All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice


Updated On: April 20, 2024 by   Rahma AliRahma Ali

People say, “when travelling to a new country, don’t leave any place behind. You don’t know if you could come again or not.” This thought rings so true for me. That’s why it’s so important to do a comprehensive research before going anywhere. You need to know places only a local would know, you need to enjoy the tour totally in your destination, and you need to see the list of best restaurants and bars, especially if you will travel to a place like Scotland.

You’ll see vast landscapes, abandoned lakes and ponds, and high mountains at first glance. You might wonder, “Is it a really good idea to travel to Scotland?” or you may just browse the internet to find less-overrated places to visit across the world, and Scotland is one of them.

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice

No matter which group you are in, this article will take you on a virtual tour across the country to know things to do in Scotland, activities, where to stay, and most importantly, what you need to know before travelling to Scotland.

Continue to read to know more.

Cool Facts About Scotland

Scotland has its secrets with a long history of battles between clans, a rich culture, and a leading nation; some are true, others are just tales. Here, we are going through some crazy facts every voyager needs to know.

  • It’s the county of dreams, and there’s no surprise to find that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. The legend began earlier, dating back to between the 8th and 12th centuries AD, as Celtic mythology has connected the unicorn to symbolize power, purity, and freedom.
  • However, English is an official language in Scotland; three others are widely spoken; Scots, British Sign Language, and Scottish Gaelic. And don’t assume that even if you are an English native speaker, you will understand their language. It needs a unique skill set.
  • Scotland is still part of Great Britain. It’s also unnecessary to point out that this is not a theme park. It’s an entire country. But it has such a unique heritage that you want to immerse yourself in it.
  • Most Scots have gorgeous blue eyes that can’t be found anywhere else, making foreigners easy to spot. 
  • Scotland is a place of eerie wonders, and these riches flow into every corner of the country. One of them is that Scotland has the longest echo in an artificial structure, the tallest hedge globally, and the world’s first-ever skyscrapers. You’ll need to hit all of them.
  • Before travelling to Scotland, it would be a brilliant idea to read a bit about the history of this nation. If you did that, you would appreciate the legacy of the Scottish people and what formulated their uniqueness.
  •  The first fire brigade was born in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, which people are so proud of.

Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Scotland

To make the most of your visit to Scotland, there are a number of things you need to know before booking your flight, either to avoid embarrassment or to make sure that this place is your dream destination like we have found. And be sure that you read them all.

  • An Umbrella… No, it’s Not Necessary

It is not because there are no rainy days in Scotland -Absolutely not, you will get wet in the rain billions of times- but rather because the umbrella can not withstand the harsh wind. It would be broken immediately; instead, be sure that you have a raincoat in your suitcase; this is how Scottish people handle inclement weather.

  • Don’t Talk too Much About the Scottish independence   

It’s a controversial debt. In 2017, people voted to stay in the UK, but the results were so close. Following Brexit, people have divided into two groups; those who want to remain in the European Union and those who believe that leaving the EU would be better. Since your visit here is to explore the splendidness of this great country, don’t put yourself in such talks.

  • Consider Local Alternatives instead of Expensive Hot Activities 

It’s always a fantastic idea to travel smart and visit tons of places without breaking the bank. Some tourist attractions are slightly expensive, like the Harry Potter Train -for 50 pounds- or renting a boat to boat to spot dolphins. But if you have thought of local alternatives like a ferry boat or riding in a local scot rail train, it would cost you a fraction of this amount.

  • Scotland is a Tangle of Wind and Rain

The weather forecast always shows that you should expect strong wind in Edinburgh and heavy rain in Glasgow. So, don’t be frustrated to see the fog or cold weather; take it easy and don’t let it hinder you from enjoying your vacation here. Just wear the raincoat – again to remind you not to forget to pack it in your luggage- and take advantage of every moment.

  • Scot, Scottish, Scotch

There is a slight difference between the adjectives and nouns when talking about Scotland. For example, refer to people who live in Scotland, say Scots, or Scottish people. Say Scotch whenever you need to describe something associated with Scotland, such as Scotch foods and so forth.

  • Make Your Time to Go Hiking

Scotland has superb scenery and spectacular sights that you don’t want to miss. Many tourists just visit old noble palaces, which are more numerous than in any other place and of course worth seeing, but don’t leave Scotland without adventuring in its inspiring wild park, along the waterfront, and indigenous species of animals.

