This is for all the lovely travellers we’ve met who asked for our advice on where to visit in Scotland (other than Edinburgh!).
Disclaimer: This is by no means a definitive list but just few of our favourite places that we think shows the best of our country. If you’re one of our Scottish friends or family reading this and feel like we’ve missed somewhere amazing, please leave a comment at the bottom to help out our foreign friends!
Home-sweet-home for us! Scotland’s largest city is often missed out by tourists, but although we don’t have a pretty castle like Edinburgh we certainly have plenty to see and do – and bags of personality too!
Glasgow has the best and most diverse food scene in Scotland. Try Ox & Finch for Scottish ingredients served in a modern tapas style, or Stravaigin for more classic fare. A visit to Glasgow wouldn’t be complete without trying one of our many Indian restaurants – Mother India has been a city favourite for over 20 years.
In the west end visit Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery and the Riverside Transport Museum & the Tall Ship then head to one of the trendy bars in Finnieston, the city’s coolest neighbourhood. Round off the night by catching a show at The Stand Comedy Club and find out why Glasgow is known for it’s sense of humour.
In the east end visit the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green and admire the beautiful Templeton building (one of my fave’s in the city). After that head to the Barras – Glasgow’s market place has been given a new lease of life with the introduction of the Barras Art & Design Courtyard and Backyard. By this point you’ll be in need of a beer – check out one of the city’s great breweries like West or Drygate.
Finally, Glasgow is know as one of the UK’s best cities for live music. If you get a chance, try to catch a gig at legendary venues like The Barrowlands or King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, or at the state-of-the-art Hydro. Check out The List for what’s on and listings of smaller awesome events.
Scotland’s biggest loch (lake) and more beautiful than the super-touristy Loch Ness. Only 30 minutes from Glasgow – can be done as a day trip but deserves at least one night stay. Cameron House is the luxury hotel choice but there are also many B&Bs and camping grounds if you’re on a budget. Hike Ben Lomond for spectacular views or enjoy a boat trip around the loch and take plenty of photos!
A stunning castle with a vast amount of important Scottish history, again often skipped by tourists who only visit Edinburgh Castle! The castle’s buildings date back to the late 1400’s and many Scottish monarchs were crowned here, most famously Mary Queen of Scots.
While you’re there visit the nearby Wallace Monument – a striking hilltop tower to commemorate Sir William Wallace – and Hall of Heroes.
I’m a bit-biased since this is where I grew-up, but I definitely think this part of Scotland is worth a visit! Highlights include the Robert Burns Museum (our national poet: kind of like Scotland’s Shakespeare), Culzean Castle & Country Park and Turnberry Hotel & Golf Course (now slightly ruined by Trump – ignore the gold and admire the views of Ailsa Craig).
We also recently did the 2 hour whisky experience at A.D. Rattray and it was amazing – highly recommend for anyone interested in Scotland’s drink of choice.
St Andrews & Fife
The “Home of Golf”, where many tourists come to see or play the Old Course. St Andrews is also known for it’s University which is the third oldest in the world and now famously where Prince William & Kate Middleton met!
While in the area you should visit some of the smaller towns on Fife’s East Neuk such as Elie, Pittenweem and Anstruther. These little fishing villages are beautiful and a great place to relax, visit to beach or enjoy some amazing fresh seafood. I’ve spent many summers in Elie with family friends – try the Ship Inn for somewhere to stay or have a few pints.
There’s so much more to see and do in Scotland, this list is only scratching the surface! Just make sure you don’t try to cram too much into a week or two – you’ll want to leave plenty of time for meeting the locals, a few unexpected adventures and of course recovering from your whisky hangovers!
If you’re here for longer however you might want to visit to Glencoe & Fort William in the highlands, or check out one of our scenic islands like Skye. There are literally hundreds of whisky distilleries that you can tour and make for a great day-trip (such as Glengoyne, just outside of Glasgow). Or if you’re interesting in hiking and are coming to Scotland to see the countryside, consider walking The West Highland Way!
I hope this helps plan your trip – please feel free to comment below if you have any questions!
Sarah & Martin