25 essential places to see in Scotland

There are plenty of spectacular places to see in Scotland . It is a beautiful country! During our route through the country we were amazed by its castles and landscapes. In this post we tell you 25 essential places to see in Scotland to inspire you when planning your route.

We have marked the location of all the places to see in Scotland that we present to you right away.

What do we tell you in this post?


25 Essential Places To See In Scotland


Edinburgh, the most beautiful city to see in Scotland

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

The most famous thing about Scotland is not its cities. But Edinburgh is well worth it. Home to Scotland’s main airport , you’ll most likely start your Scotland itinerary in the capital.

The historic center of Edinburgh was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. And we are not surprised! Walking down the Royal Mile and enjoying its buildings is like going back in time. London is a lot of London, but we can say that Edinburgh is one of the most spectacular cities in the United Kingdom.

there are a lot of thingswhat to do in edinburgh From going up to his castle to feeling in the magical world of Harry Potter. The capital could not be missing from this list of the best places to see in Scotland!

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Stirling and its castle

Stirling
Stirling

Stirling Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Scotland . And also one of the most enchanted! Due to its proximity to the capital, Stirling is one of the best excursions from Edinburgh .

It was the ancient capital of Scotland and its castle is the main attraction. Like the one in Edinburgh, it is built on an ancient volcanic peak.

The most touristic area of ​​Stirling seemed like a mini Edinburgh. Also for the Spaniards the visit is more than interesting because of the famous story of the Spanish ghost . The king, who could not bear anyone to stand out above him, poisoned a Spanish earl who lived in Stirling. He decided to bury it in the castle garden to get rid of it. But it seems that he didn’t get it (or so they say).

Many people claim to have seen the spirit of the Spanish count in the garden. So, both for its beauty and its stories, Stirling Castle is one of the essential places to see in Scotland.

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The Kelpies, one of the most curious things to see in Scotland

The Kelpies
The Kelpies

In Scotland not everything has to do with antiquity! These modern horse head sculptures were unveiled in 2013 in Falkirk, near Stirling . Since then, they have become one of the country’s icons.

Its origin is found in Scottish mythology. Legend has it that kelpies are water spirits that live in lakes and have the ability to change shape. They usually appear in the form of a horse, hence the decision to represent these animals.

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Old Aberdeen and its beautiful streets

Old Aberdeen
Old Aberdeen

Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland. Apart from Old Aberdeen , its old part, the city does not have much to offer. Of course, Old Aberdeen is very worthwhile. It was founded in 1489, separated from the city of Aberdeen, although it was annexed in 1891. Visit King’s College, St. Machar’s Cathedral and relax in its green spaces. It’s like moving back in time! Without a doubt, one of the most interesting places to see in Scotland.

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Dunnottar Castle , one of the most beautiful castles to see in Scotland

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle

The ruins of this medieval castle are located near Stonehaven , a 20-minute drive from Aberdeen. But what is truly spectacular is its location. From the cape where it is built you will have incredible views of the sea.

Entrance to the castle costs £7. If you do not want to enter, to enjoy the viewpoints you do not have to pay. Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular castles to see in Scotland.

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Glasgow and its university

Glasgow
Glasgow

Glasgow is the second largest city in Scotland . Although we didn’t like it as much as Edinburgh, we think it can’t be missing from this list of the best places to see in Scotland .

There are quite a few things to do in Glasgow . What we liked the most was his university. Is beautiful! However, you cannot miss its interesting museums, its Necropolis or its urban art.

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Loch Lomond and surroundings

Loch Lomond
Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a perfect place to surround yourself with nature . Loch Lomond is one of the largest in Britain, perfect for exploring by boat, canoe or jet ski. It is also very popular with hikers.

To give you an idea of ​​the beauty of the place, it is known as “the Highlands in miniature” . It’s great for getting to know the wilder side of Scotland if you don’t have time to visit the real Highlands. In fact, it’s only an hour from Glasgow .

