches are an impressive sight.
Cross it by train or foot for an unforgettable experience! Its serene loch scenery will be with you throughout the journey. The viaduct itself is made up of 21 spans and each arch stands 30 meters high – get your camera ready for some amazing shots!
You can also visit the nearby Glenfinnan Monument to learn more about this incredible feat of engineering. Enjoy a unique adventure when you cross this majestic landmark!
35. Kayak on Loch Lomond
Glide through Scotland’s majestic Highlands with a kayaking adventure on Loch Lomond! For the outdoor enthusiast, there is no better way to take in the beauty of Scotland than by paddling across its largest freshwater loch.
Located close to Glasgow and surrounded by lush hills and wild landscapes, Loch Lomond provides ample opportunity for exploration and excitement. With various launch points around the loch, visitors can rent kayaks or stand-up paddle boards to traverse the shimmering waters.
No matter where you choose to paddle from, you will be met with stunning views of mountainscapes and medieval castles along the way. You’ll also have plenty of chances to spot wildlife including deer, osprey, otters, red squirrels and more!
So grab your gear and hit the water for an unforgettable day on Loch Lomond!
36. Visit the Seaside Town of Oban on the Firth of Lorn
Experience the stunning beauty of Scotland’s west coast by visiting Oban, a seaside town on the Firth of Lorn. This beautiful seaside town has plenty to offer.
Activities: Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a relaxing day at the beach, Oban has it all. Enjoy a kayak trip on the Firth of Lorn, take part in some fishing and sailing activities, or simply explore its charming cobbled streets.
Culture: Visit Oban’s bustling harbor and sample some delicious seafood dishes from local vendors while admiring its beautiful seawall gardens and historic buildings. Don’t miss out on seeing McCaig’s Tower—Oban’s iconic landmark.
Accommodation: With many cozy inns, B&Bs, hotels, and camping sites around Oban to choose from, visitors will be spoilt for choice when deciding where to stay during their visit!
Visit Scotland and explore all that this breathtaking seaside town of Oban has to offer!
37. See the Old Man of Storr Rock Formation on Skye
After exploring Oban on the Firth of Lorn, head up to Skye and check out the Old Man of Storr rock formation.
This iconic landmark is a must-see if you’re looking for some outdoor adventure in Scotland. Located in the Trotternish area, this impressive volcanic plug rises over 50 meters above sea level and is one of Scotland’s top bucket list attractions.
With its soaring cliffs and unique shape, it’s no wonder that this natural wonder has become an essential part of any trip to Scotland. Whether you take a hike or simply admire it from afar, the Old Man of Storr should not be missed!
38. Marvel at the Basalt Columns of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa
Marvel at the awe-inspiring basalt columns of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa. This incredible natural wonder is sure to leave a lasting impression. Located on the tiny Isle of Staffa off Scotland’s west coast, this volcanic cave is renowned for its hexagonal pillars formed by cooling lava over millions of years.
Stand in wonder as you take in the dramatic sight of these majestic columns rising from the sea. It may be difficult to get to due to its remote location, but Fingal’s Cave is well worth the effort. After visiting Edinburgh Castle or other nearby attractions, plan a boat trip and marvel at this geological masterpiece situated just off the coast.
You’ll never forget your experience at Fingal’s Cave!
39. Photograph the Silver Sands of Morar Beach
Soak up the beauty of Morar Beach, renowned for its silver sands and idyllic views. Located on the stunning West Coast of Scotland, this amazing beach is perfect for a day out with friends and family. Here you can take picturesque photographs that are sure to last a lifetime:
Capture the glimmering silver sand in your frame
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shoreline
Look out for rare wildlife on the beach
Feel invigorated by the power of nature
Take a dip in the cool waters of Morar Beach
The stunning landscape of Morar Beach makes it one of Scotland’s most popular beaches. Photographers have long flocked here to capture its awe-inspiring beauty.
Whether you come alone or with loved ones, don’t forget to bring your camera – you won’t want to miss out on photographing this incredible natural wonder!
40. Stroll Through the Cairngorms National Park
Explore the majestic Cairngorms National Park, a must-visit destination for any nature lover. This beloved attraction in Scotland is one of the best things to do and offers a variety of activities and sights.
