Recent Searches
Clear
Things to do in Scotland

Things to do in  Scotland

Welcome to Scotland

Scotland boasts centuries of colorful history, UNESCO World Heritage–listed treasures, and a rich culture. With lively cities sprinkled among unspoiled landscapes of beaches, lochs, peaks, and valleys, Scotland has plenty to offer visitors of all ages and interests. The capital city, Edinburgh, is an ancient settlement where efficient hop-on hop-off bus tours shuttle travelers to landmarks like mighty Edinburgh Castle, the creepy Edinburgh Dungeon, and the famous Royal Mile; travelers can also witness the pomp and ceremony of the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Other cities such as Aberdeen, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling all offer experiences filled with history, culture, and natural beauty. Travel by road or rail into the Scottish Highlands to experience the magic of Loch Ness or Loch Lomond, or follow hiking trails through the wilderness of Glencoe. History lovers can explore Alnwick Castle and Stirling Castle—constructed to protect Scotland against attack—and Hadrian's Wall, where the country's Roman past comes to life. To experience the best of coastal Scotland, take a multi-day tour out to the Isle of Skye or the remote Orkney Islands, where dramatic skyscapes and wild pastures await. And if you're thirsting to sample some of the world's finest Scotch whiskies, make sure to visit a traditional distillery such as Bowmore or Laphroaig on an Isle of Islay tour.

Top 15 things to do in Scotland

#1
Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

star-4.56,927
Edinburgh Castle—with its fortress walls, cobbled promenades, and winding stone steps—has loomed over Scotland’s capital city for more than 1,000 years. Steeped in history, the former royal residence is now a museum, featuring detailed exhibits; period artifacts, such as the Scottish Crown Jewels; and dark dungeons that illuminate the castle’s storied past.More
#2
Royal Mile

Royal Mile

star-516,041
The atmospheric Royal Mile thoroughfare cuts through the historic core of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, extending for slightly more than a mile from Edinburgh Castle all the way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Both sides of the partly pedestrianized street are bordered by historic granite buildings bearing shop display windows piled high with symbols of Scotland, from tartan to whisky to shortbread. In between the former tenements and taverns are darkened arm-width-wide alleyways, known locally as closes.More
#3
Edinburgh Old Town

Edinburgh Old Town

star-515,474
The historic heart of Edinburgh, UNESCO-listed Old Town, is home to the city’s most visited sights. Its central artery is the Royal Mile, which connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and is lined with top attractions including St. Giles Cathedral, Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, and the Scottish Parliament Building.More
#4
Grassmarket

Grassmarket

star-54,957
Steeped in history, the Grassmarket is located directly below Edinburgh Castle and is just a minute’s walk from the famous Royal Mile and the National Museum of Scotland. A vibrant and historic area, here visitors can soak up the medieval atmosphere while marvelling at one of the most iconic views in the city, the mighty Edinburgh Castle.A stroll over the George IV Bridge leads to the Greyfriars Bobby statue and through some of Edinburgh’s oldest and most famous streets, including Candlemaker Row, Victoria Street, and West Port.The Grassmarket was traditionally a meeting point for market traders and cattle drovers, with temporary lodgings and taverns all around. It was also once a place of public execution, and a memorial near the site once occupied by the gibbet was created in 1937 to commemorate more than 100 people who died on the gallows in a period known as The Killing Time.Nowadays, the old market area is surrounded by pubs, clubs, shops, and two large hotels. Most buildings in the area are Victorian, with several modern buildings on the area’s south side.More
#5
Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

star-55,930
Perched above the city of Stirling on a chunk of volcanic rock, this mighty Scottish fortress has seen it all, from attacks by Robert the Bruce to the coronation of the infant Mary Queen of Scots to the premiere of the movie “Braveheart” in 1993. In addition to the impeccably recreated Royal Palace interiors and the sheer amount of history held within its robust walls, the castle also offers superb views over Stirling and Scotland’s green hills and valleys.More
#6
Loch Ness