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
  • Be Sure That You Have Tourism Booklets

If you need to explore the hidden sides of Scotland from local tours around steep streets and lanes of the old quarter fanning up with many gems, don’t forget to get the free tourism booklets. Plus, you will find handy maps which will give you a great insight into the places you should visit, the best routes you can take, and some tips for your safety. It will be your honest guide while going through Scotland.

Top Things to Do and Places to Visit in Scotland

Go Directly to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city that blows your mind once you arrive at its airport, sprawling with many historical sights. You can easily reach the centre of the town with an excellent transport network. This greater metropolitan offers all places, activities, art, and historical spots to suit all travellers. Whether you are a foodie, a history fan, or searching for thrilling activities, don’t worry, this city is just the perfect place for you.

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
How to reach: Just 15  minutes walk away from Edinburgh Waverley rail station.

Price: Around $24

One of the oldest royal castes in the United Kingdom witnessed many events that shaped Scotland’s history. Dating back to the 12th century, the power of this palace reflects on being a royal dwelling and a military fortress.

Why Should You Visit Edinburgh Castle?

Many remarkable things to do are right here, but the most critical part of your tour around the attraction is that it will bring exciting stories about Scotch history, from the birth of kings to the famous battles. All things that have happened here played a major role in the fate of a nation.

Perched atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions, including many things to do in this European country.

Inside the castle, you will find many spots to explore, ranging from artworks, permanent exhibitions, a hall where coronation ceremonies have been held over decades, Royal Apartments, and Scottish Crown Jewels. You have plenty of ways to experience the castle; you can go around on your own, pay for an audio guide, or join a scheduled tour.

From the rooftop of the castle, you can marvel at a panoramic view of the city of Edinburgh. If you have time, visit the streets and squares near the court to indulge in the city’s culture.

Things to Do:

  • Have a close look at the palace’s grandeur brimming with precious items you need to discover, like the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and the Great Hall.
  • Use a map guide to make sure that you explore all the gems of the palace, or you can ask for an audio guide that will let you know the history behind this masterpiece.
  • Check out the amazing statues scattered around the place and read about every hero and king you will see.
  • Take a selfie with Mons Meg, which is the most famous medieval weapon across the globe.
  • Rising abruptly below this royal spot, plan to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, another elegant palace to see here in Edinburgh.

Things not to Do:

  • Photos are not allowed inside the castle. However, you can snap pictures from the rooftop or at the outdoor hall.
  • Don’t just visit Edinburgh Castle, instead, you can hit the Parliament, attend a session or explore Debating Chambers’ public gallery. All of these tours will cost you nothing.
  • Don’t get it wrong while spelling out the street names, because you will get confused or maybe lost as locals can not understand where you want to go. Always use the Google Pronounce app to know how you make it right.

Pro Tip: You will visit many gift shops before going inside the palace. Don’t check them out before exploring the attraction, as you are likely not to be allowed to get inside with your shopping bags.

Visit one of the Most Known Volcanic Peak Across the Globe: Arthur’s Seat

Location: Queen’s Drive Holyrood Park, Edinburgh

How to reach: Get out at 6 or 36 bus stops that will be the nearest point to Arthur’s Seat, then take a taxi to the site if you want to save your energy for climbing up the hill.

Price: Free access

Edinburgh is a city where all aspects of busting life fade, except enjoying filling your vacation with great outdoor activities. This place will lead you to admire the unparalleled vistas of the city. However, you have to be prepared for a long walking tour, and to be honest; it’s not so easy even for experienced hikers.

Why Should You Visit Arthur’s Seat?

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
path to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

Wherever you are strolling around the cities of Scotland, you have to stop for photographs as every nook and corner offers you an excellent opportunity to have a lovely shot. Many towns, especially Edinburgh, look like fairy tales with immense stone structures and stunning architecture. Eventually, imagine you will catch a glimpse of this whole city from one spot; yes, it’s possible if you decide to climb up to Arthur’s Seat hilltop.

For more pleasure, please plan to be there before the sunset while the city turns from its daytime red to its nighttime silhouette ablaze in lights. Luckily, you are just a few steps away from many tourist attractions here, for example, Holyrood Palace, the National Museum of Scotland, Greyfriars Cemetery, and much more.