Take an leisurely stroll through the park’s picturesque landscapes, which include tranquil lochs, coniferous forests, moorlands, and snow-capped mountains. Enjoy breathtaking views of Ben Macdui – Britain’s second highest peak – or spot some of the park’s native wildlife including red squirrels, ospreys, capercaillie grouse, golden eagles, and wildcats.
Cairngorms National Park is also perfect for outdoor pursuits such as skiing in Aviemore or mountain biking at Rothiemurchus Estate. Whether you’re looking for an active adventure or quiet reflection amidst nature’s beauty – this park has something for everyone!
City Highlights in Scotland
Come explore the highlights of Scotland and experience the best of its cities!
Start your journey in Edinburgh, where you can uncover its historical secrets by walking along the Royal Mile and touring Edinburgh Castle.
Then delve into the city’s past by exploring both its Old Town and New Town.
Next, head to Glasgow to visit the fascinating Kelvingrove Museum.
Finally, take a stroll through Glasgow’s West End for a great way to end your Scottish adventure.
41. Discover Edinburgh’s Royal Mile (Edinburgh)
Take a stroll down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and marvel at the majestic architecture! Explore this historic area of Scotland, located in the heart of Edinburgh. The Royal Mile is an iconic street full of fascinating history and culture.
It connects two famous landmark castles: Edinburgh Castle at the top of the hill and Holyrood Palace at the bottom. You can explore close to 100 shops, restaurants, galleries, pubs, museums, churches, and more as you wander along this vibrant street.
Visit St Giles’ Cathedral – one of Scotland’s most famous religious sites – or take a tour around Mary King’s Close for an underground adventure! Enjoy beautiful views over Edinburgh from its many viewpoints.
It’s easy to see why this area has been a popular tourist destination for centuries. Whether you’re in Scotland for a few days or longer, don’t miss out on the chance to experience all that Edinburgh’s Royal Mile has to offer!
42. Tour Edinburgh Castle (Edinburgh)
Experience Edinburgh’s history come alive as you tour Edinburgh Castle – the city’s most iconic landmark! This immense 12th century fortress has been an integral part of Edinburgh’s story for centuries, and has played a crucial role in Scotland’s past.
As you explore the castle, you’ll be taken through its long and fascinating history. From its stunning 17th century Great Hall to its impressive artillery displays, every corner of this impressive structure will leave you awestruck.
You can also take the guided tour to get a more in-depth look at this incredible building. Plus, don’t miss out on visiting the Honours of Scotland – Glasgow is home to one of only four remaining sets of royal regalia in Europe!
Whether you’re a fan of Scottish history or just looking for something unique to do while visiting Edinburgh or Glasgow, a visit to Edinburgh Castle is sure to be an experience like no other.
43. Explore Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town (Edinburgh)
Explore Edinburgh’s captivating Old Town and New Town to uncover the city’s rich history! Stroll along cobblestoned streets, taking in centuries-old architecture, bustling pubs, and lively markets.
Get a taste of Scotland’s culture with iconic monuments like Greyfriars Bobby and St Giles’ Cathedral. Take a break at one of the quaint tea rooms or cafes for some traditional fare.
With its mix of old and new, Edinburgh is an unforgettable destination.
Make sure to check out Glasgow too, just over 40 miles away – stroll down the Royal Mile and soak up its beauty! From ancient castles to modern galleries, every corner of Scotland has something special to explore.
44. Visit the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow (Glasgow)
Immerse yourself in Glasgow’s culture at the Kelvingrove Museum! This incredible museum is home to a wide variety of artwork, artifacts, and natural history exhibits that will delight and inspire visitors of all ages.
From ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, there’s something here for everyone. With its stunning architecture and world-renowned collections, the Kelvingrove Museum is one of the best places to visit in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Don’t miss out on this chance to explore Scotland’s past with its amazing displays like the walls of Edinburgh Castle or the Jacobite Wars exhibit. Get ready for an unforgettable journey through Scotland’s long history and vibrant culture!
45. Stroll Through Glasgow’s West End (Glasgow)
Stroll through Glasgow’s vibrant West End and marvel at its stunning architecture while you take in the bustling atmosphere! Located to the west of Edinburgh and Glasgow’s city centre, this area is a must-visit for anyone exploring Scotland.
With its abundance of independent shops, restaurants, and bars, there’s something for everyone in the West End. From traditional Scottish pubs to chic cafés specialising in local delicacies, it won’t take long to find your new favourite spot.