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Ben A’an, a spectacular mountain to see in Scotland

Ben A'an
Ben A’an

Ben A’an is a mountain in the Trossachs with spectacular views . It takes about 45 minutes to climb a simple but somewhat demanding path due to its steep slope .

You will have Lake Katrine at your feet and you will be surrounded by a lot of beautiful peaks. At the top there is a rock formation in the shape of a small mountain, perfect for taking spectacular photos of the place. It was undoubtedly one of our favorite places to see in Scotland , nature in its purest form!

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Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Another natural wonder to see in Scotland is this valley of glacial origin. It is surrounded by mountains completely dyed green , the image that comes to mind when we think of the country. It is one of the favorite areas for hikers because of the number of peaks there are. If you’re not up for a big physical challenge, the path around Glencoe Lochan is a recommended walk for everyone .

We had to settle for seeing it in the rain and, even so, we found it to be one of the most spectacular landscapes to see in Scotland .

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Glenfinnan Viaduct, an essential place to see in Scotland for Harry Potter fans

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct

Did you know that in Scotland you can see the Hogwarts Express live? The train that appears in Harry Potter exists. It is called the Jacobite and it passes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct every day from May to October . You can see how it expels steam as it passes from the vantage point.

Of course, it is advisable to arrive half an hour before the train to get a seat , there are quite a few people! Schedules vary each year, but for your reference, the train passes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct about 30 minutes after leaving Fort William (for face-on) or 30 minutes before arriving. Alternatively, you can hop aboard the train for a scenic ride between Fort William and Mallaig .

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Kilchurn Castle , a fairytale place to see in Scotland

Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle

This castle is probably our favourite . Perhaps we did not fall so much in love with the castle as with its surroundings. It seems that you are in a fairy tale!

The castle was built in the 15th century by Sir Colin Campbell, the first Lord of Glenorchy. It is located at one end of the idyllic Loch Awe. We dream of a cabin on this lake surrounded by mountains. Sit in its viewpoint to watch the sunset and enjoy the tranquility of the site. It is one of the most spectacular landscapes to see in Scotland.

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Fingal’s Grotto

Fingal's Grotto
Fingal’s Grotto

If you have been around Belfast ( Northern Ireland) and visited the Giant’s Causeway , the place will be familiar to you. This sea cave has a lot of basaltic columns, similar to those on the neighboring island. Both were created by a lava flow.

It is located in the west of the country on the islet of Staffa. It is also known as the cave of melody. And it is that the sound that it emits when the waves impact inside it is magical. Don’t miss out on one of the most magical places to see in Scotland !

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Fort William and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom

Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom
Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom

Fort William is one of the most touristic towns in Scotland due to its privileged location. And it is that it is located at the foot of Ben Nevis, which with 1344 meters above sea level is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom . If you are in good shape you can climb it. Especially in summer, when there is no snow and no specific material is needed. Only good condition!

If you are interested, the best way is to upload it through the Pony Track . It is the easiest route and it will take you about 4 hours to reach the top.

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Isle of Skye, the jewel of the Highlands

Isle of Skye
Isle of Skye

This island was what we liked most about the Scottish Highlands. She left us speechless with her landscapes. In the following points we will go into more detail about its essentials, but a priori we recommend you dedicate at least a couple of days to it.

It is best to rent a car to get around on your own, but you can also book a three-day tour . If you like hiking, you can spend an entire vacation there. There are very cool routes! Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places to see in Scotland .

Our hotel on the Isle of Skye

We slept at the Cuilin Hills Hotel in Portree, the capital of the island. It is the area with the most offer and also the most practical due to its strategic location.

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The Old Man of Storr, one of the most incredible landscapes to see in Scotland

The Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr

It is the most famous place on the Isle of Skye. And he deserves it. The Old Man of Storr is a large pinnacle reached by a 45-minute walk. The only difficulty may be the terrain, which is usually full of mud due to the rains. Our advice is that you walk around the pinnacle and contemplate it from all perspectives. In the end you will realize that it is the least of it. From above you will have incredible views of the landscape.