Things to Do:

  • Climb up to the peak of Arthur’s Seat, which stands at 824 feet, and appreciate the beauty of Edinburgh. You will find many hikers from all over the world, so it’s a precious opportunity to find people with the same interests as you.
  • Hire a local guide who can help you find the most acceptable spot for an astonishing view, or maybe you can chat about the location’s history going back to 5,000 B.C.
  • Roam around the Palace of Holyroodhouse with its impressive grey structures, right next to Arthur’s Seat, and listen to the audio guide of the elite and historical figures who formerly resided in this picturesque fortress.
  • Take endless shots of Edinburgh during the sunset or sunrise; the view will be unforgettable.
  • Check out all the statues you will come across during your walk up to the hill, which helps you know valuable information about the Kings of Scotland.

Things not to Do:

  • Even in summer, not climb up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat without having a raincoat in the store. Scotland’s weather is fickle, and you just have to be ready for any eventuality.
  • Don’t take a bus tour to discover the attractions, instead take a walking tour to get in touch with the profound culture of Edinburgh.
  • Don’t forget to try Scottish delicacies and some soft drinks like Irn Bru. You have never tasted like this before.

Pro Tip:  ​As long as you get close to the top, the path turns out to be very steep, so don’t wear anything other than walking boots and, of course, be ready to wind or possibly pour rain even if a weatherman doesn’t think so.

Have a Balanced Tour Around Edinburgh Including Historical Sites: The National Museums

Location: Most of them are located in the heart of Edinburgh, between Chambers Street, Princes Street, and the Mound 

How to reach: Take the tram or bus and get out at Princes Street; most museums are about a 15-minute walk from the centre. 

Price: Most of them are free to access

With tons or more museums, you can find many historical hubs with impressive structures and high-end technologies that make your tour so interesting and informative. A country like Scotland has produced many prominent events that changed the design of this community, and you will need to unveil its secrets.

Why Should You Visit the National Museums?

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

From the National Museum of Scotland to the Scottish National Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One and Two, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, you don’t find a single collection of artefacts. There is a wide variety of paintings, sculptures, and remnants from different eras. First, at the museum’s entrance, ensure that you get the map guide in your native language to guarantee that you discover as many treasures as you can inside the museum, including all its floors. 

From very ancient history to contemporary tales, you can visit the Scottish National Gallery, which is like heaven for art collectors or anyone who has a taste in distinctive art.

Things to Do:

  • Walk around the famous museums of Edinburgh. This tour will bring many historical stories and discover fascinating art.
  • You can immerse yourself in the city’s culture by checking out a maze of streets and alleys adjacent to the museums.
  • Discover historic buildings in the centre of Edinburgh shadowed by soaring edifices, or you can stay a little longer and have a beer at a local pub.
  • Check out the science floor of the National Museum of Scotland, where you can meet the most famous sheep in the world, known as Dolly, the first cloned animal.
  • Join free guided tours of the museum to enjoy experiences you shouldn’t miss at any cost that will add charm to your journey.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t use a tripod or any professional camera without having a photo pass.
  • Don’t be in a rush while discovering these museums. Take your time to read all descriptions, explanations, and signs related to displays to make this trip worthy.
  • Don’t panic when exchanging currency in Scotland, which looks different to English notes; it’s the same currency used in England, and don’t bother Scots with countless questions about their money; they already know it’s weird. 

Pro Tip:  ​We know that hop-on-hop-off buses are sparkling and seductive, but you can skip them in Scotland because of their exorbitant fares and low-quality service. Instead, you can use Lothian Buses which comes with an app to know the lines and schedule, or you can simply meander around the city that you’ll be confronted on every twisty turn with something to see or do.

Curious About Royal Life: Roam Around the Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh
Location: Ocean Drive  Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh 

How to reach: Take the bus from Hillside Leopold Palace to the Royal Yacht for $2.

Price: Around $23

Now we can feel the imperial spirit and say welcome to the United Kingdom. Serving the royal family for more than 44 years, the Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh has hosted many grand events where public and VIP figures have fine dining and cruising the Leith. There are many reasons why you should visit this spot, one of them is that the royal home features a great collection of souvenirs and gifts belonging to the royal family. But we do our best to sum up other reasons right here.

Why Should You Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh?

I am sure that you will find some facts about this royal Yacht quite enjoyable, not just because it’s one of the most popular sights in Edinburgh, but also it will help you get to grips with the city’s history to know many details about the royal lifestyle.

