Scotland is one of the most wildly romantic countries in the world, and also happens to be the country I call home. There’s lots to love here: bagpipes, highland dancing, tartan, the Scottish Highlands, haggis, Irn Bru, the accent, and of course, kilts!
My ultimate Scotland travel guide is filled with travel tips to help you plan your own trip. From the basics to where to go, what to do and where to stay- this is the perfect place to start your planning!
MY SCOTLAND ESSENTIALS
✨ On a budget? Grab my Scotland Bucket List Planner
✨ Organising a big trip? Grab my Ultimate Scotland Planner
✨ Want to tick off all the must-sees? Grab my Must-See Scotland Essential Travel Planners
✨ Have a question about travelling around Scotland? Join my Facebook groups Scotland Travel Tips and Scotland Travel Tips for Locals
✨ Love podcasts? Listen to my Scotland podcast Life in Scotland
✨ Want more Scotland? Join my exclusive Scotland community Secrets of Scotland to unlock bonus content
SCOTLAND CHEAT SHEET
Population: 5.4 million
Size: 77,910 km²
Language: Scotland has three official languages: English, Gaelic and Scots. Gaelic and Scots are minority languages, while English is spoken throughout the country.
Currency: Pound Stirling [GBP]. Scotland accepts debit and Visa/Mastercard at most places and contactless payments are available. Carry cash, especially in the smaller towns where they may not accept card payments.
Climate: There is a saying in Scotland: if you don’t like the weather, just wait half an hour! The weather here is changeable, so packing layers is recommended.
Best time to visit: Personally I think April/May [spring] or September/October [autumn] are the best months to visit. The weather is nice, the colours are beautiful and there are less tourists around.
Where to Stay
I’ve stayed in some unique accommodation all around Scotland. There is a large variety of accommodation available- from bothies to castles, glamping to camping- there really is something to suit all tastes and budgets.
For camping/glamping and quirky accommodation, I use Canopy & Stars. For castles, cottages, and traditional Scottish accommodation, I also search Cottages and Castles. I also use Airbnb to search for quirky accommodation or accommodation for large groups.
My Fave Accommodation
[click PICTURES to view]
Great for active couples
Great for couples
In the heart of Glencoe village
Great for couples
Great for groups
Stay in a castle
Off the beaten path
Great for couples
Located in the West End
There are four main ways to travel throughout Scotland: by car, bus, train, and by ferry.
For car hire I use Auto Europe, a car rental comparison site (similar to Skyscanner). I have my own car in Scotland, however, I used Auto Europe to hire a car on my recent trip to Ireland and they were fantastic. I was able to secure a great rate that included insurance, so all I had to do was pick up my car from the airport when I arrived.
Travel by train is my second favourite way to get around Scotland.
Scotrail is the main railway in Scotland. Their website is very useful for researching train routes and prices.
For travel within the UK, I recommend first looking at Megabus. They have some fantastic fares- some for just £1!
Stagecoach is another popular bus company in Scotland.
For ferries to the islands, Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac for short) is the major operator in Scotland. They also cater for vehicles and motorhomes. Check out their website for prices and special deals.
TOP 10 MUST SEES
There are SO many things to do in Scotland, but I won’t overwhelm you. Here are the top 10 attractions and things to do in Scotland.
2. Ride the Jacobite Steam Train – Ride the famous ”Harry Potter train” through the highlands.
3. Underground Vaults in Edinburgh – Explore Scotland’s haunted history in this amazing tour in Edinburgh.
4. Visit a whisky distillery – Learn how to taste Scottish whisky properly!
5. Visit the highlands – An absolute must-do when you visit Scotland.
6. Stirling Castle – Visit Scotland’s most sought after castle.
7. Visit an island– Try my Isle of Skye itinerary!
8. Drive the North Coast 500 – Explore Scotland’s version of Route 66.
9. Go hiking – Explore my Scotland hiking guides for inspiration.
10. Go to a traditional Scottish pub – Check out my blog post on my favourite Scottish pubs!
Have you watched my Secrets of Scotland YouTube series? Click here to watch season 1 and feel inspired for your trip to Scotland!