Loch Ness

star-514,861
While visitors flock to Loch Ness hoping to catch a glimpse of its elusive and eponymous monster, Loch Ness—a lake in the Scottish Highlands—is worth the trip even if you don’t believe the rumors. Vast and surrounded by magnificent Scottish scenery, Loch Ness is a popular boating and sightseeing spot.More
#7
Forth Bridge

Forth Bridge

star-53,961
The Forth Bridge, the distinctive red-hued cantilevered railway bridge that arches over the Firth of Forth close to Edinburgh, is one of Scotland’s most recognizable symbols. A triumph of engineering, the bridge is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its 1,709-foot (521-meter single cantilever span is the second-longest in the world.More
#8
Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

star-56,295
Scotland's largest island, the Isle of Skye is a pocket of wilderness jutting off the coast of the West Highlands. The area is a treat for nature lovers, with its dramatic sea cliffs, windswept valleys, and glittering lochs.More
#9
Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

star-4.54,176
Set amid splendid gardens at the foot of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official Scottish residence of the British royals, who first decamped here from nearby Edinburgh Castle back in the 15th century. The complex grew from a 12th-century abbey, whose ruins can still be seen on the grounds, into a full-fledged Baroque palace complete with elaborate plasterwork, sumptuous furnishings, and a number of tapestries. The palace is perhaps most famous for having hosted to the rather unfortunate Mary, Queen of Scots, whose beloved secretary was slaughtered here by her jealous second husband.More
#10
Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus

star-59,301
A village on the shores of Loch Ness, Fort Augustus is a popular destination in the Scottish Highlands. Once a garrison in the 18th century, the scenic village today attracts cyclists, hikers, and travelers in search of the Loch Ness monster. It’s also a gateway to the Great Glen Way, a 73-mile trail that runs from Inverness to Fort William.More
#11
George Square

George Square

star-51,856
The cultural center of Glasgow, George Square dates back to 1781. It was named after King George III and today is surrounded by grand buildings including the Glasgow City Chambers. See statues of great Scots, visit the city’s main tourist information office, and go shopping at the annual Christmas market all in this one central square.More
#12
St. Giles Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral

star-55,090
The official church of the Church of Scotland, St. Giles Cathedral and its famous crown spire tower over the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. With a history stretching back over 900 years, St. Giles is renowned for its beautiful stained glass windows, ornate Thistle Chapel, and busy concert calendar.More
#13
Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park

star-510,273
Stretching over 1,500 square miles, Cairngorms National Park is a popular destination for mountain bikers, nature lovers, sea kayakers, and hikers. The park has been named one of the world’s Last Great Places by National Geographic and is the perfect place to enjoy Scotland’s renowned wild landscapes of granite mountains and deep lochs.More
#14
Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral

star-52,159
Dating back to medieval times, Glasgow Cathedral is the only medieval cathedral on Scotland’s mainland to have survived the Reformation almost fully intact. A magnificent Gothic construction, it features stained-glass windows, a 15th-century stone choir screen, and the tomb of St. Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint.More
#15
Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat

star-4.53,091
One of several peaks in the long-extinct volcanic ridge that towers behind Edinburgh, Arthur’s Seat offers hill walking in the heart of the city. Set within the 640-acre (260-hectare) Holyrood Park, it’s also the site of a 2,000-year-old hill fort. On a clear day, the summit promises spectacular views of the cityscape.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Scotland

Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands Day Trip from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe & Hairy Coos Tour from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Edinburgh Castle Tour - Skip The Line Tickets Included
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle from Inverness
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Kelpies from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Isle of Skye, The Highlands and Loch Ness- 3 Day Group Tour from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Scottish Highlands, Loch Ness and Glen Coe Day Trip from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Loch Ness Glencoe and The Highlands from Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Isle of Skye Full Day 8-Seater Bus Tour from Inverness
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands Day Trip from Glasgow
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Glasgow
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Scotland