Since 1997, this Yacht has stopped working as a royal proprietary; instead, it turns out to be a tourist destination. You will get special access to Queen Elizabeth‘s preferred room and the honeymoon corner of the royal couple, Charles and Diana.

You will want to check out Crew’s Quarters, Engine Room, and the Royal Deck Tea Room and call to mind how the royal family enjoyed their time.

Things to Do:

  • Get close to the lifestyle of the British royal family, checking out the queen rooms, and large dining rooms where prestigious banquets had been hosted.
  • Take in the stunning atmospheric and breathtaking views over the ocean from the ship deck and snap beautiful pictures with the former floating home of Her Majesty Queen.
  • Make sure that you check out all the lifts and ramps of this masterpiece peppered with many unique antiques. 
  • Explore the NAAFI Sweet Shop, where you’ll pass through an incredible assortment of royal utensils used by the crew during long voyages.
  • Pay for an audio guide to know fascinating, authentic, and thrilling stories about this must-see sight.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t go there without wearing warm clothes, or at least pack them in your backpack to be prepared when the sky turns grey and the wind starts to make noise.
  • Don’t be surprised when watching the sunset at 10 p.m. in the summer and about 3:30 p.m. in the winter. That means people start their nightlife in the summer before even the sun goes down.
  • Don’t shop from any market and stores across the street. When it comes to buying souvenirs, be selective and go to Grassmarket, Armstrong & Sons, and Victoria Street, which are all stocked with many excellent items.

Pro Tip:  To get the most out of your trip to Royal Yacht Britannia Edinburgh, we suggest taking a nice meal on board in the Royal Galley while you can sip your hot drink or a delicious soup lifetime experience.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh?

Best Hotels for families:

Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge (around $104 a night)

Eden Locke (around $175 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Market Street hotel (around $231 a night)

Malmaison Edinburgh (around $197 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

A-Haven Townhouse Hotel (around $54 a night)

Castle Rock Hostel (around $18 a night)

Explore the Beauty of Glasgow

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
Glasgow Mitchell Library public library in Glasgow Scotland UK

It’s one of the most-visited cities in Scotland, which gives tourists access to many world-class museums along with its spectacular immense lochs that have been present on everyone’s bucket list. As with many musical concerts and festivals, this cultural hub has been inhabited by prominent local and global artists and musicians over the years. Not to mention Glasgow has its natural glory providing everything from trekking among forests, cruising pure lakes, and exploring the wildlife.

When Vibrancy meets Beauty: Let’s go to Loch Lomond

Location: Southern Scotland, Glasgow
How to reach: Take a train to Balloch station in Glasgow and take an Uber ride to the location.

Price: Around $60 to explore all the park

One of the best ways to enjoy your time here is to go to Glasgow city and drive across town till you reach the beautiful public park of Trossachs National Park surrounding Loch Lomond. With high mountains, various segments linked for hikers, and a plethora of watersports, this park can not be overlooked in Scotland’s list of top things to do.

Why Should You Visit Loch Lomond?

Loch Lomond is one of the UK’s largest lakes, which offers a variety of activities and picturesque nature for some fresh air. This spot will give you access to Trossachs National Park, peppered with forests, hiking trails, and glorious wildlife. You can find many species of whitefish, making it a perfect place for anglers, along with thrilling lovers and watersports fans, such as jet-skiing, water skiing, kayaking, diving, and snorkelling.

From adventures through gigantic trees to hiking up to mountains, trekking paths, and so much more on offer, it’s impossible to get bored while roaming around this marvellous natural paradise.

Here, you are likely to hear nothing unless the sound of water bubbling down the side of a small garden with stones and small fish. It’s a space to clear your mind from any thoughts and revive your soul.