Take a stroll along Great Western Road or explore the cobbled lanes of Ashton Lane – you’ll be sure to encounter some hidden gems along the way!
A trip to Glasgow’s West End is an experience that can’t be missed.
46. See the Forth Bridge Near Edinburgh (Queensferry)
Take a trip to Queensferry, just outside of Edinburgh, and don’t miss the chance to witness one of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks – The Forth Bridge! This incredible cantilever bridge was opened in 1890 and spans across the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh. It’s a great spot for photos and sightseeing and is sure to inspire awe in its visitors.
Experience incredible views of the river from above.
Admire the amazing feat of engineering that has lasted over 130 years.
Learn about its history – it was once the longest bridge in the world!
Take part in guided tours offered by Historic Scotland.
Try your hand at photography with plenty of stunning photo opportunities.
The Forth Bridge is an unforgettable experience not to be missed when exploring Scotland! With its impressive architecture, inspiring views, and unique history, you won’t regret taking some time to appreciate this beautiful landmark near Edinburgh.
47. Experience Nightlife in Edinburgh and Glasgow
From the iconic Forth Bridge, you can make your way to Scotland’s nightlife hot spots – Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both cities are alive with a vibrant atmosphere that will surely excite any visitor. Whether you’re looking for a cozy pub experience or an electric nightclub, both cities offer something for everyone.
In Edinburgh, you can find lively pubs like The Sheep Heid Inn, which is the oldest surviving pub in Scotland! Alternatively, trendy bars like ABV Bar offer creative cocktails and delicious snacks in a chic setting.
In Glasgow, classic pubs like The State Bar provide traditional Scottish fare and drinks while clubs such as Sub Club provide all-night dance parties with world-class DJs.
No matter what type of nightlife experience you seek out in Scotland, there’s sure to be something to suit your style!
48. Shop and Dine on Ashton Lane in Glasgow (Glasgow)
Nestled in the heart of Glasgow’s West End, Ashton Lane is a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy some unique shopping and dining experiences. Explore the cobblestone street lined with pubs, restaurants, and small boutiques. Whether you’re looking for something casual or fancy, it has it all!
Here are just a few things that make Ashton Lane special: – Sample some of Scotland’s finest whisky in one of the many pubs. – Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants. – Shop for unique knick-knacks from local vendors and boutiques.
Ashton Lane is an ideal spot for couples, friends, and families alike – there’s something for everyone! The atmosphere is always buzzing with excitement; you can hear live music coming from the bars, smell delicious food wafting through the air, and see people enjoying themselves as they shop and dine.
There’s no better place than Ashton Lane to truly experience Glasgow’s culture!
49. Wander the University of Glasgow Campus (Glasgow)
Experience the beauty of the University of Glasgow campus and explore its rich history. Don’t miss a visit to this iconic university. Founded in 1451, it’s one of Europe’s oldest universities and is located right in Glasgow’s city center.
Walk around the historic grounds, admire the stunning Gothic architecture, and take a stroll through the Glen–a picturesque tree-lined avenue that winds around part of the campus.
The university offers guided walking tours where you can learn about its fascinating past as well as discover hidden gems like The Cloisters or The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.
So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Glasgow, make sure to add this incredible place to your list!
50. Take in the View from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill (Edinburgh)
Take in the spectacular views of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill. This iconic vantage point is a must-see for anyone visiting Scotland’s capital city. Atop Calton Hill, you can take in sweeping views of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, and The Isle of Skye beyond.
Here are just some of the great things to see or do at this unique landmark:
Visit the National Monument – An impressive 18th-century monument dedicated to those who died during the Napoleonic Wars.
Wander around two observatories – Explore both Nelson Monument and City Observatory for amazing views over Edinburgh.
Enjoy a picnic – Pack up your sandwiches and drinks for an al fresco lunch with a view!
Capture some photos – Don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to take plenty of pictures!
Whether you’re exploring on foot or taking public transport, Take in the view from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill should be high on your list when visiting Scotland’s stunning capital city.
Best Things to Do in Scotland – Final Thoughts
Now that you’ve explored the top 50 things to do in Scotland, it’s time to make your own adventure!
From outdoor adventures on the lochs and mountains, to cultural experiences at music festivals, historical sites from centuries ago, natural wonders only found here, and highlights of city life – there is something for everyone.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a history buff, Scotland will surely fulfill your every need. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey through this majestic country!
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