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The Quairang, a landscape of scandal to see in Scotland

The Quairang
The Quairang

Together with the Old Man of Storr we believe it to be one of the most spectacular places to see in Scotland . You will hallucinate with the beauty of the landscape! From the car park there is a circular path of about 7 kilometers that will allow you to enjoy lakes, cliffs and much more.

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Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most beautiful to see in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Located just at the entrance to the touristic Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most visited in the country. It dates from the 13th century and is located on a small island in Lake Duich. As a curiosity, he appeared in the movie Braveheart , starring Mel Gibson.

Admission is £10. But if you don’t want to enter the castle, from the car park you will have magnificent views.

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Lake Torridon, one of the most photogenic

Lake Torridon
Lake Torridon

Well, it’s not actually a lake, it’s a fjord. Although not as pretty as the ones in Norway ! There are much more famous lochs to see in Scotland like Loch Ness or Lomond itself, but none of them are as photogenic as Torridon. It is surrounded by rugged mountains as well as attractive fishing villages and hiking trails.

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Craigievar Castle and its pink facade

Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle

On the outskirts of Aberdeen, about a 45-minute drive away, you’ll come across the most photogenic castle to see in Scotland. Its pink facade is gorgeous! It was built in 1576 and is an ideal example of Scottish baronial architecture. If you’re interested in meeting him, admission is £13.

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Loch Ness and its legend

Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Surely you have heard of Loch Ness and the monster that supposedly lives in its waters. It is a mystery that has been unsolved for decades, since in 1934 a photo of this strange creature came to light and since then no one has managed to find it . Will you be able to see Nessie?

This loch is one of the most famous places to see in Scotland , but the truth is that we were disappointed. There are much prettier lakes in the country , but none have such a mysterious history. Of course, do not miss the beautiful castle of Urquhart , on the shore of the lake.

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Cairngorms National Park , one of the most beautiful to see in Scotland

Cairngorms National Park
Cairngorms National Park

The Cairngorms National Park is the largest in the United Kingdom . You can spend days enjoying its impressive landscapes with dense forests, lakes, high mountains and a very varied fauna .

In winter the park is filled with skiers who enjoy the slopes and during the rest of the year it is a paradise for lovers of hiking or climbing. Some of the most attractive lakes in the Cairngorms are Loch Pityoulish, Loch an Eilein or Loch Garten .

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Bow Fiddle Rock

Bow Fiddle Rock
Bow Fiddle Rock

Relatively close to Inverness you can visit an impressive natural stone arch . Apart from being a major tourist attraction, a lot of seabirds nest there. A good place to relax and enjoy one of the best places to see in Scotland!

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Duncansby Stacks, one of the most spectacular landscapes to see in Scotland

Duncansby Stacks
Duncansby Stacks

In the north of the country you will find about 7 kilometers of coastline full of spectacular cliffs and pinnacles. Also don’t forget to visit John o’Groats, the northernmost point of the island of Great Britain.

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Old Man of Today

Old Man of Today
Old Man of Today

This 137-meter-high pinnacle is located on the island of Hoy . It is spectacular! To get to it you will have to make a fairly demanding 3-hour route from Rackwick (round trip). But somewhat easier than those who jump or climb it.

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Stac Pollaidh, one of the most famous mountains to see in Scotland

Stac Pollaidh
Stac Pollaidh

Finally, to finish this post about the best places to see in Scotland, we couldn’t forget to mention Stac Pollaidh. It is one of the most iconic mountains in Scotland . We advise you to reach its top to be amazed by its views. The landscape, full of lakes and surrounded by mountains, is simply spectacular. The circular route has a distance of 4.5 kilometers and takes between 2 and 4 hours to complete .

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