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
Pleasure Boat on Loch Lomond Scotland

Things to Do:

  • One of the top picks on what to do in Loch Lomond is to just let yourself loose in this verdant heaven and treat your eyes with peaceful serene beside the loch.
  • Go hiking across the park; there are many different trails; Conic Hill will be the best of them, which will take you 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete your trip, but in the end, you will be rewarded with an incredible view over Loch Lomond.
  • Hike up to Ben Lomond, designed for exhilarating seekers and enthusiasts; this trip will be lengthier with a 973-meter walk on a steep path. But believe me, once you get to the summit watching highlands rolling in with twisty shaded lanes, you’ll forget about your tiredness.
  • Check Cameron House, another royal castle that will give you a glimpse into Scottish history.
  • Plan a boat excursion among soothing waterfalls and watch sea life, and falconry, and of course, take a tour around Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre to see a diverse array of British birds.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t try to pass yourself off as a Scot just because you like the city or have relatives who live here. Locals will detect your deception right away, putting you in an unpleasant situation.
  • Don’t call Scots English because simply they are not. Locals could consider it an assault, and you don’t need to leave such a negative impression about yourself.
  • Don’t try to speak with a Scottish accent even if you fall in love with it. People will not like you because, surprise, they are hearing it all time. However, you will look like an idiot.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to go to Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre, which is home to plenty of sea creatures, intriguing ocean sharks, and more.

When It Comes to Museums Tours: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is the Top

Location: Kelvingrove Art Galleries Argyle Street, Glasgow

How to reach: Take the bus from the city centre, in front of the Glasgow Radisson Hotel, for only 5 minutes.

Price: Free access 

From here, you will catch a glimpse of many artefacts, more than 8000 pieces on display, and a wide selection of art galleries. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum should be on the top of everyone’s travel bucket list while visiting Scotland. It is not just our opinion; this museum is ranked the second most visited spot in Scotland after Arther’s Seat.

Why Should You Visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum?

We know it’s hectic and sometimes hard to crack into all the landmarks Scotland-especially since most visitors give priority to hiking trips- but heading to art museums should be included in your itinerary as well. Your time here will be divided between discovering the museum on the inside and appreciating the grand facade of this artistic structure with its extensive garden.

Moreover, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum exhibitions have demonstrated one of the most important pieces of British history, from the natural world to the avant-garde. There is no other location in Glasgow that will excite you as much as this one, and every time you think of art galleries and historic museums, you will wish to return here.

Things to Do:

  • Roam around the hall of the museum to check out all the most notable pieces of art and read the description to comprehend what you are seeing.
  • Have a break in the café area and enjoy your hot drink or bring a snack while discovering the surrounding garden.
  • Some people can visit without ever having indeed seen something unique there. Thus it’s preferable to join a guided tour to explore all the halls to make it memorable, including works by the Old Masters, French Impressionists, and Scottish Colourists.
  • If we’re being honest about the top spots in the museum, obviously, it’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh, considered the best collection across the world.
  • Don’t miss your chance to check out the Salvador Dali work ‘Christ of St John of the Cross, ’ and Sir Roger the Asian elephant, another dramatic piece of the giant museum.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t bring any suitcases or baby strollers; there is no room to leave them in a cloakroom, and you will probably not be allowed to enter with these items.
  • Don’t wander around the museum without paying attention to the signs; some places come with a one-direction way.
  • Aside from being one of the most intriguing places to visit in Scotland, it would be brilliant to keep your tour inside for no more than 2 hours. By this, you allow other tourists to enjoy the museum as it has a limited capacity to let its visitors discover its treasures without being stuck with crowds.

Pro Tip: Please keep in mind that Scotland is not always an accessible city to visit. Sometimes places get closed without reasonable reasons, top-rated tourist attractions, so you have to make sure that your destination is ready to receive you.

Where to Stay in Glasgow?

Best Hotels for families:

Novotel Glasgow Centre Hotel (around $94 a night)

Premier Inn Glasgow City Centre Buchanan Galleries Hotel (around $74 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Hilton Glasgow (around $163 a night)

Dakota Glasgow (around $149 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

Glasgow Youth Hostel (around $39 a night)

Euro Hostel Glasgow (around $21 a night)

Got to Inverness

Inverness had a close association with natural landscapes and long pathways around forests. It is known for its hiking trips that always please everyone and entice them due to its splendid views and highlands dating back to the Middle Ages.

The beauty of Inverness reflects in the calm atmosphere that you will feel around the city. Besides its scenery oozing from every corner, you will find other aspects of contemporary civilization, like vibrant buildings, local music festivals, and theatres, serving as an important part of the city’s heritage.

Visit One of the Blindingly Bright Spaces: Loch Ness

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
bench on a path leading to Urquhart Castle and the famous Loch Ness

Location: Scottish Highlands 

How to reach: Take a train and get out at Inverness station, then you can take a taxi to drop you off at the nearest point. 

