Last Updated on March 2, 2023
From glens, lochs, and mountains to castles, cathedrals, and galleries, beautiful and historic Scotland is the perfect vacation destination. But with so many attractions on offer, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Well, here are just seven must-see Scottish attractions that you definitely won’t want to miss.
Book a Private Tour to Fit in as Many Attractions as Possible
Scotland is home to so many attractions that it could be challenging to fit them all into a short vacation. However, to ensure you see as many must-see sites as possible, you have the option to book a personal tour of Scotland that is tailored to the attractions you want to visit.
By going on a bespoke tour, you won’t only get to fit in more. You’ll also get detailed information about each site that you visit from your tour team.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the attractions you’ll most likely want to be included in your tour itinerary.
1 Stirling Castle
You’ll probably want to visit famous Scottish castles like Edinburgh Castle and Balmoral Castle, but you definitely don’t want to leave Stirling Castle off your itinerary.
Located in the city of Stirling, the castle has been the home to many of Scotland’s historic kings and queens, and, today, it’s undoubtedly one of the best-preserved Renaissance buildings in all of the British Isles.
While the first record of the castle dates from around 1110, most of the buildings that exist in the present-day date from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.
2 The Scottish National Gallery
Scotland’s national art gallery first opened to the public in 1859. Situated on The Mound in the heart of Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery houses a comprehensive collection of works by Scottish painters, such as Wilkie, Reburn, and Ramsay.
It also features works by many of the greatest artists who ever lived, including Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velázquez, Titian, Botticelli, and Raphael. So, if you’re an art lover, the National Gallery should certainly be on your list of must-see attractions to visit.
3 Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Author of the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne, the poet Robert Burns is Scotland’s national poet and his work is celebrated around the world. If you’re a fan of Rabbie Burns, as he’s known by the locals, you’ll have a wonderful time visiting the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.
The cottage is the site of Burns’ birth. It features over five thousand artifacts connected to Burns, including his handwritten manuscripts.
4 Skara Brae
If you want to travel much further back in history than the late eighteenth century, when Robert Burns was born, head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, which is located on Mainland; one of the Orkney Islands.
The Neolithic settlement is older than Egypt’s pyramids and England’s Stonehenge. The village, which consists of ten stone houses, was occupied between around 3180 BC to around 2500 BC.
5 Ben Nevis
If you want to get out of cities, breathe in the fresh Scottish air, and see the breathtaking landscapes of the country, consider climbing Ben Nevis, which is the highest mountain in the British Isles.
The summit stands 4,411 feet above sea level. If you make it to the top, you can explore the collapsed dome that demonstrates the mountain was once a majestic volcano, as well as be rewarded with incredible views.
6 Glasgow Cathedral
The stunning Glasgow Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland. It’s also the oldest building in the city of Glasgow.
The cathedral’s structure was first constructed in the twelfth century, though most of the cathedral dates from the thirteenth century. It’s dedicated to the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo. His tomb is in the Lower Church.
7 Loch Ness
Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Loch Ness each year in the hope of spotting the famous Loch Ness Monster. Even if you don’t get to catch a glimpse of Nessie, you can go on tours around the beautiful lake, which is the largest lake in the British Isles, and admire the stunning scenery.
You can also visit the ruins of the thirteenth-century Urquhart Castle on the shore of Loch Ness. Looking for more places to add to your Scottish itinerary? Then check out these ten spots.