Things to do in Scotland

Scotland is overflowing with good times and famous tourist attractions. You can take a train through famous film settings, wander through ancient castles and fascinating museums, or take some time out in the wilderness of the Highlands. In the woodlands, you can get adventurous on a mountain bike or simply go hiking and hang out with the Scottish wildlife.

Fancy a little something to nosh on? It’s not all offal - that is, haggis and black pudding. Scotland is actually home to more than 16 Michelin-starred restaurants. There’s also a bunch of food festivals throughout the year that showcase local culinary talent and produce.

Need to wash down that modern or traditional Scottish fare? Stumble along the Malt Whisky Trail! Learn about the art of making whisky at some of Scotland’s most famous distilleries including the historic Speyside Cooperage. Every distillery on the trail will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the industry and, of course, a few samples of their special blends too.

Here’s something else we’ll drink to– free activities! If you’re pinching your pennies, there's a bunch of things you can do for nix such as visit galleries, museums (including the National Museum of Scotland), historic buildings or kick back in one of the many parks and gardens around the country. When Edinburgh Festival Fringe is on, you can wander the cobbled Royal Mile and be entertained by incredible street performers and see many other free events and shows too. For more things to see and do in Scotland, here's our top picks.

Loch Ness

Best know for its infamous resident, the Loch Ness monster, this large, freshwater loch stretches around 37 kilometres across. Take a boat cruise on this deep and cold lake in the Scottish Highlands, and keep your eyes peeled for Nessie sightings!

Balmoral Castle

If you’re a royal fanatic, pop in for a cup o' tea at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire. Balmoral Estate is the summer residence for the Queen and the British royal family every August, September and October, and open to the public during other months.

Isle of Skye

You don’t get awarded as the fourth-best island in the world by 'Natural Geographic' for any old reason. Located in the Inner Hebrides island group in the Scottish Highlands, Skye is a natural beauty.

Edinburgh Castle

Dating back to the 800s, Edinburgh Castle tells a story of battles won and lost and is Scotland’s most-visited paid tourist attraction and for good reason. The ancient fortress allows visitors to step back in time as each building has its own history from prisoners of war to the great hall honouring the king.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe began as an alternative to the more high-brow Edinburgh International Festival in 1947, and runs throughout August annually. As the largest arts festival in the world, the popular event  hosts a wide range of acts from all around the world including street performers, musicians and renowned and up-and-coming comedians.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery Museum

Home to one of Europe’s largest collections of public art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is currently the most-visited attraction in Glasgow. The large, red sandstone building houses around 8,000 pieces including a complete Spitfire airplane from the 1940s.