Price: Book a whole tour around the attractions of the spot for about $65

Loch Ness is one of the must-see locations in Scotland by conjuring up the image of a stony monster suddenly bursting on the shore of a grand lake. Consisting of three lochs, you will find a canal used to control the water levels of all lochs to keep the area safe.

Why Should You Visit Loch Ness?

Conveniently located in Inverness, another big city in Scotland, thank goodness, you have millions of things to see around Loch Ness. And if you are wondering about where you can embark, definitely, kick off a good start by heading to Loch Ness Castle

Famous for many myths, this spot has drawn the attention of many visitors worldwide interested in the history of Scotland, going for a boat cruise enjoying the peaceful setting, or possibly doing other exhilarating activities, for instance, kayaking, mountain climbing, or hiking. Also, this great location will offer a mishmash of a fabled restaurant scene to enjoy your meal while admiring the breathtaking view of the lakes not too far from the attraction.

For history buffs, there is no place more interesting than the Drumnadrochit Hotel’s Loch Ness Exhibition which will tell you more about the background of this archaeological site. And don’t miss out on exploring Fort Augustus, at the south of Loch Ness, and the incredible waterfall at Foyers.

Things to Do:

  • Have a walking tour around Loch Ness Castle and admire the uniqueness of this, unlike place. Remember that many other things are waiting for you to discover it is exceptionally magnificent like Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition.
  • Climb to the highest point of the fortress for unforgettable views of the lake and mountains in ups and downs. This spot offers a tranquil moment during the sunset.
  • Admire the historical facade of the castle and pay for a guided tour if you are one of the curious visitors.
  • Have the opportunity to do some heart-racing outdoor sports for adrenaline junkies like kayaking, and mountain climbing, and get lost in twisting hiking trails.
  • Marvel at the contrasts of the ancient city sprinkled with history and vast flowering landscape.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t ever think of swimming in the loch; it’s so cold even on hot summer days, just delight in its untouched beauty.
  • Don’t think that Loch Ness is enough, and you don’t need to discover the other lakes in Scotland, which is a country made up of more than 30,000 lochs. Plan wisely not to drop any worthwhile attractions.
  • Don’t forget to check out the narrow streets, squares, and beautiful hamlet villages of Inverness, like Dores and Fort Augustus.
All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice

Pro Tip:  ​There are many cafes and gift shops if you’ve decided to take a small break from a historical tour or you are fatigued.

Where to Stay in Inverness?

Best Hotels for families:

Culloden House (around $118 a night)

Bunchrew House Hotel (around $100 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Ness Walk Hotel (around $143 a night)

Rocpool Reserve (around $238 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

Bazpackers Hostel (around $33 a night)

Inverness Youth Hostel (around $31 a night)

One of the Things You Must Do in Scotland: Visit Orkney

Location: The northeastern coast of Scotland 

How to reach: There are many different ways to get Orkney from Edinburgh; fly for 3h ($140-$400), take the train to Glasgow and then fly to the small town for 5h ($180-$700) -not recommended, and by bus for 10h ($40-$75) 

Price: It will cost you an average of $400 to explore the attractions and experience activities, and if you want to stay for a night.

This city has seen a decline in tourists because it’s slightly away from the capital and the routes are not well-paved. It might seem challenging to hit this city, but trust me, you will regret it further if you don’t make time to visit it.

Why Should You Visit Orkney?

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice
beautiful landscape on the Mainland of the Orkney Islands

Annexed to 70 islands, Orkney has a diversity of islands, creating a stunning archipelago giving unique access to many stellar vistas and the oldest Neolithic sites in Europe. Additionally, the prehistoric Ring of Brodgar, a must-see sight, is a fantastic spot, including a circle of ancient stone formations used as a lookout point over the ocean. Otherwise, you can visit Kirkwall, the largest town in Orkney brimming with key museums, art galleries, and a free walk tour. Also, you can plan a religious time and visit Saint Magnus Cathedral going back to 1137, where you can gaze at this marvel with its well-designed facade.