star-5
Unforgettable Day
Marisa_B, Aug 2022
Highlander Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield 8 Seater Tour from Inverness
A wee dram, homemade shortbread and a toast to the memory of the fallen at Culloden was a lovely touch on such a dark period in history.
star-5
Lovely Scotland!
Fille_W, Aug 2022
Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands with Lunch from Edinburgh
We really enjoyed this chance to see more of Scotland than 'just' Edinburgh!
star-5
Wonderful day trip
Ethan_G, Aug 2022
The Ultimate Whisky Experience from Edinburgh
Martin was a very knowledgeable guide and took us on a great route to see several lovely sites in the country side, and it was great to tour and taste at 2 very different distilleries.
star-5
Great scenic drive and sites.
Wendy_W, Aug 2022
Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
You also get a discount at the Hadrian's Wall because it's an English Heritage site..
star-5
Highlands tour
Bella_P, Aug 2022
Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
We loved having a chance to get out of the city and to see Scotland’s beautiful scenery.
star-5
Amazing!
Aryel_N, Jul 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
He also took us to see a farm with Highland cows!
star-5
Amazing experience
Christine_Z, Jul 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
It made me want to visit more areas of Scotland.
star-5
Castle fun
Kevin_E, Jul 2022
Edinburgh Castle Tour - Skip The Line Tickets Included
The tour was very informative and we were able to see a lot.
star-5
Wonderful tour
Laurent_R, Jul 2022
Isle of Skye, The Highlands and Loch Ness- 3 Day Group Tour from Edinburgh
The choice of places to visit is relevant.
star-5
Highly recommend this tour of Scotland
Nathan_M, Jul 2022
Oban, Glencoe, Highlands Lochs & Castles Small Group Day Tour from Glasgow
Only in Scotland for a few days and was able to see so much more than we thought we were going to be able to see.
star-5
Great trip
Luisa_S, Jul 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands Day Trip from Edinburgh
The team was professional and helped to orient us to Scotland and many of the stories that have made Scotland a place to visit.
star-5
Fun and informative .
Wayne_J, Jul 2022
Full-Day Outlander Experience in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness
can’t say enough wonderful things about him , this tour followed the book version of outlander rather than the tv show so if you are looking to see the castles and places where they filmed , you need to go to southern Scotland .
star-5
Loved every minute of this trip!
Olga_S, Jul 2022
Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and the Kelpies from Edinburgh
At our lunch stop we had opportunity to see sheep dog in training.
star-5
Highland lochs, Glens and whisky tour
Amuda_V, Jul 2022
Highland Lochs, Glens and Whisky Small-Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
The gorgeous sunny weather was a bonus and the most memorable part of our trip was the waterfalls and Queens view.
star-5
Enjoyed every minute of the tour!
aza, Jul 2022
3-Day Isle of Skye Inverness Highlands and Glenfinnan Viaduct Tour from Edinburgh
Plenty of time to see the sights (and also bathroom breaks along the way!
star-5
First time to Scotland
Andrew_R, Jul 2022
City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Our first trip to Bonny Scotland, take the bus you get to see more.
star-5
Lovely experience
Wrenn_B, Jul 2022
Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands Day Trip from Edinburgh
Fantastic way to see a lot of Scotland if you’re here for only a short time
star-5
Scottish Countryside Experience!
Judy_D, Jul 2022
The Highlands, Whisky and Castles Private Day Tour in a Premium Minivan
We enjoyed the whole experience very much and already want to come back to visit Scotland again.
star-5
Historical places near Edinburgh
James_M, Jul 2022
Rosslyn Chapel, Dunfermline Abbey and Stirling Castle Day Tour from Edinburgh
The extra stops to see the Firth of Forth bridges and the battle ground Bannockburn helped break up the drive.
star-5
A++ for The Wee Red Bus!
Robert_K, Jun 2022
Loch Ness and the Highlands Small Group Day Tour from Edinburgh
Keith knows the Highlands inside and out, and not only took us to see magnificent views but also taught us a lot about Scotland’s history.
We perform checks on reviews
Frequently Asked Questions