Things to Do:

  • Explore the striking landscapes and dramatic cliffs spanning over the city, which help you get your balance back after getting tired of your busy life.
  • Learn more about the rich history of Scotland which is responsible for the authentic culture of its people. Orkney is home to many great archaeological sites.
  • Drive change to your vacation and try thrilling adventure sports from hiking, biking, and other water activities.
  • Stretch on its white-sand beaches and pure blue water to increase the pleasure of this trip.
  • Discover one of the oldest Neolithic spots that have come to the attention of all archaeologists, one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t expect that the weather in Orkney will be anything different from Scotland. Rain, rain, rain, even though you need to keep your balance when a mighty wind blows.
  • Don’t go there without hiring a local guide or joining a tour program; you might not be able to make it yourself as the islands offer more things than you may think.
  • Don’t worry if you lose anything in Orkney, where you will enjoy a friendly society that encourages everyone to adhere to morals. You are more likely to find it in the same place. Do not be startled if you see someone knocking on your hotel room with your lost wallet. That’s how people live, and that’s how people react in this lovely community.

Pro Tip: If you need to live like Vikings, plan to visit Highland Park Distillery and go around the park. Your experience here will be like nothing before. And it would be a brilliant idea if you invest in a tour with a local guide to help you discover all the hidden gems.

Where to Stay in Orkney?

Best Hotels for families:

St. Ola Hotel (around $102 a night)

The Sands Hotel (around $92 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Kirkwall Hotel (around $100 a night)

The Orkney Hotel (around $113 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

The Stromness Hotel- Book Direct by Paymán Club (around $52 a night)

Hamnavoe Hostel (check for availability) 

Head to Falkirk

When planning a trip, think about the best places rather than the most popular ones. Falkirk is one of the fantastic destinations that will provide you with many attractions, beautiful spots, and magical architecture. Being in Falkirk means that you will enjoy many free activities and roam around extensive green spaces, like Calendar House, coming with a walking path and many open outdoor spaces for dog walkers.

This city played an important role in the trading process in Scotland for more than 800 years. Now, this city has inspired many architects to create their own artworks using their artistic skills.

Marvel at the Creativeness of First-Class Structure: Falkirk Wheel

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice

Location: Lime Road, Falkirk 

How to reach: The best way is to take the train from Edinburgh to Falkirk for around 1h ($9)

Price: Around $19

I think it’s enough to know that it’s the only boat lift in the world that will entice anyone to discover this spot and find out how it really works. Designed to get the Forth & Clyde Canal connected, this splendid building allows boats to pass to the centre of Scotland without any interruption.

Why Should You Visit the Falkirk Wheel?

Falkirk Wheel, which offers a great boat ride, is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions due to its uniqueness and majesty. Visitors can go around the canal enjoy the fantastic ambience and get close up to the wheel to discover how it works.

At 115ft tall, the wheel just takes less than 10 minutes to do its job and transfer boats to other canals, but because of its high-rising architectural wonder, it turns out to be a landmark here and of the best things you can do in Scotland.

Your tour around Falkirk Wheel will include going inside the engineering structure and listening to a guide that will let you know how this idea came up to create this masterpiece and put an end to a daily challenge caused by the difficulty of navigation between canals.

The wheel centre has a host of cosy cafes to enjoy your drink and maybe a slice of English cake while taking in the scenery.

Things to Do:

  • Get your ticket, go for a boat trip around the wheel, and enjoy the divine scenery of vast, beautiful landscapes and azure lakes.
  • Listen to the illustrious history of this creative structure and how it helps a lot and ends up the transport problem of long waiting of boats.
  • Have your drink in the welcoming cafe at the sunset while admiring the outstanding view over the canals.
  • If you have kids, it’s a perfect place; there is a kids’ zone brimming with interactive and exciting activities that keep your children amused.
  • Go to the wheel centre, which will give you insight into this engineering marvel and see the spinning port lift in action.

Things not to Do:

  • There are many myths that people in Scotland love and somehow believe. Your faith in believing in them or not doesn’t really matter to others. But what does matter is to avoid making fun of their legends. Respect their legacy and accept it, or even don’t show your disapproval.
  • Don’t order a glass of whisky with ice, simply it’s not how Scots enjoy their drink, and you will come across someone who advises you to try it without any addition. So, bring your peace and forget about ice in Scotch bars.
  • Don’t miss your opportunity to attend one of the festivals if you plan to visit Scotland in Spring. You will have access to many fantastic musical performances that will make you fall in love with this country every day.

Pro Tip: Don’t leave this town before taking advantage of its beauty which means visiting other sightseeing places, like the Kelpies, marvelling at the decorative palace of Calender House, and seeing the mysterious Torwood Blue Pool.

Where to Stay in Falkirk?

Best Hotels for families:

Bonnyside House & Antonine Wall Cottages (around $211 a night)

Carmel Apartments (around $120 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Macdonald Inchyra Hotel & Spa (around $144 a night)

Kelpies Serviced Apartments (around $101 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

Richmond Park Hotel (around $60 a night)

The Barn Lodge (around $54 a night)

Provide Your Itinerary with Thrilling: Let’s Go to Fort William 

Perched on the hilltop overlooking the ocean, Fort William has always attracted tourists who are interested in discovering less-known parts of Europe and we concluded that this place is definitely worth your visit. Fort William is a coastal town offering tons of key natural-themed amusement and entertainment options. You will go hand-in-hand with the fascinating fauna, intensive activities, and exploring historic heritage sites. It’s therefore clear that your time here will be filled with must-do unique experiences.

Reserve a place on the Jacobite Train: Immerse Yourself in a Harry Potter Journey

Location: Starting from Fort William to Mallaig and back 

How to reach: Take a train from Edinburgh to Fort William for 3h which will cost you around $39. 

Price: Around $41, and if you want to achieve your travelling goals to treat like a king, book the first class for around $68.

Before heading directly to the train, you can take advantage of being in one of the most beautiful small towns in Scotland and stroll about Fort William. You may also put your rain-survival skills to the test by walking through all of its twisting alleyways and historic neighbourhoods.

Why Should You Visit Fort William and Book a Trip on the Jacobite Train?

All You Need to Know Before Heading to Scotland, Things to Do, Not to Do, and Brilliant Advice

With this travel guide, it’s my goal to help you discover all attractions here, not just riding on the Jacobite Train. I am willing to make this city more accessible and easier to visit since I am sure you will find this spot deserves to spend more than just a one-day trip. And you will see that it could take a bit more attention than some other cities out there.

Well, you need to know that your trip via Harry Potter will take about 4 hours, and it will go over 84 miles across the Highlands between Fort William and Mallaig. So, be prepared to see much more. You might think of beautiful vistas, green meadows, and maybe snow-capped mountains if you are there in the late winter.

Things to Do:

  • Go on a trip on the Jacobite Train, one of the most enthralling rail trips in the world. Many tourists find them slightly pricey, but you will be doubly rewarded.
  • Join a guided tour to help you explore the most worth-visited places here, or just refer back to this page to know exactly what to do when you travel to Fort William- it’s enough, trust me.
  • Visit Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, offering a terrific trek through vast green spaces and beautiful hiking pathways, or challenge yourself and climb up the summit.
  •  After you have finished this fascinating tour, you can explore Glencoe, one of the most tranquil places brimming with great views and many wonderful landscapes.
  • Biking, skiing, taking a cable car, and other adrenaline-rush activities, Nevis Range comes with an assortment of many pretty things.

Things not to Do:

  • Don’t drive to Fort William from Edinburgh if you don’t want to feel comfortable going through narrow roads and be ready to get stuck behind a lorry, and for sure don’t exceed the speed limit.
  • Don’t feel obligated to visit all the attractions in Fort William; some activities are not affordable for everyone, so you have to plan ahead of time to determine which places you are willing to hit and others you can just drop.
  • Don’t be frustrated if you don’t find tickets available on the website of the Jacobite Train. You might find some on the site, or instead, go to discover the charm of this overwhelming city.

Pro Tip: If you tend to ride in the Jacobite Train, please consider that the trips are organized from April to October, and you will need to make reservations ahead or be sure that it will work on time.

Where to Stay in Fort William?

Best Hotels for families:

The Garrison Hotel (around $78 a night)

The Lime Tree An Ealdhain Hotel  (around $132 a night)

Best Hotels for couples:

Premier Inn Fort William Hotel (around $134 a night)

The Moorings Hotel (around $90 a night)

Best Hotels and Hostels for solo travellers:

Travelodge Fort William (around $51 a night)

Fort William Backpackers (around $34 a night)

If you are planning to visit Scotland there is no better time to make it than right now. We hope this insider’s guide to touristy Scotland helps you get in touch with this cultural nation and encourages you to pack your luggage right now. Share with us your last vacation photos and forget to tag our social media pages.

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